A lot of digital marketers drive potential customers away because of a bad landing page. I should know; in my 15 years as president of a full-service digital marketing agency, “why won’t my web page convert?” is, without a doubt, the top question I’m asked. Without an eye-catching and compelling sales pitch, your company will have zero customers who want to buy your products or services online.
With that in mind, we put together 10 “commandments” for good landing pages. These are the same rules we give to our clients at my company, but they can work for you too.
- Declutter. Cluttering landing pages is one of the top reasons why they fail. You don’t want too many high-density images. A widget or two is fine. If you have an excessive number of content boxes, your customers become overwhelmed, and it takes away from your content. In bad cases, it can even be hard for the customer to know where to click. You don’t like clutter in your house or yard, so don’t put it on your page. Watch for information overload and providing too many choices. Keep it simple.
- Have a clear call to action (CTA). Say you’re on Amazon, and there’s a book you would like to look at. You get to its page and read the summary of this book, but as you scroll down, there’s a “click-for-more” option. When you click on it, however, it’s just to view the inside of the book. Landing pages need a clear CTA. Instead of saying “more,” say “view inside of book here.” You don’t want to confuse the customer, so be specific.
- Don’t ask too much. More and more, sellers ask less from customers. Most ask for an email and one other piece of information. The less you ask, the more customers sign up. When making your forms, put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Would you take the time to answer numerous questions? Is the offer worth his/her time? Businesses can often get data-collection crazy and forget how it affects their conversion rate.
- Think like the customer. Write your landing page like a human. A robotic sales pitch seems detached, and customers don’t like the monotonous sales tone. Take selling shoes, for example. If a young woman came across a pair of heels in which she may be interested, she’d read the description. Something boring like, “Black seven-inch stilettos with elastic straps and a slight glow. Wear them to a club or out for dinner” wouldn’t be nearly effective as something like, “These seven-inch black stilettos will make any man’s head turn. These gorgeous heels have a beautiful sparkle and are very comfortable.” Engage and captivate.
- Don’t sit back idly. Sitting back and watching the money roll in isn’t part of the marketing world. You have to drive the traffic. A good marketer will use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs. Ads are another great way of generating traffic. Google Adwords, Facebook and Twitter have advertisement programs in which you can enroll. Don’t forget to direct traffic to your site after your landing page.
- Have a two-step opt-in. Instead of having a one-step sign-up process that sits in your window, the two-step sign-up process directs visitors to a separate sign-up form (a lightbox popup window or separate page) after clicking on a CTA. With this method, visitors to your page aren’t immediately pressured into filling out a form that takes front and center on your landing page. The end result means that you capture customer contacts and leads that are actually interested in what you have to offer since they had to first click before filling out the form.
- Don’t cheat. When things aren’t going so well for months and you’ve hardly had any traffic, it’s tempting to try something riskier. Someone will come to you with an easy way to make your traffic skyrocket — don’t fall for it. Cheating is never the answer. You’d be stealing another marketer’s work and taking the credit. Not only is it wrong, but your business can be penalized so quickly by Google that you won’t get the chance to blink.
- Design for direction. Directing customers with design is an important part of conversions. Design where you want customers to look. The key is to lead your visitor’s eye through design. This is a powerful way to control the transaction flow of your site. Focus your imagery around one call-to-action on your page for successful results.
- Make it accessible for all. One big mistake marketers make is using a website or email that doesn’t work for everyone. You have four percent of the world who is colorblind and another four percent that is almost completely blind. Many colorblind individuals can’t see color combinations — red and green being the worst offender. Avoid complex color combinations, and use another method besides color. If you’re not sure, run it through a colorblind simulator. For poor-sighted individuals, use large, sharp and contrasted font.
- Test. The biggest rule. Test frequently. Test intelligently. Test everything.
Good content, design and layout are musts. If you do not take care with your landing page, then your company will suffer.
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