What is a landing page? The fail-proof guide to increase sales
There are many strategies businesses can choose to achieve success with their websites. Whether investing in search engine optimisation (SEO), paid search ads or another acquisition channel, landing pages will always be a vital component for success.
What is a landing page?
Theoretically, any page can be a landing page. That’s why you optimise all your products or services and other key pages on your website. So, wherever people land when they visit your website, you want them to be able to make their way to a page where they can convert.
However, in this context, we’re going to look at a landing page as a page you set up specifically to serve a single and focused purpose, convert. The conversion type will vary according to business goals and strategies but usually, they can be classified as sales, lead acquisition, subscriptions and more.
Here is a quick video to help visualise what is a landing page and its main features:
Different types of landing pages
There are many different types of landing pages that you might use. Here are six of the most common.
- Squeeze pages. These pages have the objective of capturing an email address and are typically used to promote an eBook or PDF that you send to the user via email. Once you have their email address, they’re in your funnel.
- Lead capture pages. These are similar to squeeze pages but will typically provide more information and might not always involve a giveaway. These pages will usually be more commercial and introduce elements of selling a product.
- Click-through landing pages. These landing pages often sell the benefits of using or buying your product but don’t necessarily push for a sale. Use a click-through landing page if you offer a free trial of your platform.
- “Get started” landing pages. “Get started” landing pages are similar to click-through landing pages. You might use these for customers who already know a little about your business and might be primed to buy or signup for a subscription without needing a free trial.
- Long-form sales pages. These landing pages are designed to tell customers everything about your product or service and answer every possible question they might ask. You can use calls to action as liberally as you wish, but these pages will often have a single one at the bottom. The goal of these pages is to close.
- Pricing pages. If you’re looking to get to the point or are changing your pricing structure and need to tell people about it, a pricing landing page is a great way to tell people what will often be the only thing they want to know. These pages may also contain elements from other landing page types.
Common elements found on landing pages
While landing pages come in many different formats, most of them will have several common elements:
It helps engage visitors, showcase your product or services, and break up any longer chunks of text. Some landing pages may use an explainer video rather than an image, or sometimes they’ll have both.
Effective landing pages often utilise bullet points or combine one heading with one brief paragraph to promote the benefits of what you’re selling. Even long-form pages break up what they’re saying.
The best landing pages utilise colour contrasts to highlight key messaging and, of course, calls to action. Use a colour wheel to discover contrasts that will be effective and make your pages engaging and highly converting.
It is a really effective way to engage with your visitor and explain in-depth everything about your product or service. According to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.
5 Essential elements to improve conversions
1. Unique Selling Proposition
If you only had one chance to convince a prospect that you’re the best brand on the market, what would you say? A USP is a specific benefit that helps you differentiate yourself from the competition. It’s a powerful statement that can be incorporated into branding, products & services, and the overall experience you provide to your customers.
At the core, your USP should be a perfect blend of what your customers want and what your business does well. It should be memorable and satisfy a potential customer’s immediate need or desire, otherwise why else should they care?
Alright, so we’ve talked about how great your brand is with your USP’s. But what are you actually offering? The offer is your chance to tell your customers what you sell. However, it’s not enough to simply tell them what it is. It needs to be clearly defined at the top of the page and compelling enough for them to want to make a purchase from you.
To create perceived value, consider adding in numbers or percentages, people need to see proof. If your product helped customers resolve their problem in just 3 days, tell them. Urgency is another factor that sells. If stock is limited or bookings are filling up, tell them. The fear of missing out can be a powerful driving force.
Your target audience will naturally scroll down the page looking for reasons to convert. This is your chance to list out the key benefits of your offering. Now, it’s natural to gravitate towards the benefits of your product or service. But how does it benefit your customer?
Instead of talking about how great your product or service is, expand on your offer and talk about how it will help them resolve their problems and achieve their goals.
4. Social Proof
So far, all we’ve talked about is how great your offering is and how it’s going to help them. But so have your competitors. In a world where there are now hundreds of other brands just like yours, customers need more reasons to convert.
This is why you need social proof. Whether that’s customer reviews, testimonials or case studies, people need to see proof that your product or service is as great as you make it out to be.
Bonus tip: Experiment with different types of media. Video testimonials and case studies allow you to tell a convincing story straight from the customers perspective and are highly engaging.
5. Calls to action
You’ve spent the better part of this landing trying to convince the prospect that your brand is the best on the market. That your product or service will change their lives, now it’s time to convert. The call to action is the final component that brings everything on a landing page together. It is the final trigger that is used to tell the prospect what action to take and how to take it.
It can be as short as “buy now” or “subscribe”, or as long as “Not getting enough sales from your landing pages? Get access to 51 high-converting landing page templates proven to increase sales. “Download Now”
Landing page best practices
You’re always going to be testing and optimising different landing page elements. However, by following these best practices, you can also ensure that your landing pages are set up for success from the moment they go live:
- Create specific landing pages for your audience segments: Each segment will have different expectations and different trigger points that will make them buy from you. Ensure you cater to them and give yourself the best chance of making them convert.
- Make sure the message matches your ads: If you’re using Google Ads to send people to your landing pages, make sure your pages reflect what your ads say.
- Personalise your messaging to make your audience feel like you’re speaking to them. You could even create custom landing pages for specific companies if you’re a B2B business.
- Focus on benefits rather than features: Features might leave people asking, “so what?” Instead, tell people how they’ll benefit from using your product or service.
- Have a single conversion goal: What do you want people to do? Give them only one option, be that submitting an enquiry, joining your mailing list, or making a purchase. Not only will this help your audience focus, but you’ll also find it much easier to measure the success of your pages.
- Remove navigation links: The easiest way to lose a landing page conversion is to give people the option to start exploring other sections of your website. Lose the navigation and make the on-page action the only thing people can do. Have your logo link to your homepage, but that’s it.
- Ensure your landing page (and the entire website) is responsive: You don’t want to miss out on conversions – especially if you’re paying for traffic – because your website doesn’t load properly on a mobile site. Look out for this functionality if you’re creating your own landing pages.
Five reasons you need landing pages for your business
- They will increase your conversions
Studies have shown targeting your landing pages can increase conversions by as much as 300%!
- You don’t have long to make a first impression
Customers will decide whether they want to do business with you within eight seconds of landing on your page, so you need to make them count.
- You control the agenda
When you connect a landing page to a campaign, you can link that page’s content to the campaign, making it far easier for you to ensure the advertising message aligns with what people will see on the page.
- You can create personalised and dynamic pages
Some advertising platforms, including Google Ads, allow you to link personalised and dynamic landing pages to your campaign. This means you can potentially show your users a page based on the keywords they used to find you or even put their name on the landing page they see.
- They help you speak to leads on their own terms
A landing page is an opportunity for you to capture contact details so you can then speak to people on their own terms later. Whether you’re gathering an email address or details for a callback, landing pages are a way to ensure you don’t lose leads who are interested in your business but don’t necessarily have the time to engage with you right now.
What are the advantages of having specific and focused landing pages?
The most significant advantage of using landing pages is that you can tailor the content to the campaign. For example, if you’re sending out an email to your subscriber list, you can include a call to action in the email to a landing page, which reinforces the message in the email.
Depending on the action you want people to take on the landing page, it becomes easy to measure whether the email or landing page requires improvement if you don’t get the results you wanted or expected.
If you’re running search ads campaigns, you could improve the effectiveness of your Google Ads management by only optimising what’s necessary for specific phrases.
In contrast, with organic search traffic, people could get to your website via numerous keyword terms. Analysing your pages’ success (and website in general) can become more difficult as you need to focus on the performance for specific keyword terms, which isn’t always easy to get.
How to create a landing page
Tools for creating landing pages
There are several ways you can go about creating landing pages. If you want to design your own landing pages, don’t risk doing it from scratch and creating something that won’t work.
Try the below tools to help you make incredible landing pages, conduct A/B tests, and optimise your landing pages on an ongoing basis.
We’ve included various tools depending on the types of landing pages you’re looking to create.
- Unbounce – simple to use and cost-effective, one of the best tools around.
- Leadpages – a fantastic landing page creator that’s brilliant for creating pages when you want to sell from them directly.
- Instapage – brilliant if you need to create landing pages at scale.
Using a web design agency to create your landing pages
Another option is to use a web design agency to create your landing pages. If you’re already using an agency for other elements of your digital marketing strategy or are looking to develop a consistent brand presence and message across multiple channels, this can be a great way to boost your return on investment.
Engaging an agency may also make things like A/B testing and optimising your pages easier as they’ll keep on top of your web analytics data for you. Working with an agency that has a background in website design, can cut down testing time and investment as you leverage the experience of professionals that have already run into conversion problems in the past.
How to measure landing page performance
You might invest significant resources in building your landing pages, and you’re relying on them to generate leads and sales to help you grow your business.
As such, you must measure their performance and act quickly to make any changes. If your first email campaign sends high traffic but few conversions, that needs to change.
Which metrics should you focus on?
At this stage, you’re probably shouting “conversions” at your screen, and you’d be right. However, while the conversion rate is definitely the “bottom line” for landing page performance, other metrics will help you understand the broader context of landing page performance.
What should you be looking at?
If your landing page is the start of a user journey, how much of a part does it play in how many customers reach the end of the process? Looking at your internal click-through rate will give you lots of insight into how you can improve.
If people leave without taking action, is the message that gets them to the page the right one?
It can be an excellent metric to check out for landing pages. If this seems high, you might have too much information on your pages. What can you do to change things and get people to convert quicker?
How many times has the landing page itself been viewed? This is vital for discovering your conversion rate but may also show you how effective the page is as part of different user journeys through your website.
Source level metrics
If you’re using the same landing page for PPC, email marketing, and social media, and it’s accessible via organic search, remember to look at each source’s traffic and how the metrics differ across each.
How to optimise your landing pages
Once you have created and deployed your landing pages, optimising them is actually pretty straightforward. The best approach to optimisation is always to be A/B testing your landing pages and learning what works from the page that performs best. Then, tweak the underperforming pages, and repeat.
Part of your ongoing optimisation might even be to try out different landing page types for your business. When conducting tests, change up the four common elements of landing pages that we discussed earlier one at a time.
This might be something as simple as changing the image you show people, the colour of the page, or the wording in your call to action button.
You can also think about the landing page best practices we highlighted. For example, you could tell one audience about four specific benefits of your products, then another audience about four different benefits, and see which generates the most conversions.
Five great landing pages examples
We’ve been talking for long enough. Here are five of our favourite landing pages. After you have read all about what makes a landing page great, can you identify the type of landing page being used and its key features?
This is everything you need to know to help you create incredible, high converting landing pages for your business. Put these tips into action, and share with us your results.
If you have any doubts feel free to send us a message, our team will be happy to provide you with the right advice.