I felt out of place at my new gym.
Until Pritish came to help me.
I met Pritish in Dec of 2011 when I joined this new gym. I wanted to improve my fitness. I was already doing more than 50 Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations) a day. Now, I wanted to do more.
Problem was that the Gym was little too big and I was not a big fan of gyms. I like outdoors more than the closed places. From running as a kid, Taekwondo in my teens, and later Yoga at home – Gym hardly had a place in my fitness plans. Except couple of occasional visits here and there – I never went inside a Gym.
I read a ton about the benefits of weight training and wanted to try it and also wanted to get in good shape.
For first couple of days, I used to look at array of machines and think about where to start and what to do. One day, did a bit of running and spent some time on a rowing machine. Other day, slightly different routine.
Frustrated and afraid of making mistakes – I reached out to the gym manager. She pointed me to Pritish.
Pritish talked to me first about what I wanted to achieve. I shared a lot with him – about fitness and also about a lot of random stuff like the book I was writing, my love life, my other aspirations, and more.
He listened patiently. After understanding what I wanted from my efforts – he comforted me and made a promise that I will see good results in 3 months – if I hit the gym four times a week.
(Did I make progress and achieve my fitness goals — is something I’ll tell you later.)
Pritish also a shared a plan and told me what to do on a particular day. He was by my side as long as I was in the gym.
Most important – he asked me to take action – as clearly he could.
I can still hear Pritish telling me, “Mohit, hold plank for 4 minutes.”
And, I did it.
Where does it fit in your learning about landing pages?
Stay with me and you will see.
If you run an ad (or write an email) and give people the link to your homepage in that ad (or email) – then your prospects will feel “out of place” the way I did in my new gym.
You need to bring them to a landing page to make sure that they do not feel out of place – because then your landing page will do what Pritish did for me. It will comfort your prospects, provide answers to their questions and then ask them to take action.
Your landing page acts as a guide for your prospects and motivates them to take the action (like buying stuff from your store, enquiring about your services and subscribing to your newsletter.)
At what stage a landing page come in picture?
It comes in picture once you have traffic (people) coming to your website.
Next comes how to convert this traffic to money. You can do this – by using landing pages.
Homepage vs Landing Page (and why a landing page is important?)
A homepage is a web page where you showcase all that is important for your business.
On homepage users have the option to choose from multiple options. A homepage is not usually designed for conversions. It is designed as a gateway for your products, services and content.
On a landing page – you share one key service, product or offering and ask people who “land” on that page to take a specific action – like subscribing to an email newsletter or buying a product.
By sending paid (using ads) or organic (via email or blog) traffic to the home page – you dump your best prospects – in front of your website – without guiding them how to proceed further or what action to take.
Why homepage is not right to promote your product during a launch?
Because homepage has too many choices and too many choices confuse people.
This is backed by research. Sheena Iyengar, a professor of business at Columbia University – along with a fellow researcher – conducted an experiment (popularly known as The Jam Study) in 1995, at a large supermarket in the US.
They found that consumers were 10 times more likely to purchase jam on display when the number of jams available was reduced from 24 to 6. Less choice, more sales. More choice, fewer sales. Strange, huh?
On a landing page – you give one or limited choices to user and as a result you get more email subscribers and sell more products.
Still wondering what is a landing page?
Worry not. In this landing page guide, I will tell you this and more.
As you read further – you’ll learn.
- What is a landing page?
- Types of landing pages
- Key elements of a landing page
- How to write content for a landing page?
- About the tools that you can use to create landing pages without much IT knowledge
- Landing page dos and don’ts
I’ll also share checklists and example so that you are able to understand better and take action.
Let’s get started.
What is a landing page?
This is the first page that the visitors see after clicking an ad or after clicking a link in your email.
Your online advertising campaign’s success depends on your ad copy and your landing page.
You’ll learn more about writing effective online ads in one of the forthcoming lessons. For now – let’s focus on landing page.
Your ROI pretty much depends on the quality of your landing page..
With a good landing page – you get good RoI
– with a crappy landing page – you almost get no RoI.
Before we understand how to create a good landing page – let’s see what different type of landing pages are there.
Types of Landing Pages
There are several types of landing pages:
- Lead generation page
- Product sales (or warm up) page
- Email opt-in page
- Content landing page – designed to rank well in search engines
Lead Generation Page
This landing page is used to generate leads. These leads are generated by offering ebooks, a call back for counselling, ecourse like the one you are reading now, or blog subscription to receive regular updates.
See below the example of a lead generation page.
I landed on this page after clicking an ad that appeared along with search results on Google.
Product sales (or warmup) page
This type of landing page is used to warm up prospects – before they make the purchase.
Here is a product sales landing page for popular social scheduling software Hootsuite.
Email Opt-in Page
An email opt-in page is focused on getting people to subscribe to an email list. LearnDM.com is an email opt-in page for a digital marketing course.
Content landing page
These pages are designed to rank for a particular term in search engine results.
Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing page is a good example of a content landing page. This page is designed to rank for the term “inbound marketing”.
Key Elements of a Landing Page
A landing page should have,
- A headline (explaining what you are offering),
- A subheading to support the headline,
- Benefits that the user will get by accepting your offer (to subscribe to an email list or buy a product),
- A form in case of an email opt-in page and,
- A call to action (a button that prompts user to take action).
Designing the Landing Page
Here is how you go about designing a landing page. Usually a designer will do it.
- Start with logo
- Add one large image (known as a hero image).
- Write your offer – as a headline on top of this hero image.
- Give a line of supporting text under the headline.
- Under it give benefits in bullet points.
- Under it – add a CTA
All this info should be above the fold.
(The fold is the portion of the screen that can be seen by a user without the user having to scroll down.)
Optional: Below the fold you can have a long explanation of your offer, testimonials, reviews, trust building logos etc and another CTAs.
Do not have following on your landing page
- Navigation menu
- Links that take user to another page
- Unrelated images
- Long forms with more than 2 or 3 fields for email opt-in page or 5-6 fields for lead gen pages driven by PPC campaigns.
When you want to create a landing page – first write what you want to showcase on the landing page and then draw the landing page on a paper.
I created a landing page (on paper) – so that you can understand – how to go about creating your own landing page. This is for a startup FoodyTime (I coined this name – not great I know 🙂 but I had to come up with something).
To create your own landing page – draw the elements as I have done on paper – take a pic and send it your designer (in-house) or to a freelancer on Fiverr.com or Upwork.
This is enough that most people need to know about landing pages.
If you are a curious soul like I am and want to know more – keep reading 🙂
When you learn the fundamentals and tricks below you will be able to work better with your content team or designer and developer.
Additional Tips, Tricks and Fundamentals for Building Your Landing Pages
Are you thinking of asking me this:
Mohit, I am a solo founder / freelancer and I want to do it myself – is there a tool I can use to build my landing page?
In that case my answer is:
You should have your landing page content ready first.
Here is how you can do that.
Writing Content (Copy) for Your Landing Page
Write body copy first.
Then write product features and benefits.
And, then move to Headline.
Headlines are the most important part of your landing page.
I will share below how to write effective headline.
Write landing page like a story.
Give it an interesting opening that grabs the attention of the reader and motivates them to continue reading further. Share juicy details in the middle and later end in style and with purpose by asking the users to take action.
Your landing page copy should compel the prospects to act (by making them feel) that it is in their own interest to take action.
Write first – don’t edit. Sleep over it and improve.
Take the help of your prospective customers to write effective landing page copy. You do this by taking copy from customer emails, Facebook messages, support emails, live chat transcripts and online forums.
Position your product. In your copy write who your product or service is for?
Then share benefits. Then present the opt-in form (while writing copy you can just add a line – Opt-In Form will come here). After that you can add more copy or testimonial/s for those who need them followed by a 2nd CTA.
Your landing page should ignite your visitor’s (self) interest.
It should build their confidence and trust in your product/service and in you/your company.
If you be honest, straightforward and give them a clear path to what you want them to do – then – you will make an effective landing page.
Take time to know your audience. Write to address their problems, needs and wants. Based on this understanding, write a clear message (without using flowery language) – to address the problem of your prospects and offer the solution you have for their problem.
How to Write Headlines That Spark Your Visitor’s Interest
Write to connect with prospect’s wish and desire.
Use nouns and verbs – and not adjectives.
Headline will be more effective if you use less words.
Understand that you will not become perfect at this in one day. Invest time consistently on improving your understanding of your customers and you will become a better digital marketer.
Use these Simple Formulas to Create Your Own Headlines.
The Only Way to [Do Something Desirable] Without [Doing Something Undesirable]
The Only Way to Get Rid of Extra Weight Without Going to the Gym or Crash Dieting
[Do Something Hard] in [Period of Time] or [Promise]
Clean Your Laptop of Virus in 10 Minutes or Virus Free App Is Free
[Do Something Desirable] Like [an Expert] Without [Something Expected & Undesirable]
Learn to Paint Like Picasso – Without Leaving Your Home!
Have a / Build a ______ You Can Be Proud Of
Build a business that you can be proud of.
The Secret of [blank]
Learn the Secrets of Dressing Better
Designing the Landing Page: Research and More
Think of something that you can do better. If you are newbie – you can simply do what they are doing.
Take screenshots of all elements (from different pages) that you want in your landing page and add them to a document. This will make it easy for you – to explain your idea of the landing page to your designer.
Put critical landing page elements in above the fold area.
Because a large number of users do not scroll to see what is on the page.
(This is true – because many new users who sign up for the this digital marketing course that you are a part of – ask about the course structure – when it is already given on LearnDM.com and MasterClass team shares this URL with each new learner in the course.)
Go for single column format
It is important to keep the attention of the user as she scrolls down the page.
Keep the page load time in mind. Keep it low. If you are using images – optimize them to make sure that they load quickly.
Use same colour elements as you use on your banner ads.
Emphasise CTA (Call to Action)
The design of your landing page should emphasize CTA. You can make the CTA stand out by making it big or using a different colour or by positioning it in the middle of the page. Such things draw attention towards it.
Avoid these Mistakes when creating landing pages.
- Not having the right headline
Your readers have 5 seconds or less to decide whether to stay on a page. A good headline makes sure that you grab their attention and entice them to read along.
In case you want to check whether your homepage meets the 5second test – you can use Five Second Test – http://fivesecondtest.com/. Once you upload your landing page designs there – you can get people’s first impressions and improve the page by implementing what you learn using the test.
- Having a cluttered page with useless graphics and links.
Make sure that your landing page is clean and does not have a sidebar and navigation menu that is usually there on a webpage.
If navigational menu is there – users will clicks around and move away from the page – beating the purpose of the page.
Imagine investing 200 rupees or more (depending on the industry) on a Google Adwords ad – to get a prospect to come to your landing page – and then not getting the sale or lead – because the prospect decided to click on a link to never come back. And then this being repeated for 80% of prospects who come to the landing page.
If you do this – you will be looking at investment going doing the proverbial drain.
You reduce distractions AND you increase conversions.
- Asking your prospects for too many things (actions)
When given multiple choices – people get confused and end up choosing nothing at all as shared in the Jam Study example above.
If you use the same page to ask people to subscribe to your email list and also to follow you on social media and also to share your post – you will get hardly any results – ask them to do just one thing.
Also on the form you use to generate leads – don’t ask for name, email and 10 other things. 1-3 fields in the form are ok.
How to write a (PPC) landing page
- Make sure your headline matches the PPC ad text.
Keep the language on top of landing page exactly (or to the extent possible) same as on the banner ad.
This makes sure that prospects who land on the landing page are not confused. This is one of the most important element of a PPC Landing Page.
- Write clear and concise copy.
- Use You and Your more than I or We
People care about themselves more than they care about me or you or your product or service. They will only buy your product or service if they think it will help them be healthy, wealthy or wise. Tell them clearly how it will benefit them.
- Provide a clear Call to Action (CTA).
Tell them what they need to do.
On a short landing page use 2 CTAS. On a long landing page use 3-5 CTAs.
- Whether to use long copy (lot of words) or short copy (less words) on the landing page?
Go for short copy – when you are offering something for free and no payment is involved – like when asking people to subscribe to your newsletter.
Go for long copy – when you are trying to sell something and where cash commitment is involved. Your long copy should not have fluff (extra words). It should be tight.
- Keep your most important points in the beginning and end.
This is because people start reading from the beginning and then first go to the end – before going to middle of the content.
- Make content scannable.
Offer your benefits in bullet points.
Write short paragraphs. Limit them to 4-5 sentences.
How to Create Effective Email Opt-in Pages
- Decide who do you want to opt in?
Once you decide who you want to opt-in – you speak their language on the page. You can speak their language once you know them. This understanding comes over a period of time and also by making efforts to understand your customers.
- What action you want them to take?
In case of the email opt-in page – you want them to subscribe to your email list. So you CTA should be on the lines of – Get Email Updates or Join the List.
- What do you need on an opt-in page
- A headline – to attract attention
- Benefits – sharing what’s in it for them
- CTA – what action you want them to take
- Form – where they can enter their email
- Social proof (testimonial, review, subscriber numbers etc) – to build trust
If you are driving paid traffic to the opt-in page – you may need to do add review and put more efforts. If you are asking those who know your brand – you may not need a lot of prodding.
- To entice more people to join, you may give a freebie – like an ebook, a report and audio or videos that subscribers can use.
How to Measure Success of Your Landing Page
You do that by checking the conversion rate.
[So what exactly is a conversation rate?
It’s the percentage of visitors that turn into a lead, sale, or a subscriber. An average ecommerce site converts about 0.5 to 1 percent of visitors and an average lead generation pages convert at 2 to 3 percent.
By using effective landing pages it is possible to increase conversions for ecommerce site to 3 percent or even more and for lead gen page it is possible to go over 10 percent conversions.
How improving this conversion rate makes a difference?
If you have a site that is getting 20,000 visitors per month and you are getting 200 people to buy at INR 3000 per piece – you are getting sales of INR 600,000.
If you get this same traffic to convert at 2% – you’ll get INR 12,00,000 worth of sales.
Increase this conversion by 0.5% more and get – another jump of INR 300,000 jump and go from INR 12 lakh to 15lakh in revenue. Just by creating a highly converting landing page.
It is not as simple as it sounds but doable.
Even if it takes some efforts – which marketer will you like to be?
I’ll any day be the HAPPY marketer with double the revenue. I am sure you’ll want to be the same.
(How to find out this conversion rate? You do this by using a web analytics software like Google Analytics. You’ll learn more about this in one of the lessons that’ll come next).
The landing page apps like LeadPages (shared above) will also give your the conversion data.
Landing Page Cardinal Rules
- Never send traffic from an ad to your website homepage.Homepage is full of choices – so many things people can look at, so many actions people can take – instead get them to take action by taking them to a focused landing page.
- Make the first 5 seconds count. Let them know with a clear headline what that page stands for. Make sure that the headline is trustable.
- Make sure that the action you want your users to take – is clear enough. The landing page must entice users to read and motivate them to stay on site until they complete that action.
- One Landing Page. One Goal.
Landing Page URL
Your landing page URL ideally should be a URL on your domain. So, if your landing page is about makeup videos tutorials then landing page URL can be domain.com/makeup-videos
In case you are trying to do it yourself – then it is ok to have a URL hosted on your landing page app like yourname.leadpages.co or yourbrandname.instapage.com.
Bonus: Thank You Page
Always have a good confirmation or thank you page after they submit lead or buy.
After they submit lead – you can invite them to follow you on social media or ask them to share about your offer on social media.
See the example below:
After they buy – provide a guided tour of what else they can buy.
In case of software subscription – show how they can get started.
Landing Page Writing Checklist
- Write landing page for one person (buyer persona). Speak directly to this person (the reader), talk about her dreams and secret wishes.
- Trigger a favourable response by appealing to emotions of the person reading the landing page.
- Think of the value this person will get by accepting your offer. Communicate this value by listing down benefits. These benefits will be part of the reason that they will sign up or buy.
- You should keep visitor interest alive with interesting copy.
- You should not kill user trust by offering unbelievable claims.
- Make sure that your content is scannable. Your users should be able to get the summary of your offer by looking at headlines, subheads and bullet points.
- Take care of the doubters. Do this by showcasing logos and testimonials. Also answer some commonly questions in FAQs – if you are creating a long landing page.
Landing Page Design and Usability Checklist
- In case of PPC landing pages, make sure that the landing page has same design and colour like the banner that the user clicked to arrive at the landing page. In case you are using pre-made templates like the ones on Unbounce and Instapage – design your banner with same colour and style as the landing page. That’s easy.
- Keep the content readable by using short paragraphs and reasonable font size (14px or 12px minimum).
- Don’t have any links that can take user away from the page – once they go away even if they come back – momentum is disrupted and you’ll have tough time converting them.
- You should have enough white space on the landing page.
- Think about CTA. For expensive products it is good to get emails first. Form a bond, build relationship and trust – before you ask for the sale.
- In case – you product is straightforward – directly go for the sale. For software offer a free trial.
What separates smart marketers from not so smart marketers?
Smart marketers promote their products using focused landing pages.
Not so smart-marketers – use homepage to promote their launch and products.
That’s all I have to share with you today about landing pages.
Curious to know what happened to my fitness efforts. I continue to exercise but not in the gym. I stuck with a it for while and then did not continue because I had to focus on my first book. I plan to return in 2016 🙂
I’ll leave you with these useful links related to this guide.
Also don’t forget to check out the contest below – where you have chance to win a free review of your landing page.
Long landing page examples
- Amazon’s Fire Tablet – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TSUGXKE
- Landing Page (alpha = not complete yet) for my digital marketing book – http://www.mydmbook.com/
Landing Page Gallery for Inspiration
Landing Page Template
- For ecommerce you can use templates like this – http://unbounce.com/landing-page-template/flora/
Landing Page Apps
Landing Page Usability Testing
- Decide your primary product that you want to promote using a landing page.
- Write Your Landing Page Copy (Don’t aim for being perfect – do the best you can).
- Use a designer and developer (outsourced / your own) or any landing page app to create a landing page.
- Send an email to your list that you already have or to the one that you built using audience building lessons – about your new landing page – asking them to check it out.
Contest of the Week:
Comment below – What is the question that you want to ask me about landing pages?
Two commenters will win a free critique (worth INR 19,000 plus) of their landing page. I will review the landing page and share ideas to improve.
I will select the best comments by tomorrow same time.
It’ll be fascinating to see everyone’s responses! So check the comments and participate.
Mohit – A Digital Marketer who is hopeful for making 2016 best year ever for You and All of Us 🙂
P.S. Stay tuned for the next lesson. It’s on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I am going to teach you the “new” SEO that works. SEO that can help you rank your site for right keywords among top results in 2016 itself. You don’t want to miss it 🙂
P.P.S. Remember to comment with your answer below.