Continued from Part 1: Why  Landing Pages Rock!

There are two requirements for successful landing pages: a specific source of traffic and a defined goal.

A specific source of traffic is necessary because you have to be able to control who hits your landing page.  You can’t very well target a page to a particular audience if you have no idea who is seeing it.  Some examples of traffic sources would be a pay per click ad, a banner ad, a sponsored link, etc.

A defined goal is the other necessary component.  Some examples of landing page goals would be signing up for a free trial of a service, buying a product, signing up for an email newsletter, requesting a quote, downloading a PDF file, etc.

If you have both the traffic source and the goal then a landing page could be a great way to increase your ROI.

Creating your landing page

Once you know who is going to see your landing page and what you want them to do, the next step is creating the page.  Where your main website may offer a variety of information and paths for a user to take, the landing page creates a seamless transition onto your website and to the conversion.  Keep this in mind and stick to these best practices and you’re on the right track.

  • Be consistent. The biggest key to success is consistency.  The message that enticed the user to visit your site needs to be the same message they are greeted with on the landing page.  If your visitors clicked a banner ad to come to your site, the landing page needs to convey the same look and feel.
  • Keep it short. In a few seconds a visitor should understand the main message.  Supporting content should also be short and to the point; use short paragraphs, bulleted lists and maintain plenty of white space.  Keep everything important above the fold, especially your call to action.
  • Build trust. This is especially important when you have a hard conversion goal, like a purchase.  Include client testimonials, trust logos, association logos, guarantees and warranties, your company phone number, etc. – information that will build your credibility with the customer.
  • Direct the user to convert. This is not the time to be shy.  The user has already expressed interest by clicking your ad, so don’t be afraid to use sales language and push the user towards a conversion.  Make your call to action a big colorful button.  If your images contain people, make sure they are looking towards the button.

Test and Optimize

By using best practices and designing a landing page that speaks to your target audience you have set a good foundation for your landing page campaign, but the best way to truly gauge your success is by monitoring your results when real users are visiting your page.  Make sure you have analytical tracking software in place that will monitor your traffic and conversions.

To optimize your landing page after launch consider running tests to try out different elements.  Test different versions of your headline, messaging, imagery and call to action buttons; placement of your button; promotional offers; etc.  Google provides a great free tool called Website Optimizer that allows you to run A/B and multivariate tests.

By including your landing pages in your ongoing website analysis and strategy you can fine tune your campaign and get the most bang for your marketing bucks.

Stay tuned for Part 3: When NOT to use landing pages

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