8 min read
The whole point of content marketing (once you’ve creating something of value and you’re serving your audience) is to capture leads. No matter how much time you put into creating your product, no matter how world-changing it might be, and no matter how much you believe in it- it’s not going to do much if you don’t have people interested in it and buying it. So we build email lists.
Pop-ups, modals, forms – they’re all there to help you get your reader’s email addresses when they visit your site. And while those are important parts of your list building process, there’s another lead capturing creation that’s more directed, more targeted, and higher converting. I’m talking about the landing page.
Plainly stated, a landing page is a single page created for your audience to get something you’ve offered by completing a lead-capturing form. It’s a place you can direct visitors to that creates a focused and directed action to pitch one thing.
Because it’s just the one page with just the one offer, landing pages limit the distractions your readers can face on your website. I’m not saying that your website looks like it was hit by a tornado or anything like that. But I’m sure there’s a few buttons in your navigation, pictures, videos, sidebar modals – I could keep going, but you see what I’m talking about with distractions, right?
On a landing page, you can put that new, bright, and shiny product on display to get your reader’s full attention and pitch them an offer they can’t refuse.
I’m sure you’ve found yourself on many a landing page in the past and you’re thinking, “Building a landing page? Easy peasy.” Well, it can be – once you’ve got some basics down.
As with most projects, before you can actually build your landing page, there are a couple preliminary processes to get through first. A well thought out and researched pre-planning stage will help you make decisions more quickly as you walk through the creation stage.
Here’s what you need to know first before you can actually make your landing pages.
Know your audience.
This is the first thing you have to know inside and out before creating a landing page. Before you start offering products and service, think about what your readers respond to. Do you find that you capture leads a lot through social media? Then make sure to put social sharing buttons on your page. Get it?
Also, what size audience are you trying to reach? If you’re looking for a smaller niched crowd, I would suggest making your landing page a bit longer with a few extra forms fields. Doing this will help ensure that only the readers who are extremely interested in your topic will answer your CTA. If you keep it short and sweet like I’ll suggest as the norm later on, you’ll be casting a much wider net because more readers will answer a quick CTA.
Know your goal.
Having a clear cut goal to hit will also help you create your landing page. Depending on what you want the outcome to be will determine the elements you include. For example- are you wanting your audience to buy your new ebook? Maybe you’ll have a free chapter download as a CTA. Of if you’re trying to learn more about your audience, maybe you create a survey for them to fill out.
Getting a landing page perfect is tricky. There are so many pieces that need to fit together just right and many of them rotating depending on your audience and goal. But while there are so many dependencies, there are quite a few best practices to creating a landing page that I want to share with you.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll no doubt be creating streamlined and optimized landing pages.
Less is always better- in life and in landing pages. This principle can hit many different parts of the creation process.
First, let’s stick to one offer per landing page, please. When you put multiple offers on your landing page, you could be decreasing you conversions by 266%! Yikes! This happens because you’re overwhelming your reader. They see too many offers and can’t decided which one to choose. Keep it simple and just offer one thing at a time. Make it your goal to create a landing page so directed that you reader knows exactly what their next step is.
Second, say goodbye to clutter. Multiple images, crazy graphics and big fat paragraphs of copy are distracting and intimidating. Embrace the white space! Don’t be afraid of a simple design.
Third, ask only for what you need. Don’t make your audience fill out 10 form fields if all you really need is an email address to keep in contact with them. Keep your forms specific for the needs of your topic and don’t ask for any more.
Finally, don’t use outside links. You want to keep your audience on that landing page as long as you can. Having links to other pages, even if it’s your own site, could distract them and take them away from the one action you really want to do.
The copy on your landing page should be quick, to the point, and incredibly enticing. With just a paragraph or two, you need to hit your audience’s pain point and then tell how your product/service is the solution. Your offer has to give them enough value to buy in, so give it a good hard pitch.
It’s all about creating trust. There will most likely be many new readers that land on your page, and the quickest way to get their trust is to show that other people trust you. You can do this in two low-profile, small space kind of ways:
Did you know that using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%? That’s a big number! People love the option of watching videos instead of reading a bunch of content (guilty!). So give the people what they want. Just make sure your video has good quality and provides the right information in a quick manner.
Companies like Leadpages and Unbounce have dozens of landing pages that incorporate video. If you’ve got a video to share, check out their pre-made templates.
Sharing is caring
Let your audience tell their friends how awesome you are by adding a couple social sharing buttons. Having them on your marketing team is great because they’ll feel included in your campaign and they might be able to reach people you never could have. Just keep it simple and only add the buttons for the social media platforms you use on a consistent basis.
Strong Call to Action
If you really want someone to do something, a cute little ask isn’t going to do the trick. Sometimes you have to come out and tell them to do it.
Every landing page should have at least one a strong call to action button (if you decide to have a long, scrolling page you could probably add a CTA button in the middle as well). This is the button that says, “Hey! You know want it. Download today!” Well, it doesn’t literally say that. But you do need to employe some strong action verbs like create, download, and grab.
The more action and urgency implied, the more likely you’ll get conversions.
Know where you want them to go
After they’ve filled out your landing page, where will your readers go next? Does your landing page redirect to your homepage, an on-topic blog post, or another custom landing page with a special offer?
Knowing where you want them to end up will help you create a flow through your copy and create a strong CTA. Personally, I like being sent to a custom thank you page with share buttons and/or a link to a relevant blog post.
Feel ready to building some landing pages? I know you can do it!
I gave you a lot information just now, but let me tell you one more thing. You don’t have to do all the things in all your landing pages. Having testimonials, copy, videos, images, graphics, and buttons – it could be too much and I’ve already told you to get rid of clutter.
Some things will work and others won’t. Each landing page will be completely different depending on your product and the targeted audience you’re trying to reach for it. So take your time, plan everything out, and then create a simple, targeted, powerful, and focused landing page.
Download this issue of Tradecraft as a PDF to read and reference at your own pace.