The Whys and Hows of Custom Landing Pages
If you’ve been doing any sort of digital media over the past decade, chances are you have at least heard of the term “landing page” in some context or another. Regardless of whether or not you fully understand the concept, we’re going to explain in detail what landing pages are, the different types, and how optimizing a custom landing page can help you increase conversions and decrease cost per client.
In this post you’ll learn:
- What exactly a landing page is
- What an optimized landing page is
- When you should be using custom landing pages for your business
- General conversion principles that you can implement to improve landing pages
- How to best optimize landing pages based on traffic source and intent
- Software and tools in the industry that will help
What is a Landing Page?
Let’s start by giving a landing page a definition.
A landing page is simply the page that a visitor lands on as their first point of contact with a website. While there are many pages on a website, the first page that a visitor lands on may not be the best page to make them take action based on their intent.
So essentially, a ‘landing page’ could be any page.
Now let’s compare a general landing page to an optimized landing page. What is an optimized landing page?
An optimized landing page is a page in which the content, messaging, imagery, and available conversion points are highly relevant to and match the visitor source and intent as closely as possible while minimizing distractions and friction for the visitor to take action.
An optimized landing page is always changing slightly as it is continuously testing variations in order to maximize conversions.
Now that we understand the difference, how do I know if my business should be using custom landing pages as part of our digital media strategy?
Should Your Business Be Using a Custom Landing Page?
If you’re paying for traffic from any source, whether search engine, social media, or referral, you should optimize the landing page on which those visitors first land. All landing pages can be optimized to some extent. Simply look at the page you’re sending traffic to and ask yourself, “what do I want visitors to do when they land here and how can I make that easier for them?”
That said, we’ve found that landing page strategies work extremely well for businesses that are trying to generate leads. Using a single landing page based on traffic source and intent allows you to customize the offer in a way that motivates the visitor to submit their contact information in exchange for something. It is imperative that you demonstrate the value exchange for the user, or they probably won’t give you their information.
Conversion Principles for Custom Landing Pages
While the aim is to be continuously testing your landing pages, you will still need to start somewhere. There are countless layouts and concepts available, but following these 4 principles will give you a great starting point:
1. Focus on one main conversion point and call to action
Many businesses and websites try to give as many different options as possible for the visitor to take action. Click here or there, or call us, or email us, or fill out this form, or download this brochure. This is what we like to call “option-overload”. Because the user is forced to decide between many different options, it actually decreases the chances that they will take any action at all.
To solve this problem, we recommend focusing on one core conversion point, or at least a main call to action focus. Some examples could include ‘setting an appointment’, ‘downloading a free guide’ in exchange for an email address, getting a ‘free consultation’. This step is all about getting the user to take the most valuable or desirable action on your landing page.
2. Minimize distractions and options
Similar to how we wanted to reduce the number of choices we made a visitor take, we also want to minimize the number of distractions. To achieve this, landing pages usually have a very minimal navigation (and many are a stand alone page). Also, only highly relevant and motivating content gets display on the site. If it doesn’t motivate the user to take action it doesn’t make the cut.
3. Prioritize content above the fold
Yes, visitors do scroll, but above the fold still rules. The most relevant and action-oriented content needs to be moved to the top of the page to make sure it gets seen immediately.
If you have an fillable form, make sure it gets seen at the top of your page.
4. Always be testing
The only thing we know for sure is that we don’t know anything for sure. While we may start with a great landing page and concept that promotes conversions that doesn’t mean it’s the most effective page. You should always be striving to improve your landing pages and continuously testing varations and entire concepts.
Use a custom landing page for each traffic source and user intent
A visitor coming from a paid Facebook ad shouldn’t land on the same page as a user coming from a paid Google search.
Using different landing pages or at least different versions lets you tailor the messaging to speak more directly to the particular user that landed on the page.
The same goes for keywords coming from a paid search visitor. Some software allows you to dynamically generate keywords within your landing page so that they match exactly what was searched for.
How do I actually create a landing page?
This is a great question. It’s always possible to do this by hand. You can create custom landing pages by developing within your existing website environment. However, this is typically more time-consuming than many of the other options out there.
For example, there are a number of different software solutions out there. Unbounce and Instapage are a couple good ones but there are dozens of others out there on the market.
Of course, you can always get in touch with us here at Vovia and we would be happy to develop a landing page strategy for your digital media needs. Click here to get in touch.