Landing Pages Explained
Your website or blog’s landing page is probably the single most important page on it. As Hubspot puts it, ‘a landing page is a page on your website that allows you to capture a visitor’s information through a form’. Landing pages are usually targeted to a particular stream of traffic (for instance from an email marketing campaign, getting visitors from a guest post, etc), and usually provide visitors with an offer which would potentially be interesting to them.
Landing pages are important because they provide a specific page on your blog where your visitors land, and are prompted to complete an action. This could be anything – from signing up for your email list, to subscribing to your RSS, to filling out a form, to buying one of your products. Essentially, what you want is for as many people as possible to respond to your call-to-action (CTA) and actually convert.
Once you’ve determined what action you want your visitors to take, you create a page that makes it easier for them to take that action. Instead of sending them to your homepage or a random page on your website, you redirect that traffic to a page that lets your visitors take the action you want them to, making it a simple and straightforward process.
And that is what the purpose of a landing page really is – maximizing your ROI, by creating landing pages that actually convert a high percentage of visitors into actual leads. Which is why landing page optimization is extremely important from an internet marketing perspective.
Important Aspects of a Landing Page and How to Optimize Your Pages
1. Make a clear offer: Let your visitor know what exactly it is that you’re offering, and how will he or she be able to benefit from it (more on that below). It should be clear, and your landing page should have an informative layout to support your offer.
2. Offer something valuable: Remember that the purpose of a landing page is to capture contact information from your visitors. In exchange, you need to give them something that’s valuable to them - something that would make their lives easier, a compelling offer. Or as Don Corleone once famously said, making someone an offer he can’t refuse! Make sure your landing page does a good job of actually backing that up.
3. Keep it simple and short: When it comes to landing pages, less is more! Some of the best landing pages out there (with some of the highest conversion rates) are simple, elegant-looking pages that make use of less text, keep a balance between text and graphics, and above all use, a simple and short form to capture information – just the essentials. Doing so will greatly increases conversion rates.
4. Use statistics and graphics: Make use of stats, images and/or infographics on your landing page to reinforce your point. Images and stats do a better job of getting your point across than plain text. Images and graphics should however be optimized for speed and page load times.
5. Less navigation: Once again, the ‘less is more’ concept applies. If you’ve been able to successfully bring traffic on your landing page, you would want them to take the action that you intend for them to take – distraction free. In order to do so, remove any navigation (potential exits) from your landing page. The visitors should be solely focused on filling the form.
6. Make the form prominent: Light it up like a Christmas tree! Make sure that your form is the most prominent aspect of your landing page. Increase its size, use a theme (colors, fonts, etc.), place it in the middle and/or the top of the landing page (above the fold, ideally), and use a color combination that is different from the rest of the page. The idea here is to create an eye-catching form that immediately grabs the attention of anyone who lands on your landing page.
7. Allow social sharing: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email, etc. – add social sharing buttons to your landing page. Allow people to like, share, tweet, and +1 your posts, and encourage your visitors to share your page on their social media profiles. It’s free publicity!
8. Testing, refining and improving: Test and experiment with your pages and forms in order to determine what works the best. For instance according to a well-known stat, you lose one-third of your visitors for each additional field in your registration form; it would therefore be logical for your form to be as minimalistic as possible. Just get your visitor’s email address initially, and maybe ask for more information later on.
Depending on the CMS/platform that you use, you might want to try looking up some landing-page themes, such as the ones here for Wordpress. Here is a great list of 32 free and premium landing page themes for Wordpress.
In addition, this is a great list of 35 spectacular-looking landing pages on the internet.