How to build a highly effective landing page for your business
So what creates a good landing page? Now, this can vary, especially by industry and what you’re trying to sell. But there are some key components to a landing page that make landing pages more successful than websites. And it’s important to understand that a landing page, is not a regular webpage on your website. Generally, a landing page, is what catches all the traffic that you’re generating from your ads or some sort of promotions or offers that you have, whether that be direct mail or radio ads, television, whatever. So the landing page is pretty much a watered-down version of a page from your website or services that you’re offering. Here are some of the key components to how to build a highly effective landing page for your business starting from top to bottom.
Come up with a captivating headline and supporting sub-heading.
What is a great headline that people can’t miss, and they won’t ignore?
So the first thing would be obviously to have a headline, right? And you’d want the headline to match whatever the source is that they’re coming from. So for example, if you’re running ads and you’re saying “get 20% off of web design services”, then when they click on the landing page, that heading should be as close to “get 20% off web design services” as possible. This way, they know that they’re in the right place. There’s no confusion there. So you want your heading to match whatever the source is that’s bringing that traffic to your landing page.
Following that, there’d be some sort of subheading. This is a great place to include what kind of benefit will they receive. What kind of value will they get out of this. So if it’s the “20% off web design services”, maybe you’re highlighting in the subheading that it’s “20% off for web design services, but you’re getting this at X, Y, or Z.” So whatever the case is, you want the subheading to validate the heading that you have.
What is your call to action?
Following that, you’ve got a call to action. This is ultimately what goal you want the user to take on your landing page. Maybe this is some sort of newsletter sign-up. Maybe it’s a buy now button. Maybe it’s a contact us, or a very short contact form. Whatever the case is, the call to action generally follows the heading and sub-heading. So it goes heading, subheading, and then call to action.
Now it’s time for some social proof…
Following that, you want to include testimonials right under the call to action. What kind of success has other people had with this service or this product or this offer. So include some testimonials. This will be some of your social proof. You want to add some credibility to your business, to your brand, to your product, whatever you’re pitching, include some testimonials.
Do you link to other parts of your main website?
Should you have navigation on your landing page that links to other parts of your website? No, you should not. And let me tell you why, because when you have navigation on your landing page, a user may get distracted and they’re going to start clicking on your about page. And then they’ll start clicking on your contact page and some of these other pages. And before you know it, you’ve lost their interest or you’ve lost them in some way, shape or form. So don’t have a navigation on your landing page and see what kind of results that that gives to you.
Now, that’s not always the case. We have seen some success with having a navigation as part of the landing page. It’s really something that you’re going to have to split test and I’ll get into that in just a moment. So, for starting out, don’t have a navigation, no distractions on the landing page. You want them to get there and get through the call to action as quickly as possible with as little distractions as possible.
Use REAL images and colors from your company.
Use some good images from your actual company. Don’t just rely on stock photography. If you’ve got a camera or a mobile phone, take some images of your business or your people working, or you working, whatever. People have started to tune out to stock photography now and I think it really sets a business apart when they actually have photography that has them in it, or their brand or their company.
Colors also play an important role in a landing page. You want to think about colors that invite a user to take action, so call to action colors. They’re generally things like orange or red or whatever. It draws your eye to that color. Now, obviously you want these landing pages and the color palette to fit with your brand. So think about what kind of colors you can implement into your landing page that are part of your brand, it’s part of the same company, but also invite a user to take action. And think about it in a way of where not everything on that landing page for example is red. Do you really want the buttons or the call to actions, in my example, to be red? Everything else may be black, but the red just stands out and it invites the user and kind of guides them on where we want them to go to take that action.
What about social media icons?
Now, do you use just social icons like links to your social media profiles? Or do you use some sort of social sharing icons? I personally prefer to use social sharing icons because that encourages the user to share this landing page with their following, with their social network. I generally don’t advise adding social icons that link to your social media profile, again, just because just like the navigation, we don’t want to lead the user away from this landing page, especially not without them taking action. Now you can have social media icons on the thank you page that they get to once they fill out the form, but ultimately we want to try to keep them on the landing page. We don’t want to give them any reason to leave or any reason to be distracted. So add social sharing icons to your landing page so that will encourage them to share it with their following, and it gives you some free promotion, free advertisement.
What else should you include on your landing page?
So we’ve already talked a little bit about matching the headline to whatever the channel that’s bringing that traffic. So if I’m running an ad and again, it’s 20% off web design services, then the heading at the very top of this landing page should definitely match that, 20% off web design services.
But what about the other content on the page? Now, assuming you’ve got other content on the page, you definitely want that to also match whatever that source is that’s bringing you that traffic. So again, using the “20% off web design” example, then right under the testimonials, I’ve got three or five services blocks where it talks about what we include in our web design services. Again, it matches the content to the user’s expectations for what they clicked on. So this could be things like, “We offer web hosting with a 99% uptime,” or, “We optimize every website that we build for SEO,” or, “We include X, Y, and Z for every website.” So think about matching the content and making it consistent with whatever the source is that’s bringing that traffic to you.
Don’t forget to split test, everything!
And then finally, I’d like you to try to split test. You should never just be running one version of your landing page, always split test. Google Optimize is a free tool that is excellent for this. Once you set up Google Optimize, you can essentially point and click on any element on your landing page and split test. So for example, maybe we find that the heading that says “20% off website design,” doesn’t convert as well as saying, “Receive a new website for 20% off the competitor’s price.” Maybe that performs a little bit better. But the important thing is, is that I’m always running two versions of this. So 50% of the traffic that hits that landing page is going to see version one, 50% will see version two. And then at the end of the experiment or the end of the month, I can look at that data and I can say, okay, this version performed better than this version. So we implement that version, the winning version, and then we split test again. And we’re always iterating, trying to find the best working variation of that which yields the best results. So split test, always split test your landing pages. You should even split test your marketing messages too, your ads and everything. But certainly, split test your landing pages and then let the data tell the story for you.
If you have any questions, drop them in the comments.