Landing Page Optimization | Guide to Best Practices & Design

Landing Page OptimazationWholesale Central, publishes a magazine I subscribe to for e-commerce product sourcing.  This month, in an article written by Kevin Zimmerman. they discuss that too many online marketers are content to rely on their websites home pages to sell their goods for them.  Mr. Zimmerman goes on to say that while a well designed home page should encourage customers to come in and take a look around, and ideally make a purchase, an optimized landing page can be an even more efficient tool.  A landing page, also known as a lead capture page, is the web page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement or search engine result link.  A landing page typically displays sales copy that serves as a natural extension of the original ad or a link.

Landing page optimization is an Internet Marketing term.  Landing Page Optimization is the the process of creating a specific kind of webpage (or webpages), that will improve the percentage of a given website’s visitors into sales leads and customers, by making the page the potential customer lands on as appealing as possible and that will focus their attention on just one thing.   Giving the website owner either a sale or their contact information. Your company may decide to run ads featuring different offers or specials on several different landing pages.  You would what to do this when it wouldn’t make much sense for perspective customers to click on a “buy one, get one free” offer and be redirected to one of your landing pages offering a 10% off your next purchase deal.

Likewise, simply placing your special offers on your home page, while likely to result in some click-throughs, isn’t generally viewed as efficient use of your home page.  Several offers on a homepage can tend to confuse the potential customer and confused customers go somewhere else!  Another good point is that restating your specials to your home page doesn’t necessarily do anything to attract new prospects and customers.

Constructing  an effective landing page doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort, but as with everything you do on the Internet, it should be done carefully.  Correct spelling and grammar are always a good place to start.  If you are not certain of the proper rules of English, put your copy into a word document and use a spell check and grammar check program to make sure you’ve got it right.  A simple “Thank you for visiting us” or “Welcome to (insert your company name here)” style message on the landing page is always a good idea.  Courtesy always matters!  Just like in a brick and mortar business, you can’t ever under-estimate the benefit of being courteous to to potential customers.

From your company’s standpoint, the most important parts of landing page optimization are, more sales and/or gaining information about, and insight on, each prospective customer.  For that reason, you should ask some basic questions on your landing page before allowing them to proceed to the offer or special.  Name, job title if appropriate, home and business telephone numbers are good examples.  Age, sex, income, and other information can also be asked as a means of collecting more data for future segmenting and targeting activities.  However, keep in mind that the more a new customer is asked to input, the less likely he is to complete the process.  If you feel this type of additional information is truly important, it’s probably best to wait until the customer has entered your check-out process to ask for it.  In addition, it is very important to make your privacy policy clear. State that the information you’re collecting is for internal use only so your prospects won’t grow fearful that they’ll soon be inundated with spam or other e-mail communiques that they haven’t specifically signed up for.  At the same time, keep your landing page copy as brief as possible.  This sales pitch has, to some degree, already taken place back at the ad or link they clicked on.  You can include a “for additional information” link that can redirect the overly curious to a “frequently asked questions” page or “contact us” page.

Once the prospect has successfully filled out your form, they should be directly taken to a page relevant to the original ad, not your home page or some other offer.  Asking a prospect to click through additional pages before getting to what their truly interested in looks too much like a scam of some kind, and will likely scare most prospects away.

After the prospect has viewed the offer, downloaded the demo, or what ever it is that got them to your website in the first place, sending a “thank you for visiting us” with another offer.  A follow up e-mail is important, even if they ultimately did not make a purchase during their first visit.  One-to-one communications show that your company is truly interested in their business, and by taking the time to thank them, your company’s name may tend to stick in their memory more than if you hadn’t followed up at all.

With that general outline in mind, there are several more specific questions to consider when thinking about creating a landing page or pages.  Who is your target market?  Who do you want this page to appeal to?  It is a good idea to come up with a list of what you are offering, who you hope to bring to the landing page, why these people would be interested in your offer, and so on.  This list can go on for some time.  After all, at this stage you’re simply brainstorming your target market, not dictating your landing page copy.

After your satisfied with your list, edit it down to its main points and try to use language that encourages prospects to click through, while also being careful not to over-hype your offer making it sound too good to be true.  Use grammar and spelling prudently.  An overabundance of exclamation points is generally a turnoff, however, there is nothing wrong with using a single exclamation mark on your landing page to impress upon your visitors just how special your offer really is.  Statements like “Act Now! or, “Limited Offer!”, can emphasize the idea that this isn’t an offer that’s available all the time and can help to prompt the prospect to continue through the landing page process.

Always try to keep the prospects needs in mind when constructing your landing page.  Brief mentions of guarantees, shipping policies, price points, and the like can be attractive content, well not making the potential customer feel like they are being “sold”.  Keep in mind, the ad the perspective buyer was attracted to originally when designing your landing page.  Making the page two generic may cost you a sale.  You need to prove that your offer is just what this unknown individual is looking for.  Since your ad was specific and targeted, so too, should your landing page be designed.

Forget about your homepage and other website pages for now.  The prospect has come to you via a targeted ad, and that’s what he wants to learn about.  If you provide navigation that allows them to start clicking around on your site, they may find something else they want to buy, or they may forget all about the original offer, click a few more times, and Poof, move on to another site entirely.  Keeping it simple is of paramount importance.

As stated earlier, your landing page copy should be brief, and breaking it into paragraphs is always a good idea.  No one wants to read 1000 word block of text on a computer screen, and not many want to encounter a paragraph that long anywhere else for that matter.  Using colors to highlight certain details, or to give the landing page a graphically smart look, can be helpful, as can using images or graphics.  Most times, it’s best to just limit your images to the product in question and perhaps your company logo.  Most marketers use images that appear on the left of a given web page, as the readers eye is naturally drawn to images before the words.  By placing images on the right hand side, you disrupt the natural flow of the image leading into the copy.  In addition, customer testimonials are always a welcome site to visitors.  Use short quotes from satisfied customers if you have them, and if possible, a photograph of the customer.  This creates creditability in the prospects perception of your offer.  As a final note on testimonials, these elements, usually appear at the bottom of the page and if there is a photograph, keep it on the left.

In some cases, you may decide to make several different special offers at the same time, which will require different landing pages.  The most common scenario for this is practices is the pay-per-p click model, where your ad(s) may appear on a number of different web sites such as Google and Facebook.  For example, one ad that appeals mainly to luxury or “high-end” customers, and another ad that appeals to those with more moderate incomes.

While some basic information can be repeated in both landing pages copy, you should use language in the two different landing pages that reflect the content of the two different ads.  If ad #1 is all about quality and ad #2 about discounts, then that information should be repeated on their respective landing pages.  As a result, landing page #1 will likely focus primarily on the positive aspects of your products, the service you offer after a sale, and so on.  Landing page #2, will concentrate on the savings or financial benefits of making a purchase from your company.

If your business would like to improve your leads and online sales, e-Edge Marketing can help you develop an online presence or optimize your current website.  See our services page for a  list of other marketing services we offer to help you increase your internet sales and establish relationships with potential new customers by getting you found by the people who are already searching for your product or service online.  Call us today for a free consultation.

Safe Landing!

Leigha BAer

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  1. socialwebcms.com says:

    Guide to Best Practices & Design and Landing Page Optimization…

    If your business would like to improve your leads and online sales, e-Edge Marketing can help you develop an online presence or optimize your current website. See our services page for a list of other marketing services we offer to help you increase y…

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