February 16, 2012
In the sea of endless online choices that is the internet, landing pages are the islands where the very core of your company or organisation, products and services all converge and attempt to convince visitors to stay. When visitors do decide to stay, these landing pages become portals from the virtual to the real, and once your visitors step into these portals, they become what landing pages are supposed to make them – actual customers. Problem is, this isn’t always the case. In some cases visitors won’t like staying on your little “island”, and it’s not because they don’t like your products and services, they just don’t like the way your “island” looks or is.
As one of the leading Sydney Web Design companies, we know just how important landing pages are in their integral role of converting site visitors into actual customers. That convergence of information about your company, products and services needs to be just right, along with all other features on your landing page to make it easy to navigate, attractive, inviting and above all, effective in delivering conversions. According to web design and development (click here to learn more about our services in this area) news site Sitepoint your landing page, however bland or ludicrous it may seem, always conveys a lot to visitors, including:
- A snapshot of your topic or product
- Subtle information about your professionalism, trustworthiness and attitude
- The structure and contents of the rest of your website
- Your attention to detail and dedication to your product or topic – or lack thereof.
With so much riding on your landing page it is definitely a must to get it just right, so here is our list of the ways you can do just that:
- Have a Clear Call to Action. This is the most basic step that every landing page just cannot do without. Without a clear call to action, your landing page would be purposeless and you would not be able to gauge the successfulness of your site. So whether you’d like your visitor to purchase something, become a member or subscribe to your newsletter, make sure you convey this clearly. Search engine marketing news site Search Engine Watch suggests stating plainly and clearly your offer and the corresponding action that the visitor has to take to avail of it, and to place these apart from the rest of the page to make them special and a point of focus. Also make sure to spell out exactly what will happen after the visitor fills out the form or does what your landing page has asked.
- Align All Your Messages. Search Engine Watch points out that visitors often have certain expectations (of your brand, your product, etc.) even before stumbling upon your landing page or website. So make sure your on-page message is aligned to your call to action as well as your off-page promise. Potential customers and customers like consistency, and will be more likely to keep coming back when you keep your message consistent.
- Simplify Your Design. The design of a landing page involves many details which some website designers get overwhelmed with resulting in an overly-cluttered page. Search Engine Watch states that simpler is always better, as this allows for minimal distractions from the real purpose and focus of the landing page. Don’t crowd your landing page with too many links, images and text in a variety of fonts, colours and sizes. Search Engine Watch notes that several studies have shown that lesser content on a landing page leads to higher conversion rates, so keep yours as minimal as possible. According to Sitepoint a good rule to follow is to keep text at a maximum of 15 words wide so it’s easy to follow with the eyes.
When it comes to design elements, Sitepoint suggests using these only to highlight or accent a page without being too overwhelming or distracting. Designs should be used to frame important content and fill in empty spaces, so they should be attractive yet simple, complimentary and unobtrusive. When using colours, less is more so keep it to a maximum of around four colours. Also keep in mind that each colour has a different effect on people. According to Sitepoint:
- Blue conveys a sense of trust and reliability, and is often used by banks and businesses
- Red is exciting, exudes energy and is often used for clearance sales or with reference to food
- Black can be modern, stylish, powerful and sleek. It often exudes sophistication and luxury
- Yellows and oranges are fiery, flashy, and bold. Yellow is more optimistic and youthful and is used to grab attention, while orange is more aggressive and often used as a call-to-action
- Green is natural or calm and often associated with wealth. It is often used with finance or entertainment websites.
- Pink is romantic and feminine, often used to market products and services for women and young girls
- Purple is soothing and calm and is often related to beauty or anti-ageing products and services
- Include Media with Care. Media, such as pictures and videos, are essentially good- they keep your pages interesting, cut up large blocks of texts and provide some spaces to balance out the look of your page without making it look too sparse. But they can also be distracting when not applied properly. Search Engine Watch provides some pointers for using images appropriately:
- Don’t make the image too large. It might dominate the page and push the other content below the fold.
- Don’t make it too complex. Keep it simple and clean.
- Make sure it is sized and positioned correctly.
- Use a caption. After headlines, captions are the next most read pieces of text.
- Make sure your media is relevant to your topic or page.
If you have a video, Sitepoint suggests hosting it on YouTube to take advantage of its social media marketing aspects. Also, make sure that your media are high quality and can be viewed on the majority of users’ systems.
Create Effective Links and Venues for Social Validation. According to Sitepoint, effective linking is the “cornerstone of good navigation”, so make sure you do it right. Give your links good, concise yet descriptive names, make them obvious as links (so your visitors don’t have to hunt them down) and group them together either on the side or along the top of the page in a meaningful way, may it be alphabetical, chronological, largest to smallest, etc. Also, make sure to make social sharing easy on your landing page by placing share buttons above the fold and in the sign up process. Search Engine Watch states that this will not only validate your credibility but also drive traffic to your website and help it rank higher on search engine results pages.
- Find Secondary Conversion Opportunities. Marketing solutions provider Savvy B2B Marketing points out that even if a visitor does not fulfil the primary conversion goal, you can always create other opportunities for them to fulfil secondary goals, such as subscribing to a newsletter or visibility/ networking requests for social media profiles.
- Show Brand Validation. According to Search Engine Watch, people want to feel an affinity for your product or service, and transferring recognition from other sources can help do just that and reinforce people’s desire to act. So liberally use logos of well-recognised client brands and media sources that have mentioned your company; prominently display glowing testimonials from current customers and post the logos of trade associations, as well as other indicators of trustworthiness and reliability such as safe shopping seals, acceptable payment methods and money-back guarantees.
- Test and Review. Testing is always a good way of troubleshooting, so take the time to do it and pay attention to trends and feedback from your test users. A good idea would also be to review your landing page in detail and as a whole. Check for spelling and grammar errors, and do a “squint test”- squint your eyes while looking at your landing page until you only see the outline and basic shape of your page. Sitepoint states that this will help you see areas of empty space and content more clearly, and determine if there is a good balance and mix of both.
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