The Landing Page: Your Online Storefront
In today’s digital world, businesses no longer require a physical location to operate, and indeed some stick to just an online storefront. You can now do all of your business transactions from any location at any time, with a far greater reach than any commercial property will give you. And yet, even with all these advantages available, a lot of businesses don’t use them effectively. They forget that their landing page/s and website represent their entire business, as well as the message they’re trying to get across.
Landing pages are used for this reason – to represent your business and to make your customer’s experience as relevant as possible, including matching the marketing being put out to promote your business. A landing page is essentially your storefront, and like any storefront, it should match your brand ideology.
Of course, compared to physical interaction, there are many things you can’t express with a landing page. The one advantage a physical storefront has over internet pages is tangibility. A customer can come into a location and use all 5 senses: the music playing when they walk in, the visual stimulation of their environment, they can touch each product they’re interested in (feel the packaging, see the physical size, etc) and depending on the product, maybe even smell and taste.
Unfortunately, in the digital world, you can’t use all these senses to drive them towards the sale, and it can be hard to know exactly what holds a customer’s interest. Luckily, you’ve only got to look at the metrics and use a bit of marketing savvy to know what works and what doesn’t.
What is a Landing Page?
So, what are landing pages, exactly? If you’ve ever clicked on an ad, the webpage that you’re being directed to is called a “landing page”. As mentioned earlier – in the digital world, your landing page is your storefront. It’s a vital point of contact for a customer and it sets the tone for the entire transaction. If your landing page is cluttered, clunky and amateur-looking, then the attention span of that customer is going to last about as long as your business.
A lot of problems I see with clients is that they have great content to sell, excellent designs, and a really unique selling point, but none of that is expressed on their landing page. They don’t capture the attention of the customers, the layout is confusing, there are no images or obvious calls to action. Often, the page is just a whole lot of text thrown together – which can be difficult to read and process, especially considering the regular buyer’s short attention span.
What I’m trying to get across is that first impressions are EVERYTHING, and your customer’s time is valuable. In fact, a study by Harald Weinreich and Jakob Nielsen found that, on a page of around 593 words, the average user will have time to read 28% of the words if they focus (you can read more about the subject here). More realistically, users will read about 20% of the text on the average page.
So, how exactly can we get these customers looking at the most valuable content of our landing pages in the right amount of time? For a start, we can have a look at what we know works from some of the best landing pages we’ve seen.
Three Examples From Some of the Best
Their Headline: It’s communicating the clear benefit straight off the bat, with a simple tagline of “Get There”.
Contact Form: The short form makes for easy conversions, however, they could have used separate landing pages: one just for drivers and one just for passengers. Especially since “Get There” doesn’t exactly work for people signing up to drive – it’s more of a benefit for passengers.
The Image: Relevant, shows someone using the service (we’re assuming anyway).
Watch Video: Rather than just having the plain text there’s a “watch video” anchor that directs to a video, another effective way to sell the service.
Combination of a Headline and Sub-headline: Helps convince visitors that the search tool will be time effective for finding quality candidates.
This landing page isn’t for PayPal’s regular service, but specifically for an ebook.
The Image: Shows the offer in practical usage, although the image text is probably a bit hard to read.
Bulleted Copy: Fast, simple, straight to the point. It keeps in mind that customers have a limited attention span.
Free Offer: It’s free! And it’s right there! Why wouldn’t you click on it?!
Call to Action Button: Jumps right off the page and aids in securing those conversions.
What Can We Learn From These Pages?
Have the Contact Form Ready
If you’re concerned about your conversions, this a great reason to have your form ready and available on the front page. Of course, it’s going to depend on the layout of your page and where you’re directing customers to; but if you’re running a service-focused business, then this always needs to be a consideration.
Needless to say, visual content marketing is incredibly effective.
A landing page has to be visually stimulating to the consumer. Your visual design will reflect your brand, your services, the customer’s emotion. These all, in turn, add to how effective your selling power is.
Your design needs to be well-thought-out, and if you’ve hired the right web designer, they should know this.
Everything is Linked Back to Your Brand
This is a no-brainer: you have to keep the transitions from message to landing page clear for the customer. Your brand power is key to success in any marketing activity, and the relationship you build with the customer is vital. Use the same font and colours as your logo and other brand elements for greater consistency, and to assure your customers that they have come to the right place.
Sometimes, Simple is Better
There could be a million different things to sell, but you only have a limited amount of time. Don’t drive people away by overcomplicating things. Keep it simple.
Buttons and Interactivity
Key bits of information will often be overlooked if it’s in the standard text format. A way to get around this is to use call-to-action (CTA) buttons. You could even add animations or other visual cues to these, such as changing the colour of a button when the mouse hovers over it. Cues like this will draw the customer’s attention in even more, and encourage them to take that action.
Everyone is Different
Naturally, every business is going to be different in what goals they want to achieve through their messages and branding. The examples above are just some indicators on what makes a solid landing page and great conversions; but at the end of the day, your business is going to have its own ideas and nuances. Creating the right one can be a tough challenge and good web designers can give you some good insight into this. It’s always worth a consultation! We can help guide you through optimising your landing pages so you get the best results.
Contact us if you would like more information, a free landing page analysis, or help with setting up your own landing pages!
Written by Oliver Clark