The art of a landing page

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In one of our previous columns we have written about the art of creating ads on Google (“Five tips for creating effective Google ads for your business”, http://www.biv.com/article/2014/4/five-tips-for-creating-effective-google-ads-for-yo/ ).  This is the first step in your sales process and it will help you bring visitors from Google to your site. However, advertising on Google is not enough. You need one more critical step:  to convince your site visitors to take an action and buy your product or service!

To accomplish this conversion process, it is recommended to build a special page on your site for each major group of products or services that you sell. This special page (definitely not your home page!) is called a landing page, and its main purpose is to welcome visitors who just landed on your site, and to close the deal as often as possible.

Think of a landing page as your online sales letter and follow your common sense when developing your page. Here are some of the most important principles for successful landing page design:

First, greet your customers and reassure them that they have come to the right place. Remember that as many as 40% of visitors bounce back to Google as soon as they arrive to your site. So tell them right away that you do have the product that they were looking for!

Second, be very clear. Avoid any confusion. Make it perfectly clear what exactly you want them to do.  Avoid clutter. Repeat your call to action a number of times on your page, including in your headings and “Order Now” buttons.

Third, be persuasive. Sell! Tell your story. Explain product benefits.

Forth, be search engine friendly: this will help you get more visibility on Google while paying less for each site visit.

Five, build trust. Reassure your visitors that doing business with you is safe and convenient.

Following the above principles, here is a checklist for your successful landing page design. Make sure to use it before launching any online advertising campaign:

REASSURE

  • Did you immediately reassure your website visitors that they have come to the right place?
  • Did you repeat their search keywords in your heading line?

BE CLEAR

  • Did you stick to one single, most important conversion goal? (e.g. order, OR sign ups). Was your landing page simple, easy to understand and clear in terms of what exactly you wanted your visitor to do next?
  • Did you provide a prominent call to action i.e. BUY, GET STARTED or SIGN UP button?
  • Did you avoid too many elements on the page, too many links, flashing graphics, choices and navigation options?
  • Did you make sure that your landing page looks good with different, popular browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome and Safari)

BE PERSUASIVE

  • Did you consider your visitor’s eyeline? Did you start at the top left of the page with your logo, and put your call to action on the right (above the screen fold)
  • Was the heading truly catchy?
  • Did you reassure visitors about the product’s benefits?
  • Did you provide visually appealing and effective image?
  • Did you write a compelling copy? Did you check your copy for any spelling errors, misaligned text or inconsistent font?
  • Did you provide a special incentive for their order? Did you create a sense of urgency such as an offer deadline?

BE SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY

  • Did the landing page URL include the most important keywords?
  • Did you include the most important keyword(s) in your title tag?

BUILD TRUST

  • Did you describe your return / satisfaction policy? Did you include your privacy policy?
  • Was your page easy to load? (max 3-5 seconds) ? Did it look professional?
  • Did you use various trust signals such as endorsements, testimonials or third party trust seals (e.g. Better Business Bureau, McAffee secure shopping)?
  • Did you provide prominent contact information and company address including phone number in case they need to talk to someone with questions?

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BizTech Q&A is our answer to the most common technology questions related to your business. Email us your questions and we will respond.

Cyri Jones (cyri.jones@zenlaunchpad.com) teaches at BCIT and Capilano University. He is the co-founder of Zen Launchpad and Zen Maker Lab. He blogs at 24posts.com. Dr Ivan Surjanovic (ivan@ipowerlab.com) is a marketing faculty at Capilano University and CEO of iPowerLab. He blogs at www.whereispuck.com, and you can find him on Twitter @whereispuck.com

Written by Dr. Ivan Surjanovic and Cyri Jones, 
adapted from BizTech101 column in Business in Vancouver

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