Wishpond is happy to publish this awesome guest post from Megan Ritter
Landing pages are the bread and butter of online marketing. Like the signup clipboard or salesman’s rolodex, landing pages are your chief lead generating and lead nurturing devices. When a user arrives on your landing page, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention and hopefully their contact information.
If you don’t get it exactly right, the user will go right back where they came from (this is called bouncing). What’s worse, if enough users bounce, your quality score will go down, and your ads on Google will become more expensive.
That’s right: a bad landing page can hit you with losses twice: Once, when you fail to convert the potential lead, and a second time when Google starts charging you more money.
So what’s a marketer to do? I’ve assembled my best tips to help you create a landing page with your visitors at the forefront. Check out 7 tips to creating user-friendly landing pages that will generate those leads and sales for your business.
1. Fix the Technical Stuff
It’s amazing how often brands get tripped up by the most obvious things. One of the biggest contributors to high bounce rates is a slow-loading landing page. You typically have two, maybe three seconds before a user hits the back button and looks for a competitor with a more capable website. Make sure you have a quick-loading landing page ready.
Another big problem is equally simple: do all of your buttons and links work? Are you compatible with all major browsers? Before you get any further, make sure you’ve got the technical things taken care of.
2. Make it Mobile-Friendly
In 2014, this is a no-brainer. Mobile is everywhere, and growing fast. You can’t know when someone will be accessing your landing page. It could be in the office; it could be at home on their tablet; it could be on the subway on their phone. The point is, it no longer makes sense to avoid adaptive design.
Make sure your landing page is designed for any device a consumer might use, ensuring that you deliver the best user experience possible for as many users as you can.
3. Always Stay on Brand
Smaller brands, simply by virtue of being unknown, might be able to avoid this, but for a more recognized brand it’s absolutely vital that they stick to their brand identity. Consumers today are smart, savvy web browsers, and they’ve got a great nose for fishy things. If something doesn’t feel right, they’re gone. That’s why it’s so important to stay true to your brand identity: match the colors, the fonts, the logo, and the voice, so that your customer can be sure that they’ve arrived at the right place.
4. Anticipate Questions
Do yourself a favor: show your landing page to a friend without comment. Don’t tell them what it’s for, just show them the page and then listen to what they have to say. Or play a thought experiment, and imagine you’re looking at the page through new eyes, eyes that have never seen it before.
The questions you need to ask yourself:
- What’s obvious?
- What should be?
- What are people searching for when they see your landing page’s corresponding ad?
- Does your page answer that question?
- It should. Why should someone give you their email?
- Would you (objectively) give your own email?
Make sure your landing page answers all of these questions as clearly and concisely as possible. Remember, you have no time to waste! If your landing page visitors don’t see the answer to their question in a few seconds, chances are they won’t stick around.
5. Show People They’re Not Alone
This is where Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ integration are priceless. If you have the resources, make sure that your landing page shows the user pictures of their friends, followers, and contacts who have liked or subscribed to your page. People are comforted by images of their friends, and having their photo there is like having the friend there, vouching for your landing page. Don’t lose this free advantage!
Sometimes, you might not have the option of showing friends, followers, or subscribers. Maybe you haven’t had enough customers yet. Maybe the person isn’t logged into their social media accounts. In this case, you need a backup plan: photos of trustworthy-looking people coupled with glowing, real reviews of your product. Even if the user doesn’t personally know the person giving the review, it still helps you to appear more legitimate and trustworthy.
6. Keep it Brief
Remember the one-second rule? We’re not finished with that. Once you’ve got them filling out their information, think seriously about what information you need from them. Realize that each field you add decreases the number of responses you’re going to get. Some people might be uncomfortable with giving out a physical address, and do you really need that?
Think about which pieces of information are absolutely vital for you, and only ask them for those. The more you simplify your forms, the more responses you’ll get.
Bonus tip : Some advanced lead-collection forms can cache information as the user inputs it into the form. This allows you to salvage some information about them even if they drop out before submitting the form. In some cases, this means you’ll collect their information even if they get distracted and forget to press the big red button, which means more leads (and therefore more potential sales) for you.
7. Finish With a Great Call to Action
Research shows that you can do a whole lot better than simply stamping a big red SUBMIT button at the bottom of your page. Play with it. Remember the questions you’re trying to answer. What is that? If the user arrived at your website looking for music, your button should reinforce that: it should answer their question.
Tie in an action verb. And no, “submit” doesn’t count. “Start,” “get,” and “go” are all great words to use in a call-to-action. The important thing is to refer back to what your user is expecting, and craft a call to action that satisfies those desires.
With these rules, your landing page should be looking good. It should be clean, well designed, and with a clear answer to the users’ expectations. Remember: if you haven’t answered their questions in a few seconds, they’re gone. And a high bounce rate costs you twice. By following these tips, you can make sure your landing page is optimized to its greatest potential, make the most of your ad budget, and ensure that you have a steady stream of leads and conversions coming in at all times.
About the author: Megan Ritter is an online business journalist, entrepreneur, and SEO enthusiast. In addition to researching how businesses can implement social media into their marketing strategies, she also enjoys covering business communications, business globalization, and virtual technology in her writing. You can find more of her writing by connecting with her on Twitter.
Images courtesy of ShutterStock.com