Just getting your feet wet with digital advertising? You’re probably coming across the term “landing page” quite a bit.
Are you thinking, “What is a landing page?” Don’t know if you really need one or what they entail? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll learn about landing pages, their purpose, and what it takes to successfully create one.
Landing Pages: The Basics
Before you set about making a landing page of your own, you should probably know exactly what it is—and what it does.
A landing page is that first page you “land” on once you’ve clicked on a link from a search return. This is the first introduction that a potential customer will have to your business.
I know you’re probably beginning to associate the landing page with the homepage, but it’s important to keep these two separate as they aren’t always the same. A landing page is a particular page attached to a specific ad campaign. Its purpose is to redirect incoming traffic from your ad campaign and convert that traffic into sales.
Does this mean a homepage can’t be a landing page? Not at all. Some homepages can be used as landing pages, but it’s best not to assume one is the same as the other.
In the world of online advertising though? When you hear the term “landing page” you can assume it’s a specific page created especially for a particular ad campaign. For the purpose of this article, this is what the term “landing page” will mean here as well.
Want to know more about the particulars of a landing page? A landing page may provide the opportunity to do any of the following:
- Register for an event.
- Sign up for an email list.
- Submit forms or information.
- Call or email your business.
- Make purchases.
The landing page is highly structured. It should be easy to navigate with a clear direction for your new visitors to take. Remember, this page is responsible for directing your visitors. You don’t want to waste this opportunity by having a cluttered or disorganised landing page.
What a Landing Page Should Offer
Knowing what your landing page should be—and what it shouldn’t be—is a great place to start. If you’re putting together your own landing page, however, you’ll want to keep these crucial elements in mind.
Many landing pages have a specific look. While it’s not required and variety can be a positive thing, using a tried and true landing page structure will be more user-friendly. Your visitors have likely encountered similar pages in the past and won’t have any difficulty navigating your site.
The general structure of a landing page is as follows:
- The top portion of the website—frequently referred to as “above the fold” information.
- A call to action—this landing page is directing your visitor. A call to action can be a great way to do this.
- Provide the proof—visitors are going to want to see actual benefits, not just hear that they exist. Make sure to really tap into this aspect to encourage the visitor to take the next step with your business.
- Bring in the support—visitors know people selling products are going to believe there are benefits to them. This is where you bring in outside support—real life people who will vouch for your product or service.
- Wrap it up—This is your closing statement. Go ahead and make one last assertion about your company and your goals.
That’s the abbreviated version of what your landing page will consist of. Want to get into it a little deeper? In this next section, we’ll break down each piece, discussing the individual elements of these landing page pieces.
Above the Fold
The importance of this section cannot be stressed enough. Some visitors will never move beyond this part of the webpage. It’s your job to help imbue the above the fold section with as much information (and persuasion!) as possible.
Wondering where the fold is? While it doesn’t truly exist in the digital format—this saying is borrowed from the newspaper industry where the fold was quite literal. This portion of the website is considered to be the first 600 pixels.
Go ahead and think about it as an old-school newspaper. This is the portion of the website that’s going to make your visitor stop and pick up a paper. It needs to have great visual appeal as well as good content.
If you’re putting together this portion of your landing page, listed below are some things you may want to plan on including. You won’t necessarily need to use them all on a single landing page, though.
A Great Headline
Just like that newspaper, you need to catch your visitor’s attention. You want them to know without a shadow of a doubt that your business can fulfil the exact needs they have.
It may be tempting to think that information will be enough to get you by here. While clueing your visitor into critical facts is necessary, it needs to be done in the right way. It should really catch their attention and pull them further into your page—and your service.
Don’t be afraid to do some brainstorming and come up with multiple ideas for your business’ headline. Test them out and seek out additional opinions. This can be a great way to determine if your headline is hitting the right spot.
A Sub or Supporting Headline
Getting all the information you need into a headline can be difficult. Sometimes, it may be downright impossible. Don’t risk the quality of your main headline—instead, go ahead and opt to use a supporting headline as well.
A supporting headline can help fill in some more of those details. It can also be used to alter the tone of your message. A great supporting headline can help give your audience a little bit more direction.
You don’t need to have a supporting headline. Many times the main headline will suffice. However, using a supporting headline can give your page that extra compelling edge that further draws in your visitor.
There’s no denying that the headline is important. You can’t, however, always evoke a visceral and emotional response with just a headline—no matter how well-crafted that message might be.
Looking to evoke an emotional response that propels the visitor into taking that next step? You may want to consider using an image. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, isn’t it?
This “hero shot” should capture the essence of your brand and inspire your visitor to take action. This visual should confirm everything you’ve said about your brand and product so far. It’s the final push your visitor gets to take action—select your image very carefully as it can be just as important as the headline itself.
Transition to the Rest of the Page
You won’t always be able to get this piece in that critical top part of the landing page. Wherever it does end up, though, you’ll want to pay extra attention to its creation. After all, this is the piece that pulls your visitor more fully into your website. The longer you can keep people scrolling through your page, the better.
This transition can be considered a summary of your product’s or service’s benefits and purpose. This piece needs to be a short, simple rehash of what you offer and why your future customer needs it. Consider it the elevator pitch of your website.
Call to Action
Once you’ve gotten through that first crucial part of the landing page, it’s time to migrate over to the call to action. You’ve likely seen this referred to as the CTA. This is the part that should inspire action on your visitor’s part.
You may have already included your CTA above the fold. This is perfectly appropriate as the first loaded moments of the website are so important. Even if you’ve already put your CTA out there early on, it’s deserving of its own section too.
This CTA must be well-defined. Before you create it, make sure you know exactly what you want your landing page to accomplish. Your CTA will reflect this goal. If your goal is to have visitors sign up for an email list, that’s your CTA. Don’t confuse your mission by introducing additional components—stick to one ultimate goal for the landing page.
Have a subscription service? Your CTA may be to start a free trial. It’s as simple as that. Add a button that links to the signup page, and you have a compelling CTA.
Like the elevator pitch for your page, this CTA should be simple and to the point. You don’t want it to confuse your visitors. They are there looking for information and your job is to make that information readily accessible.
An effective way to do this is to choose a vibrant colour with a strong contrast to the rest of your page. The positioning is prominent so it draws the eye of your visitor. Combine that with a strong CTA and your visitors will be helping you reach your landing page goals in no time.
Show Them, Don’t Tell Them
You need to do more than just rehash your product’s or service’s benefits. Visitors know that you support your own product—and they suspect you’ll say whatever it takes to get them to buy into it.
Instead of giving your potential customers your own opinion about your product, show them the proof. The best way to do this is with other people’s experiences.
At this point, any visitor still working their way through your page is interested in your product. You’ve told them what they need to hear. Now they’re going to be looking for confirmation that your particular business is the one they want to go with.
The best way to achieve this is by making your potential customer the main focus. You’ve already established all the great things about your product or business. Now, you need to make your visitor understand how much your product benefits them.
Your client-to-be needs to understand how your product will improve their existence and make things easier for them. However great your business and products are, here’s where they have to take a back seat to your future customers.
The Supporting Evidence
You’ve laid out all the positives your product has to offer and how your future consumer can benefit from it. Now, you need to lay out the supporting evidence.
Customers are savvy. They know you’re out for a sale and they’ve probably been burned in the past. You need to reassure them your business will do exactly what they expect it will.
Testimonials are a tried and true way to get your message across. After all, showing your future clients what others have experienced with your product is highly effective. Unfortunately, testimonials can be fabricated or altered to support what you’re saying—and your customer knows it.
When putting together testimonials, use the following approaches to create believable, effective pieces.
- High-authority sources—use great sources to support the information you’ve provided. Turn to powerful names in your industry that use a similar methodology or advocate the same approach you’ve employed. Aligning yourself with the best can be a highly effective marketing tool.
- Pile on the details—the more information you can give your future clients here, the better. Generic information in testimonials can frequently be interpreted as fabricated. Avoid this impression by including pertinent job information or real-world application of your product.
- Include photos—photos give a glimpse of your product in action. Your customer can see that the finished product looks as good as the marketing photos you’ve included. It also builds trust with your future customer that the person writing the testimonial is real and has used your product or service.
- Use video testimonials—Just like with the use of photos, video testimonials build trust for your audience. These testimonials are hard to fake and can provide the opportunity for future customers to see the product in action.
- Embed content—go ahead and embed those amazing reviews you’ve received elsewhere. Seeing the content unpolished can help make your audience feel like you are the real deal.
- Include variety—you don’t want to use testimonials that repeat what other testimonials have said. Look for testimonials with variety. This way your future clients can see how versatile your product is. Mix up the formats to keep your audience’s interest as well.
You’ve reached the close of your landing page. Congratulations! The hard part of the construction is over.
During the conclusion of your page, you just want to summarise what your page has said so far. This is frequently a great place to add one last CTA.
Don’t be disheartened if your conclusion doesn’t get the kind of attention the rest of your page will. It’s often skimmed or skipped over entirely. Don’t plan on skimping on its creation, however, as it can give that final, polished edge to your product.
Building Your Own Landing Page
Now that you know more about landing pages, you may be thinking about making one of your own. If this is your goal, there are a few ways you can accomplish this.
Of course, you can opt to hire a professional to create and implement your campaign and landing page. While this is an option, more people are beginning to make their own landing pages. This can be done with the help of a landing page tool or be built on your existing website. We’ll discuss these two approaches here.
Building Landing Pages With Your Existing Website
Do you maintain your own website? Do you have a solid understanding of website construction? This may be a valid option for you. In this case, building a landing page is a straightforward task that follows the same creation as any other webpage.
Even so, many skilled web designers prefer to avoid extraneous pages by turning to a landing page tool. This is especially true if your marketing campaign is short-lived or changes frequently.
Building Landing Pages Using a Landing Page Tool
Don’t have a firm grasp on coding? Do you use web publishing software when you don’t outsource? You may love the convenience and ease-of-use that comes with using a landing page tool to create your landing page.
If you decide to go with a landing page tool, here’s what you need to know:
- You can expect to pay a fee to use the service.
- Pages can be built and hosted by a third party.
- User-friendly interfaces designed for everyone.
Looking for a group to work with through the build your next landing page? You may want to try one of these front-runners.
It doesn’t get much simpler than this. Instapage provides great templates that are easy to navigate and customise.
Of course, templates like these do come with their drawbacks. Unlike some other providers, you won’t have the ability to extensively customise your landing page. If that’s not something you need, though, Instapage is a great option.
Unbounce was an early player in the landing page tool category. Since then, it’s grown to become one of the leading page development and optimisation platforms out there.
Just like with Instapage, this doesn’t come without a drawback. To get the most out of this platform, you’ll have to invest time in learning how to work with it.
Once you have it down, though, Unbounce provides you with the opportunity to do exceptional customisation. You do have the option to use built-in templates if you prefer, or just want to test the waters.
Though not originally designed to do landing pages—Webflow is great for building web pages in general—this platform can be great for creating landing pages.
So why choose Webflow over other traditional landing page tools? The upside to using a platform like Webflow is that you have access to more sophisticated tracking and analytics options.
Looking for more detailed information about how your landing page is working and what your conversion rates are like? Webflow can be a great choice to help you achieve those tracking goals.
Similar to Unbounce, LeadPages is another great option for someone who needs a little extra customisation.
Unlike Unbounce, you must start with an existing template, which can limit you a little bit. This is especially true if you’re trying to combine different aspects from different templates. You still have the freedom to customise—you just have to do so within the original parameters of the template you chose.
Other than that, LeadPages can be a great choice for creating your landing page. You are able to track some interesting analytics, like conversion rates. It’s also fairly simple to use and to learn.
Launching Your Landing Page
You’ve made it this far. You know exactly what needs to go into a landing page and you’ve created it. Now that it’s more than just a future task, you’re ready for the next exciting part—the launch.
No matter how much you’ve thought about your landing page, there’s always the possibility people won’t respond as you anticipate. The only way to really know how people will react to your landing page is by testing it out.
Once you’ve made your landing page live, start collecting data. This can help you understand how well your landing page is functioning. Commit to tracking it by using a spreadsheet. Monitor what happens when you make small tweaks to the design or CTA.
It’s likely you’ll be making changes to your landing page once you see how it’s performing. The great news? Every time you make a step in the right direction you’re gaining useful knowledge. It’ll help you not just with this project, but for future projects as well.
Finding Growth Using Landing Pages
It doesn’t matter if this is your first advertising campaign for a new business or if you’re a seasoned pro. Implementing a landing page for your campaign can help you get the results you’re looking for.
If you’ve been putting off this step because you weren’t sure of how to get started or exactly what a landing page is, don’t do it any longer. You have all the pieces you need to get started now—you won’t regret having one once you do.