We know we need them. At least, we’ve been told we need them. But…what exactly IS a landing page?
Landing pages are dedicated pages that are designed for a specific marketing campaign. They do not have typical website elements like a navigation bar. Instead, they have a focused design that is intended to get a guest to perform a specific action.
Depending on the goal of your campaign, your page may be focused on generating leads or sending visitors to a crucial next step like a sale or application. Both are designed to move your guest through the sales funnel in a way that is natural and focused on the customer’s needs over your own. In this post, we’ll be talking you through lead generation landing pages – which are designed to acquire information (think: email address or phone number) from a prospect so you can market to them in the future.
Why do we have to talk about this?
We’re oversaturated. We have too many things showing up in our inbox and we are guarding our contact information more than ever. If you want to be successful in convincing someone to give you this incredible access to his or her inbox, you’ll need to dangle a carrot. The benefit or reward you’re offering (a financial toolkit, a car care guide, etc.) should be appropriate for what you’re asking for in return.
You wouldn’t show up on a first date wearing a wedding gown. You also probably shouldn’t introduce your company’s products or services with a lead generation form asking for their Social Security number, blood type, and a key to their lock box. In order to be effective, we need to balance our goals (like a sale or lead) with those of the customer. The closer we align the two, the greater chance we stand at getting a prospect to fork over their personal information.
Best Practices for Landing Pages
- Keep Your Message Consistent – Align landing page text with your ad copy to reduce the possibility of your guest bouncing. If they arrive on a page that doesn’t match what they initially clicked on, they might think they’re in the wrong place and roll out. You can ensure your message matches by using similar copy, keywords, and visuals in each ad or placement within your campaign. If you feel you need to mix it up, consider developing an additional landing page to match your new ad content.
- Choose Quality Photography – Photography is a key piece of most landing pages. The photo should be high resolution and should give the user a good idea of what you’re offering. If your photo contains a person, choosing to have the subject of your photo looking toward your call to action can help direct guests toward the part of the page you want them to interact with.
- Include Social Proof – People don’t want to be ripped off. When we provide prospects with reviews (complete with a name and/or a photo), we confirm to them that others have had positive experiences with the products and services they’re considering. Other examples of social proof include showing the total number of downloads of your content and showing likes and/or shares. Adding social reviews can reinforce that what you’re offering is legit.
- Focus On Your Conversion Goal – It’s important to have a single conversion goal for your page. Your primary goal should be reflected in your copy, visuals, and within your form or lead capture element. If your goal is to get someone to apply for a mortgage, your page and its elements should all work toward that goal.
Landing Page Design Principles
When designing your landing page, you should consider elements like visual cues, color contrast, and button copy. There are a few design principles that serve as the industry standards for a strategic conversion-focused landing page. They are:
- Focus on the CTA – Your call to action should serve as the focal point of your page. Avoid any elements on your page that detract from the form as they might reduce your conversion rate.
- Directional Cues – Call attention to the most important page elements by using strategically placed arrows and use photos where the subject is looking toward your action item (in this case, the form button).
- White Space – Be sure to include plenty of padding around your button so it doesn’t run into the form fields or your privacy statement (which, if you choose to include it, should go directly below your button).
- Color and Contrast – Make the button stand out from its surrounding elements. Use a single color hue (with a variety of tones) for your entire landing page, except for the CTA.
- Actionable (and easy to read) Button Copy – Use action-specific copy within the submit button. Rather than “Submit,” we recommend “Download My Volunteer Packet.” Additionally, your copy should be easy to read on a range of devices.
Looking for an example? Here’s how one of our clients, Wheaton World Wide Moving, made their CTA button stand out with a tunnel directional arrow, white space, and color contrast. You might also notice that the man in the background photo is pointing toward the “Get My Estimate” button. This is just one example of a way to direct visually.
Lead Generation Forms
Your form should be the dominant element within your landing page. In order to increase the likelihood that guests will submit a lead generation form, it’s important that we control – and reduce – any friction with the form itself.
To accomplish this, you should:
- Remove unnecessary fields and auto-fill as much information as possible.
- Identify required fields with an asterisk or another recognizable symbol. Better yet, don’t include any fields that you don’t absolutely need. The fewer form fields, the more likely visitors are to convert.
- Use form field masks to let the guest know the format with which they need to enter information. If they need to submit a phone number in a specific format, such as (317) 888-8888, tell them so within the field or with additional copy. Don’t make them return to the field to correct it later.
- Strategy Items:
- Have a colleague take a look at the page for ten seconds. Can they determine what your page is intended to accomplish? If they can’t, you might want to reconsider your strategy.
- Do the messages in your ads (copy and design) match that of your landing page?
- Does your CTA button stand out on the page?
- Can guests quickly determine what information is required of them within your form?
- Have you whittled away the form fields that aren’t absolutely imperative? (Maybe you can do without their phone number if you’re asking for their email.)
- Does anything on the page dominate your form?
- Do you have a strategy in place for following up with those who complete the form?
- Do you have a thank-you page set up for your guests to view after completing the form?
- Tactical Items:
- Have you set up event tracking on your form?
- Have you checked your page speed to ensure it loads promptly?
- Have you tested your form?
Additional Landing Page Resources
Interested in diving in further to achieve top-notch landing pages? Check out the following resources: