How to Make Great Landing Pages

A landing page is a page on your website where visitors “land” after clicking on a link in one of your email advertisements, a search result item, a link on another Web site, a URL on your business card, etc. A landing page makes the difference between a visitor and a buyer, so you want to get it right. Here are some tips to help you construct great landing pages…

Coming In For a Landing…

A landing page is a place on your website where you want a visitor to take a desired action. That might be to buy a specific item, download a report, or sign up for your newsletter. Typically, visitors reach your landing page from a web or email ad, enticing them to visit. Think of the landing page as an elaboration upon the advertisement.
If you’re paying good money to get people to click on those ads, you want to make sure that your landing page is as informative and persuasive as possible. Read on for some pointers on how to create effective landing pages, learn why you need more than one landing page, and see how specific page elements should be combined or eliminated to maximize impact.
Great Landing Pages
Don’t be dismayed by the prospect of creating lots and lots of landing pages; it pays off in conversions of visitors into customers. Businesses that have 30 or more carefully tailored landing pages generate seven times more leads than businesses that have just a handful of generic landing pages.
Design each landing page from scratch. Your site may have templates or CSS style sheets that give your content a consistent look-and-feel throughout the site; don’t use then when constructing a landing page. Most templates contain cosmetic elements and boilerplate links (e.g., Home, About, category pages and other navigation links) that do not serve the purpose of a landing page.
The landing page should have only ONE exit link, and it should lead to the desired goal. The font style and size, colors, and every other style element of a landing page must contribute to the objective of getting the viewer to take this one action. Some online marketers advise that a landing page should be spartan, and there’s actually a related maxim: “If it’s ugly as hell, it’ll sell.” The point is to focus on the words and not stress about the design of the page.

Headlines and Other Elements

The headline of a landing page is the most significant factor in the page’s success or failure. You have about two seconds to grab a new arrival’s interest and persuade him or her to keep reading; that’s the headline’s job. Writing great headlines takes practice, trial and error; don’t ever stop experimenting.
Talk about the reader, not yourself. Landing page copy should contain a list of benefits, and convince the reader that you understand and can solve his problem, not that you spent 2000 hours writing an ebook and own a dog named “Buffy.” Save your bio for your “about” page.
Testimonials from happy people who took the same action you are asking of a visitor are powerful motivators. Multiple short testimonials are better than a single long one.
Sell thoroughly but don’t overwhelm. There is no hard and fast rule requiring a landing page to be “one screenful” long. Adequate landing page copy may require a reader to scroll down a page or two. But don’t say any more than needs to be said in order to get the visitor to take the desire action. Whatever you do, don’t reduce the font size or line spacing to make everything fit on one screen if doing so makes the copy harder to read!
Make the desired action as obvious, easy, and tempting as possible. A big green “DOWNLOAD” button should trigger a file transfer instantly; if the word “download” is flanked by smiley-faces that give the viewer the feeling he’ll be happy if he clicks, so much the better. (Dollar signs may be substituted for smiley-faces if you’re appealing to greed.)
Test the elements of your landing page (headline, copy, text and button colors, graphics) to see how they affect the desired result, and refine as you go. Doing this will increase your return on advertising investment more than anything else.
LeadPages is a service that will help you generate attractive, pre-tested landing page designs. You can browse their free landing page templates, or sign up for a paid account which has the added benefits of hosting your landing pages, integration with your website, feeding new leads into email service providers, split testing, analytics, and support.
Entire ebooks and multi-part courses have been written about landing pages. These tips will help get you started on the crafting of landing pages that convert more visitors into customers. For deeper expertise, I recommend Seth Godin’s classic work, Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends and Friends Into Customers.
Do you have any tips for landing pages or lead generation? Post your comment or question below…

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  1. Bob … While, I am not a business owner, I do like to DO business, with Mom and Pop’s webpages!!! So far, all of your tips and hints has been rock solid to me, from a consumer’s point of view.
    This article is so important!!! When a business is first starting out or needs to revamp itself, your articles are extremely valuable!!!
    Ads are a value part of your website, since, these ads may well pay for your web server or at least, off set your expenses.
    I don’t like going to pages, where the ads are making no sense to me, especially if, the ads are nothing more than junk ads. The kind like “increase your sex life” or “how to lower your blood pressure or diabetes”, since, most of those kinds of ads are “spam”, at best.
    I don’t mind seeing ads that, relate to their business. For me, that makes sense. I don’t mean ads for competitors, but, ads in relationship with their products.
    For example: The business is about computer recovery, it makes total sense to me, to have ads about Anti-Virus Protection or Malware Protection or Cleaning Utilities for computers or Good selling computer component websites, being advertized. All of those, make perfect sense to me, for a computer business.
    I do wish, more of the Rankin File Readers would make comments. Many times, comments from the readers, offer further hints and tips, that honestly, need to be shared. Hey, you don’t have to be a business owner to share, either. I am not a business owner, but, I really like seeing new businesses, getting good information and doing things right, as much as possible.
    Now, the business Rankin File Readers … Please, try to comment at each article. You have valuable insight and can answer lots of questions, to the newbies in business, okay? 🙂

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