Landing pages are a critical component of digital marketing. These are the pages where all your hard work increasing visitors starts to come together to generate leads. But, what are landing pages anyway?
Landing pages are web pages that allow you to capture a site visitor’s information to generate leads, using a conversion form. They are not simply any page a visitor “lands on” by searching through your site or clicking a link on an external source.
Landing pages are important because they give you a place to host your lead generating offers, capture lead information, and gain valuable data about your prospects and your marketing efforts.
So what makes a great landing page? Like I said, landing pages are different than the rest of your website. They have specific elements that make them landing pages which need to be included. You’ll notice, some of these elements align with your other pages while some are unique. Here’s what you need to make a great, lead-generating landing page:
Just like with blog posts, web pages, and many of the other things we write everyday, headlines matter. Landing pages need a headline to grab the visitors’ attention, tell them what they might find on the landing page, and introduce your offer.
Remember how I said some of the essential elements will be the same as on other pages? Keywords are one of them. I really, really hope you’re already using keywords on your main web pages and that this tip is old news. If not, please remember to use keywords on your landing pages. Also, if you aren’t already using them elsewhere on your site, you should start doing that as well.
Keywords make your landing page easier to find in searches and let your readers know what the page is about. For example, one of our keywords is “product ventures,” so we made sure to include that in the copy.
Every landing page must include a description of the offer so the audience knows what they’re downloading. In this case, we’re offering a guide to developing a product venture. We mention that we use the Charette Process and the guide will include questions the reader will need to answer. Typically, it’s best to create a description using bullet points to make the main points clear and easily understood.
Always, always include a relevant image! For this landing page, we’re offering an ebook, so we created an image using the ebook’s cover. We also included graphics that represent the various sections of the book. Images are attention-grabbing and help get your point across to an audience even more quickly than copy. In an era when people want information as quickly as possible and have a million distractions, images are critical components to your page.
The purpose of a landing page is to generate leads. How can you accomplish this without a lead-generating form? You can’t! Lead-generating forms are critical to landing pages. This is one way you know whether or not a page on your site is a landing page. If it doesn’t have a form, it doesn’t count.
These forms should at least include a space for the prospect’s email address and any additional information you think is necessary. Make sure only to require information that is essential. Longer forms are much less likely to be filled out. Of course, after filling out the form your lead should have access to your offer.
Social sharing options are key. Do you want one person to fill out your form, or many? That’s rhetorical; of course you want many! Let your visitors do some of that lead generation for you by giving them the option to share your landing page with friends and colleagues. People are less likely to share your landing page if you don’t make it easy by providing the social sharing buttons. If you include them, spreading your landing page is as simple as a click.
Unlike the rest of your webpages, landing pages should not have main navigation. Instead, the main navigation should be hidden on these pages. Anything else that can distract your site visitor, like side bars or search boxes, should also be removed on these pages. You’re not trying to trap the visitor on your page; you’re trying to make it easier to focus on the task at hand. Data shows that landing pages without main navigation have increased conversion rates, but that only 16% of landing pages actually do remove the navigation.
Do your landing pages contain these seven elements? If not, it may be time to update them.