When I talk to inspiring marketers or business owners wishing to take their businesses to the next level, there’s always one question that pops up when we start discussing paid traffic and targeted visitors. If you haven’t guessed, that question is, “Are landing pages important?”
The world of modern marketing is nothing short of mind blowing. This is especially true how professionals and executives have so many aspects down to a specific science. Whether they want to influence you to buy a product or service, or maybe they need to test the waters with a new brand or, heck, even tell you who to vote for, you can thank marketers and advertising execs for being able to do so in such a precise way.
When you make the foray down into the world of internet marketing, it gets even more amazing! Just about everything you do online — on your phone, computer, tablet, TV, or even smart refrigerator — is tracked. Companies do all of this tracking in very specific ways that let marketers and advertisers sell you precisely what you’re looking for. Haven’t you ever thought about buying something and suddenly ads for that specific item start appearing everywhere, on nearly every site; almost like magic.
Serving up those relevant ads to you is only one piece of the puzzle, however. What happens when you click on those ads? The page that you are immediately brought to is known as a landing page. Landing pages come in all shapes and sizes, and they are arguably one of the most important aspects of online marketing.
What Are Landing Pages And Why Do I Need Them?
Almost every single time someone clicks on an advertisement, that advertiser gets billed for that click. Because advertisers must pay a price, sometimes a hefty price, for every ad click, they will want to make sure they maximize the potential of each and every visitor that clicks on the ads or that clicks on any calls to action.
Not having a landing page = wasted time, money, and opportunity. Desite being such a huge waste of money, the mistake of not using a landing page is EXTREMELY common!
One way to maximize this potential is by having a highly effective landing page that the user goes to once the ad, link, or call to action has been clicked. A landing page can and should offer highly targeted and highly specific information that should appeal to the user in a way that converts them into a lead, subscriber, follower, or paying customer right then and there.
Many advertisers are blowing through huge advertising budgets and are simply sending all traffic directly to their site’s homepage, or directly to an online storefront, which will surely result in a high bounce rate and wasted money.
It’s completely normal to absolutely love your website or blog, especially the homepage or storefront. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into it, you’ve seen it hundreds or thousands of times as you’ve made little tweaks and improvements. You know it like the back of your hand.
First-time or new visitors to whatever it is you’re promoting need a push in the right direction. If you want people to sign up to your weekly financial tips email list, you don’t want to simply send them to your finance blog’s homepage. If you’re advertising a new piece of handmade jewelry that you’re selling, you don’t want to send visitors directly to your jewelry shop’s storefront.
A landing page will help push your visitors in the right direction while should help to increase conversions and reduce your bounce rate.
According To Hubspot, a typical landing page should convert AT LEAST 5% – 15%
of your targeted visitors into leads and paying customers.
They also estimate that more effective landing pages are converting
up to 1/3rd of all targeted traffic sent their way.
…But Do I Really Need A Landing Page?
“Are landing pages just for email lists?”
“Are landing pages just for selling stuff online?”
“I just have a blog, clearly I don’t need a landing page, right?”
If you have a targeted traffic source — paid ads, social media, email list, whatever — and you want these visitors to do anything on your website or blog other than close it down immediately, then YES, a landing page should probably be in your near future.
In the example of “But I only have a small blog.” That objection doesn’t matter and is easily disproved. You can create a landing page that very briefly summarizes your top blog posts, with a large portion of that landing page dedicated towards having the visitor subscribe, follow, enable reminders or notifications, or even bookmark to come back later.
Regardless of what it is you’re trying to accomplish online, you could probably use a landing page. And, no, I don’t work for the landing page lobbying industry, but I do feel like it’s my duty to educate my fellow entrepreneurs, bloggers, and online business owners.
What Are The Different Types of Landing Pages?
Many other marketing platforms and gurus will say that there’s two types of landing pages. Well, in my opinion, there are three types of landing pages. 99.9% of whatever it is you’re trying to do online with your targeted traffic can benefit from one of these three styles of landing pages:
Reference Landing Page
A reference landing page is one that provides information about a product or service. This information is typically very brief, but also highly appealing. It is meant to stir up brand awareness, create buzz around a new product or service, and it often has a Call To Action on there should the visitors want to learn more about the product, service, or brand that’s currently on display.
Example of Reference Landing Page
A coffee shop comes out with a new kind of drink. They obviously aren’t trying to get you to buy this new drink directly from their landing page. They also don’t necessarily need to collect your email address or contact info. But they can put a Call To Action on the landing page that shows you where the closest Starbucks are in your area. Customers on mobile devices can be given directions and maybe even options to download an app.
Transactional Landing Page
Just as the name implies, a transactional landing page’s sole purpose is to, well, transact. Its sole job is to encourage the visitor to make a purchase. Some experts say that landing pages which ask for your email address or contact info are transactional, but I would group those into their own category.
Example of Transactional Landing Page
A coffee shop is running a special on gift cards as the holiday season approaches. They want to use a nice landing page to get people to impulsively buy gift cards. They start sending targeted traffic to a landing page that tells visitors they can get a $25 gift card for every $20 spent. Starbucks wants users to start (and hopefully complete) a transaction right there from the landing page.
Lead-Capturing Landing Page
Sometimes you need to follow up with people multiple times before they will make a purchase. Sometimes companies want to be able to stay in touch with you so they can tell you about recent offers, promotions, or recommended products or services. To do this they need some form of contact information from you. A lead-capturing landing page is the best way to get this information from targeted traffic.
Example of Lead-Capturing Landing Page
A coffee shop wants to expand their email marketing list. They create a deal that gives customers 10% off of their next purchase if they sign up to the Starbucks email list. A lead-capturing landing page makes it very easy for visitors to quickly see the benefits of signing up. This type of landing page also makes it super easy for those visitors to actually sign up right there from the landing page and immediately receive their coupon code.
How To Make Effective Landing Pages
Create a simple yet appealing page that clearly gets the message across about your product, service, and/or brand, and also has a call to action, checkout/purchase process, or user-input field. That’s it, you’re all done!
.. wait a sec, you’re still here, aren’t you? I guess I can get a lot more detailed if that’s what you’re looking for.
Let’s take a look at the thought process and design process involved with some of the most effective landing pages. A little bit further down we’ll explore some tools you can use to make the process a bit easier.
Identify Your Ideal Target Audience
You need to figure out who exactly it is that you’re trying to target so that your landing page design and landing page promotional efforts can reflect this Buyer Persona. Are you a local bar that only wants to target adults within a 5 mile radius of a certain zip code? Do you paint custom Hello Kitty headphones that younger females would absolutely love?
Just from the two examples above you can tell that marketing a bar to adults vs marketing Hello Kitty headphones to the younger crowd would require a much different design process. Same goes for the starbucks examples we used above. Those landing pages would look much differently than that of your local bar or a custom headphones company.
Demand Metric and Xtensio are great ways to really zero in on your target audience.
Your Landing Page Must Have A Goal
A clearly defined goal (or lack thereof) is going to change the look and feel of your landing page. You need to stick to one singular goal per landing page. If you’re trying to get new email signups and sell your ebook then you need to create two separate landing pages. Some of the most effective landing pages are ones that have visitors:
Research And Identify Your Target Keywords
Knowing which keywords to target is great for the design of your landing page, but is also essential for promoting or driving traffic to your landing page. Having a search engine pick up and organically rank your landing page is the holy grail for landing page creators.
Always follow best SEO practices with your landing pages. Follow the same tips and tricks. Landing pages also convert much better with long-tail keywords and will often produce a much better ROI.
If you run a pizza shop in Seattle and you’re trying to get the word out about your new pizza, then don’t simply use broad terms like “pizza shop Seattle” find a good set of long-tail keywords “Gluten Free Vegan Pizza Delivery In Seattle”
Write An Eye-Catching Headline
Visitors to your landing page are 500% more likely to read the headline than they are to read the body of the text. You have a split second to catch their eye and pique their interest. There are three primary trains of thought when it comes to creating an effective headline.
Attention Grabbing – Two of my favorite attention-grabbing headlines from landing pages have come from Adobe and Air Asia. The adobe landing page was promoting their usual photo and video manipulation software. The headline read REIMAGINE REALITY. And it was great, because that’s what their products let you do. “Cheap Enough To Say, Phuket I’ll Go” was the headline used by Air Asia to encourage people to travel to Phuket, a city in Thailand. And, yes, it’s pronounced exactly like it looks.
Brief Explanation – Your second option when it comes to creating a great headline is to go with one that is straight to the point. There’s no fluff and no buzzwords involved.
“Salesforce and AdWords Integration Guide”
“Lose 30lbs in 30 days – or your money back”
“Easily Organize & Share Your Digital Content”
All of the headlines above are easy to read with a quick glance, especially if they had been put on a landing page that has a clean and simple design. After a glance at the headline you know exactly what it is that’s being promoted or offered to you.
To-The-Point Headline – As Kevin Malone once said “Why waste time say lot word when few do trick?” (If you think that quote has typos in it then it’s safe to say you haven’t seen The Office)
“Keto Diet Tips”
“2020 SEO Guide”
“Free Debt Plan”
Every Landing Page Needs Winning CTAs or Call To Actions
You have to encourage your visitors to do something. Anything. That’s the entire point of a landing page. Usually these CTAs or Calls to Action are nice and appealing. You need to have that Signup, Purchase, Register, Whatever button just call out to the visitor. But, how do you entice them into falling victim to your CTA? (Sorry, victim wasn’t the right word, let’s say ‘prey’! … wait, no that’s not good either. Just make them hit the dang button!)
FOMO Fear Of Missing Out CTAs – This tactic has been used for ages. So, you’ve created a nice and enticing offer, but want to really ensure people take advantage of it? Make them feel like they’re going to be missing out if they don’t jump on this deal right away.
“Our Ebook Is Free For The Next 24 Hours – Download It Now!”
“Get 25% Off If You Order In The Next Hour!”
Simplistic CTAs – Another option is to be as simple as possible with your Calls to Action. A Netflix landing page may have less than 8-10 words and a majority of those words are on their signup button “WATCH FREE FOR 30 DAYS”
Or, take a look at the Spotify landing pages that you may have come across:
Music For Everyone -> GET SPOTIFY FREE
A Picture Is Worth Worth 1000 Words
You didn’t think we would write a 3,000+ word guide centered around designing something without using this cheesy cliche, right? Well, Boom! There it is. A picture is worth 1,000 words. Boom! Said it again.
In the case of those coffee shop examples that we used above, you can bet that business would have had amazingly appealing pictures of this hypothetical new drink, and not just some description of what the drink probably tasted like.
Microsoft estimates the average attention span to be literally just a few seconds. Using a visually-appealing picture is mandatory if you want someone’s eyes (and cursor) to make their way over to your Call to Action. Visual aids help people comprehend whatever it is that you’re offering much quicker before their attention span gets focused on something else.
Landing Pages 101:
Tools To Build Effective Landing Pages?
Those readers with design skills probably ushered off to get started on their landing page after reading our 6 tips above for making landing pages effective. Now, what about the readers who don’t have design skills. Let’s be honest, some of us suck when it comes to design and creativity. Thankfully, it’s frickin’ 2020 so there are a myriad of tools and services out there that will let you create landing pages pretty easily. Some of these below cost money, some have free trials, we’ll give you a basic overview and let you make your decision from there.
- Kickpages: Kickpages is a landing page builder that you likely haven’t heard of yet. It is quite new and is quietly being used by some of the largest internet marketers in the industry. My team and I have been using it for since early 2019 (before public release) and have been able to follow its development from infancy. Kickpages allows you to build quality landing pages (of all types) in mere minutes using templates and their exclusive design blocks. Personally, I expect Kickpages to appear to come out of no-where later in 2020 and completely take the marketing arena by storm. If you want to take a look at our entire kickpages review, simple kick on the KICKPAGES button above. We even talk about how Kickpages compares to similar platforms such as ClickFunnels.
- Unbounce: Whenever a visitor closes down your page without doing anything else, it means they’ve bounced. The Unbounce moniker implies that they will help you build landing pages that convert. They’ve got an amazingly super simple WYSIWYG landing page design editor AND all of their landing page designs are responsive. You drag and drop text boxes, forms, images, etc.. and place them however you’d like To sweeten the pot, Unbounce also has an amazing variety of pre-made templates and some pretty in depth stats and reporting. The stats are great for those that want to do some A/B testing.
- Instapage: Instapage is another great WYSIWYG drag-and-drop landing page builder that lets you pick and choose your desired landing page elements and move them into place however you see fit. In fact, the Instapage editor is actually easier to use than the Unbounce page editor (although Unbounce has some more advanced features). Instapage also has some of the same features as Unbounce, like robust stats with A/B testing and the fact that all of their designs are automatically responsive. If you’re not the most technical person out there then you may want to start with Instapage first. It’s very forgiving for beginners, yet still pretty powerful. My favorite feature of Instapage is how they let you host your landing page with them, host it on your own domain/setup, OR put it on your own WordPress-powered site using the Instapage WordPress plugin.
Stop Throwing Money Away!
Again, I want to assure you I’m not being paid by the Landing Page Lobbying Association, but come on guys… If you’re not using landing pages for your targeted traffic, then you’re doing nothing more than wasting money OR missing out on lost customers and leads.
And, after reading this, you now have no excuse not to get out there and give it a shot!