What is a landing page on a website?

Getting started with landing pages is one of the most beneficial activities that you can do to boost traffic, sales, and conversion in your business. We work hard to get eyeballs on our website, and landing pages make it worthwhile.

Why are landing pages so popular?

When you can capture a website visitor’s contact information in exchange for something valuable early on in your sales journey, you have a much higher chance of converting that visitor into revenue in your company through follow-up marketing activities.

A landing page or squeeze page, is where someone “lands” after they click a link from an email, social media account like Facebook or Twitter, or from a pay-per-click advertising ad. This popular concept in digital marketing allows marketers to create custom offers of individual marketing campaigns.

The main goal of a landing page is to gently force a customer to focus on one single offer. What exactly your business is offering on a landing page can vary greatly depending on your marketing goals.

Here’s some common examples and uses for landing pages:

  • Collect emails for your newsletter
  • Offer free resources on blog posts in exchange for an email address
  • Offer a free trial to your Saas product so you can collect an email and follow-up later
  • Sign up form for a course or membership

As you can easily tell, there are infinite ways you can use landing pages to help drive your marketing efforts with more informed decisions based on customer behavior.

So what exactly do we need for a landing page?

Building a landing page

What are the parts of a landing page?

Most landing pages (and marketers) can agree on a basic wish-list that we need to make sure we’re implementing on our landing pages. Below, I’m going to cover what I’ve seen have the most impact on landing page conversion. For more inspiration, check out some of Hubspot's examples of modern landing pages from this post.

Single Focus - Removing the unnecessary

This feature alone is what the difference between a website or homepage, and a landing page, is at its core. Your website includes a navigation menu, links to other resources, detailed information on ways to contact you, and more. Your landing page, on the other hand, will have none of that!

When building our page, we want to focus our viewer’s attention on one single thing. Now I realize this sounds like a no-brainer. But in my experience, you’d be very surprised how many people mess this up royally!

Having a single focus to your landing page, allows you to easily:

  • Keep your reader focused
  • Avoid information overload
  • Quickly process the decision to opt-in
  • React emotionally in the moment without reading too much

We want to remove everything that does not directly contribute to the user performing our desired goal. Don’t include a phone number if your company doesn’t do sales over the phone. Don’t include a mention of your other product or offer, even if they’re not related. We want our visitor thinking about one thing: whether or not to fill out our lead form.

Lyft Landing Page

The Call To Action (CTA)

Now that our landing page is simplified and optimized to focus on one thing, we’re ready to create our call to action. A call-to-action (CTA) is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a short and direct request for your reader to perform an action like filling out a form, signing up for your app, or continuing to pay during checkout.

Now, writing amazing call-to-actions could take up an entire post or two in itself, so I’m going to avoid going into too much detail in this post - but look out for a helpful guide to writing better call to actions soon.

Marketing thought leader Neil Patel said it best. Your call to action should be "..tied to your goal, and should be supported by everything else on your landing page, from headline and body copy to images and overall layout...". Source

Examples of call to actions:

  • Create your free account today!
  • Enter your email for exclusive access to... (Product)
  • Join 100,000 other graphic designers who get weekly tips!

Zillow Landing Page

Sign Up Form

While you can definitely make a landing page without a form, most marketers avoid doing so for two very important reasons. The first being that you need to track some type of event that your visitors are performing in order to know if your landing page is working.

This is usually a form with an email address field at minimum, but will often include things like:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Payment information
  • Information about business (ie employee count or revenue)

The second reason you want to have a form on your landing page is to attribute your tracking data like ad pixels and utm source to an actual visitor. Over time, this allows us to repeatedly include this visitor in our marketing campaigns with smarter segmentation. (ie. Signed up for the trial but didn’t purchase, Interested in xyz topics). Sumo is one of my favorite companies in the email collection space. They make it incredibly easy to modify existing campaigns, track results, and get your email addresses to where they need to be.

After you've grabbed an email, the popular choice is to have your form submit it directly to your preferred CRM or email newsletter tool. This allows everything like campaign creation, tagging, and follow-up to be managed in one easy place. Just starting out? Don’t worry, there are many for services like JotForm that will allow you to receive form submissions right to your email - no expenses or CRM required.

Trust Builders

Ready to learn the number one thing that determines whether or not someone will fill out your landing page? Trust. They need to know like, love, you. They need to feel comfortable with your security practices if they’re giving you payment information. They want to avoid being scammed and spammed.

Security and Safety Information

Next time you’re on a landing page, see if you can identify any mention of the security on the page. You’ll notice many landing pages include information about having encrypted data, a secure connection, SSL protection, PCI Compliant payment processor, etc. These are all really good examples of using security information as a trust builder.

Testimonials and Reviews

Testimonials are one of the best ways to instill confidence between your customers and your product. One of the most interesting things about testimonials, is that often your customers will use perfect sales phrases when communicating their perceived benefits of using your product.

You should take advantage of this and compare to your actual page text. Do they say the same thing? If they do, your marketing is aligned well with your audience. If not, you should consider experimenting with different versions of your text.

Clear and benefits oriented

The best landing pages all have a clear and benefits oriented offer that compels the reader to sign up. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers as you read through your landing page. (ie. Is there anything unclear about what I’ll receive if I hand over my email?) Doing simple exercises like this can help you eliminate filler text, while creating more impactful benefits statements on your page.

How to create a landing page on your website

There are many ways to add a landing page to your website. You’ll need to decide whether you want to manage all of the implementation details, or you would rather use a platform to assist you with that. Adding landing pages to your website has never been easier with the rise of modern landing page builders.

Creating pages with Landing Page Builders:

LeadPages

LeadPages was one of the first landing page builders that caught on with a very large amount of the digital marketing community. They offer the largest template library available, and now have a drag-and-drop interface to make customizing your pages even easier

Unbounce

Unbounce does a great job of offering beautiful templates, along with providing the forms and tools needed to collect email on your website. The keeps custom development costs as low as possible.

Instapage

Instapage has a very comparable feature set to the providers listed above, what I think makes them special is their focus on making absolutely beautiful templates. No other provider has such well designed, brandable templates, with matching looks for a variety of styles.

Of course, there are many other ways to create a landing page if you or your team has some technical website skills. Creating a custom html template and adding it to your website with an integration to your CRM is a popular choice for companies looking to avoid the costs involved with using a landing page provider, and instead managing those custom development costs in-house.

Building a landing page

How to use a landing page - Best practices for high conversion

Relevant to niche

The number one way to get almost zero signups on your landing page? Ask your visitors to sign up for something they don’t want and don’t care about. It’s nothing personal, but visitors share their opinions with us via clicks, sales, and opens. If we’re not getting solid results, it’s usually that our offers need some work.

Clear and concise CTA

Try writing five call-to-actions every time you’re making a new landing page. This will help get your creative juices flowing and focus your attention on the needs of your customer. Pick the best one and see how it performs. Avoid inserting any unnecessary details that may confuse your reader or cause them to look something up online.

Writing benefits oriented titles

Crafting benefits oriented copywriting is an art in itself, and a skill that can always be improved. So don’t be too hard on yourself if this is tough at the beginning. Identify the needs of your audience, and exactly what your product or offer will do to help them.

It can be as easy as the fill in the blank below:

This (Product, Feature, Giveaway) will benefit you by allowing you to (Do Something Helpful).

Writing in this style makes it easier for your audience to decide if an offer is relevant to them faster and with less thought. This usually leads to more sign-ups and less sitting on the fence.

Set a goal and track it

Shooting in the dark is a terrible idea in marketing. Too much guesswork and not enough data tracking can lead to massive frustrations with your results, as well as wasted time and money. Save yourself and start tracking early. It can be as simple as recording how many visitors you had, and how many signed up. Now if you have 100 visitors and 2 signed up, you objectively have a goal to beat with your next landing page. If that one does better, switch them out and continue the process.

Consider split testing

Collecting data is a fantastic way to lead yourself to insights and marketing gains. However, be sure you’re always comparing apples to apples. When first starting out, we tend to make too many guesses as to what is actually yielding results. The easiest way to get a firm metric on a marketing activity is to split test it. Split testing allows you to create two variants of a page and test to see which one performs better.

Got a new idea for a pricing page? Split test it and see who signs up more. If you don’t get more sign-ups, don’t change your page. This framework allows us to educatedly make changes without worrying about breaking what is working.

Write your text first then design your page

By now, I hope you’re fired up and ready to start creating some high converting squeeze pages for your business! So what’s next? Are you going to sign up with a landing page designer? No!

It’s easy to get caught up in the look and feel of our landing pages. We all love how good they make our logo shine next to our amazing product, but the meat and bones of a landing page is the text. Start with a Google Doc and your five call-to-actions to get your outline and text completed before you ever start picking out colors.

Conversion Optimized

Conclusion

Landing pages are only becoming more popular, and not using them could have increasingly missed opportunity value.

If you’re not already focused on building a list of email addresses that interact with your business, get started today. Chances are your inbox is full of people who would be happy to receive helpful information and offers from your business.

When just getting started, I’ve found it very helpful to model your landing pages and offers off of one of your competitors, or a company you look up to and aspire to be. This process can be very rewarding as you learn the finer (often overlooked) points and benefits communicated, which allows you to create a framework around creating them in your business.

If your landing page isn’t getting the results you were hoping for, chances are that your offer isn’t actually all that compelling to your audience. Focus on delivering as much value as possible, and if what you are offering is truly valuable in your industry, many opt-ins will follow.

Making a landing with the intention of helping deliver value to your customers makes “connecting the dots” much easier to do without sounding or feeling like a “spammy” marketer.

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