First impressions are everything. Whether you are conducting an interview, buying a home, or introducing your new boyfriend to your parents. The first impression you have of something or someone can sculpt your opinion of them forever.
Landing pages are the first impression a visitor gets of your website or brand. They need to be bold, attention grabbing and uncluttered, or they won’t leave a good first impression in the mind of your visitors.
They are the centerpiece of inbound methodology and play a critical role in lead conversions.
So what is a Landing Page, you ask?
A landing page is a web page that is designed to convert visitors into leads by collecting information through a submission form.
Think of a landing page as a digital sales rep., it collects information about a visitor so that you, as the marketer can target that user with specific offers and promotions. Most landing pages target a specific audience, such as visitors who click on a paid-per-click ad promoting a product.
They usually direct visitors to download content (PDF, eBook, etc.) or redeem marketing offers (coupon code, free trial, etc.).The main goal of a landing page is to target your audience, offer them something of value, and then convert them into leads while also moving them closer to becoming a customer.
Landing pages are made up of four main components:
1. Call-to-Action (CTA): A CTA is a button that takes the visitor to your landing page. It can be located on your homepage, at the end of an article, or at the bottom of your e-newsletter, but it needs to be action oriented, attention grabbing, and clear & direct.
A good click through rate for a CTA is 1-2%, meaning out of a 100 visitors, 1-2 visitors clicked on your call-to-action button.
2. Landing Page: Your visitors experience on your landing page will be the deciding factor whether they will become a lead or a bounce. Your landing page should have a clear and concise title, and explain what the offer or promotion is. The content should be short, above the fold, meaning the visitor shouldn’t have to scroll and there should not be a navigation menu or external links.
A good conversion goal to have for your landing page is 20%, meaning that 20% of the visitors who end up on your page fill out the submission form.
3. Submission Form: The form that visitors fill out in order to receive your offer or promotion. Make sure to not ask for information that outweighs the benefit of what they are getting. The more fields that you require on your form, the higher chance of the visitor not completing it.
4. Thank You Page: Thanks the new lead for signing up for the offer, but also provides additional information on what they might want to look at next. The Thank You page should deliver the offer or promotion that they expected. You can use this page to move the lead further along in the buyer’s journey or to show them another offer of interest.
They are important! Here’s why:
One of the most important goals of your business should be drawing in new customers. Having a landing page plays a huge part in meeting that goal.
According to HubSpot, businesses with 30 or more landing pages generate seven times more leads than companies with less than 10 landing pages.
Here are six benefits of landing pages:
1. Easily Generate Leads: Landing pages allow you capture leads at a much higher rate because visitors believe that they are getting something valuable.
2. Store Your Promotions: Landings pages are a great place to store your promotions, plus they require your visitors to trade information for your promotion.
3. Collect Demographic Information: Every time a visitor completes a lead form, you gather important information about your leads.
4. Determine Which Visitors are the most Engaged: Landing pages allow you to track reconversions of existing leads, which you can use to identify which leads are more engaged with your business.
5. Build Other Marketing Channels: Landing pages are a great form of content marketing and can easily be shared on social media, in emails and campaigns.
6. Find Out the Effectiveness of Your Marketing Offers: By tracking and analyzing your landing pages, you can collect a lot of insight into your marketing performance, such as how visitors and leads are converting on your landing pages over time.
But just having any old landing page is not enough. Your landing page should flow with the design of your website; it should be an extension of your visitors’ user experience.
“We A/B test landing pages like crazy and are in a constant state of design and redesign with landing page templates to ensure we capture all users across all devices, we pour tremendous time and energy into driving qualified users to our landing pages to sign up for email. If they don’t take the last step to actually enter their email address, it’s a waste.” – Alexis Anderson, PureWow’s director of marketing and partnerships.
Which brings me to my next topic; User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX).
UI and UX is all about the design of your website. Having an aesthetically pleasing website can actually increase the amount of trust a visitor has in your website and in your business. The design of your website influences every second a user spends on a page, and ultimately it can make or break conversions.
Let’s start with User Experience. UX is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product. It’s the delicious food that has been cooked and beautifully arranged on your dinner plate.
- It contributes to your consumer’s overall impression of your business.
- It is responsible for the process of research, testing, development, content, and prototyping to test for quality results.
- It is in theory a non-digital (cognitive science) practice, but used and defined predominantly by digital industries.
UX encompasses everything from the homepage, to navigation, to each individual page.
“Good design creates good user experiences. And good UX is good for business, because it facilitates less abandonment, more customer loyalty, better customer service, and more conversions. This doesn’t happen as a result of good luck or happy accidents. UX-focused design takes into account issues of cognitive psychology, anthropology and sociology, as well as principles of graphic and content design.” – Adam Landrum, Up&Up Agency
Put simply, UX is the reason consumers become loyal customers.
And then there is User Interface. UI works behind the scenes and it is what makes the user experience so enjoyable. It is the functionality of a website or landing page and it about helping users navigate smoothly on your website. It’s the dinner plate that holds all your delicious food during dinner.
- It is responsible for the transferring the brand’s strengths and visual assets to a product’s interface to enhance the user’s experience.
- It is a process of visually guiding the user through an interface via interactive elements and across all sizes/platforms.
- It is a digital field, which includes responsibility for cooperation and work with developers or code.
Overall, UI impacts the usability of your website. Without it you wouldn’t have fast load times, information wouldn’t be organized and consumers wouldn’t be able to easily navigate your website.
Examples of elegant and effective landing pages:
As someone who has taken a few courses through Codecademy (which I definitely recommend) I think that this landing page is great.
The title is very clear and concise. You know exactly what they are offering: free coding classes.
Through a video they explain the benefits of learning code.
And they include “Codecademy Stories” which gives the visitor the chance to form a personal connection with the brand.
The landing page is very simple and uncluttered. It is easy to find information and see exactly what you are going to get.
Since they are asking you to create an account, the information that is required is fairly minimal.
2. Club W
I mean who wouldn’t want to join a wine club?
This landing page is great because it tells you what you are getting but is also a little playful, which for me, makes the experience better.
The submission form on this page does required you to fill in a lot of information, but this is a great example of an offer that is worth the amount of information that they are asking for.
This company also includes stories/testimonials from other customers, which can help boost trust in the brand.
Another thing that I thought was cool was that they include their email, so customers can get in contact with them if they have any questions.
3. Muck Rack
One thing that I don’t necessarily like about this landing page is the length. That being said, I see why they made it so long.
Muck Rack set up this landing page to appeal to two different audiences; PR Pro & Marketer and Journalists & Bloggers.
This landing pages includes very appealing visuals and is easy to navigate and read.
Whether you are a journalist or marketer, you can easily see the information that is targeted towards you.
The blue call-to-action buttons stand out against the urban themed pictures and it is very clear what the offer is for both audiences.