If you’ve recently built or upgraded your website, or just started to focus on digital marketing strategy, chances are you’re learning that there’s a lot more to it than you thought. You’ve probably run into many different terms for all sorts of things that you never even knew existed, which might include landing pages.
If landing pages are one of the things that have you stumped, don’t worry! In this article, we’re going to tell you exactly what landing pages are, how they can help your online marketing strategies, and generate increased conversions, and what you need to do to use them to best effect.
What Are Landing Pages?
When people who don’t know a lot about digital marketing send traffic to their website, they usually just send it all to their home page. In theory, that’s great – more traffic means more conversions, right?
Except that people who are searching online are usually looking for something specific, and they might not have the time or patience to navigate around your site to find the information they need.
Landing pages are marketing focused pages that are designed to solve this problem, by directing visitors to a page that presents exactly the information the user is looking for, and makes it easy for them to make a purchase, download your information so that you can capture their details, or contact you for more information.
Making things easy in this way can increase your conversion rate by anything between 15 and 55%, according to some studies.
Why Landing Pages Are Crucial to Digital Marketing
When many people think about digital marketing, they focus on traffic. They believe that getting more visitors to their website is the ultimate goal, but that’s not entirely true.
Of course, high traffic numbers are a good sign that you’re doing something right, but the goal of digital marketing, like any other type of marketing, is to get targeted, demographic specific traffic, and to get them to act. Whether that be making a purchase or contacting your sales team.
Landing pages reduce the number of steps, time and effort your visitors have to go through before they can take the action you want them to, and because you can have multiple different landing pages, all with different content, focus and desired result, you can funnel visitors with different needs, at different stages of the buying process, to the actions you decide on each page.
The Anatomy of a Landing Page
A long time ago (in digital marketing terms), landing pages were synonymous with long sales letters. Marketers would write long, overly chummy sales letters that repeated the same information over and over again, perhaps in the hopes of hypnotising visitors into making a purchase.
Fortunately, we’ve moved on from the bad old says, and landing pages have got a lot simpler, and a lot less salesy. Great landing pages these days are:
- Highly targeted. Instead of casting the net wide and hoping for the best, great landing pages today target a specific customer persona, use long tail keywords and phrases, and are designed to be laser focused on answering the question that brought visitors to your landing page to begin with.
- Straight to the point. A great landing page today will include a direct and catchy heading at the top of the page, followed by a short paragraph that outlines your solution to the visitor’s problem in simple terms.
- Concise. Instead of being filled with words, great landing pages sum up the problem and solution in short sentences, incorporate plenty of white space, and use simple, elegant images to illustrate the solution.
- Benefit heavy. Your visitors are looking for things that benefit them. They don’t care about your sales pitch. So, show them how your product or service will help them.
- Action driven. Every great landing page should have a clear, easy to find and follow call to action. This might be in the form of a CTA button, a form, or something else, but whatever it is, it’s easy to do.
Great landing pages shouldn’t be cluttered or complicated. They should be clean, minimalist and easy to use in as few steps as possible. Your visitors are looking for solutions, so don’t present them with more problems on your landing pages, or they’ll be far less likely to take the action you want them to.
Here’s a great template from unbounce.com that you can use for inspiration:
Landing Pages for Ecommerce
One of the biggest and most important roles the internet plays in our daily lives, both as businesspeople and consumers, is in ecommerce. Online sales are a global phenomenon, totally trillions of dollars annually. But, while many people are spending a lot of money on their ecommerce platforms, landing pages in this sector are still lagging in terms of conversions.
There are several theories about why this might happen, including the quality of the information on the page, the design of the page, and a lack of a clear call to action. Whatever the cause of the problem is, however, if you’re driving traffic to product pages that are going to act as landing pages, there are a few things you need to do to improve your stats:
- Highlight your credibility and trustworthiness. If you are the biggest name in your field, or you offer a killer money back guarantee, mention it on every product page.
- Use high quality images and video to showcase your products, and how easy they are to use.
- Use bulleted lists to highlight features and benefits.
- Focus on 1:1 conversions, which means you only have one button on each page, with one option. Too many choices mean too many people wandering off your product pages.
- Make your conversion button big, bold and easy to find. Research has shown that nothing works better than a big red buy now button!
- Pay close attention to keywords and phrases, and focus on long tail keywords. While many things have changed in the world of online marketing, these words and phrases still work best to attract internet searchers who are already close to a buying decision, and while you might get less traffic, 10 motivated buyers is always better than 100 tire kickers.
- Include a killer offer or discount and use a countdown or limit to increase urgency. If shoppers feel like they might miss out on a great deal, they are more likely to make a quick decision.
Landing pages can work very well for ecommerce stores, and your product and service pages can be great, targeted landing pages. Always remember though that the people who land on them are looking for a solution to a problem, and it’s your job to convince them that you have it.
Great design, engaging copy, an easy to follow process and a sense of security will all improve your ecommerce conversion rates, and increase your profits.
Landing Pages for B2B Businesses
Up to this point, most of the issues and information about landing pages have been largely related to consumers looking for products and services online. But landing pages can be used just as effectively by companies that sell to other businesses.
After all, it’s been proven that these days, about 90% of b2b procurement decisions are preceded by online searches. That’s even more than b2c purchases.
Not only are more business procurement decisions driven by online research, but as much as 70% of the buying process today happens before a procurement professional even reaches out to a potential vendor.
So, if you are a company selling to other companies, your potential clients are searching for your products and services online, and what they find is driving nearly three-quarters of the process. If that makes you nervous, and you feel that you’re losing out, there are several things you can do to improve your success, using landing pages. Here are some great examples of b2b landing pages:
Everyone knows Dropbox these days, but the company is heavily engaged in expanding its corporate service division, and their landing page does a great job.
This landing page builds on the well-known brand, by asking the visitor why they aren’t using an already trusted personal product in their corporate environment. It lists the benefits and features concisely, and it builds credibility by namedropping their biggest corporate clients.
You already trust Dropbox, but after visiting this site, you are left asking yourself why you don’t use it for work too, and by finishing up with the very affordable pricing plans, they make taking the next step as easy as possible.
HubSpot is an internet marketing service provider, so it’s no wonder they’re great at using landing pages to generate leads!
One of the best strategies HubSpot employs is using free information to capture opt-in leads. Their site features dozens and dozens of high-quality free downloads about all things digital marketing. All of them are completely free, but require the user to enter an email address, and to opt-in or agree to follow up emails.
While they might not convert every lead into a paying customer, there’s no denying that having a captive audience increases their success rate enormously.
Landing Pages and Digital Channels
If you’re still thinking about digital marketing as something you “do”, you need to update your impression about the world of online promotion.
Digital marketing isn’t one action. It’s not even a linear thing. It’s a network of small actions that you take online to grow your online presence, become more visible, build your credibility and reputation, and develop a relationship with prospective clients that makes you the obvious choice when they need to make a purchase.
To make it even more different to what you might think of when you think of marketing, there’s very little to do with advertising or sales involved at all.
Instead, the best and most successful digital marketing campaigns are built around knowing who your customer is, and what their problems are, and providing information and solutions. If you’re the company that can solve their problem the best, most efficient, most fun, or most interesting way, and you can find ways to tell them about that solution, you’re setting yourself up for success.
There are a few great ways that brands have found to do just that.
If you’re old enough to remember the advent of the biggest social network ever, you’ll remember how the brand built interest in their platform by requiring users to get an invitation from a friend. By building exclusivity and community into their early marketing, they guaranteed a horde of early adopters that has only grown exponentially over the years.
Use virality and the amazing targeting tools social networks like Facebook offer to direct targeted traffic to your landing pages.
A few short years ago, no one had ever seen a short cooking video shot without narration from above. These days, however, Tasty.co is publishing best-selling cookbooks and selling branded cooking equipment to their legions of followers.
Tasty found an interesting, innovative and educational way to use video to grow their brand. Could you use video to engage your target customers, intrigue them, and drive them to your landing pages?
As you can see from these ideas and examples, landing pages are a clever and easy way to take your targeted digital marketing efforts to the next level.
By driving your ideal customers to pages that answer their exact questions and limiting their options to only the actions you want them to take, you can increase the likelihood that they take those actions and improve your profits.
If you’re still wondering how to make landing pages work best in your business, don’t worry. Professional companies like Polkadot Communications can do all the planning and implementation for you, so you just have to figure out how to process all the extra leads you will be getting.
However, you start using landing pages though, make sure that you do, and remember, you can have many different landing pages targeting many different aspects of your business. Start small, perfect your approach, and then use them to funnel leads where you want them.
If you’d like to unlock the power of landing pages for your business, give us a call!
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