Creating a landing page can be a little like a blind date. You want to make a great first impression, capture their attention, do your best to win them over and try not to come off too desperate. But you know very little about them and all your efforts to woo them are based off a lot of assumptions.
The same can be said for creating a great landing page. You’re actively trying to seduce your readers into buying or using your services.
If you’re anything like me you are always looking for new ways to boost the marketing of your local business. You’re always trying something new and searching for the next way to increase sales. If you’ve waded into the mass of online marketing articles that are littered across the web, you’ve more than likely come across the terms “landing page” or “sales page”.
What is a Landing Page and Why Do You Need One?
Landing page are those pages that which customers enter your website. In marketing terms, landing pages are designed for a specifically to sell or increase sales on a specific product, capture email addresses, increase inquiries about your services, etc. These pages are crafted, written and designed to expressly reach, track your goals and draw in traffic that will be more likely to convert.
But how do you do that?
In this article will go through the best practices and steps to create a high-converting landing page to increase the chances of achieving your online marketing goals.
What Skills Do You Need to Create a Great Landing Page?
To create a great landing page, you either need to be a “jack of all trades” in everything digital or hire the people who are. You’ll need the exact same skills you would need to create a highly developed website. You need great design and layout, copywriting skills and analytics.
This last point is important because no matter how good you are at the others if you are unable to track how many people are visiting your site, interacting with your page, where they are coming from and how many are taking action, you can never hope to truly generate more sales.
To create a great landing page you need to ask some questions about those visitors coming to your site.
Are they bouncing straight out of your website?
Are they reading your copy by not taking the next step to convert?
Which parts of the page are they interacting with most?
Analytics will allow your to answer these question, and many others, which will allow you to improve the page quality and marketing tactics to increase your conversion rate. However, all of this comes after the page has been created.
So, how do you do you create a great landing page for your service business that converts into more leads?
To help you get started with your landing page, we’ve put together a handy list of starting points. This will of course change and develop as your landing page becomes more realised and targeted for your particular audience and goal.
The Structure of a Great Landing Page
A landing page can be long or short depending on what your particular goal might be. Start with whatever you feel is most comfortable for you while at the same time persuasively getting your message across. A good starting point would be between the 500 – 1000 word mark. You can always expand or cull the word count later on.
There is no one single layout that converts perfectly. This will come down to the different factors related to your audience, goals and industry. But there are some main elements that will help every landing page receive more traffic and convert:
Make a Great First Impression – Catchy Headline
First things first. Whether you’re advertising through Google Adwords, social media or through affiliates, you need a headline that grabs people’s attention and entices them to click on it. You may think that this is obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget to do this.
Take these two headlines for example:
‘Landscaper Servies For Melbourne’
‘5 Ways a Landscaper can Save You Money’
Which are you more likely to click on?
For most people they would choose ‘5 Ways a Landscaper can Save You Money’. Who doesn’t want to save money? And for those people who are searching to hire a landscaper the opportunity to save money in the headline will be much more appealing compared to the other generic landscape listings that have appeared in the search results.
You headline should be an enticement to get your readers in the front door. However, it shouldn’t get too ridiculous and promise things that your content can’t deliver. Write your headline and the rest of your content as though you are talking directly to someone. Write as though someone was sitting across from you having a coffee.
Now that you’ve got them to click on your article your first paragraph should grip them and create some curiosity that draws them into the rest of the article and keeps them reading.
This first paragraph should start to deliver what’s in the headline. If it doesn’t, you’ll lose your reader almost instantly and blow any chance you had of converting them now and in the future. Each sentence should keep their attention, driving them on to read the next. If you can do this in the form of the story that drags the reader through your content, you’ll find your job of converting them that much easier.
If the reader becomes bored or doesn’t understand something, then they will simply switch off and move to the next website in their search results.
Make sure that you deliver on the promises mentioned in your headline. If your headline is ‘5 Ways a Landscaper can Save You Money’, make sure you mention this again in your opener and don’t move away from the main topic, you should continue to talk about those 5 ways in detail.
Don’t give them 5 sentences on how a landscaper can save them money only to provide 10 paragraphs on why they should hire you. It will destroy any trust you have with the reader. They’ll see you as only try to get them onto your page and sell to them without providing any real value, which will stop nearly every person from converting into a lead.
Your Content Should Solve a Problem
For a services business, most businesses in fact, the people who are visiting your landing page are coming to solve a particular problem. A problem that your content should provide the answers to, while also showing how your business can be of help.
Again, this last point has to be subtly slipped into your content because people don’t like to be outright sold to. If you’re not providing some kind of value to them, your audience will simply switch off. Your job is to identify the problem your target audience has. Talk about this problem. Show that you understand. That you know about how much of a hassle it is.
If you have come up against a wall when trying to sell your services before, make a note of the issues and try to answer these concerns within your landing page. It will remove doubt in the minds of those who may have the same concerns your job of converting them is that much easier.
Provide an Offer
An offer that provides an incentive to buy, enter their email, contact your or achieve your goal. This could be a discount, giving something away for free if they take a certain step. Focus on the value of your services over other companies that are offering a similar thing. Show why they should use you over your competitors. Find your unique selling point and push that.
Be sure to include a call to action – an area that specifically asks the reader to take action. This increases the chance that your readers will take that extra step.
Don’t simply let your word be the only thing you use to convince your readers. Online readers are always dubious. So, show some proof of how your services have solved this very problem – use a case study or other forms of social proof.
Once you’ve done that, get testimonials from clients who have used your services and talk about how you solved this problem. Let them use their own voice in the testimonial. Add a picture. This lets you also show that you can deliver exactly what you say you can.
Avoid Actively Selling to Them
With the noise that is constantly being thrown at us, be it TV, on your phone, radio, and the internet, people’s attention spans are becoming shorter. Everyone is becoming actively immune to all the advertising that is being thrown at them. Don’t spout sales terms and clichés. They know you’re trying to sell something, your trick is to do it in an informative, and more importantly, entertaining manner.
The easiest way to do this is to write the copy for yourself first. If you are bored writing it more than likely your audience will be bored reading it.
Add a Personal Touch
Towards the end of your landing page add a personal section about you or your company. This helps your readers to make some small connection and to make you more trustworthy. You’re not some nameless person out there on the internet. It shows you’re real.
This doesn’t have to be a major feature, but providing this bit of extra information can greatly improve your chances of increasing conversions. Think of it this way, are you customers more likely buy something from a company or person they know nothing about? Or will that personal touch with information on why you’re qualified to help be the deciding factor in convincing them to use your service?
Test, Test, Test
No matter how well you think you’ve crafted your landing page or how perfect your layout, design and content, it might not perform as well as you think. This is for one reason, when you create your landing page, no matter how much research you have done, you are making assumptions about what your ideal customer will want and like.
With any landing page, testing is key. Testing with different images, different layouts. Move your opt-in form higher up on the page. Include more information. Include less information.
Testing your landing page will allow you to determine which page gets the best results. For a little more work upfront you can see a huge increase in your conversion rate and you can have a page that will continue to convert months after you have made it live.
Never assume you have got it right the first time. Your results may surprise you.
After all said and done when you’ve created a page that ticks all the boxes for your ideal customer you’ll convert them into a long-term partner rather than a one-night stand. In short, all these elements are working towards one goal. By giving your potential customers all the information they need in your landing page, it will make it that much easy for them to say yes.