How to design a Landing Page that converts visitors!
Every business and almost all websites can benefit from understanding and designing effective Landing Pages that converts visitors on their website. A landing page isn’t just your home page but includes most website pages where you wish to engage and guide your website visitor to a clear call to action. Your call to action can be something like to call to book an appointment, to fill in a form, to download some information.
So, How do you design a Landing Page that converts visitors?
First, it’s important we understand why we should do this. Website users are becoming more sophisticated and so is the technology involved in creating a website. Websites now have to be ‘responsive’ which means a website will stack on a mobile device without the need for the user to use their fingers to scrunch and pinch to view information on your website - it will flow naturally or 'stack'. So a new visitor to your website is looking for exacting information that they have searched Google for, Google has recommended a page from your website - the new visitor won’t have the time to second guess what your website is about, where they should go, what they should click on, and how your website / service / or business is of benefit to them.
The key phrase here is to clearly communicate your businesses benefits quickly to the visitor, you only have a few seconds, so they quickly understand your service and so they can see how they should take action - your ideal call to action.
Before we go any further let me explain a few other terminologies associated with designing and developing an effective landing page - your website designer or website design company will no doubt use them when explaining what is required with gaining you inquiries from your website.
- Meta descriptions - This is a simple line of text that uses keywords and phrases that you wish your page to be popular for. Each of your website pages would have a very specific description. This description is viewed by Google when it crawls and ranks websites. Having a very clear and precise description for each page is very important for Google to show and rank your webpage
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) - You have to undertake keyword and phrase research in your market sector so you can understand what is popular and how competitive those keywords and phrases are. Using Goggle Adwords - Googles free tool, also suggests alternatives that you may wish to include. Sometimes your competitors are missing high yielding phrases on their website, phrases that potential leads are using to search for service like yours. So undertaking this research is key to creating your pages content and making the page appeal to your ideal target market
- SER (Search Engine Results) - You have to undertake SEO to gain good SER, your results will be based on criteria that Google has decided is a requirement for a high ranking web page. Remember we’re not just talking about a website in general, but each value page such as service pages. So if you wish to be popular for 'Birmingham Financial Services', it’s important this information is filtered through each web page and each page has relevant content, along with relevant titles, and written content that includes keywords and phrases for that service. If you optimise your website pages a service page could be the first page your website visitor see’s from undertaking a Google search, not your home page, so it’s important this is designed as an effective landing page with a clear call to action
- H1 Titles - A H1 title is code that Google and other browsers will review. They look for these pointers so they know that a page is coded well and so it’s trusted but so it also contains the information you say it does. Your H1 title is the same as your article page title, so mine for instance is ‘How to design a Landing Page that converts visitors'. Google will see this along with my meta description and then review the written content so when someone searches for this or similar phrase it knows that this is a trusted page to list
- CTA (Clear Call to Action) - You need to tell your website visitor what you want them to do next or they’ll potentially go to a website that does. If you have a Google Webmaster account for your website you’ll be able to see the amount of visitors you have to your website and you’ll know how many have contacted you - taken action. Of course each businesses CTA will vary but generally most businesses like you wish to gain inquiries or leads, so your CTA needs to focus on this. I encourage at least 3 CTA’s per webpage in certain areas of the page to be effective - each CTA is phrased differently but the outcome is the same
- Landing Page - As previously discussed a Landing Page isn’t just a home page, it’s most website pages that your website will contain. Think for a moment, if your business is gaining inquiries (your ideal CTA) from an effective home page, it stands to reason that if you roll out a similar formula to your other web pages not only will your website be more popular in Google listings for certain search terms but each page has the potential of being popular to. This means that you have a great chance of gaining more inquiries - simple!
- Responsive website - Since April 2014, Google has changed it’s criteria for a high ranking website - it has to be responsive since they value mobile device interaction so if your website is not responsive Google will not give it much kudos on mobile platforms. With mobile use set to exceed computer based searches in 2016 your website will become less popular if it’s not responsive - the first thing to do really is make sure your website is responsive otherwise your website efforts will be in vain
- Above the fold (above the line) - This web design term basically means the area above the bottom of a screen - what a visitor will see when landing on your website for the first time - if you don’t have a clear CTA in this area then you may already be losing many potential website leads!
Important Note: Google wants original written content. When writing content for a page or designing a landing page you should consider that Google is effectively one big library of information and what Google wishes to achieve is to list the pages in it’s directory that are trusted that contain valuable original content. So your titles need to work with your written content and your written content should contain keywords and phrases that you researched earlier - but there is a balance - those pages that pack too many phrases and keywords may be d-listed for potentially being spam pages - so you need to work with your web developer to understand the correct balance and where you can place keywords and phrases within your written content for the best outcomes.
So enough of the terminology, how can you create an effective landing page?
An effectively designed landing page is made up of several elements - this is born out of years of research, I haven’t just made this up - it’s based on years of study from leading scientific studies in the best way to design an effective landing page. Not every business is the same and the layout can change, if your businesses is new to the market it would be imperative that your website works very very hard to gain leads so you can build your business and your brand. If you do have a strong brand you will still benefit from reviewing your website, it’s amount of visitors and leads created, time and time again I’ve worked with companies and increased inquiries even though the business thought they were generating a good level of inquiries.
How to create an effective landing page
So before we progress I’m assuming you’ve already undertook your Google Adwords research, you understand SEO, SER, what responsive and CTA is and indeed what a landing page is - and fundamentally you understand how Google works - it wants to show a list of possible pages it trusts contains the information, the answer the user has searched for.
A Landing page is made up of three main elements:
- Reach Elements
- Engagement Elements
- Conversion Elements
Without these key elements a website page becomes less and less effective and your inquiries, sales leads, will become less and your competitors more - they may take larger market share. So it would make sense if you and your business decided that you wanted to gain traction within your market / sector and gain more inquiries and customers - higher conversion rates…
So let’s look into these elements in more detail.
A Reach Element is how you design your website to attract a new visitor. These include:
- Having a responsive website - A user can easily interact, navigate your website
- Having the right keywords and phases in your meta description and the correct page title - Google can confidently list your website page and so your visitor feels confident they have landed on a page that can deal with their inquiry
- Including a map of your business location and exact address and contact numbers on every page - The reason I say EVERY webpage is because your visitor may have clicked on one of your internal service pages and they need to know where you are and how to contact you within seconds
An engagement element helps a visitor gain confidence in your businesses service straight away, as soon as they visit your website, some of these elements are small but all contribute to the visitor feeling confident. These include:
- Clear USP (Unique Selling Point) - If you don’t know your clear USP’s then how can you communicate your service confidently on a web page, knowing your businesses selling benefits is imperative to make sure your visitor knows who you are and how your service can benefit them
- Clear minimal navigation - You really need to place yourself in the position of a website visitor to your website - you want information quickly, you need to find what you’re looking for and having a clear uncluttered page with clear navigation and a clear direction can keep create a lead from your visitor for your business or lose that visitor to a competitors website
- Actual and real information about you and your business - People still do business with people, so decide upon a writing style but be open, informative and trustworthy in what you write. Reflecting industry knowledge and experience is also a great leverage tool to build trust and confidence in your service or products
- Use at least four trust icons / badges - This is often missed by websites, you can create your own trust icons, such as how many items you’ve sold, how long you’ve been in business, any awards you’ve won, think creatively since these can be simple snapshots of your history and expertise that instantly connect with a visitor
- Testimonials for social proof - Along with trust icons testimonials work well - even better if they’re video based, but you need true and honest testimonials along with at least an actual picture of the person or business that gave it - this can be a logo to - think how many times you look at product reviews, hotel reviews etc to help your decision process, if you implement similar with your service you will gain instant trust
- Social media toolbar - To help your SER you need to have easily shared pages on your website. A visitor can become an advocate of your business and link your website page into their social media stream, potentially displaying the link to 1000’s of people that have never heard of your business - so it’s now imperative your website page is easily shareable
There’s little point in doing the above if you don’t convert those visitors!
- Use a ‘Hello bar’ at the top of every webpage - This is the top most web page element and it should be ‘sticky’, meaning that when it a visitor scrolls down your website it’s always in view. This is an underused place to advertise your ideal CTA, ‘Call xxxxxxxx now to receive 10% discount on your first order on 0121 xxx xxxx’, you can see how having this in plain view on every page means that it’s really easy for your visitor to take action
- Clear phone number - So many websites hide their number or just place it on a contact page or even just in the footer area of a webpage. Your phone number should be at the top even if repeated in the footer area. Sometimes a visitor wishes to call and they don’t want to scroll through or click through your website to find your number, what is also frequently overlooked is that your number can also be a clear CTA, such as ‘Call to schedule a meeting on 0121 xxx xxxx’
- Powerful lead magnet with CTA - This is so overlooked but incredibly powerful. It’s important that there’s a ‘take away’ on your website landing page, so to download a recent report or infographic for instance. This should be well designed within your brand, so it looks like your brand, it should have clear contact points, so the visitor knows where it came from. The purpose is they may well pass this on to a colleague who may contact you, they may refer back to this in a few months or years time. They may share it through their social media accounts so it becomes valuable advertising. Once you have a visitor and they are interested in your service it’s easy for them to find out more, to see your experience and knowledge and refer back to it and indeed contact your business another time
- Live chat or opt in box - So many businesses overlook this, I’ve had conversations with businesses that say they don’t have the time or someone to train or place constantly on a live chat. The reality is that if you can send a text you can do a live chat - the conversions of using a live chat is fundamental - they really work. They can engage a confused visitor, explain a query and direct the conversation to a sales inquiry within a few minutes. The benefits far outweigh any real inconvenience within a business and several staff members could use this to help convert landing page visitors into inquiries or sales leads
Need help or more advice creating your website landing pages? Do contact us we'd love to help you gain more sales leads with your website landing pages.