Creating effective landing pages is one of the cornerstones of a successful inbound marketing campaign, but unfortunately, they are all too often disregarded or not given proper emphasis by companies engaging in SEO. Landing pages are one of your best tools to build your sales lead database, as well as for gathering direct market research data to inform your strategies.
Market research is expensive. Most traditional forms of lead-gathering are expensive. But for the price of a single video or eBook – which, really, can be had for under a hundred bucks in many cases – you can set up a situation where people come to you offering their personal information, in exchange for a freebie.
That's quite a bargain!
However, knowing the basics for creating effective landing pages is essential, because this is an exchange. Your landing page is a “sales pitch,” except that the commodity being traded is data. Internet users know how valuable their data is, and need to be convinced it's worth trading.
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.
Seven Top Tips For Creating Effective Landing Pages
It's a pitch, so focus on what they get out of it. Whatever freebie it is that you're offering, from eBooks to a free demo, everything on the page should be seen as ad copy. You're not talking about your grand vision for your company or all the great things you have in store. You're just proposing a transaction: data for data. Tell your visitors what they get out of it, for the low low price of occasionally receiving emails with special promotions and discount offers.
Strip it down to its essentials. As has been often noted, Internet users have rather short attention spans and can be easily driven away. Creating effective landing pages means making them truly focused. Every element should contribute directly to the pitch, and if it doesn't, it should be discarded.
Start with a snappy customer-focused headline. The headline on your landing page should ideally start with an action word (“Download,” “Discover,” “Invest,” etc) and should convey, as simply as possible, the main thrust of the offer. The headline should immediately answer the question, “What do I get out of this?”
You shouldn't need more than a paragraph or two of copy. Again, it's all about stripping it down to the essentials. Don't belabor the point, and don't get too flowery or over-the-top with your language. The body copy should expand on the headline with a few select selling points or “teasers” for what's in store if they sign up.
Pictures and video boost conversions. You definitely want a couple pictures on your landing page, and ideally one should be a picture of the “product” even if it's just a GIF of your eBook cover. And a short, focused video can potentially increase your conversions by up to 80%! Again, key words: short and focused. It shouldn't be more than a minute or two long.
Make your landing page a blind alley. Your landing page should have no links to anywhere else, not even your main navigation bar(s). The visitor's only options upon hitting your landing page should be to either proceed with the transaction or else manually hit “back” on their browser. It decreases the chances of them getting distracted and wandering off.
Always include social sharing buttons afterward. On the 'thank you' page, make sure you include plenty of links for people to share your free offer with their social networks of choice.
Basically, the trick to creating effective landing pages really does simply boil down to stripping away everything that isn't aimed at convincing the visitor that it's worth swapping his email address for your giveaway. Keep it short, sweet, and focused on what it can do for your customer, and you'll see much better responses to your offers!