Let’s start out with a bold statement:
Without a good landing page, your online marketing is doomed to fail.
The landing page is without a doubt the single most important element of a winning campaign. Simply by having this guide, you now have a huge advantage over your competitors.
Most advertisers simply send expensive traffic to the Homepage of their website or a Contact Us page. After reading this guide I hope you’ll never do that again or if you’re doing that now, I hope you’ll stop it immediately.
So what’s the difference between a Landing Page and a Homepage?
Think of it like this… Imagine you’re flying for the first time and you’re traveling from Los Angeles to New York. You pay a taxi driver to take you to the airport (LAX). When you get to the airport, he just drops you off at this huge airport and drives off. You’re left standing there very confused and not really sure what to do next. You know you’re at the right place but you feel very uneasy and not comfortable at all.
Now imagine the same scenario, but this time, instead of being dropped at the door and left to fend for yourself, somebody opens the taxi door for you and says to you: “Are you Mr. X? Then, follow me. I’m here to help you make your journey”. They tell you that they’re going to take you to the check-in desk where you’ll give them your bags and then walk you to the departure lounge. They tell you where to go, what to do next and everything you need to safely and comfortably make your journey.
Which do you prefer?
Well the homepage of a website is much like the first scenario, all of the information you need to make your trip is there but it’s often confusing and doesn’t really guide the user. It’s simply a big map or menu. It offers choices instead of guidance which you get from a landing page.
What makes a great landing page?
The Landing page has one job and one job only, to make conversions. It isn’t good because it’s pretty, it isn’t good because it’s clever, it isn’t good because your best friend told you it’s good.
This is the only metric a Landing page is measured by (by savvy marketers at least, there are plenty of broke marketers that use other metrics).
So that being said let’s look at the 5 elements that need to be present to maximize that all important conversion rate.
#1 Element – The Headline
This is without a doubt the most critical part of the Landing Page. If we think about our airport example the headline would be: Are you Mr. X here for your flight to New York?
Without this question nothing happens. If Mr. X answers: Yes, then we know exactly what to do next. We respond: Excellent, I’m here to help you get to New York.
Now the relationship is established.
If the headline was wrong: Are you Mrs. Y going to Las Vegas, we could never have performed our job. Mr. X would respond: No.
We simply asked the wrong question to the right person.
Now the relationship is established, we’ve located Mr. X. Now we can start to lead Mr. X to where we want to take him. We’ve assumed the role of a guide, not just simply handing over a map.
Here are a few rules to follow when constructing a profitable Headline:
1. Clear Beats Clever
Clearly state what you’re offering and who it’s for.
Concrete language is our friend, abstraction is the enemy.
Bad: Discover a New You in 30 Days
Good: Looking For a Gym? 30 Day Free Trial for New Members
2. Set Up The Offer
Now that we know we are speaking to the right person, set up the offer. In our airport example we told Mr. X we’re going to guide him through the process of catching his plane.
#2 Element – The Hero Shot
The second element is the “Hero Shot”: the graphic element to the page. This can be a number of different things based on the business. Here are a few proven options.
- The product
- Happy people
- How it works
- A video
To conclude this section, the headline and benefits should be very closely related, your headline should be a clear statement of your biggest benefit.
#3 Element – Call To Action
As we have already discussed, we’re assuming the role of a guide in this process, we achieve this with a clear Call To Action (CTA).
By now we have identified our prospect and we’ve identified why they’re here…
Are you Mr. X?
Are You Here for your flight to New YorK?
Next we need to give a clear Call To Action for our prospect to take.
Great, then follow me.
On a landing page in your business this could be one or more of the following actions.
- Fill out a contact request
- Make a phone call to the business
- 3. Download a free report
For more ecommerce based businesses the action is generally going to be a sale.
Regardless of the type of CTA, we want it to follow a few simple rules:
- It’s extremely clear.
- It’s on the top half of the page.
- It’s risk free.
- It’s easy for the prospect to do.
- It solves a problem or moves the prospect closer to a solution.
#4 Element – Testimonials
I won’t say much about this as it should be pretty self explanatory. What I will say is that when prospects are not sure, they look to social proof and to the experience of others. By adding case studies, before and after photos and written and video testimonials, you will greatly improve the conversion rate and profitability of your campaign.
A few simple tips here to maximize results:
- Use real people (photos, not stock images).
- 2. Be specific, talk about the results achieved.
- 3. Include contact details (if you can, it’s not always a good idea) it makes it more believable.
Bonus: The Secret Sauce That Guarantees Success
Split test everything . This is just a guide, a great starting point for a successful campaign but test, test, test. We’ve seen results as dramatic as x32 better response rates between two different landing pages for the same service in the same business.
Test your ad copy, test your headlines, test layout, test everything.