Landing page

A landing page is designed to establish a certain Call to Action - for example download a whitepaper, view a webinar or subscribe to a blog. In order to achieve your conversion, there is some best practice around landing page design. You can find the key elements and a deconstruction of a good landing page here. We reviewed the end-to-end process of subscribing to a webinar from Pardot, a marketing automation software provider. Here's what we took away from their process:

Step 1 Email invite

Send an email that invites people to register for the webinar with the following elements:

  • Short description of the webinar (1-2 sentences)
  • Bullet points that outline the content of the webinar; no overload of content with a long summary of the webinar
  • Simplicity and consistency in the formatting; only the key details are made bold
  • A clear emphasis on the title, date and time
  • Clear registration button - handy tips on how to build an effective and visually-appealing call-to-action button are available from Hubspot

Step 2 Registration page

Once you've clicked through from the email, you end up on the registration page. This page is:

  • Divided into two sections: left hand side more info on the webinar, and right hand side the registration fields
  • Offers a limited number of required registration fields: first name, last name, email, company
  • Reconfirms the date & time of the webinar
  • Has a prominent title of the webinar
  • Includes social media sharing buttons
  • Has a clear registration button

The key point to this page is that there’s no clutter and unnecessary details. All needs to be very clean and simple, and have clear call to actions.

Step 3 Confirmation page

After registration, it's important to receive a confirmation of your registration.

On this page:

  • Confirm the registration with a clear heading
  • Offer other links to your website or even your complete menu website menu, or links to other papers and digital assets you've created previously. Now that you've achieved your main Call to Action,registration,you can offer the registrants other useful resources.
  • Include prominent social media sharing buttons. Again, now that you've achieved your first prize, registration, there's room for other calls to action.

Step 4 Email confirmation

After registration, send another email confirming their registration, including:

  • Prominent title of the webinar
  • A clear button to ‘join webinar’
  • A confirmation of the time of the webinar
  • Details of how to join the webinar

Again, try to keep the email clear and concise. The most important thing is that people now how to join the webinar, so ensure that this call to action is obvious.

Step 5 Rhythmic contact

Now that you have their contact details, opt them into a rhythmic emarketing campaign. For example, send them an email every time there's a new webinar, or refer them to other digital assets that they might be interested in.

Examples of Well Resolved Landing Pages

  1. Start with Oli Gardner's excellent critique of 22 landing pages
  2. Hosted Numbers - This is nice as they give reasons to download on the landing page

Important Landing Page Optimisation Tips

  • Maintain Relevance. The headline & supporting statements have to align with the ad/source intent of each visitor segment.
  • Focus on your offer. Build & optimize the messaging & imagery for it. If done well, then the landing page foundation is set.
  • Speed is key. If landing page elements take too long to load, the prospect will move on. Work with developers to lighten load times.
  • Make sure your tone & language match your target audience. Best offers & calls to action won’t work if people don’t understand them.
  • The page should make sense and capture attention in a few seconds. If it doesn't, that’s a problem. People skim.
  • People are lazy! Increase conversion by prepopulating lead generation forms using search query & IP address info.
  • Don’t make changes to your landing page too early. Base your change decisions on statistically significant data.
  • Get Rid of Distractions! If you want someone to purchase, don’t distract them with floating newsletter signups.
  • Segment user and traffic If you have multiple user types, create a landing page for each segment and drive them to the right one via separate sources.
  • Enable sharing on viral landing pages If the goal is to create a buzz, make it easier to share your page. Have Facebook like and share buttons and tweets for example.
  • Show a phone number By having one present, it provides a sense of security and legitimacy to people. It also provides a good back up in case people aren't at ease with online transactions but are interested in your offer.
  • Avoid the gimmicky sales tactics Remember authenticity rules. People are beginning to see through the hype of 'Buy now, best deal ever!' and understanding the true meaning behind the phrase.
  • Provide privacy statements or terms and condition By providing these links, it cuts down the fear of email abuse. A good technique is to write 'We'll never sell your email address' somewhere close to the lead gen form.
  • Do a competitive analysis See what your competition is doing. This can give you inspiration on ideas or can be used to position yourself away from competitors by NOT doing what they are doing.
  • The 5-second rule It's always good to do some usability and page goal testing using people in your office, friends or family. The 5-second rule is where you sit your subject in front of a screen and show them the page for 5 seconds. You then hide it and ask them to recall what the purpose of the page was. If they don't know or are unclear then you may need to reassess the communication of the primary message and call to action.
  • More eyes, more insight Print your landing page and pin it to a wall so that everyone in the office of surroundings can see it. It will open up discussion about your design and help you refine the page before it goes live. It is also a great way to increase collaboration from co-workers.
  • Postmortem Hold a postmortem meeting after each landing page campaign to discuss what worked and what didn't (add information to your best practices list.
  • Evergreen campaigns Only take down landing pages if the have become irrelevant. These pages can generate traffic and SEO value if left intact.
  • A/B Test to validate your decisions Lets you perform simple comparative campaign studies that allows you to compare different designs and messaging strategies.
  • Test the primary graphical image(s) or photography Test different images to see what sort of emotional responce the produce for the audience.
  • Primary messaging Write and test multiple variations on your main message. Experiment with font colour and size.
  • Call to action Ensure that the user gets what they were promiced when they act on it. This will avoid annoyance and distrust. If you are offering them a free ebook then make the button say "get your free" ebook and not "subscribe".
  • Button Colour and size Certain colours have strong emotional connections (green=go, red=stop). Testing responses will help decide the appropriate colours to choose for your buttons. Using big buttons can assist the visitor in finding what they need but don't go over the top.
  • Form threshold Minimise the amount of fields that visitiors are required to complete. If you have a strong need for data, A/B/C/D/E tests will help you decide what abandoment rate is acceptable in correlation to extra data produced. Don't put in a form if you don't need to. If you want to increase brand exposure and expertise, try giving away a free whitepaper without requesting an email. If it is good, then people will share it.
  • Refine constantly The more useful information your pages have, the better they will look. Don't stop at the first A/B. You should be constantly brainstormingBrainstorming Method to keep pages fresh and up to date.
  • Multivariate testing (MVT) You must be able to send a lot more traffic in order for this test to be statistically accurate. It involves testing for changes in multiple variables at one time with a focus on scientific interpretation of results.
  • Remove unnecessary fields There will always be room for the additon of new fields. However, there needs to be a balance of lead capture and keeping the visitors happy.
  • Use directional cues to draw attention to the form Visually direct visitors to the form so they know what they are supposed to do.
  • Whitespace, reward, labels and field text Make your form inviting, clean and simple by surrounding it with a decent margin of space. Make the font large and easy enough for everybody to read. You should also show the visitor how they can be rewarded by filling out the form and position them in context with the form.
  • The bait and switch Don't promise them one thing and give them something else, or even nothing at all. If you are giving something away for free, don't link them to a paid subscription page.
  • Breathing room Allow the CTA the Whitespace that it deserves. Colour choice will help contrast the diffrerence between the CTA and the other elements on the page. Put the CTA where it can be seen at the bottom of every page or once in every page length so the user can act, regardless of where they are.
  • Personalise/localise the CTA

If the desired action is for the person to make a phone call, don't make them work for it. Provide a toll free number.

  • Utilize a safety net Some customers might need some supporting informtion before they are ready to engage. If you want someone to buy something, a good secondary CTA would be a dowdnoadable brochure. The safety net should not take away from the primary CTA.
  • Continuity Carry your primary CTA throughout the entire experience, from upstream (email, social media link) through your landing page and on to the final destination page (if applicable).
  • Reduce the available options Don't clutter up the page with irrelevant offers or navigation (if there is only one desired action). If there are several choices to choose from (TV package) ensure that each action is consistant and that they are in an area that can be grouped.
  • Be audience appropriate If you are selling vacations, don't be aggressive with your language and tone.
  • That's way too much for me to readDon't page your pages with heavy slabs of information because the reader generally won't want to read it.
  • Turn the music down Provide the user with the ability to control the volume (even a mute button). If you don't do this, they may close the page out of annoyance.
  • Don't do lead gen with the the intention of spam Keep your communication with your leads on topic. If they want your whitepaper on gardening, don't send them emails about cars.
  • Don't use photos you have found on the internet Using these photos could lead visitors to believe that you are untrustworthy and generic.
  • Assumptions Don't assume that you know the knowledge of your visitor. Try to anticipate their questions and answer them on the page.
  • Opt-out If someone wants to register with you for a weekly newsletter, you should make it well known to them that they can opt out at any time.
  • Use analytics If you don't have internal analytics software, you can use google analytics for free. The addition of simple code snippets to your landing pages. This will give you the ability to track results immediately and give you feedback on theories.
  • Basic metrics You should make sure that the fundamental performance metrics are being recorded (campaign specific). For example Conversion rates, bounce rate, form completion rate. Use these results to show how your refinement process (A/B testing) is working and allow for comparative reporting against previous campaigns with the same goals.
  • Getting granular Using analytics or campaign reporting to determine what time/day segements are more sucessful than others.
  • Be transparent at all times Make reports accessable to as many people as your internal procedures will allow. Feedback, good or bad, can help make improvements.
  • Beware the industry average These averages show you where you stand in the competative landscape. The Industry average should be assessed with discretion.
  • Customer feedback In relation to landing pages, it gives you great feedback for internal meetings as well as using them as testimonials for your next campaign to boost trust.
  • eye tracking Eye tracking shows you where people are looking and can help you position key elements.
  • Heat maps Heat map overlay that shows you where people are clicking the most. This will help you manipulate and test copy in more popular areas to assist conversions.
  • Assumed attention hopspots Other systems can produce a heat map of assumed attention areas based on basic design patterns and graphical contrast.
  • For every campaign Develop some standard templates for the types of campaigns. be ruthless on reporting on your success.
  • Multiple inbound traffic sources If you are expecting traffic from multiple sources (organic search, banners, AdWords) then you may want to have landing pages for each source to simplify the funnel.
  • Special promotions If your website isn't geared to allow for short term event based promotions, you could create standalone landing pages that exist outside of your existing infrastructure.
  • Colour Scheme Make sure the colour scheme of your landing page matches your brand's colours, this will make it easier for people to recognise that it is a legitimate part of your brand. It also reinforces your brand's identity. Here is a great website with all the information you need to know about selecting a colour for your landing page.

Optimising Landing pages for Adwords

Before we can create a landing page, we need to understand the reason for their existence.

Landing pages are the third element in the formula that makes up a quality score on Google Adwords. If you want a high quality score (meaning your ad will be top of the page) you have to have what google views as a “great” click through rate, ad relevance and of course landing page relevance.

Quality score is rated on a one to ten scale. Ten is best, one is worst, and the lower it is, in general, the more you will pay for clicks and the higher it is, the less you’ll pay for clicks.

A quality score of 5 or 6 is now considered a high score, anything above 6 is becoming increasingly hard to obtain.

The more relevant your landing page the more likely there will be an increase in your quality score on Google Adwords.

Google takes into account these 4 things when determining the score it gives to your landing page:

1.Making your page relevant. The more targeted your page is to a particular keyword the higher the quality score. For example if the key word is “outsourced marketing” you’d want to see that in the heading and somewhere in the copy for google to deem it relevant.

2.Bounce rate: Google also takes into account how long a customer stays on your page (bounce rate)

3.Loading time: If your site takes too long to load Google will detract your from your score. You can speed up your page by removing some irrelevant copy or by using a lower resolution for your image and videos.

4.Trustworthiness Google wants to know that you aren’t scamming your customers. You can make your website trustworthy by explaining your product or service before asking visitors to fill out personal information.

This wiki will show you exactly how to prevent a high bounce rate, and maximise the capabilities of your landing pages so that you can start achieving a great quality score on your google Ads.

The biggest thing to remember when creating a landing page is to make it visually appealing.

According to Unbounce's Landing page optimisation course there are 5 things that will make your page stand out, and it doesn't involve a huge amount of text.

Here are 101 landing page optimisation tips