Welcome to the wonderful world of landing page do’s and don’ts! Actually, this is just a quickie, user-friendly rundown of the top four things you should keep in mind when creating a landing page. This is a marketing subject that can (and has) been discussed at great length, and I find that a lot of my clients end up scared to move because of the depth of information out there on the “right way” to create a landing page that achieves your goals.
Don’t be afraid…the truth is, not every rule in web marketing works for every company. That said, the four points below are the ones I consider to be the most important for small businesses and DIYers. If you create attractive, clear, and concise landing pages, you’ll be better positioned to convince your audience to respond to your marketing campaign.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is where your audience will arrive when they click on your marketing link. So, say you opt to do advertising to promote your website on Facebook – the web page that the audience is directed to is the landing page for that advertising campaign. It’s the same for AdWords, or any other dedicated marketing you do, including social media marketing. If you are directing an audience to your website for a specific purpose, the page they end up on is the landing page.
Why is it important?
Your landing page is your opportunity to grab the attention of your audience and keep them on your website. It’s a tool for drawing people in, for gathering information about your audience, and oftentimes it is the first experience users will have with your website. This is your space for making a good first impression, so as Ru Paul says…
So, how do you make a good landing page?
1. Make it pretty
No one wants to show up to a poorly organized web page that looks like it was designed in 1999. Imagine it like a shopping experience…do you want to walk into a store that’s ugly with merchandise scattered everywhere, or do you want to walk into a beautiful store with amazing displays and easily accessible merchandise? Your landing page should be the latter – attractive and clearly integrating your branding, organized, and with easy-to-understand language. Use imagery to highlight your product or service, but stay away from Satan’s marketing tool, the auto-play video.
2. Provide the information you promised to provide, up front
If your marketing campaign is advertising a history of red shoes, your landing page better provide part of that history up front, or your audience will leave. Quickly. Don’t be tempted to lead with non-relevant material…your audience showed up for a reason, so give them what they want. And then entice them to stay with additional interesting content.
3. Have a clear call-to-action
If you have created a landing page for a marketing campaign (and let’s be clear – every marketing campaign should have a special landing page to go with it), you are trying to convince your audience to do something. Make it clear what you want them to do. For example, do you want them to sign up for a newsletter? Then add information on how awesome your newsletter is, along with a benefit for signing up (think a coupon or freebie). But don’t leave the audience guessing…remember the saying, “Don’t ask, don’t get.”
4. For the love, please link to your actual website
Personal opinion here: I HATE visiting landing pages that sell me on a conference or a product, but don’t actually link to the main website. No, I don’t want to have to sign up for something to get basic information! Please, don’t do this – it keeps users from being able to explore information in an organic way, and if they’re like me, they won’t come back. It’s a general rule of thumb that you shouldn’t have a navigation menu on your landing page – if you opt to go that route, at least have a link somewhere on the page that will get users to your site.