By Matt Secrist
While many well meaning Internet marketers are largely obsessed with getting traffic to a targeted site, just getting people to your page doesn’t mean much unless they act once they are there.
The end goal of any marketing team’s efforts should be to get traffic to your site that convert into sales.
And that’s where landing page optimization comes in.
Landing pages are those web pages that visitors are taken to when they click on a direct URL or search result listing.
Certainly any page within a website can function in this role, but creating specialty pages just for this purpose allows you to target visitors’ actions more directly—and targeting their actions is exactly the point of such pages and landing page optimization.
Failure to Launch?
While these pages are referred to as “landing pages,” it could be more beneficial to you to think of them as “launching pages.”
With correct landing page optimization, it is from these pages you will successfully launch a site visitor to a contact form, to make a phone call, to buy directly from the page, or some other goal action.
If your landing pages do not incite action, they are not doing what they should.
Poorly crafted landing pages and landing page optimization result in traffic falling off after that first interaction.
Create Launching Pages
The following six tips will help you turn landing pages to launching pages with correct landing page optimization.
Deliver on Your Promise
By now you’ve probably seen the masses of link bait articles out on the web, i.e.“She thought she was just buying coffee… You won’t believe what happens next!”
You know, that kind of junk.
While there will always be people who get suckered into these types of posts (myself included), nothing makes a reader more annoyed than realizing there is no real meat to the post.
Don’t make this mistake with your landing pages!
People click on a search result with a title and meta description that promises them information on what they are looking for.
An important part of landing page optimization is to make sure the content of your landing page actually fulfills the promise.
If you are an exterior home contractor and your search engine results page title is focused on roofing, do not take people to a page predominately focused on siding, for example.
The quickest way to alienate your potential loyal customers is to link bait them, or incorrectly navigate them and leave them with empty promises.
Grab ‘Em From the Get-go
Successful landing page optimization starts with first impressions.
Your headings should be clear, concise, and complete.
It must be immediately identifiable with why the person came to that page and make them want to read more.
Your primary keyword or phrase should be included, as long as it reads naturally.
Not only that, you should hook your reader with a compelling stat, solution, or avoidable disaster.
Shopify does a great job of this with their simple landing page simply stating that 150,000 other businesses use them so why shouldn’t you?
It may seem overly simple, but it works.
People inherently place trust in a company that does work for a lot of other companies.
Everybody is doing it, right?
Make it Beautiful
Beauty comes from the inside, right?
In the world of landing pages, this tender statement is 100 percent false.
Sometimes it’s good to be shallow…even preferred!
If you can’t capture someone’s heart with your design, colors, story, and formatting, you’ve lost them forever.
Landing page optimization design is a bit tricky, because it may not be appropriate (or profitable) for every brand to have an incredibly colorful or fancy design.
However, if your company is using color, style, or imagery as a selling point, this can be as important as the words you say.
Even if you aren’t into color, the design should play into your strengths (i.e. simplicity, professionalism).
Here is a Bear CSS landing page that is simple, creative, and plays to their brand.
They’ve incorporated the design to help facilitate action by having the bear point to the form.
Make Your Call-to-Action the Star
Even though it is commonly at the bottom or side of the page, your call-to-action should be the ultimate star of the show.
That does not mean that it should visually compete with your headings or overall navigation, but it should be highly prominent so that at any point while reading the page a person can immediately know how to get more information.
One great example of this is Unbounce.
Not only did they write the book on landing page conversion, they also practice what they preach when it comes to landing page optimization as is evidenced by their simple, concise and easy-to-follow landing page.
They’ve combined a quick explanation of what they do with a simple design/arrow that leads your eyes directly to their conversion form.
Make It Easy
Aside from the call-to-action, and assuming you have more information you need to explain than can be said in a sentence or two, you should use a good structure of subheads and bullet points.
Break up information into short paragraphs and break up info further with bulleted lists.
A quick read is essential for effective landing page optimization.
This page should give just enough information for the reader to want to go to the next step in the sales cycle with you, but is not designed to answer every single question he or she may have.
Avoid long paragraphs or complex sentence structure.
See the Menucopia example below for a good example of content that is simple yet informative.
They allow the reader to stay on the page and read below the fold for more information if they prefer, otherwise the call-to-action is obvious and easy to see to help them move on to the next step.
Use On-site Links Carefully
Linking to other pages within your site from the main portion of your landing pages can be appropriate depending upon the nature of the content.
Tools or widgets, such as finders or assessment tools directly related to the product or service that is the focus of the landing page are nice corollaries.
Sending them to a page about a different product or service will likely send them to your competitors’ sites.
When you have someone’s attention, you should make it as simple as possible to move on to the next step (which should be conversion).
Bring it Together: Landing Page Optimization Wins
From top to bottom, every element of your landing pages must work together to tell a cohesive story, starting with what problem you can help a customer solve and ending with how they can work with you.
Informative copy, brilliant design, appropriate and natural use of keyword in the optimized content, simple structure, and clear direction are the primary elements of landing pages that deliver results.
Don’t let your site visitors simply land and stay on your landing pages.
Use the power of words (and images) to increase your landing page optimization and launch visitors one step closer to becoming your customers.