It would be an understatement to say that landing page optimization is an often talked about subject, because the truth is landing page optimization is most definitely the most discussed topic after the famous “what is a landing page”.
I’m guilty of writing a lot about landing page optimization myself; five tips to do this, ten principles of doing that to get this and on and on and on. While I am by no means saying that LPO is not important, I am merely pointing out the fact that there’s a lot of information out there about this particular topic, information that’s scattered and diffused.
And, because I don’t want you to run around looking for information, what you’ll be getting today is the only guide you’ll ever need to build perfectly optimized landing pages.
Going About It
We’re going to go about the guide in the following way, first I am going to explain to you why you need a landing page in the first place, you know the basics behind LPO. We’ll then come to the definitions part of our guide; here we’re going to cover the basics; what a landing page is and what landing page optimization signifies. After this, we’ll have all the landing page elements, and you’re going to learn how you can optimize each of them.
Go pour yourself a cup of joe because here we go.
Chapter One: The Fundamentals
Before hitting on the hard stuff, we first need to clarify a few things that plague more marketers than I would have hoped. First off, there’s the issue of where you should be sending your traffic.
Your Landing Page VS Your Homepage
You should always make sure that you are sending your targeted traffic to a nicely crafted and targeted landing page instead of your cluttered homepage.
Your landing page is a standalone page, yes, it’s about your offer but it’s a separate entity, and for the page to function correctly, it should remain this way.
When you send your traffic to your homepage, you are essentially waving adieu to your conversions. Your landing page is created primarily to promote one offer at a particular time. bOviously your traffic should be targeted towards this page and not a cluttered homepage that is full of every offer and service that you’ve ever had.
The average time that a visitor spends on your landing page is just 8 seconds! Remember this when you sit down to design your landing page, don’t bore them with unnecessary details.
Another thing to remember with landing pages is consistency- from the PPC or banner ad that takes your visitors to your landing page to your page itself- make sure everything is in perfect harmony with each other; design, messaging and tone. Don’t show them a financial solution on the ad and a monkey on your landing page.
Always Reduce Friction
One thing that your landing page shouldn’t have is friction.
Friction happens when you put together a landing page that doesn’t put your best conversion foot forward. This happens when you put together an ill-organized extended lead capture form, it happens when your images are not relevant (but there’s more about this later). Another significant reason for landing page friction is slow loading landing pages.
Just as we’re not big fans of slow moving lines and meals that take hours to cook, your visitors aren’t big fans of a slow loading landing page, if you have a slow loading landing page, you are lowering your landing page conversions by an average of 3.3%, how badly do you think this affects your overall revenue?
No one is going to wait around for your image carousel to load or your video to buffer, so even thinking so is just too presumptuous of you. Make sure your landing page loads quickly, remove the widgets and features that seem extra, make sure you have optimized your images and whatever else is needed.
Chapter Two: The Definitions
What is a Landing Page?
The question what’s a Landing Page can simply be answered just by looking at the word “Landing Page”, a Landing Page is the page that your visitors “land” on once they click on your ad or a Google result link.
A Landing Page is sparingly used in marketing campaigns of products and services whatever they may be, this is because a landing page is one of the best tools that help you convert your visitors into customers. Landing Pages are an indispensable part of any marketer’s online campaign; they’re where your leads truly turn to gold.
You should be using Landing Pages because they help you target your specific audiences and allow you to gather important information (that you can use to follow up with them) about your visitors when they’re transitioning into becoming your customers.
Your Landing Page isn’t something you just put together in a hurry, it’s not a doorway page that is only meant to be seen by internet spiders, it comes in front of your potential customers which is why you need to put your best foot forward.
Landing Pages are most definitely not another name for your website’s homepage; which is why it does not and should not contain the same elements that make up your homepage.
A landing page contrary to a homepage has a specific objective in mind; it is focused on one of your offers, and on only one of them. Where your homepage has diffused interests and objectives, a landing page has a concentrated objective in mind, one goal that it’s created to achieve.
What is Landing Page Optimization?
Landing page optimization or LPO is the thing that landing pages have to achieve to fulfill their destiny i.e. to get the maximum conversions for their respective offers. Basically, landing page optimization is the bridge that every landing page must cross to gain what it was created to gain.
Tell me, if you ever have the feeling that even after building landing pages you aren’t getting the conversations that you expected? Or that all your PPC efforts have gone in vain? And that your bounce rate is higher than you could ever have anticipated?
If you’ve nodded your head on even one of these scenarios you’re plagued by a case of no landing page optimization.
Because, the grotesque scenarios mentioned above only hold true for marketers who have failed in their LPO efforts.
To put it simply, LPO refers to the process of using quantitative and qualitative information to put together a new and improved version of your landing page that can reel in more conversions.
Because an optimized landing page has all the right ingredients to bring in the most conversions, it’s designed to succeed.
This guide is all about bringing to you the techniques that you could need to optimize your landing pages without having to go to your IT guys for help. When you become privy to the right LPO techniques you become independent where your landing pages are concerned.
Now that you know exactly what landing page optimization is let’s see what landing pages are made of and learn how to optimize each landing page element separately.
Chapter Three: Optimizing Landing Page Elements
A landing page is made up of 5 basic elements namely the headline, image, copy, CTA button and landing page forms. Other common landing page elements include customer testimonials and endorsements.
Landing Page Headline
You can easily compare the headline on your Landing Page with a book title or a newspaper headline; you wouldn’t bother reading the whole of something if the title doesn’t intrigue you; would you?
No, you wouldn’t and that’s exactly how your landing page headline works.
Because while the statement “first impression is the last impression” may be subject to relativity in the real world, with your landing page this statement is as real as gravity. You need come up with a headline that has the power to make your visitors stop on your landing page and take notice.
Just grab the selling point of your respective service or product and nail it perfectly on your landing page to get the most out of your headline. Using your keywords in the headline also helps you attract your target audience.
If you want your visitors to stick around, which of course you do, you need to come up with the right stick around Headline and for that you can try:
- The “how to” option
- Asking a question
- Mixing humor
- Giving them numerical reasons why
GOTIT has an effective headline.
Landing Page Copy
Mentioned in the copy of your landing page is the description of your product, its benefits, and what makes you better than your competitors?
To do right by your landing page copy what you have to remember to do is not go on and on about how great your product or service is, but talk to Your customer about Your customer.
Make sure your copy has enhanced readability instead of putting your entire copy in one giant block, add some white space in the middle. Write your product’s benefits in bullets or steps, your choice.
When you visitors just have a mere 8 seconds to spend on your landing page, it’s never a good idea to bombard them with a lot of copy.
However, it’s also not a good idea to give them such short copy that they don’t understand what you’re trying to sell them, because if they don’t understand they don’t convert. So, the amount of copy that you decide to go forward with on your page really depends on the product / service you’re promoting.
Pocket has brief yet explanatory copy.
Landing Page Call to Action Button
The Call to Action button should be the most noticeable thing on your Landing Page. The CTA should be designed in such a manner that it grabs your visitors’ attention and entices them to click on it.
Make sure the Call To Action Button calls out to your visitors. Your Call to Action button should always be straightforward; the more direct your CTA is the better.
Your CTA button is the star of your landing page; if it’s not placed in a prominent position well then what’s the point of you even building a landing page?
There are basically two things that you need to do to make your CTA button noticeable; make it clear and make it attractive. Some might consider putting their CTA button below the fold synonymous with tucking it away, because it doesn’t appear to your visitors instantly when they open up your landing page.
And though this might sound like a bad idea at first, it in fact really isn’t.
When you’re designing a landing page for a relatively complex product such as an CRM solution, you want to give your visitors all the necessary details so that they’re excited to click on your CTA button when the time is right. If they don’t understand your product they probably wouldn’t buy it.
In such a case you go forward with a slightly longer landing page that has more explanatory copy on it, so that your visitors first fully understand what your product has to offer them. When they’ve done so, they’ll arrive on your CTA button more convinced and ready to commit.
Not only is the Farmers Insurance call to action clear but there is a directional cue pointing at it.
Landing Page Images
A picture is worth a thousand words, which is why your landing page should never be without one. The graphic that you insert on your landing page should be, both relevant and eye-catching.
Some website owners put up videos on their landing page, which is also a good approach as long as the video ties in well with the rest of the page.
The graphic that you upload on your landing page not only needs to be eye catching but it needs to be relevant to the product or service you’re trying to promote.
White space is a great landing page design tool, it helps you reduce clutter and adds visual appeal to your page, make sure that you surround your landing page image and other elements with plenty of whitespace so that they appear more focused.
The Squarespace image is not only relevant it’s eye catching.
Lead Capture Forms
Nothing drives a big hole in your conversions like a badly designed lead capture form. The first rule to remember when you sit down to design your lead capture form is that it needs to be well organized.
When you choose to ask too much unnecessary information on your lead capture you turn off your visitors. I know everyone says lead capture forms need to be short. However, deciding the length of your Lead Capture Form essentially depends on what kind of leads you hope to get via your landing page.
Marketers get more leads with shorter forms because more visitors are willing to fill them out and the opposite is true with longer forms. However, with longer Lead Capture Forms marketers get good quality leads, which isn’t possible with just getting your visitors’ name and email address aka the short version.
The length of your lead capture form depends on the end goal of your campaign or offer; so, choose wisely. Don’t ask for your visitors’ phone number just so they can sign up for a free ebook.
The Salesforce lead capture form though long is arranged properly which adds to its appeal.
This is all the information that you’ll need to optimize your landing page in an effort to score as many conversions as possible.
Optimize away my friend, optimize away.