Generate more leads and sales with landing pages

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What’s that awful sound?

It’s your hard-earned money flushing down the toilet after another failed advertising campaign.

How disappointing!

When you’re a small business owner, marketing campaigns that fizzle out are not only financially draining, they’re an emotional let down.

But before you throw in the towel, declare digital marketing a scam, and swear you’ll never run another Google ad, let’s take a look at one big factor that could be standing in the way of success: your landing page.

What’s a landing page?

The term landing page has more than one definition in digital marketing.

If you’re talking about analytics, a landing page is the first page visitors see when arriving at your site. That could be your home page, a blog post, or anything else.

But in the context of a marketing campaign, a landing page is web page dedicated to generating leads or sales for you.

Unbounce uses this definition which I like:

A landing page is a dedicated, campaign-specific webpage that drives visitors to complete a single marketing goal or call to action.

When to use a landing page?

Anytime you have something specific that you want to promote you should build a landing page.

For example, if you are trying to spread the word about a new product, you would give it a landing page. Or, if you have an upcoming event you want people to sign up for, then you’d build a landing page for that. Or if you’re running a holiday sale, that merits a landing page all its own.

You can also use landing pages to speak to different market segments. So, for example, you might promote the same product to both college students and entrepreneurs using a different landing page for each.

The whole idea is to create a highly-specific sales page to which you can drive traffic from your pay per click ads, social media, email, and other marketing outreach.

Why landing pages are important

In a word, consistency.

Internet users are fickle creatures and if they don’t immediately find what they are looking for, they’re gone. A landing page allows you to match the message in your ad precisely to the message on your webpage.

Take this ad:

And this landing page:

amazon holiday landing page

Notice the consistency in color, product images, branding, holiday theme and the word “cheer.” When you click on that ad and land on this page, you know you’re in the right place (if you’re looking for bubbly sugar water to celebrate Christmas.)

The need for consistency goes beyond display ads, too. Text ads, social media posts, email—heck even the URLs in your printed brochures—should all lead to landing pages that match the tone, messaging, and imagery of the source.

What is landing page conversion?

The purpose of every landing page is to generate either leads or sales for you. Therefore, each page will ask visitors to do something. You might ask them to schedule a consultation, download a lead magnet, sign up for a free trial, or buy a product. When people do what you ask, it’s called a conversion.

(When people don’t do what you ask it’s called bitter disappointment. But there are ways to turn even that into a positive. Sign up for Marketing Therapy if you’d like to learn how.)

Things a landing page should have

What works on someone else’s landing page won’t necessarily work on yours and vice versa. But here are a few best practices that help increase conversions in most cases.

1. A clear call to action.

This refers both the knowing exactly what you want people to do and designing the page so they know how to do it.

For instance, this landing page from Moz has a big, yellow Start My Free 30-Day Trial button right at the top and again at the bottom. Your call to action should be just as obvious.

Moz Landing Page Example

2. Limited distractions.

Your landing page should be dedicated to one thing and one thing only. Don’t distract people with secondary offers, blog posts, or anything else.

In fact, some landing pages, like this one from Netsuite, go so far as to eliminate navigation altogether, giving the reader two choices: complete the call to action or leave.

Netsuite landing page example

3. Trust indicators.

Since some of the people who arrive at your landing page will have never heard of you before, you’ll need to give them a reason to trust you. Some tried and true trust-builders are statistics, reviews, testimonials, and media mentions.

This landing page from Modsy was so long I had to break it up to show you the relevant parts. They went all out (perhaps overboard) with the trust indicators starting by associating themselves with brand names you know:

Modsy Landing Page Example - trusted brands

Followed by some quotes from trusted media outlets.

Modsy landing page example of social proof using Media Mentions

Adding customer testimonials.

Modsy landing page example of social proof using testimonials

And finally, humanizing their brand with staff pictures and a bit of storytelling from the founder.

Modsy landing page example - staff

These are just some of the ways you can build trust with your audience. (Again, if you need more ideas sign up for Marketing Therapy and I can help you out.)

4. Mobile-friendly design.

Over 50% of global website traffic is now mobile and that number is growing. If your landing page doesn’t display properly on smaller screens, you are sacrificing a huge number of conversions.

You can either have a responsive design that adapts to the user’s device or create a dedicated mobile landing pages like this one from Geico.

Geico mobile landing page

How to write a landing page

Landing pages can be long or short, which means you might need lots of writing or just a little. Either way, what’s most important is that the you communicate how your offer benefits the reader.

The headline

The headline is the first (and sometimes only) thing a visitor to your landing page will read, so you’ll need to pack a lot of meaning into a handful of words.

  • First, let people know they are in the right place. This means using similar language in your headline as you use in your ads (see the Amazon example above).
  • Next, make it obvious what your offer is and how it will benefit the reader. Don’t get too cute, wordplay is fun but clarity wins conversions.
  • Keep it short. If you can’t capture the whole idea in your headline it’s OK to use subheadings to provide extra information.

A good practice is to write as many variations of the headline as you can think of. Then, go back and choose the best one. If you have 2 or 3 good options try testing each of them to see which one gets the most conversions.

The body copy

The rest of your landing page should explain exactly what your offer is in plain, easy to read language.

  • Keep your sentences and paragraphs short because people tend to skim rather than read word-for-word. For the same reason, use bullet points to call out important details.
  • Always speak directly to your reader and focus on explaining to them how your offer will make their life better.
  • Avoid using buzzwords and jargon, it makes you sound like a used car salesman. Instead, offer highly specific facts and examples.

Finally, be human. It’s okay to use humor, casual language, and first person so long as it aligns with your overall brand.


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