“Adjust your seats to an upright position, fasten your seatbelts, and prepare for landing.” How often have you heard those words spoken through an airplane’s intercom? Think about the thoughts that go through your mind during those final moments of the flight. You’re anticipating the plane’s tires hit the tarmac, hoping that you won’t have a delay at customs, and thinking about what you’re going to say at your life-altering business meeting.

The plane’s landing is the preparatory phase for the next leg of your journey. The tarmac acts as the cushion that absorbs the wheel’s force and creates a smooth landing. A poorly constructed tarmac, airplane malfunction, or a pilot’s poor preparation for landing can result in catastrophe.

The same is true for your website’s landing page. It lays the foundation for the next phase of your buyer’s journey. The buyer has hopped on the plane because interest was probably piqued by a social media video. He or she clicks the link that represents the landing phase and is directed to your website’s tarmac, the landing page.

A poorly constructed landing page sends the buyer into a tizzy and won’t produce the desired result. It’s, therefore, crucial for your landing page to follow the best practices outlined below. You want a smooth landing that takes the buyer into a hyper-focused experience that ultimately results in a sale. Here’s how.

Follow the Message-Match Principle

The message on your landing page must match the advert used to direct potential customers to the page. This is a two-fold concept that relates to the written content and the design. Let’s start with the headline and work our way downwards.

The Headline

The headline must match the copy of the directing message. It should also use language that encourages people to act.  For instance, let’s say you’re selling life coaching services to middle-aged women who stay at home moms. You run a Facebook ad with a video promoting the benefits of developing a work-from-home career and testimonials describing how doing this has transformed people’s lives. The content used in the video is,

Download your FREE step-by-step work from home guide.

Being a stay-at-home mom is a fulltime job. What’s a woman to do when she has to take the kids to school, clean the house, prepare dinner and somehow find time to take the dog for a walk? You may think that the buck stops there. It doesn’t. Don’t give up on your dreams. Learn how to transform your passion into a viable stay-at-home business. You’re the bomb.com and deserve to have a life that reflects that.

What headline do you think should be used for the landing page? You’re promoting a free step-by-step work from home guide. So, anyone who clicks on the video is expecting a free copy of the guide. Therefore, it would be foolish to have “Hire an Experienced Life Coach to Transform Your Life” as the headline for the landing page. You do ultimately want to get people to purchase your coaching services, but that will come later down in the sales funnel. Using the same headline as that used in the video’s copy would be better.

It also helps to have a sub-heading that succinctly describes what the customer should expect. Using the right words for your heading and subheading makes it easier for readers to process what the page is about at a glance. For instance, the landing page in the given example would have

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE STEP-BY-STEP WORK FROM HOME GUIDE

Learn how to create a thriving online business in the comfort of your home.

The Body

The body text of the landing page should also match the source content. You can’t talk about life coaching services if you’re promoting a free work-from-home guide.  You could probably include testimonials from women who’ve successfully used the guide. A basic outline of its contents would also be helpful so that people know what to expect.

Arranging this information into bullet points makes content scannable. People don’t like reading large blocks of text. Summarizing things nicely improves the chance of an opt-in. Someone reading should be able to say, “Oh! This guide does really look like something I need!”

The Call-To-Action

There must be a clear call-to-action button, with a relevant and captivating image, somewhere on the landing page. Some people place this towards the end. Others put it to the side. Wherever you choose to put it, ensure that the placement is logical, and the call-to-action button is appropriately represented. It may also help to use directional cues (such as arrows) to guide the visitor to the call-to-action button.

Call-to-actions are no-brainers for effective online marketing. They are what tell website visitors what to do when they are on your landing page or any other page on your website. What many people tend to neglect, however, is that a call to action is more than a bunch of words at the bottom of a page. It’ll only be effective if there’s the right balance of words, color and other graphic elements that draw the target person in.

Color Choices Can Make or Break Your Website Pages

Neil Patel, states that “85% of the reason you purchased a specific product is [because of] color.” In fact, a customer forms an impression about a product within the first 90 seconds of interacting with it. Between 62% and 90% of that interaction is based on the product’s color.

The color you use depends on the nature of your product and target audience. Bright, vibrant colors are more in line with playful, vibrant products. Darker colors are better suited for more mature audiences. Your brand’s message must be reflected in the color choices.  Therefore, you should carefully consider the intended message you want to portray to your audience before choosing the colors for your landing page and call-to-action (CTA) buttons. Here’s a list of the most common colors used and the emotions they evoke.

The best way to determine the best color combinations for your website is to use A/B testing. Create landing pages with the same content but different color combinations and identify the page that gets the most responses. Focus on color combinations that are most effective as opposed to those that you think look nice.

The Best Colors for Call-to-Action Buttons

The best colors to use for call-to-action buttons are bright, primary colors because they have the highest conversion rates. The color of the call-to-action should also contrast with the colors used on the page. This helps the call-to-action stand out and increases the likelihood that a website visitor will click on it.

Other Important Features of Call-to-Action Buttons

Color isn’t the only consideration for a call-to-action button. Other factors to consider include:

All landing pages should have call-to-action buttons. The most effective CTAs are those that use the right contrasting color, language and placement. Test variations of your CTA buttons to see which performs better. You’d be surprised by the difference a small change can make.

The Page Design

Like the content, the design should match the source design. Colors and layout should be similar so that readers don’t experience a disconnect.  The image used on the page should be a replica of what the buyer will receive after completing the opt-in form. Finally, the design of your opt-in form should be visually appealing and not require the user to input too much information. Long forms are an immediate turn-off.

Follow SEO Best Practices

SEO is unavoidable when discussing how to help people find any page on your website. The landing page is no exception. The page title, URL, image alt-text, and meta-description should be optimized for search.  This means that they should have relevant keywords that increase the likelihood of page clicks.

Create the Best User Experience

It’s pointless to check all the aforementioned things off your list but has a landing page that’s difficult to navigate. We live in an impatient society; people will exit your website if the page takes more than 3 seconds to load. Your landing page must, therefore, be mobile optimized and have fast page load speeds.

The follow-up process after someone has opted-in must also be user-friendly. Ensure that the smart tokens you use are properly configured. For instance, it’s wise to change the default token for the name from FIRST NAME to there just in case there’s an issue with the personalized token for a user. That user will see “Hey there” instead of “Hey FIRST NAME”.

Additionally, ensure that the downloaded material is mobile friendly. Saving it in PDF format is usually the safest things to do. The follow-up email should also be automated so that you don’t lose the customer.  Remember that the opt-in is usually only the beginning for converting a lead into a paying customer.

Finally, use A/B testing to determine what people visiting your website really want to see. Test variations of landing page design and content and stick with the option that gets more hits.

Creating a landing page should never be a slap-dash job. Effective landing pages utilize the best practices outlined in this article. Ensure that your landing page follows these guidelines so that you can get the best ROI.

What’re the Best Landing Page Headlines?

Kristin Cavallari, an American actress, once said that “Headlines are so great in a sense that they can take a little bit from an article completely out of context and blow it into something it’s not. Some people really only read headlines.” It’s true.  Jayson DeMers, in an article written for Forbes magazine, cites a study that revealed that “59% of all links shared on social networks aren’t actually clicked at all.” People are sharing articles without actually reading them.

This isn’t about writing an attention-grabbing headline for a blog article. Nevertheless, the premise is the same. Blue Adz cites a statistic from Marketing Sherpa showing that “90% of visitors who read your headline will also read your call-to-action”. The headline draws the viewer in; it’s the part of your landing page that helps create a first impression. Therefore, it must be well-developed if you want to achieve a good ROI.

Here’re some of the most frequently used types of headlines. The type you choose to attract visitors depends on the content of the page, what you’re traying to sell, and your brand’s message. The key is ensuring that any headline you create is clear, relevant, and speaks directly to the website visitor’s problem. It’s about what’s in it for the customer, not showcasing the merits of your company.

The Direct Headline

Direct headlines tell you what the landing page is about from the get-go. There’s no fluff, no humour. Check out this headline from Aura Dating Academy.

landing page best practises - Aura Dating Academy

They get straight to the point. Anyone viewing this headline clearly sees that:

  1. A free assessment is being offered
  2. They’ll learn one of the best ways to succeed in dating and relationships
  3. They can click the orange call-to-action button to start the assessment instantly

Someone interested in this topic will want to learn more and either click the button or scroll down for further information.

The DIY Headline

Technology has created a new sector of people who want to learn how to do things themselves. The DIY headline, often called the “How-To” headline, promises the website visitor that he or she will learn how to tackle a problem.

Consider Get Response’s landing page headline shown below.

landing page best practises - Get Response

It doesn’t have the words “how-to” but you know that you can use their software to create a landing page that gets more leads and helps you earn more revenue.  It’s simple yet effective.

The Power in Numbers Headline

Statistics speak volumes. Accurate numbers based on proven results add credibility to claims. Depending on your target demographic, a headline that includes statistics or numbers may be what influences a sale. Check out this example from Salesforce.

landing page best practises - Salesforce

 

That 45% speaks volumes. Who wouldn’t want to increase their customer satisfaction by 45%?

PayPal also uses numbers on their landing page. Their numbers show that there are a lot of people using their services. So, if so many people trust their services, why shouldn’t the website visitor trust them too? Here’s what it looks like.

Here’s another powerful example of a numbers headline from Moz.

Do This to Get That Headline

This headline encourages the website visitor to take a specific action. AutoPilot has a good example of how this can be subtly done. Website visitors who wanted more visual marketing automation software could get a 30 day free trial of AutoPilot by signing up with their Google account or email. Here’s what their landing page looked like.

Tools for Creating Effective Landing Page Headlines

Now that you know the types of headlines that you can write, it’s time to get your headline mojo on. The only problem is that you have so many tasks to complete that creating a landing page headline that really packs a punch can seem like a daunting task. Here’re some tools that you can use to make the process a bit easier:

  1. LandingFolio
  2. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
  3. Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer
  4. Portent’s Content Idea Generator