A landing page can be any web page on a site where new visitors arrive for the first time. In its broadest definition, the “Home” page on a website can serve as a landing page, but the term “landing page” is most often associated with online advertising campaigns as the page where visitors arrive after clicking on a PPC advertisement. As opposed to the typical home page, landing pages are usually designed for either of two dedicated purposes: 1) to start visitors on the path to making a purchase or 2) to capture visitor information.
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Generally speaking, landing pages that are designed as selling tools will provide details on products or services with the objective of persuading visitors to click through to another page, either for more information or to make a purchase. Landing pages that are purposed toward lead generation, including the capture of visitors’ names and contact information, will usually be set up with a form to collect information and a free offer in exchange for that information. Examples of these types of offers include free research reports, webinar registrations, ebooks and consultations.

Whether the objective is to sell products/services or to generate leads, there are 8 factors than can maximize conversions on your landing pages.

1) Match the landing page to your ad.

Use dedicated landing pages that clearly align with each ad – The best way to think of this relationship is that the ad is a promise and the landing page is the delivery of that promise. A seamless transition from the promise made in an ad to a landing page that fulfills that promise will keep visitors moving through your sales or lead generation process. Having the same keyword/keyphrase that drove the original search in the headline or header of the landing page can provide immediate assurance to visitors that they will find what they are looking for. On the other hand, even the smallest disconnect between an ad and the landing page can disrupt the process, while costing money for clicks followed by quick bounces off the page.

2) Map the whole process, step-by-step.

Map out each step on the path to conversion from a visitor’s perspective – One of the best ways to see if your advertising is going to lead to conversions is to follow the process yourself. Better yet, test the path to conversion with people outside your company that will see the ads in the same way that new visitors will. These experiences may point out visitor issues like not seeing a call to action, irrelevant content or confusion on taking the next step in the process, any of which can have a negative impact on conversions. Discovering and then fixing potential interruptions on the path to conversion can clarify the process for visitors and improve the chances that they will complete the process.

3) Define your unique selling proposition (USP)

Quickly define your unique selling proposition – After making sure the messaging in your ad and landing page are aligned, provide a short definition of your USP. For example, if the advertisement addresses a problem or “pain”, let your visitors know why your product is the best solution. Regardless of your product or service, a strong USP will be one that defines what you’re offering as the best choice for visitors to your landing pages.

4) Make your landing page mobile friendly.

Mobile customers tend to be highly motivated, but they are also quick to leave web pages when forms are difficult to complete and/or navigation is confusing. By creating landing pages that are easy to use when they are viewed by smaller devices, you can deliver a positive experience that keeps mobile users moving through your intended conversion process.

5) Make your call-to-action clear.

Locate call to action buttons at decision points on the page.  On landing pages that present long form content to provide information on complex products, the default choice of placing the CTA button above the fold requires visitors to scroll up to find it. In these situations, having a CTA button at the conclusion of the text makes it easier to take the next step. Locating the CTA above the fold is still the most popular choice, however, and works best when the information required for a decision can be kept above the fold as well.

6) Provide social proof.

Building trust with first time visitors is an essential step in getting conversions, and one of the quickest ways to achieve it is to provide social proof from third parties. Social proof can be presented in the form of testimonials, trust seals like the Better Business Bureau and/or by displaying a list of corporate customers. If your company/product has been covered in the media, providing an “As Seen On…” list can be a quick trust builder as well.

7) Add some power to your call to action.

A CTA that that reinforces the information that precedes it is more likely to keep visitors moving through your conversion process than a prompt like “Click Here”. For example, if you are advertising a product that can increase ecommerce sales, a CTA that reads “Grow My Business” carries a lot more emotional impact than prompting visitors with a call to “Submit”.

8) Run A/B split tests.

Split test different versions of your landing pages. Also referred to as A/B testing, this process can help to define the landing page configurations that lead to the highest conversion ratios. For example, you could test how your content is converting by testing a new page where information is listed in a bulleted format against an existing page that presents the same information in paragraphs. Different versions of headlines, various CTA configurations and images/videos should also be tested to determine the combination of page elements that will lead to the highest number of conversions.

Taking these steps to build optimized landing pages can grow your business immediately. When these steps are combined with consistent experimentation and testing of new page versions over time, your business will continue to grow over the long term.