Do you sell a product or service online? Even if it’s Website Design and Website Development services, that counts. Anyone who is trying to sell a product or service online needs to include creating optimized landing pages as a key strategy in converting web traffic into paying customers.
Inbound links from other websites is a HUGE piece of executing a successful search engine optimization strategy. Taking those inbound links to the next level however is where some people can do better. Now this may not make sense for all of our inbound links, but for some of them you should absolutely consider creating a custom landing page that those links drive traffic to. In this article we are going to explain what landing pages are, how they are used, what the benefits of landing pages are, and divulge some tips for creating successful landing pages.
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page, or as some refer to it as, a lead capture page, is a single web page that is usually linked from another website or advertisement. Web traffic who click the link from the ad or website will then “land” on the landing page, which is exactly what those who create landing pages and pay for advertising want to happen! There are generally two types of landing pages, referred to in the industry as Reference Landing Pages and Transactional Landing Pages. These two types of landing pages have different goals, which I’m sure most of you can probably infer just by analyzing the name of each type. A reference landing page simply offers the user information that is relevant to both the user and the company who developed the landing page. A mix of text, images, video, etc. is used to educate web traffic on a specific subject matter. Transactional Landing Pages are what we are focused on for this article. As mentioned in the title of this article, for most people the goal of using transactional landing pages as part of your online marketing strategy is to convert web traffic into sales leads or better yet, customers.
How to Use Landing Pages as Part of Your Online Marketing Strategy
If you are a regular reader of my articles then you know I am all about planning. Whenever I do anything or recommend anything to others I’m always saying, “spend two-thirds of your time planning and one-third of your time implementing”. For me, the implementation phase is easier, goes quicker, and is less likely to see mistakes when you take the time to plan up front. Using landing pages as part of your online marketing strategy can be an extremely effective marketing strategy, but you MUST take the time to think through how you will use landing pages as part of your strategy. The people who have success are the ones who think through how to use landing pages effectively to achieve their goals. The ones who fail are usually the ones who read about landing pages in an article like this, skip the planning phase, and a week later they have multiple landing pages up and running. If you want to be successful with this new marketing strategy, take some time to revisit your marketing plan and see where this fits in. If you don’t have a marketing plan that’s OK, you can simply follow these steps to get started:
- Set a goal or goals for your landing pages.
- Put together a list of “entry points” – Landing pages are usually linked to from ads (think banner ads or maybe even Google adwords, Facebook ads, etc.), your social media channels, other websites that you know your target audience visits, or your email campaigns.
- Determine what your offer will be. This should tie directly to your goal. If your goal is to sell website design services, what do you need to offer prospects who land on your landing page so that you give yourself the best opportunity to convert that person from prospect to customer?
- Start designing the layout of your landing page and figure out what other elements will be beneficial in helping visitors understand your offer, understand the value proposition, and remove any barriers to making a purchase. Short videos are a great way to explain your value proposition, etc. You want to create a page that is very to the point, but also provides enough information to help your visitors make a decision on purchasing your service.
- Start building. Once you have taken the time to think through all aspects of this new online marketing strategy it’s time to start building your landing page, reaching out to your “entry points” and getting your page up and running.
If you follow the steps above you will set yourself up for success with landing pages. When set up properly landing pages can provide huge benefits to you. Let’s explore some of those benefits now.
Benefits of Using Landing Pages to Convert Web Traffic into Paying Customers
There are a ton of benefits to using landing pages as part of your online marketing strategy. If they are set up properly landing pages can be extremely effective in educating prospects about your business, your products, your services, etc. Below is a list of what I would consider the top benefits of using landing pages:
- Highly trackable – Allows you to understand exactly where the people who land on your landing pages are coming from.
- Converts prospects into Customers – Landing pages are great tools for moving people through the purchase decision making process. Usually landing pages are linked to ads or other websites that mention that there is a savings opportunity. This means that the traffic who lands on your landing pages are interested in buying something. Then you can create a custom offer displayed on your landing page to entice them to move forward in making the purchase.
- Easy to create and maintain – Setting up a landing page is very easy as it’s only a single web page. Usually landing pages are filled with images or videos, so the amount of content is usually low.
- Collect customer data – Not all of your landing pages need to be transactional in regards to making purchases. You can set up some landing pages to simply collect customer data or even feedback. Maybe you want to poll a specific group of people. You can set up links on relevant websites where those users frequent and then you can put a form on your landing page and ask people who visit the page to provide you with the data. It might be a good idea to offer them something of value in exchange for them taking the time to provide you with their information.
Again the list above are simply the biggest benefits that using landing pages as part of your online marketing strategy can bring. There are many other benefits that you will receive depending on what your goals are and how you use the landing page.
Tips for Creating Successful Landing Pages
Creating successful landing pages takes time and some thought. It’s not rocket science, but there are things that some people do when creating successful landing pages that other people do not do, which usually ends up leading to unsuccessful landing pages. Below are a few tips that I have used in the past, as well as, some insights from other experts that I have come across in my own research on creating successful landing pages.
- If you are tying a landing page to an advertisement it is best to incorporate the same language or copy between the advertisement and landing page. For example, if you’re offering a discount on web design services and your ad says something like, “Click here to save 10% on web design services” then your landing page copy should explain how people can purchase your service and save that 10%.
- Optimize your landing pages for keywords that you think your target audience will use when searching for whatever it is that you’re offering as part of your landing page strategy. If you’re hoping to sell website design and website development services, optimize your landing pages with keywords that will attract visitors who are looking for those services.
- As I discussed above, PLAN PLAN PLAN – Planning is critical to your success with landing pages.
- Track your landing pages. Some people like to create one landing page and then host it on multiple URLs, each URL tied to a specific “entry point” so that you know where people came from who landed on your landing page. You can then tie that entry point directly back to any sales that were made from that specific landing page.
- Make your offer and the value proposition very easy to understand and place that copy right up front. It may even be good to create a short video explaining your value proposition. Get your traffic engaged. Educate them. Show them the value in what you’re offering. This will lead to sales!
Will You Use Landing Pages as Part of Your Web Strategy?
Now that you have a better idea of what landing pages are, what the benefits are to using them as part of your online marketing strategy, and how to use them effectively, will you use them? Landing pages really are a great way to convert prospects into customers. They should be designed in a way so that web traffic can quickly understand what the offer is, what the value proposition is, and how they can take advantage of your offer. If you have already incorporated landing pages into your online marketing strategy please take a minute to leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the effectiveness of landing pages for converting web traffic into paying customers. It would be great for you to share your experience with some of the readers who may be thinking about incorporating landing pages into their online marketing strategy for the first time. It’s one thing to read about it on InstantShift.com, but it’s totally different when hearing how they work for other website designers and website developers. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us!
Example of Perfect Landing Pages
This landing page has just one important call to action as well as information about operations. Although Highrise provides a lot of content, it is all meaningful and helpful, so it does not ruin the design of this landing page.
The landing page of Intuit mentions three steps for building your business and includes information on clients for which these steps have worked. Visitors do not have to seek out proof about their services as it is provided as they navigate the website. Indeed, adding feedback on your landing page can be very useful for your business.
Squareup does not have any non-useful content on their landing page. As you can see, they include a form, which makes it easy for visitors to provide their information directly and get the software.
Photo Shelter also includes their key sentence in big, bold lettering. They introduce the professional photographers in their community, which makes the page more attractive despite the fact that few colors are used.
SquareSpace presents their strongest testimonial on their landing page. They show what they can do for websites and then produce an appropriate call to action. The layout is presentable and can engage visitors with its creativity.