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We’ve talked before about how improving your website’s conversion rates can actually help your SEO efforts. And luckily, there are many different avenues you can take to work on converting visitors into customers. So now that you’re turning your focus inwards, concentrating more on making the sale as you generate leads, it’s time to talk about landing pages.

What are landing pages?

Landing pages are webpages made as a destination spot for traffic coming from a specific source. For example, if you have a PPC campaign advertising an individual product, the link from that source would take you directly to a landing page. This can be done for your PPC, social media, email marketing, or blog post campaigns.

Your landing pages should respond to a specific campaign. If you are running a promotional, the promotional has its own landing page; or if you are publicizing one of your products, the product would also have its own landing page.

Here’s an example of one of NetHosting’s landing pages for Cloud Hosting:

landing-page

Why does my website need landing pages?

When traffic comes to your website, the chances are very slim that they’ve already decided to make a purchase: in fact, 96% of new visitors to your website aren’t yet ready to buy. With that in mind, it’s imperative that everything on your website functions as a way to convince them.

The majority of businesses link back to their homepage, not a landing page. There are a few reasons why this tactic is actually hurting your conversion rate:

  • Your homepage is not focused. A landing page concentrates solely on one purpose, leaving no room for the visitor to get distracted anywhere on the page. When a potential customer’s attention is divided, they are less likely to settle on a purchase.
  • Directing traffic to your homepage forces your traffic to navigate on their own. The more work a potential customer has to do, the more likely they are to leave the page without making a purchase.
  • Your homepage contains calls-to-action that aren’t part of the goal of your campaign. If they aren’t part of your goal, then they are serving to further distract the visitor.
  • A landing page should include more information about the product or promotional. Your homepage might have some of that, but it also has far more information about other products, your company, etc. than the potential customer needs.
  • Having a landing page can also give you undiluted statistics about your visitors. That kind of information is crucial in helping you determine how your campaigns are working. For instance, it can tell you if you are reaching your target demographic.

Here’s an example of NetHosting’s homepage:

landing page conversion

So what should landing pages look like?

First of all, even businesses who are convinced of the need for landing pages have too few of them. 62% of B2B companies have less than 6 landing pages – inbound marketing experts recommend far more than that number. Having a landing page for every marketing campaign you create is the best method.

Your landing page is meant to convert. So everything on it has to be persuasive to your visitors. Try some of these tips to up the conversion rate of your landing page:

  1. Each landing page has to match the source of the click. If traffic came from a social media post, the colors, images, fonts, design, etc. of the landing page should match the original post. Cohesion is absolutely crucial.
  2. Your landing pages should only have one CTA per page.
  3. All content should be above the fold (meaning that the visitor should not have to scroll down to see it).
  4. Create a compelling title that is relevant and clear. It should relate to your CTA.
  5. Break up your content into short sentences, short paragraphs, and bullet points. Keep your copy brief and succinct while still including juicy buzzwords.
  6. Hide your navigation bars. This eliminates distractions for the visitor. Some businesses have found that hiding navigation bars increased conversion rates by 100%.
  7. Include an image that relates to your product or promotional.
  8. Although you should hide your navigation buttons, you should include social buttons. Doing so will make it easier for customers to share your offer on their social media accounts.
  9. Include keywords in your copy and your title.
  10. Each landing page absolutely must have a lead-capture form. Basically, they need to fill out contact information before they are able to receive your promotional. You are far more likely to convert a visitor with their contact information through avenues such as email campaigns. How many fields you have the visitor fill out is up to you, but remember that asking more work of the visitor makes them less likely to convert.

Do you use landing pages in your marketing campaigns? What are the best practices you’ve learned?

Sources:

Vaughan, Pamela. “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Creating Awesome Landing Pages.” http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/28080/The-Ultimate-Cheat-Sheet-for-Creating-Awesome-Landing-Pages.aspx. (5 Feb. 2014).

Vaughan, Pamela. “Why Landing Pages Are an Indispensable Part of Marketing.” http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32566/Why-Landing-Pages-Are-an-Indispensable-Part-of-Marketing.aspx. (5 Feb. 2014).

Faeth, Bill. “What Are Landing Pages and Why Do I Need Them?” http://www.inboundmarketingagents.com/bill-faeth/bid/248552/What-Are-Landing-Pages-and-Why-Do-I-Need-Them. (5 Feb. 2014).