Sometimes it’s easy to forget that blogs, social media and e-newsletters don’t exist for their own sake. If you’re a small business, ultimately they exist to lead someone to buy your products or services.
So what happens once a person clicks on your tweet/Facebook post/e-newsletter link? They hit your landing page. Now you need to convert them.
And just to clarify, there are different definitions for a landing page. The strictest definition is a page that contains a form to capture information. But the looser definition is more relevant to our small business audience, so we’ll go with that. In this interpretation, a landing page can be any page on your website or blog. It’s the page where people land when they click on a link you’ve put out into the world. You likely promoted that link because you were hoping for a specific action from those who saw it — that may be to buy, read or sign up for something, for example.
I combed the web, clicking on marketing ads and landing on their landing pages, so I could break down the components of an effective landing page here. So here’s what to include when creating your own.
Essential Landing Page Elements
A Clear Headline
If your headline is also clever, even better, but never choose cleverness over clarity.
Your goal is to write something to encourage the reader to further engage with you. Feel free to expand further in a subhead if necessary.
On Grammarly’s landing page, their headline clearly outlines how their tool can assist you and the subhead introduces a helpful statistic.
Sometimes a headline and a subhead are enough to get across their point. Often they’re not. This is when you need to supply more information. But avoid jargon and think of your audience. You’re writing for them.
Depending on your goal, the text of your landing page might be very short or very long. In fact, in the definition we’re using, this blog post you’re reading now is a landing page, and obviously, the text is long because my goal is to provide thorough, useful information.
But in most other instances, the shorter the better. You don’t want a crazy long description of an item you want people to buy. You simply want them to buy it. Don’t let too many words get in the way.
This example from Lattori is especially good. Notice how the explanation includes images accompanied by text across the bottom. It makes the contest they’re promoting very easy to understand.
A Big, Horizontal Image
Text alone is only so engaging — this is where a big, striking image can help.
Your goal in choosing an image is twofold:
- To get the reader’s attention and reinforce your brand.
- To choose and optimize an image that plays well when shared on social media.
Let’s take a look at MailChimp Pro’s landing page.
You’ll notice they let the large image do most of the talking. There’s very little text.
When you use a link on Facebook, it pulls in this image.
They’ve selected a different image as their featured image, but it’s still horizontal, which means the image will get a large display on Facebook.
Conversely, here’s an example of what happens when a square or vertical image is used.
Successful viral campaigns typically produce 1 million+ impressions!Click through to see the components of a viral campaign….
Posted by Dex Media on Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Not nearly as engaging, right?
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a reader may need more information than you’ve provided them. If that’s the case, they need to be able to reach you. That’s why contact information is helpful.
Here, the University of Southern California includes contact information in case you want to learn more about their weekender events. (Note: They included their entire address, I just wasn’t able to fit the whole thing in my screenshot.)
You don’t have to list the contact information on your landing page — a link to contact information works fine.
The call-to-action, or CTA, on this Trip Tribe landing page is especially clear: If you enter your email address, you’re signing up to lead a fitness retreat. Note it’s also front and center. No scrolling necessary.
Also worth noting, the headline is strong here too. They are likely targeting athletic instructors, and what athletic instructor wouldn’t like the idea of getting paid to lead a fitness retreat?
Optional Landing Page Elements
Social Sharing Buttons
Your primary goal is to convert the people who land on your landing page, but a secondary goal is reaching their friends and family. That’s why you need social sharing buttons.
This Canva page is very simple — there’s not a lot of distractions. But you’ll notice one of the few elements of the page is those social buttons on the right so that others can share the info about their upcoming webinar.
Solve a Pain Point
If you’ve attended any of our Marketing Success Seminars, you’ll know that solving a pain point is discussed there. The idea is: People want solutions when they’re in “pain.” The pain could be anything, even hating all the clothes in their closet.
Green Chef has managed to address a few pain points with their landing page. Essentially, you don’t have to worry about grocery-shopping, meal-planning or empty calories if you subscribe to their service.
While endorsements aren’t essential, they’re a helpful way to convert someone who may be on the fence.
Balance Dance Studios features customer testimonials toward the bottom of the page.
Benefits can also move someone who is unsure about clicking, and in the case of Red Website Design, get a quote.
Benefits are different than explanations as they are often bulleted or divided up in some way, like here with each benefit in its own square. Think of the benefits section as what’s special about your service or product that will make the reader want to become a customer or client.
Why Else a Landing Page is Important
So the obvious reason a landing page is important is because it captures information of people who are interested in your product or services. But here’s another thing to keep in mind: Quality landing pages with highly relevant content are also the major factor in quality scores when running an ad on Google. The higher the quality score, the lower price you pay for clicks, and the more conversions you get.
That’s why it can be helpful to funnel people to a special page designed to convert rather than simply your home page.
Have any additional questions about landing pages? Ask us in the comments!