June 17 2020

The Power of Landing Pages: Why & How to Use Them

landing page best practicesOnline sales are essential to many businesses, so your website must work hard to promote your products and services. If you’re spending time and money directing visitors to a specific product or service on your site, landing pages should be an important component of your marketing plan. These simplified, hard-hitting pages are created with one goal in mind: conversion. Here’s why landing pages matter and how to build them effectively.

What is a Landing Page?

Landing pages should serve as destinations for your marketing campaigns, including email marketing, social media, paid search and more. When users click to your website from an ad or campaign, they should arrive on a dedicated landing page. All too often, marketers forget to work backward when planning campaigns, directing visitors to a homepage or standard product page, which may have more than one user focus. Landing pages, on the other hand, have a single objective.

Successful landing pages employ a few best practices to deliver streamlined information that encourages users to convert. Landing pages should be relevant, actionable and simple to use. The goal is for visitors to quickly understand what’s being offered and why it should matter to them, then take the intended action. Conversions can mean different things to different businesses and include online purchases, account openings, loan applications, clicks to call and form submissions. Regardless of conversion type, the intended action should be obvious and easy to complete.

Your landing page should offer unique product positioning or extra incentives beyond what can be found by browsing your site. Landing pages typically include features, benefits, key differentiators and prominent calls-to-action (CTAs). The main navigation is often stripped, and the footer should be simplified. While navigation is crucial for other page types, landing pages are meant to minimize distractions and keep the user focused. Landing pages, like other site pages, should provide access to the homepage via a clickable logo. Other navigational and sitewide elements are generally removed.

Key Components of a Landing Page

Effective landing pages include a few key components. Here’s a look at how to structure your landing page to maximize its impact.

  • Heading & Intro: Your heading and introductory “offer” information should be clear and direct. This is the hook that immediately captures a visitor’s attention and should be the most important information on the page. It should summarize what’s being offered and illustrate the primary benefit of your product or service. Does your product help people manage their money? Is it a matter of convenience? Does it address a pain point or solve a problem? Consider your primary takeaway. If there’s one main selling point, such as a special rate or promotional price, emphasize it here. Your heading and intro will always be “above the fold,” along with your primary call-to-action, which we’ll talk about next.

  • Calls-to-Action: Your first CTA should be located toward the top of your landing page. Buttons work best here to capture attention and encourage action. CTAs should be eye-catching and easy to find, with action-driving language that tells users exactly what to expect when they click. For example, if you’re promoting a special loan rate, your primary CTA might say “Apply for a Loan.” While this can be shortened to “Apply Now,” more precise language is beneficial to website accessibility. This CTA should be repeated throughout the landing page, and while the text can vary slightly, the action and destination should be consistent.

  • Imagery: Your landing page should feature a single “hero” image meant to elicit an emotional reaction and build trust. This image sits above the fold alongside your heading, intro and primary CTA. This will also give visitors a sense of familiarity if they’ve been exposed to other elements of an integrated campaign, such as a display ad. Your hero image should highlight the relevancy and payoff of your product or service, so choose thoughtfully based on your target audience and campaign goals.

  • Features & Benefits: Users who are confident in their decision may be ready to convert right away. Others will need additional coaxing and be interested in learning more. Supplement your intro with additional information about your product or service, including features, benefits and key differentiators. Bullet points can be an effective way of communicating this content, since they’re easy to read and understand. This section of the page should give visitors a reason to choose you over a competitor. You can also include a testimonial to inspire confidence and create relatability.

  • Form Submission: a contact form or request for information can help nurture relationships with visitors who are still researching or shopping around. This can be an effective way to generate leads and build your contact database, setting the stage for future remarketing.

  • Footer: Your main site footer likely offers a wealth of information, resources and links. This should be simplified on your landing page, just like the main navigation. Pare down your footer to include only key details, like trust badges, disclaimers and important sitewide information.

How to Build an Effective Landing Page

When it comes to creating an effective landing page, content and structure are equally important. Ask yourself the following questions: Who is your audience? What are they looking to accomplish? What’s important to them? Conversions are driven by both practical and emotional reasons, so your landing page should address each of these factors.

Ensure your landing page contains relevant, hard-hitting content presented in a way that’s simple to understand. Provide all information required to complete a conversion and make CTAs clear and easy to find. Use attention-grabbing headlines that speak to user intent and illustrate the payoff of your product or service. How can it make consumers’ lives a little easier or more comfortable? These guiding principles can set you up for success when it comes to creating a landing page.

ZAG can help you develop a strategy for both your landing page and marketing campaigns. If you’re ready to get started, contact us today.

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  • Landing Pages & Microsites
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ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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