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landing-pageOf all the components in a conversion funnel, the landing page plays the most instrumental role. It is the piece that serves as the function by which people become customers or leads, and it also must give that additional push for someone in the sales or lead-generation process.

You can have really great ads, good marketing copy and even a great product or service, but if your landing page sucks, it can cause issues with your activities online. This post will show you how to make an amazing landing page by highlighting best practices.

Your landing page should have the following elements:

  • Your value proposition should be clear and concise
  • The action you want visitors to perform should be obvious and easy to do
  • There should be no distractions from the main event on the page
  • Your messaging (i.e. words, phrases, images, etc) should be consistent with what brought someone to the landing page in the first place
  • The page should load fast and work well with all major browsers
  • It should not use a lot of Flash or Javascript to accomplish its goals (none is better)
  • It should be painless to use and easy to navigate

Clarity on Your Landing Page

When we make web pages for products, services or to get some kind of information from someone, we often have a tendency to cram as much information on the page as we can. We also have a tendency to forget about why the person came to the page in the first place.

Our visitor has not forgotten. They have arrived instantaneously and are now looking for the thing that caused them to come to the page in the first place. Typically, that is something that they were promised or something that they can get.

Your value proposition should be front and center. It should not be buried in paragraphs of content. Make headers prominent and bold. Tell the person landing on the page exactly what they want to hear, and do it clearly.

Make Actions Easy and Obvious

Make Actions Easy and ObviousAnother thing marketers forget is that people browsing online are impatient and used to instant gratification. It is true that most people will muddle through a process even if it’s hard and confusing. You will lose prospects, though, if you make your action too complicated or confusing.

Keep forms short — don’t ask for more information than you need. Make prompts and descriptions intuitive and easy to understand. For instance, don’t get creative at the last second by putting the word “find” next to a search box.

Take steps to ensure your checkout process is streamlined and easy to understand. Eliminate unnecessary steps in the process. Make sure you afford your users every modern convenience of online form data entry.

The actions to start your conversion process should also be obvious. Make buttons large and easy to spot. Don’t distract visitors with other elements or detract from an area on the page where the action is. Don’t put the action below the fold of the page. In a nutshell, don’t make people work to find out what they have to do. It should be clear as day what they are supposed to do on the page.

Consistent Messaging

Make sure the messaging on your landing page is consistent with ads, emails, links or other methods by which a visitor arrived at your page. You can think of the process by which people follow conversion funnels as a series of directions.

People get instruction on their next step from the previous step in the process. For example, they see language or images in an ad that entice them. They will then be looking for that information during the next phase of the process. If they don’t see it, they become confused, and if they still don’t see it, they get irritated and leave.

This is another area where your visitors will put up with a lot before they give up, especially if they are interested in your value proposition. Visitors will only put up with so much, though. If you used keywords in your ad or link that lead to your landing page, use those on the page as well. If you used certain images to entice them to click, make sure those are also on the page.

Your value proposition, which may have been promised in an ad, or whatever drove the person to the page should also be present. The basic idea here is that people need to know that they have made it to the right place. The Internet is a virtual world where it’s easy to get lost and think you’ve taken a wrong turn.

Technical Details

Technical DetailsMuch of landing page success has to do with messaging and layout; however, the technical details can also trip you up. Slow-loading pages are some of the most common contributors to low conversion rates. Think about the last time you sat at a red light. A person in front of you may take 3 seconds to notice that the light has turned green. Just saying that doesn’t seem like a lot of time but if you are the driver behind the person who doesn’t noticed the light has changed, it seems like 3 minutes.

The same is true for web pages, and consumers are unforgiving. Like other elements of poor landing page construction, people will put up with a little headache, but not a lot. If the relationship between your prospect and your value proposition is fragile to begin with (i.e. they don’t care THAT much about it), you could lose them with a slow page.

Use Google’s Page Speed Analyzer to see how fast your page loads. Anything slower than a few seconds and you should use their recommendations to make it better.

Another technical aspect is the way pages are rendered in browsers. You should take steps to ensure your landing page works with all major browsers. If there is important data not showing up because the browser cannot interpret it, you might be missing out on opportunities.

A good rule of thumb is to reduce the amount of Flash and Javascript you use in your landing page. Sometimes users will disable JavaScript or their Flash player will be outdated. If you have to use these technologies, it’s ok as long as you try not to use them for information that is more critical to your landing page success.

Your Landing Page Should Be Pain-Free

Many of the previous sections have covered this concept, so this is more of a wrap-up. Many of the best practices above all contribute to making your visitors’ time on your landing page pain-free and productive.

When you are online trying to accomplish something, there are few things worse than a web page that will not work or that is confusing. For tasks that cannot be done anywhere else, we just get furious at the creators and try to find some other method. For companies whose products or services we could potentially do without (or find elsewhere), we move on to the next website.

 

Do you have any additional tips to share when it comes to creating awesome landing pages? Let us know in the comments section below.

About Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher has written 384 post in this blog.


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