A good sales funnel is seriously hampered without a landing page.
Designing an effective landing page is no easy feat with so much to think about, from the primary strategies you want to focus on to potential pitfalls that you want to avoid.
But how can you utilize your landing pages to the best of their ability when it comes to increasing conversions?
The reality is that having the right offer focused on the right audience will not only help your landing pages convert, but also your entire funnel. However, getting there can be a challenge.
At the core of the problem is this – how do you create an offer that’s so enticing and irresistible to your customers that they simply can’t ignore it?
Getting the formula for a high converting landing page right takes time, a lot of data analysis and numerous tests. But the results when you ultimately get it right are well worth the effort.
What's a landing page?
Landing pages are designed to maximize the chance of the user to take the desired action.
This 'action' could be to pick up the phone and call you, fill out a contact form, book a service or make a purchase.
The desired action can be encouraged by providing offers such as e-Books, free shipping on products, cheat sheets or discounts.
These offers can help encourage prospects to take specific action when they land on the page although not always necessary when offering a service.
The infographic below from the team at Lead Forest explains the key components to consider when building a landing page:
Unlike homepages which provide multiple options for paths users can take, a landing page has a single path, clear instructions and typically would focus the user to take just one action.
This might be inputting an email address / contact details or calling, but ultimately the goal is to gain more information about your customers.
From the headline to the copy that follows, each aspect of a landing page needs to showcase the benefits to the customer so that they’ll be more likely to move along the funnel.
But there’s another reason why landing pages are so effective as gateways into sales funnels, and that’s micro-commitments.
Even if the action you solicit from a prospect is minimal, they’re more likely to take further action in the future.
Persuasion theory suggests that if you can encourage someone to agree to take three small actions, they’ll instantly agree to the fourth.
In other words, if you can persuade a prospect to click on a link, fill out a form, or a similarly small action, when you ask for a sale at the fourth stage, they’re more likely to convert.
So, how do landing page conversions compare to website conversions? When a user lands on a website homepage, there’s rarely any specific action to take, so there are numerous options that they can take.
Having so much choice means that the user is less likely to convert. Also, if the homepage is poorly designed or has a slow load time, you may even lose that person entirely.
However, with a landing page, the user is led through the sales funnel to make conversion much easier to achieve.
If you are spending money on a paid traffic campaign, a landing page is a must as you want to ensure that those paid clicks have the best chance of converting.
How to structure your landing page
Landing pages need to be designed in a way that speaks directly to your target audience or it won’t convert. Split testing is the key to creating effective landing pages – from the layout to the copy, everything on your page can be a potential game-changer.
If your page isn’t converting, you may want to try tweaking certain elements, such as the headline, and seeing how it performs.
While there are countless possibilities for amends you could make, the following strategies will help to positively impact your conversion figures and provide a good foundation for creating your page.
Create an enticing headline
Headlines are the first thing a user will read on your page so it’s important that you use this to hook people in quickly – this area of the page is worth a bit of extra time and thought.
What is the biggest advantage you’re offering?
Is there a pain point for the user that you’re providing a solution to?
Think about what they will benefit from and build your headline around this for maximum effect.
If you're struggling to come up with some headline ideas, this tool can help.
Use bulleted lists
Lists are an ideal way to clearly highlight key points on your landing page, making it easy to direct the reader to the benefits they’ll receive if they sign up, provide their contact details, and so on.
You want your landing page to be simple to read and bulleted lists help to break up the content, making it more scannable than long-form copy which can look off-putting to some people.
Provide specific instructions
Sometimes, choice is just overwhelming and can lead to no action being taken at all.
Landing pages are one area where it pays to give clear instructions as to what you’d like your prospects to do next – in fact, it’s key to a landing page’s success.
If you want them to click a button, you need to say so. If the goal is to have your audience sign up to an email list after reading the page, give clear and specific instructions for them to do this.
The more specific you are about the actions you’d like people to take, the more likely you’ll see a higher rate of conversions.
Include social proof / trust signals
Studies have shown that 70% of consumers read product reviews before making a purchase.
In fact, consumer-generated reviews are 12 times more trusted than descriptions created from the manufacturer, so it goes without saying that credibility is key for increasing conversions.
Adding customer testimonials or client reviews to your landing page will boost the integrity of your brand.
Additionally, you'll want to include details of any accreditation's you may have for your business to further reassure your prospect that they are making the right decision.
Add videos and images
Content means more than just words – images and video content are incredibly valuable as well, helping to draw readers in and encouraging them to scroll further down the page.
Make sure the images you use are relevant to what you’re trying to sell, whether that’s a service or a product.
80% of users spend most of their time above the fold, so try to strike a balance between including visual elements without distracting from the key points you want to make.
If your promoting a service or a product, including images of the user experience is really important.
For example, if you are a private dentist, show images of the staff at work, the clinic / waiting area etc as this will help your prospective client visualise how the experience will be for them rather than using glossy stock images.
It's well worth investing in getting professional images created for exactly this purpose.