December 2nd, 2009
Tips, Tools and Tutorials
When conducting various Internet marketing or even traditional marketing campaigns for your business, it is important to turn a potential lead into an actual customer through a well organized and highly effective landing page. It is very important that you do your research carefully and clearly lay out the objective of each landing page and then make sure the layout and content on your page supports this objective.
When I think of landing pages, I generally think of two broader types of pages. The first, would be what I refer to as a “lead capture page.” A lead capture page is created as a page to drive customers to after they click on some type of advertisement; whether it be a banner ad, Pay Per Click ad, or a link from your latest email marketing campaign. These pages are generally focused less on technical SEO components and more on visitor conversion. The second type of landing page, I would refer to as an “organic SEO landing page.” An organic SEO landing page tends to focus less on visitor conversion and more on technical SEO components that will help that page rank well in the search engines.
In this post, we will discuss how to create a highly effective lead capture page with the specific goal of converting a visitor into a customer. While, effective landing pages will vary depending on the specific objective of the page, there are many common traits that tend to produce highly effective landing pages. Here are a few tips and techniques that tend to improve conversions.
Before you begin doing any work, you must clearly define the goal of this particular landing page. Are you looking for someone to make a purchase, fill out a contact form, place a call, signup for you newsletter, or subscribe to your RSS feed? Whatever the goal of your page, you need to clearly outline this goal so that every aspect of your page supports this goal and thus helps drive the visitor to complete the conversion.
In order to develop a highly effective landing page, you must first research your potential customer. Find out what your potential customer is looking for and give it to them. Try to think about what information your potential customer will need in order to convert, and simply provide the visitor with the information they want. Most highly effective landing pages are usually tailored to a very specific and targeted audience.
Crafting the content for your landing page is a very important step in developing an effective landing page. When writing the content, always keep in mind that this is a business transaction and not a time where you should get too creative with your writing. Make sure to keep your page copy to the point in a clear and concise manner. You want to clearly lay out, in a persuasive way, why your visitor should make the purchase, fill out the contact form, or whatever it may be.
When speaking of writing compelling page copy, you should place much focus on both the opening sentences as well as the closing sentences. These are two areas of your page copy that people are most likely to read, and if these alone are persuasive, it may be enough to get the visitor to convert. For your opening sentences, it is important to reinforce the overall message and goal of your landing page. For example, if your landing page is for a specific banner ad you have placed on a third party site; make sure your opening sentences build upon the message of that banner ad. Additionally, your closing sentences should also reinforce this message and attempt to sum up the campaign’s goal in a persuasive manner. Be sure to include text that drives your visitor to act now and complete the conversion.
The layout and design of your page is an extremely important component of developing a highly effective landing page. You want your landing page to be visually appealing, but more so, you want to provide a very simple and logical layout that does not distract your user from completing the conversion. To prevent distractions, you should consider eliminating any and all unnecessary page elements. If some aspect of your landing page does not ultimately assist the visitor in converting, then you should probably remove it. On most effective landing pages, you will not see unnecessary components such as your latest tweets or blog posts as these are the types of things that will distract users and provoke them to click away before completing your call to action.
The term “above the fold” refers to what a visitor is able to see on your website without having to scroll down on the page. While this term has become quite tough to define these days with the variety of different screen sizes available and people browsing sites on mobile devices, the general concept still applies. You should include the most important elements of your landing page “above the fold.” If your users have to scroll down to fill out a contact form, they will be less likely to do it.
Your landing page should have one primary call to action that is ultimately the goal of your page. Whether this is a contact form, subscription signup, or a strong closing sentence that prompts the reader to contact your company, your call to action should be the one element of your page that really stands out and prompts your visitor to convert. It is important to make it as easy as possible for your visitor to complete your call to action. If your call to action is a contact form, for example, only collect the necessary information from your visitor. If your form has too many variables, visitors are likely to click away.
It is not very likely that you will develop the perfect landing page on your first try. It is important to test your landing pages with smaller focus groups to help you determine the best layout and design. With a little bit of trial and error, you will be well on your way to having an extremely effective landing page.
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