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December 19, 2011

Want a High-Performance Landing Page? 5 Tips to Help you Convert More Visitors


Good landing pages can be the lifeblood of online marketing — a well constructed landing page can vastly improve the performance of Search Engine Marketing or Pay-Per -Click advertising, Search Engine Optimization, social media, direct mail or email campaigns.

Here are five easy tips for creating winning landing pages that will improve conversion rates:

1. Less is more: Be concise and be specific — remember that oftentimes when a visitor arrives at a landing page it’s because they were responding to a particular campaign. Resist the urge to highlight multiple products or talk in broad terms about everything your firm does, everything your firm is capable of doing or your mission to change the marketplace. Provide only what your visitor needs to know to take action regarding a particular product/service/offer. That will usually consist of the following elements:

  • A short but attention-grabbing main headline
  • A strong visual
  • A secondary headline if needed
  • 2-3 short paragraphs and possibly a short bullet list
  • A STRONG call to action
  • A testimonial or other trust statement if a testimonial is unavailable
  • A link to a short list of frequently asked questions

That’s it. Your landing page doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t even have to be terribly pretty. But your landing page does need to get quickly to the point and you need to resist the natural urge to clutter it up with a lot of unnecessary information.

2. Have a STRONG and CLEAR call to action: The call To action is marketing-speak for, “What happens next?” Now that you have a qualified prospect sitting on this website, what do you want them to do? Contact you for more information? Download an eBook or white paper? Join your email list? Buy your product/service online?

Your visitor should instantly understand what the next step in the process is. The call to action should be the most visible, eye-catching element on the page (not your brand or your fancy stock photos) and should be large and bright in color — think red, orange or gold.

Your call to action should also use very clear and simple language like “Click here to get started” or “Download our free eBook today” or “Purchase today to save 20%.” Avoid branded tag-line type of statements in your calls to action as they may confuse the message.

3. Show, don’t tell: In the first of these tips, I said you shouldn’t have much more than 2-3 short paragraphs of text on your landing page. But for many of us, that’s not enough content to tell a meaningful product story. So rather than add a whole lot of extra written content, use a short video or SlideShare presentation instead. These can be great ways to show your audience what’s great about your product/service in an engaging way and without taking up a lot of space on the page.

4. Fewer options = more conversions: One of the big learnings from the incredible book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath was that the more choices we give someone, the less likely they are to move forward with any of the choices. We have just a few seconds to make an impression on any visitor coming to our landing page and we can increase our changes of a successful conversion by making the decision as easy as possible for them. Your landing page should focus on only ONE product, service or offer and there should be very few links or options outside of your main call to action.

5. Track EVERYTHING: The ability to measure success is crucial — otherwise how do you know what efforts in particular are making you successful? Make sure you are tracking traffic with Google Analytics which is a free and extremely powerful tool, that you have a mechanism for tracking any email contacts coming from your landing page (as opposed to emails received from your main website) and that you have a means to track phone calls coming from the landing page. Getting an extra phone number is cheap and easy, many are available for under $20/month, and you can usually have these set up to ring your main phone —the important thing is the ability to log in and look at a call report to see how many people call the number.  The ability to track your leads back to specific campaigns and landing pages is invaluable business intelligence and cheap/easy to implement.


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