4 Best Practices to Create Landing Pages That Convert

Creating landing pages that convert

In online marketing parlance, a landing page – also known as a “lead capture page” or “squeeze page” – is designed for the purpose of spurring visitors to take action. It is a long-standing, proven means of increasing website visits, generating leads and turning prospects into customers.

In one sense, every page on your website is a “landing page,” it’s just that not all pages are designed with the specific intent of driving new business.

In order for landing pages to convert, you need to implement certain best practices. Otherwise, pages create unnecessary friction that slows down the conversion process and lead the visitor to abandon or “bounce” from the page before ever taking action.

In this post, we discuss four best practices to create landing pages that convert.

1. Match Ad Copy with Landing Page Content

Most often, landing pages are linked to from social media campaigns or pay-per-click ads.

It’s vital that the text included in those campaigns and ads match the copy contained on the landing page itself. Otherwise, people become confused, which may lead them to abandon their quest for information.

The analogy I’ve used before is to think of the visitor as a hunting dog that has latched onto the scent trail of its prey.

Even though I grew up in the rural south, I never took to hunting. However, I do recall one occasion where, as a teenager, I was invited by a group of men in the community to go on a “coon” hunt, which, as I learned consisted of the group sitting around a campfire listening to the dogs bay while chasing the hapless raccoon.

Once the dogs had the poor animal treed, everyone knew it.

I don’t recall if we actually went and found the raccoon. I certainly don’t remember anyone shooting it. Mainly, I think the goal for these men was to get out of the house and enjoy telling tall tales for a few hours.

The point is, like those hunting dogs, people are following a scent trail, and your job is to keep them on it. Matching ad campaign copy with landing page copy is the first step in that direction. Otherwise, friction results and you’ve lost a prospect.

2. Provide Straightforward Conversion Paths

As the title of Scott Krug’s classic book on web usability puts it: “Don’t Make Me Think.”

That is the mantra every marketer should inscribe on his or her brain. Make the process of conversion as easy and “thoughtless” as possible, so that it is obvious what action you want prospects to take.

It’s not that people are lazy, just that they don’t have much time to figure out what you want them to do.

Here is an example of a landing page that gets straight to the point and leaves no room for doubt as to the action the marketer (in this case a marketing agency) wants you to take – click the bright orange button that says “Get Instant Access.”

Landing page example

Once you click the button, you are taken to a second, transactional landing page that also clearly spells out the call to action: “Download Now.”

Landing page example 2

Another of my favorite examples comes from a real estate company in the UK. The page is designed to generate leads from people who want a quick sale of their home. The form asks for just enough information so that the visitor is not put off, and the call to action is clear: “Get A Valuation & Offer Estimate.”

Another landing page example

3. Reduce Clutter

Landing pages aren’t your typical webpage. Remember, their sole intent is to drive action. One of the ways to keep people on the right scent trail and make things simple is to remove anything that doesn’t contribute to a conversion.

That means getting rid of ancillary navigation that leads prospects away from the action, having a strong call to action, creating clear and concise headlines, and putting the most important information above the fold.

Take a moment to view the infographic from Kissmetrics located below this post. It breaks down a landing page into its various parts and provides guidelines for the “perfect” page.

Related resource: The Perfect Landing Page Recipe

4. Use Incentives

When creating landing pages, it’s a good idea to include an incentive such as a free ebook, trial offer or bonus.

It’s not unlike what producers of infomercials do. You know the drill: “Order in the next 10 minutes and we’ll send you two Shamwows for the price of one. But, wait, there’s more!”

Creepy Shamwow guy
(Creepy Shamwow guy :->)

Whatever incentive you provide should resonate with your audience’s core objectives and needs. It may serve as that little something extra (what we refer to in south Louisiana as “lagniappe”) that tips the scales and gets the prospect to take the desired action.

Conclusion

Well crafted landing pages can be the catalyst that introduces people to your services and products, brings new traffic to your website, generates relevant leads, and converts those leads into new business.

Keep these four best practices in mind when creating your landing page. If you need help, a member of our Internet marketing teamwould be happy to lend a hand. (And I promise, we’re nothing like the Shamwow guy!)

landing page infographic

Header image source: Flickr Creative Commons