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How to Create a Killer Landing Page

Do you want to increase your ROI dramatically? 

Then you need to create a website that is user friendly, optimized for search engine indexing, and offers something the competition doesn’t.

If you’ve said check, check, check to all three of those but you’re still not getting the results you want, there’s something you’re missing and it might be a killer landing page, or at the very least, some key elements of a killer landing page. 

It may seem like a tiny detail but it has exponential significance in busting the barrier between you and an ROI that makes all the gruelling hours you’re putting in worth it.

Take five minutes and perform a mini audit of your current landing page. If you don’t have one yet, use these points as a little warm up:

Does it…?

  • Convert visitors for free
  • Make a compelling offer
  • Have a clear call to action
  • Appear well on mobile devices
  • Enable sharing to social media platforms
  • Have a clear headline and supporting, scannable copy
  • Contain important keywords in the title, URL, and metatag
  • Include attractive images that show people what they’re getting
  • Clearly outline the benefit to the customer in as few words as possible
  • Say thank you

Don’t be overwhelmed. We’re just putting it all out there so you begin to understand why landing pages are so important. 

We’ll slice it and dice it for you, but first we need to understand what a landing page actually is.

What is a Landing Page and Why Do I Need One?

Think of a landing page like a landing strip at an airport. What do people want to do when they arrive? Get off the plane. 

And how to they want to do that? With as little fuss as possible. They don’t want delays, distractions, or any other nonsense that is going to keep them from their goal.

So to start, ask yourself, what is the goal of someone arriving at my landing page? 

A landing page is a target page on your website where you offer a resource in exchange for information. 

In many cases, a landing page captures information, such as an email address, and provides the user with something for free, such as memberships, an e-book, a consultation, or a free product trial.

You need a landing page because it generates leads for your business that help increase conversions.

Is a Landing Page Different From a Home Page?

In some cases, yes, though it doesn’t have to be. 

It depends on how your business is set up to capture leads. If you have a few lead captures, then creating a landing page that targets each one is ideal for giving your potential customer exactly what they want. 

A home page is a bit too general for the reader who is interested specifically in your e-book offer, for example. You want to serve it to them straight up, without any further navigation required. We’re hungry consumers. We want what we want as quickly and as easily as possible.

To bolster my last point, I broke this landing page business down into three steps so you know exactly what to tackle and why.

STEP 1: Create the Structure

Start with what you’re offering to determine how to structure your page. 

Do you want to rely more heavily on graphics or text? Whatever your offer is, you want to get your customers to convert and shouldn’t cost them anything in time, money (just yet), or effort. 

Quickly, easily, and free are three of the most effective words in ad copy. Make the essence of those words the backbone of your user experience.

Use a 3-step process: 

  1. They arrive at your landing page & click “sign me up!”
  2. They complete the lead capture form to receive their freebie
  3. They receive a confirmation email (if applicable), and an onsite thank you message

Here are some extra tips:

Landing Page Dos:

  • Optimize for mobile
  • Include sharing buttons
  • Use high-quality images
  • Make the page scannable
  • Include 1 or more testimonials
  • Include a relevant lead capture form

Landing Page Don’ts:

  • Make it confusing to convert
  • Distract readers with a navigation menu
  • Use a default token in your confirmation email. Personalize it
  • Forget to include a thank you page

STEP 2: Write SEO Content Like A Pro

You need four basics here: 

  • Attention-grabbing title
  • Scannable copy
  • Title, H1 & Meta Description
  • URL

Each one should be keyword optimized. 

The metatag is arguably the most important piece for users finding your page through an organic search. It needs to be short, descriptive, and compelling enough to make them click through.

Depending on your product or service, the copy should also be short and feed the scanners everything they need to know to convert. 

While some experts recommend longer copy for more expensive offerings, remember, no one is buying anything at this point. They’re just giving their email (or some other information) in exchange for your free offering, which will hopefully (certainly) have them converting with cash soon enough. 

You don’t have to hire an expensive copywriter to do this for you. However, we recommend you find a creative that has experience with digital marketing and SEO, and knows the difference between a landing page and her left thumb (believe it or not, so many don’t). That doesn’t have to cost what a bulletproof Starbucks every day for a month does (if they actually made them), but understand that price is usually indicative of quality so try to get the best quality content writer you can.

A couple takeaways here are:

  1. Focus on the benefits (what the customer wants to achieve), not the features 
  2. More isn’t better; copy should be short and strategic to elicit the right kind of attention

STEP 3: Customize Your Call to Action

Don’t be afraid to sprinkle some personality in your CTA but know that clear is more important than clever.

Buy now, complete form, submit request, get access, are clear commands but they graze the edges of boring. How can you spice up these commands without losing the directness of the message?

Tailor them to your product or service offering. 

If you’re offering an e-book about dog training, a command like “undumbify my dog” is clever but not totally clear (and potentially offensive for the serious dog owners). 

What If You’re Crazy Indecisive?

If you’re looking through piles of images and banging out awesome copy and having super ideas for CTAs and lead capture forms and all the creative ways to say thank you, you might be curious to know which ones are winners.

If in doubt, split test the crap outta several templates (see Crazy Egg’s Complete How To Guide).

This isn’t rocket science, but you also don’t want to treat it like a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey either. 

Image credit

Here are your key (free) takeaways from all of this:

  • Don’t make your homepage your landing page
  • Use a 3-step structure: landing page, lead capture form, thank you
  • Customize at every opportunity
  • Make it fast, easy & free
  • When in doubt, test it out
  • When 100% sure, still test

Logging out,

Logical Mix

Step 8 to SEO: User Experience

Is my website intuitive and frictionless throughout?

If you’ve been following from Step One, you may remember that Step Two: Competitor Research, highlighted UEO as the new SEO. If you haven’t read it, here’s a key takeaway:

SEO is more about user experience optimization (UEO) than optimizing the search engine.

That makes user experience then, your most important focus for getting your site ranked.

And how does UEO relate to competitor research? Well first of all, discovering how to enhance, or in a worst case scenario, dredging your user’s experience up from the bottom of a mucky pond to the surface light of day, starts by watching your competitors with a keen eye.

But there’s more to it than that.

When you created your site, you didn’t create it for silent, mechanical aliens that would follow clickbait like naive school children follow Bobo the Clown. Not even close. You made it for real live people. People with different problems and pain points. People with very personal frustrations and levels of tolerance. People dotting the entire spectrum of tech savviness.

And although you know it is a rather unrealistic desire, your intention is to make every page on your site 100% accessible to everyone who lands on it. And so it should be, realistic or not.

You’ve got to get inside the head of your ideal customer and know what is going to frustrate the crap out of them and do everything you can to avoid creating that kind of experience.

Then, you’ve got to know exactly what makes them stay on your page and eventually convert and feel that it’s one of the best decisions they’ve made this year. And then you create that experience too.

Easy, right? Well, sort of.

The best way to get started is to visit as many websites in your industry as your sweet time allows and note every little thing that makes you want to stick a fork in your eye and every little thing that makes your experience feel like you’re on a first class flight with Emirates. Then compare these features to your own site.

How Do You Know What Your Customer Wants?

But once you’ve done that, how do you actually know that everything you’ve set in place to create the best user experience is actually, well, the best?

Google Analytics helps track user behaviour so you can get a deeper look at what parts of your site are keeping people engaged, and which ones are encouraging them to take a hike.

Let’s look at the specifics of what GA can track:

  • Where a user entered your site and where they left
  • Their navigation and interaction with your site  (this helps you figure out if your CTAs and internal links are in sensible locations)
  • What device they use to view your site (this helps you further optimize your site for specific devices based on popular use).

(And remember, GA is a free tool).

Now this next tip is a bit Sherlock so prepare yourself:

Ask your customer.

I know, right? It’s like telling someone to check that the TV is plugged in when it won’t turn on, but so many of us ignore the simplest way. Our complex brains like complication.

So how do ask? Check out Step Six: Reviews for tips on how to ask your customer.

What About Information Architecture?

Neil Patel tells us that at the core of the user experience is information architecture. A basic understanding of information architecture is outlined in the image below:

Source: Neil Patel

So now we’ve got the fundamentals outta the way, let’s look at a few more superficial but equally valuable components of UX.

Aesthetics

This may seem obvious but we have to ask: Does your website look nice? Is it tidy or cluttered with content and images? Are your chosen colours complementary? Does your logo actually capture the ethos of your business? Is there any possibility that it overwhelms or confuses? Remember, simple is best for any site of any business in any industry. You don’t want to make people work to buy your product or service because they won’t.

Quality and Readability of Information / Voice

A great majority of the adult population cannot read past an eighth grade level so unless your business is highly technical or you, for some reason, require a great deal of nomenclature in your content, then write for the eighth grade reader. If you can’t write, you’re not alone, and there are plenty of professional copywriters out there who can deliver some bang-up content. Choose someone who is able to capture the voice of your business and stick with that person. Using too many different writers will make the voice of your business sound less cohesive and convincing, like reading a novel where the writers change from chapter to chapter.

Now remember, and this is where it falls apart for a lot of businesses: make sure your content is well-researched, quality stuff. People can sniff out bullshit faster than our overpopulated planet can churn it out. Make your shit unique and the stuff of roses, stuff people can actually get something out of.

Extend the Learning Journey

Think of your site as a trip to the science centre. Each station should draw you in, entice you to know more, indulge in your curiosity and fascination about the way the world works. So too should your site about your product or service. Use whatever means are necessary to keep your user engaged. Include links to where they can get more information, whether that’s on your site or an affiliate’s. Use appealing images, photos, videos, or memes that support understanding, that deliver a bit of humour, that invite the reader to further question what they’ve read (and then invite them further down the learning path). In short, give them an experience.

Calls-To-Action

CTAs might be the most important part of your site––where they’re placed and how they call users to convert.

Forget the old, boring “buy”, “purchase”, or “submit”. Get creative (or trust in your content writer to do what you paid her to).

Remember––a user is a person too!

When we’re bogged down by metrics, it’s easy to forget that there are real live people behind those numbers. And what drives most people to buy?

They have some painful, nagging thorn in their side that makes them need your product to remedy their situation.

People don’t buy your product because it looks nice. They buy it because it solves a problem.

Maybe they don’t know they’re in pain, which is why you need to remind them, strategically, at each step of the conversion cycle and use the CTA as an opportunity to highlight, once more, how your product is going to solve their problem. Now make sure that problem-solving actually alleviates their pain rather than contribute to it.

You got this. Leave a comment and let us know what your main UX gem is.