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In the modern business world, some level of online presence is hugely important. One of the easiest, simplest, and most effective ways to use the internet to help your business is with a landing page. For those unfamiliar with the term, a landing page is what it sounds like: a webpage that you want lots of visitors to land on by clicking on other links that you distribute through advertising, social media, etc.
A landing page can be a sales page for a product, a sign-up page for a newsletter, or any page that asks something of the visitor, but what matters is employing the right strategies that make every visitor, especially ones who clicked on a hyperlink, ready to buy, sign up, etc. Here are a few great benefits from a good landing page, as well as tips on how to capitalize on them yourself.
Image via Flickr by J Jackson Foto
Simply put, making a landing page is the first step to taking your business’ online presence seriously. Many entrepreneurs start a website and expect the general traffic drawn to all the pages to lead to sales and other important conversions. However, people are organically searching less and clicking links they happen upon more, usually through social media or pay-per-click advertising. The landing page is just the target destination, which is why there are so many kinds of effective landing pages.
The strategy behind a landing page is pure business 101. You figure out your target audience and make a single page that you want them to see. It will be the first true impression of what you do, after any ads, and is focused entirely on asking customers to do something to get something desirable. It’s the opposite philosophy as something more long-form, like other types of content marketing, but the two can work together by having your content frequently link to your landing page.
Let’s suppose you have social media links asking people to sign up for your business’ monthly newsletter to get a free gift relevant to their needs. This makes your sign-up page the landing page, and it’s important that it’s as enticing and accessible as possible, beyond the mere value of the gift.
Apart from the basics like making your landing page display properly on all sorts of devices and web browsers, the real power comes from optimizing the page by A/B testing the copywriting, design, etc. which we’ll cover later. Still, make sure you have those basics handled first. A computer savvy friend could help with checking your site independently and letting you know if things aren’t showing up properly.
One of the most common mistakes with landing pages is a mismatch in tone and/or message between the page and whatever led the user onto it. For example, let’s say you have a landing page that offers a free sample of your product if you fill out a short survey that provides some information. If your advertising is focused solely on telling people they can get a free gift, without mentioning the survey, the realization on the page itself can make people feel tricked.
An alternative issue is when the tone of a landing page and later writing doesn’t match. If a landing page has a more fun, assertive tone that inspires your audience to act, but then they get drab, professional-sounding confirmation emails, you may be at risk of more subscriber bounces or cancelled orders. Give everyone who visits your landing page a consistent experience with no surprises.
Image via Flickr by Brother O’Mara
Many businesses take their landing pages and customize them in a very simple, alternative style called a squeeze page. A squeeze page is a landing page that has literally only two possible actions: do the call to action requested on the page, or hit the back button. There are no banners, no sidebars, no popups, no links to anywhere else (even on the same site), no distractions, and the page is kept as simple as possible.
Squeeze pages can be a bit trickier to pull off, but they benefit from laser-targeted appeal and super-high opt-in rates if you make a page that perfectly offers what your customer base wants the most. Squeeze pages are one of the key strategies that brought self publishing and other fledgling small businesses into the forefront, and it all comes from two things: give people what they want and remove all distractions.
A/B testing involves you testing the performance of two versions of the same page with a single difference between them, and keeping the version that’s better. When first starting out, make big changes that assume nothing about your current page is correct. Dramatically alter the design and style of your sign-up form, the size of the text and amount of scrolling, the order of information, whether to use video, the color schemes, and anything else. Being bold with your initial testing is the only way to see the foundation of a truly successful page. Just make sure to test one factor at a time.
After the big tests, you can then make smaller, minor adjustments to refine your page into an irresistible lead funnel. All in all, don’t change anything without A/B testing it first, even if it’s considered universally good advice in your niche.
Many businesses don’t understand the true value of an optimized landing page. Above their effectiveness when tested and refined, landing pages are also incredibly adaptable. You can draw people to a page through ads, regular social media campaigns, optimized live social media, content marketing, blogs, and much more, and you’re guaranteed to get the people most interested in your products or services if you do a little work beforehand.
Remember that a landing page is still a page on the internet, which means high-quality writing attuned to your specific audience needs is necessary for true success. Many professional copywriters can help with designing your landing pages at their most fundamental steps, helping you find the right voice and style to get people signing up or clicking ‘order now’. Just like A/B testing, the investment of a professional copywriter will pay off dramatically.