If you use online marketing to drive prospects to your Web site, you need to develop landing pages to convert prospects into qualified leads. A landing page is a single, simple Web page tied to a specific offer. The offer might be a white paper, Webinar, research report or other content your audience will find valuable. Your goal is to convert visitors into qualified leads by capturing their contact information when they accept your offer.
Here are 5 ways to improve landing pages to help increase conversions and get more return from your marketing campaigns.
1. Integrate landing pages with their corresponding ads
If you match the text or graphics used in your ad to the landing page the ad points to, you will immediately reassure visitors they’ve come to the right place. With textual search ads you can use the same headline in the ad as on the landing page and repeat the offer.
With graphical banners ads, you can re-use text and also re-use photos, images and colors. Integration between ad and landing page provides a sense of continuity that increases the comfort level of your audience and makes them more likely to stick with the landing page and accept your offer.
2. Quickly answer three important questions
You’ve got five seconds or less to capture and hold the attention of a visitor to your landing page. The way to get their interest is to answer the top three questions they have:
- What is your offer? Tell them immediately about your white paper, archived Webinar, or new research report and invite them to accept it.
- Why should I care? Your offer must be relevant to your audience. Make them care by writing benefit-oriented copy that addresses their interests and needs.
- What do I do next? The whole point of your landing page is to get visitors to take action. Place your call to action in multiple places: near the top of the page, after the copy, in a side column. Use both text links and buttons for the call to action. If you’re offering a white paper, create a small thumbnail image of the white paper's cover to get your visitor’s attention. Be action-oriented in your direction: “Download white paper” or “Register for Webinar.”
3. Don’t let visitors wander away
A landing page isn’t a Web site; it’s a single page focused on a conversion objective. That’s why you might want to leave off the navigation of your main Web site. Navigation invites visitors to click around, wander away and lose site of the original landing page offer.
The only time you might use navigation on a landing page is if you need more than one page to educate prospects or explain a complex offer. In that case, your landing page might contain a link or two that opens a new page containing additional relevant content. Make sure that all those pages are similar to the landing page in look and feel, and repeat your offer on those pages so that a visitor can take advantage of it at any time.
4. Keep your conversion forms minimal
Long, complicated forms with many required fields will decrease your conversion rates. Prospects will drop off when confronted with such forms because in most cases you haven’t established enough of a relationship or trust with your visitor to ask for a lot of information. Ask only for the information you need to make an intelligent assessment of your visitor and to contact them again. Name, company and e-mail address could be enough.
It’s okay to ask other questions on the form, but make those questions optional. After you have captured a lead and contacted that person again, you can begin to gather more information as they become more qualified and move through your marketing and sales process.
5. Test your landing pages
Landing pages are typically quick and inexpensive to produce and modify. Sometimes a small change can make a big difference in conversion rates. Test different page layouts (a two column layout with one wide and one narrow column is a classic and successful layout), variations on headlines and copy, and placement of the call to action and the form. Be sure to change only one item at a time and then track the impact that one change has on conversion rates. Keep any enhancements that increase conversions and continue to modify and test. Take what you learn and apply it to other landing pages for other campaigns.