How to Create Effective Landing Page Design (tripwire magazine)

The Internet truly is the land of opportunities of our time. The amount of online sales transactions are increasing at an incredible rate and while opportunities seams nearly endless competition is harder than ever. Being able reach anyone with a connection to the Internet certainly is amazing and the only problem is that the number of competitors have gone up at the same rate. If you don’t manage to surface and get online presence the millions of potential buyers will surf by you store without noticing it. Customers today can pick and choose, compare, analyze etc. your products and services against others making it essential to know your competitors well and more important to get a sale whenever you have the opportunity! This is where Landing Page Design becomes important and really can make a great difference. This article provides essential tips and examples on creating a landing page that works. 

What is a landing page really?

Basically a landing page is a web page that is highly optimized with the single purpose to Seal a Deal once a targeted visitor hits your site. Landing pages are crucial to any business selling products online and also used intensively by affiliate marketers.

But how do you know if it works? The effectiveness of a landing page is measured by its conversion rate, meaning how often people who visit the page take the action you had in mind when creating it. Landing pages are not a magic bullet that will make most visitors do whatever you’re trying to make them do, unfortunately… Even if you hire the best marketers you are not likely to have conversion rates above 5% and you may never get it above 10-15% no matter how hard you try. The key is to plan on optimizing; you don’t succeed with a set-it-and-leave-it mentality. You must have a plan for continuous improvement. And you must learn to make the best of each so-called screw up. The goal is to get the highest percentage of your visitors to take the desired action. Whether you want them to order a product, sign up for your services, register for a newsletter, or just fill out a form a good landing page is essential and you will not know what is working if you’re not trying out different strategies and monitoring the results.

Key characteristics of a landing page and tips to improve it

A marketing campaign may have several phases and reach potential customers through various channels. Once the campaign goes online landing pages typically are the first encounter you will have with the user. Typically landing pages will appear after a user clicked a link on an online ad, e-mail, search result, etc. The landing page is the first chance you have to convince a targeted and motivated user to pursue the process you have lined up (purchase, subscription, provide input etc.). There are many characteristics of landing pages but here’s a few of the most important to keep an eye on.

Be very clear on the conversion strategy. The landing page must have one clear goal and if you have several things you want your users to do then consider having more entry points. Avoid the urge to promote or link to other areas of your site. Be clear up front on what you’re measuring, how and when the conversion is considered a success.

Keep it simple! Remember that landing pages have a very specific goal. Giving visitors options that are not closely related to achieving the goal can really be seen as distracting. Even a menu that are shown site wide may be striped away on the landing page.

Consistent message. The landing page must be aligned with the source leading to is being fx. an ad or an email. If you advertise 15% off on a banner your landing page must have the same discount. This is key to building trust. Having similar logos, colors, fonts etc. and generally overall look and fell is also good for making users fell they ended up in the right place.

Provide the information visitors are looking for. Convincing visitors to take action required that any question they may have can be answered right away. Too little information and missing references to essential information on a landing page isn’t good. You must ensure that visitors get what they are looking for to understand what’s in it for them.

Make the decision easy at any time. The landing page must make it easy for your visitor to convert at any time. Place conversion exits above the fold and at every scroll-and-a-half of screen space.

Value proposition. Making your users understand the value proposition, why closing the deal now is really a unique opportunity for them,… etc. is part of the sales pitch and an important element of the landing page. Use short targeted sentences with a clear message.

Know your visitor. OK you never know for sure who will click your banner and pay your site a visit. Still building a profile of your ideal visitor could be a good idea. Reflecting this knowledge and the profile you target in the landing page designs is probably one of the most important areas to master. Speak their “language”, talk to their needs and feelings, use graphics they can relate to and like etc.

Important Elements Above the “Fold”. The part of the page that users see without scrolling must sell the main message and ensure that all visitors knows what your site, product etc. is about. If visitors need to scroll to understand what it is all about they may move on without giving you a chance.

Who is using us already? Landing pages should share user testimonials and reviews of your service, products etc. and if you managed to get leading companies as customers they should be listed if they allow it!

Play it safe. Signing up for something you never tried or don’t know very well can be scary if there is no obvious exit strategy (guarantee that you can get your money back – if it is a purchase). Giving visitors a way to feel safe on your landing page may increase the conversion rate.

Place the conversion button where users will find it. The human brain and eye reaction to a web page can be tracked using Eye-tracking techniques. This is useful to place important elements in the right areas. There’s a reason why a lot of conversion buttons are placed a little bit down and to the left – this is simply where we look first.

View the full article from tripwire magazine - http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2011/06/showcase-and-tips-how-to-create-effective-landing-page-designs.html

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