How to Make Your Landing Page Not Suck

As a marketer, you’ve got top-notch knowledge and implementation chops when it comes to landing pages, so you can safely skip this post, right?

STOP!

In the name of marketing, stop right there! Even top brands that should know better are capable of creating cringe-worthy landing pages. We think you can do better.

Consider that the point of a landing page is to serve as a place to send web traffic, with the purpose of incentivizing visitors to take a specific, immediate action. That action depends on who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish – it could be purchases, user registrations, donations, clicks to another page, among many others.

If someone visits your page, it usually means they’re interested in what you’ve got to offer. So, why would you prevent them from doing what you want them to do by sending them to a landing page that doesn’t tell them what you want them to do?

I’m talking about the call to action (CTA) – the part of your landing page that answers the question, “What the heck am I supposed to do on this page, anyway?” The success of your landing page ultimately boils down to whether your call to action actually, well, calls people to action.

So before you hit “go” on your next marketing campaign, make sure your landing page meets these fundamentals.

Your CTA should be explicitly clear and concise. The moment visitors have to guess at what they should do, you risk losing them. Give it a test: if you show your landing page to someone who knows nothing about you or your industry, would they be able to immediately tell you what the page is asking them to do?

Identify and align your CTA with campaign goals. If you don’t have a clear picture of the action you want visitors to take, how can you expect your audience to figure it out? If your goal is user registration and your call to action is not something along the lines of “sign up!” then something is off.

evernotelandingpage

Tailor your landing page copy to your audience. You have something your audience wants, which is why they clicked to your landing page in the first place. A good landing page tells them only what they need to know: 1) what you’re offering them and 2) how to get it.

Don’t bury the CTA under extraneous information. Provide your audience with the info they need, but don’t give them info they don’t need. Just because you care about your CEO’s background or your company mission, doesn’t mean your audience gives a hoot. This also means being careful with secondary or multiple calls to action (which aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but merit extra grace).

Keep it Visible Above the Fold. Internet users spend 80% of their time looking at info above the page fold – that is, the parts you can see without scrolling. If it doesn’t fit on a single screen, chances are it’s not going to get read. Keep important content at the top.

Enable immediate action. The human transient attention span is reportedly now as short as eight seconds. The easier and shorter the action, the more likely you will hold audience interest long enough for them to complete it. Think about where you can remove steps from the process – if you want people to tweet for your social campaign, for example, include a “tweet this now” button with a pre-loaded tweet.

Utilize visuals. We hear all the time about how visual content is more engaging than text alone. Avoid the “wall of text” that can make visitors’ eyes glaze over once they click to your landing page and miss the CTA altogether (see the Evernote example above).

Once you have these basics in place, you’ll be in pretty good shape. From there, you can get fancier with design, but always remember that excellent design will not make up for bad copy! Also, don’t forget the extra important step of setting up UTM tag tracking to monitor the visitors to your landing page, and event-tracking for clicks on CTA (buttons, links, etc.) so you can measure the results of your hard work.

Take a look at some of these examples of great landing pages if you want to get inspired… and next time, we want to see YOUR landing page on the list.

JJ Samp
Marketing Analyst

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Posted on October 23, 2014 in Marketing, Training

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