A Brief Landing Page Guide for Small Business Owners
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Advertising services like Google Ads, Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads), and Facebook make it extremely simple to target your market with amazing precision, but this advanced advertising and targeting technology can be wasted if you deliver your expensive traffic to a poorly optimized landing page.
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page is simply the page a visitor to your website lands on or enters your site on.
Don’t confuse your homepage with a landing page!. A home page for your website will wear many hats, such as providing a navigation bar, social media links, a footer with your NAP (name, address, and phone number), etc. The purpose of a homepage is to let your visitors interact with your site.
On the other hand, landing pages are built specifically to get the visitor to take a particular action and convert. This conversion may entail the exchange of an email address for a digital product like a checklist, a purchase, or the request for a quote. The conversion itself is the goal of a landing page.
It is true that a homepage hopes for the same; however, the focus of a landing page is sharper than that of a homepage. A landing page doesn’t wear multiple hats: it’s singular in focus.
Generally, speaking your homepage is no doubt a landing page and should therefore be optimized to receive the action you want on that page from the visitor, but a homepage is not the type of landing page you’ll want to use for PPC.
How to Create a High-Converting Landing Page
Clear Call to Action
A high converting landing page needs a clear call to action or CTA. In order to write a clear call to action, one needs to have a clear understanding of their UVP or unique value proposition. Briefly, a UVP is what is unique about your offering, product, service, web page, or what have you. It is a sentence or two phrases that tell the visitor what you are all about. Your UVP will setup your call to action.
Above the Fold with Your UVP
The most important content on that page for a visitor to see must be above the fold. Over the years the term above the fold has lost some of its mojo and meaning as it was originally in reference to physical newspapers that were folded. The information above the fold would be seen as passersby looked at newsstands and machines, thus the main UVP above the fold garnered the most eyes.
The same is true of your PPC landing page. The UVP and the call to action should be located above the fold. In the digital world, above the fold is what’s seen without scrolling at all, so when a visitor lands on your page you want to be sure to put your most attractive headline or UVP there and if possible the call to action.
Mobile design complicates this to an extent, as the “above the fold” section is small, very small; however, the world is going mobile. So you will need to adapt and in doing so it’s best to design for a mobile first world. For your landing pages, this means lowering images or putting them behind the UVP and call to action so that the visitor gets your point quickly and clearly without needing to scroll.
The Right Content
Your PPC landing page needs to convert well as you are spending money on that visitor, so you must identify the content that will resonate most with your audience.
In this context, the content refers to images, words, and request.
The Right Images
Use high quality images that engage your readers and draw them into the experience of the page. This might mean spending some money on high-quality stock photos or hiring a photographer. In the end, most people will not resonate with poor images.
The Right Words
Again, this fits into the unique value proposition that we mentioned above; however, it means you should take time to A/B test or split test your headlines with your audience.
The Right Request
Notice that the word request is singular. That is purposeful as there should be only one request of your visitor per landing page. Don’t complicate things by introducing choice to the matter. Give them one option: click here, get a quote, or buy now.
Things to Avoid on a Landing Page
Don’t Provide Distractions
Distractions can include menus at the top of the page, logos, strange color schemes, footers, and sidebars. These distractions have the potential of pulling your prospect away from your conversion path. Not good!
Don’t Do Multiple Jobs
As noted above, don’t let your landing pages contain multiple calls to action and don’t use it to do multiple jobs. The function of your landing page should be clear and it should be visitor into a lead or customer.
Don’t Include Long Forms
Don’t make your potential lead or client fill out more than is absolutely necessary. In most cases, it is best to err on the side of just requesting a name and email; however, for requests such as a quote you may need more information. Keep it short and to the point with a call to action form.
A Quick Landing Page Checklist
- Does the ad text match the Headline?
- Did you remove the menu at top?
- Did you remove the footer?
- Is your CTA clear and simple matching your ad?
- Are your most important content and UVP above the fold?
- Are your images high quality?
- Do your images illicit the right emotion?
- Would you take this action if you were a visitor?
Do Landing Pages Work?
Up until this point in the discussion we have moved along with the assumption that singularly focused landing pages work.
Is this correct?
Here are a few findings:
- Targeting your pages correctly can increase conversion up to 300%.
- You only have 8 seconds to make an impression on a landing page.
- The number of leads can be correlated to the number of landing pages you have.
- 90% of the customers who read the headline will also read the CTA.
The above stats point out both the importance of landing pages and the potential of our PPC landing pages. In the end, the right answer is that it depends.
There’s no one perfect way to build a landing page; however, there are some tried and true methods as mentioned above. Stick to those best practices and you’ll be creating high-converting landing pages in no time!
About the author
Jeff Green is a Chattanooga-based web designer & SEO specialist that owns a full service digital agency. He and his team at Green Thoughts Consulting have been helping clients and friends since 2008. The team blogs regularly on web design, SEO, and digital marketing which is written to help business owners find the way.