5 Tips for Landing Pages That Convert

After landing in an unfamiliar airport, there’s always a moment of confusion and hesitation when I exit the jet ramp.

Do I turn left or right to get to baggage claim?

Fortunately there are always enough locals who know the lay of the terminal to lead the way—even if the airport signage is confusing or nonexistent.

However, when someone arrives on a website landing page, there isn’t a herd of people to follow around. Follow these five tips and visitors who land on your website will make it to their desired destination, which is really your desired destination.

Landing Page 101

A landing page is a single webpage specifically written and designed for visitors coming from something like a keyword-based ad, search results page, social media entry, or other inbound link. The important word here is “specific.” The visitor has been “promised” a specific benefit available by visiting your website.

For example, an investment advisor might create a free white paper download entitled, “10 Stocks to Avoid This Year and Why.” By downloading the white paper the investment advisor gains an email address and therefore a prospect. You can see that landing pages need to be part of your digital marketing plan, for both your traditional site and your mobile site.

If “location, location, location” is the key to valuable real estate, “design, design, design” is the key to valuable landing pages—which, by the way, are probably the most valuable real estate on your website.

Enough background, let’s get to the essential landing page design tips.

1. Single Focus

You want visitors to your landing page to do one thing and one thing only. Your design needs to reflect that. This is not the place to tell people that you are an expert in A-to-Z or have products that will cure every illness from malaria in Africa to beach erosion in New Jersey. Avoid the temptation of trying to do anything else. Period.

2. Great Headline

Your first salvo in the war to covert your landing page visitor is a fantastic headline. It must be engaging. You can use a variety of literary tactics to accomplish this, such as humor, fear, curiosity, and others. Browse your Facebook news feed and check out the headlines of articles people are sharing. Steal the key headline phrases.

3. Make Benefits Obvious

H. L. Mencken said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” That’s harsh, and while its corollary is a bit less harsh, it is undeniably true: Plenty of folks have gone broke overestimating the intelligence of the American public. Therefore, in plain English tell people how their lives will be far better when they accept your offer. Distill the benefits down to a few powerful words and then:

  • Use bullet points,
  • Almost always.

4. Red Button

Your landing page needs a clear call to action with one red button—or at least a button of a bright, contrasting color. The button can either submit a form or take the visitor to the page that’s home to the form.

5. Design Above the Fold

Although you may be browsing the Internet viewing a super-octane, high-definition mega-monitor, many of your prospects are using an 800×600 or 1024×768-resolution screen. Keep all the essential elements of your landing page immediately visible when it loads in a browser. Don’t make people scroll to discover your benefits or find your “download now” button.

Nowhere is the statement that you only have one chance to make a first impression more applicable than it is for landing pages. Don’t stray from the proven design rules.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davehamster/501268105/ “Manchester Airport,” © 2007 David Merrett, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
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ChamberofCommerce.com specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. Chamber is focused on providing the latest business news, small business advice, and helpful tips and resources for small businesses, entrepreneurs and mid to enterprise level companies. Follow us on Twitter at @ChamberOnline.

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