Your landing page is the first page that a visitor sees when they arrive at your website. For smaller affiliate sites, which consist of one squeeze page and then content hidden behind a paywall, the landing page is easy to predict. For bigger content sites, however, almost any page can be the landing page, because you have no idea what the visitor will have searched for to find your site.
A well-designed landing page captures the attention of your visitors and makes them want to keep reading, sign up for your mailing list, or purchase whatever product it is you are selling.
Why Should I Use Landing Pages?
What Makes a Good Landing Page?
When a visitor arrives on your site, you have just a few seconds to grab their attention. If your page is cluttered, slow to load, or not obviously relevant to the search terms they used to find the page then you will lose their attention quickly.
A good landing page is clean, simple, and provides the user with enough information to capture their interest – but not so much that they become overwhelmed. The page inspires trust, and presents a clear call to action.
Optimizing Your Landing Page
Every niche is different, and you will need to do lots of testing to create the perfect landing page. Some things to consider include:
- Use a strong, clear headline
- Put the call to action above the fold
- Include only the most important content on the landing page
- Keep the page short – include no more than 5 paragraphs of text
- Keep navigation to a minimum (the fewer links there are to click, the less likely the visitor is to leave the page).
- Never include auto-starting audio or video content on a landing page
- Give something away for free to incentivise people to join your list
- Build trust – if you’ve won awards or have certifications, show them off
- Use more than one landing page – optimize each page for different keywords.
Install Google Analytics, and set up conversion goals so that you can track the performance of each page. Set each page live for a few weeks and track each page’s performance. If you notice that one design converts more efficiently than another, try to figure out why. If one page has an unusually high bounce rate, check that page for rendering errors and broken links.
Building a landing page that converts well does not have to be complicated, and the above rules are not set in stone. Many people have enjoyed success with landing pages that do not fit this theme. Take a look at Kickstarter project pages, or the product detail pages for the Kindle on Amazon.com – these pages break almost all of the above rules, but still do well. The difference here is that the visitors usually have some existing relationship with the company who owns the site, so they are willing to spend more time reading. If your brand is not well known, you do not have this luxury. Stick to tried and tested formulae for the best results.