Landing page best practices: How to optimize your landing pages
July 20, 2015 2:09 am
The landing page: it’s the first thing your visitors see when they click on an ad or a search result – and if you don’t get it right, those visitors will bounce away, and you’ll lose a conversion. Your landing page is your first point of contact with the world – with clients, potential clients, customers, and everyone else. Getting it right can mean the difference between a successful conversion and a bounce right off the site. So you can’t afford to get it wrong! So let’s take a look at some landing page best practices, and see what you can do to optimize your landing pages.
Keep your landing pages simple
As with so many things in life, simplicity is key. You don’t want to overwhelm your visitors with clutter, and you definitely don’t want to confuse them with irrelevant content. What your visitors want, and what you need to give them, is a clear route to the content they’ve come to your site to find. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what you’d like to see when you arrive at your website from an ad or search engine result.
Make it unique
Your landing pages shouldn’t look like just another page on your site. You should have a specific template for landing pages that’s less content-rich than the main website. You want a logo, a simple and bold headline font, and a short explanation of the offer, with an image if relevant.
One surefire way to increase your bounce rate is with misleading headlines or titles. If you’re running an ad campaign and your ad title is ‘Men’s Sports Shoes: 50% off’ visitors don’t want to see women’s sports shoes when they arrive on the landing page. While you do want visitors to see other offers available on your site, they should be secondary. Put the main content front and centre. Link to the rest.
Ditch the navigation
When it comes to landing pages, you don’t want your visitors to be distracted by anything other than the offer they’ve come for. If you include a navigation menu, they might wander off, and you’ll lose that conversion or that lead. You can embed a link to your homepage in your logo, but that’s it.
Landing page forms
As above: keep it simple! Don’t ask people for their mother’s maiden names, first pet’s name, or favorite color! A name, an email address and a location (if relevant) is plenty at the beginning. If your business is B2B you can ask for a company name also. If you succeed in coverting the lead, you can ask you customer to fill in a more detailed form, including information like Job Title, Business Sector, and so on. Presenting visitors with an overly complicated form on your landing page from the off will be off-putting, and increase the chances that they’ll forego the offer rather than spend the time it takes to fill it in.
You need to balance what you’re offering with the ‘price’ a visitor is willing to pay in terms of time and giving over their data. As Moz sensibly notes: ‘If you will be sending an automated newsletter to registrants, email or email/name are all that’s needed. Whereas if you have a product/service that requires a follow-up sales call, you would want more information to qualify the level of interest, and sometimes extra friction can actually help to remove the looky loos from your funnel and improve lead quality. It’s a balancing act.’
Make your landing pages pop
Use contrasting colours, and make sure that your Call to Action (CTA) really stands out. You want your visitors’ eyes to be instantly drawn to where they need to be.
Main image: Jonathan Peters