What are landing pages, and why are they so important in the path to customer conversion?
Well firstly, I’ll tell you what they're not, they’re not a road to the land of plenty, but they’re a pretty good and well-trodden path there. It's an ace up the marketing magician’s sleeve combining the skills of designers, developers and content creators as well as marketers and sales people for a beautiful AND functional design. Creating one can be broken down pretty much as follows:
- Create an offer
- Do your research (Keyword/Adword Campaign)
- Create your compelling content
- Create an actionable CTA
- Create a form that's all about conversion
Let's break this down.
Say your company offers many products and/or services but you either want to push one specific item or promote a new one. A carefully crafted Landing Page can be one of your best conversion tools and is part of your content marketing strategy. In the first place you need a targeted and standalone offer related to a single objective or conversion goal. The offer is redeemable once a specific action has been taken. The "specific action" I'm talking about is usually asking your visitor to fill in a form with some information about themselves (name, email address and company for example). The offer can come in as many guises as you can conjure up; an e-book, a case study (or case studies), a place on a webinar, a product demo, a white paper, and so on.
Research your Campaign Keywords
Be meticulous when picking your keywords and phrases as they must be very specific and relevant to your offer. Do your research. By doing this, you'll attract exactly the kind of audience who need your help. It also has significance for your place on the results page. Moreover (love that word), these phrases should relate exactly to the problem the offer is going to solve. For example, “Learn how to do keyword research in ten easy steps with our free download," will have more relevance than simply “Learn keywords" or, “How to do keywords”. Makes sense, doesn't it? By the way, we have a really neat little keyword research tool that uses the collective power of your contacts to do your research. Using this tool, you frame a question to your friends in such a way as to generate real search data. Our SeedKeywords tool is a free resource to help you with this approach to keyword research. (On the subject of keyword research tools, this super keyword tool blog post from Brian Dean does the best job we've seen in a while of a good long look at what's out there right now).
Compelling and Persuasive ContentContent is going to be the glue that binds the whole process together and must include the offer details, keywords and of course, the call to action. This page requires one standalone offer, and only one, so your message has to be clear; it should get your visitor interested enough to take up the offer in return for details about themselves. When they do this, they're no longer just a visitor, they're a qualified lead. Don't skimp on putting the words together or taking time to get the design just right; your message should be eloquent and above all, convincing, stating the benefits on offer clearly and without ambiguity.
Put your content together with:
- A clear headline
- Impactful and relevant design and imagery
- Informative copy - what they'll get when they click the CTA
- Directional copy and imagery towards CTA
- Reinforcing messages of the offer
- A Call To Action that gives access to the offer
- A nice 'Thank You' page
CTA - Call To ActionYou only ever have one CTA on your page. The reason you only ever have one is so you can measure your response rate and the effectiveness of your campaign. The CTA must not only be actionable but persuasive; use words like "get" or "try" or "now" to add a sense of urgency. It must match the message in the content and whatever is on offer. Everything should tie together.
We also know that when a prospect feels a sense of choice or confusion their response time can be delayed, causing indecision. Be compelling and be clear.
The FormThe form is the visitor's route to your fabulous (I hope!) offer. Bear in mind that what you ask for on the form should balance with the kind of information you're asking people to share. For a newsletter, you should really only expect an email address; for a product demo, you can ask for more - for example, a company name and the person's role in that company. There are some very simple principles you can apply to your form structure and design. The first is to make it stand out from the copy, perhaps with a simple outline. The second is to use design elements like colour in the header and CTA to give it a real sense of cohesion. The third is to use elements like arrows to demonstrate the path to be taken - from reading the content, filling in the form and getting the offer. Finally, make sure the content around the form is really detailed; this gives the page an SEO kick for the search engines and something to get their teeth into.
In ConclusionI'm not pretending that doing all this is a walk in the park; it's hard work (believe me!) and more power to you if you take on the challenge. It's also not the only way of converting visitors to customers - but it's a proven and significant tool in the marketer's armoury. If you stick with it, you'll develop a more process-driven approach to converting visitors into the types of leads your business needs. It's a process that requires you to create a content strategy to deliver high-value content to attract the right people; those who are 100% looking for the services or products you offer. Then keep up the good work by continuing to create the kind of content and workflows to nurture their interest until they become sales qualified leads (your sales team will love you).
Off for a cuppa. TTFN and have a great week!