Brian Massey, the founder of Conversion Sciences, is an expert on all things conversion optimization. He defines a landing page as “a single-minded page dead set on keeping the promise made by an ad, link, or email and on getting the visitor to take action.”
A landing page has a single purpose or goal. Creating a landing page that looks like your standard website template – with the same navigation, logo, sidebars, and links to social media – simply offer distractions and means of delaying the conversion. Instead, a landing page should start with a blank page and focus on what you’re offering instead of who you are and everything you do. A landing page includes only the things you need to direct visitors to your end goal. This doesn’t mean it’s necessarily simple but that it only includes that which moves the user closer to taking action.
While a landing page draws in users from one or two similar sources – like an email campaign or a social media post – a website draws in users from hundreds and even thousands of different sources. A landing page puts all of its efforts into encouraging visitors to do one specific thing, while a website offers visitors a variety of options for what they can do, what they can explore, where they can go. As Joanne Wiebe, founder of Copyhackers puts it, a landing page is like a resort island accessible only by private plane, whereas a website is like the international airport that filters visitors through to their various destinations.
Sherpa’s goal in creating landing pages is to create a hyper-relevant experience for a narrow segment of your audience. Your website offers your overarching brand message and story and encourages visitors to browse and explore. Your landing page, driven through paid traffic, email, or social media, has a specific goal in mind for the visitor. Thus, the landing page should remove all distractions and focus entirely on converting traffic through a clear call to action.
The best landing pages start with a goal and a means of gauging that goal. And from there, the landing page has two jobs: first, to keep the promise made in the ad, link, or email that brought the visitor to the page; and second, to encourage the visitor to take action. As Joanne Wiebe notes: “Start with the goal. The call to action. The thing you want visitors to a landing page to do. Then, work backward from your button, writing only copy that will convince people to click that button. Nothing else makes it on the page. Nothing.”
To keep your promise and encourage your visitors to take action, your landing page should include four main elements:
This must match whatever promise you made to bring them to your page
2. Call to action - CTA
Do you want visitors to fill out a form? Call a number? Sign up for a service? Download an app? This should be the clearest element on the page
How many products have you sold? How is your product or service rated? Have you received awards? Testimonials? Showcase that proof
Your logo or the logos of companies you’ve worked with are great for instilling trust that you’re an expert in your industry
The visitor to your page needs to be able to understand what it will feel like to use your product, download your app, or purchase your service, so video or images are a great way of showcasing this. But be mindful of the images you use. As Brian Massey says, “Take as much time with the images as you do the copy … if you can’t write a good caption for it, it doesn’t belong on the page.”
Sherpa has found great results with providing landing pages to clients and creating a hyper-focused page to highlight a product or service. For example, if you’re interested in showcasing your new app – like Sherpa did for the Santa Pics app – you might direct potential users through a social media post or email campaign to a landing page that encourages them to download the app.
Here, you can see that the landing page is singularly focused on the product (the Santa Pics app) with a clear CTA (download). It’s uncluttered, clear, and features a video that illustrates how the app works and how users will experience it. The call to action is clear with the App Store and Google Play buttons on the bottom left of the page.
The conversion rate for this app-based Landing Page was one of the highest we’ve ever seen at Sherpa – nearly 4x industry standard.
Sherpa also created a landing page for VIDIR’s Vertical Lift Module. Here you can see that the landing page is on-brand, yet “clean”. VIDIR’s expertise is highlighted with information about their tenure in the industry and their global reach. The CTA is visible, and the visitor has two simple options: download a brochure or contact a product specialist.
Your landing page allows you to do testing to determine if the messaging, images, or call to action need to be tweaked or updated. Does your copy need to read more emotionally? Less? Should you use different images? Do you need more proof? You can adjust all of these elements for the most effective result.
Digital marketing entrepreneur Neil Patel notes that “Creating effective landing pages isn’t a one-size-fits-all project … It’s important to test the different versions of your landing page to find the one that works the best for your particular situation. Without doing so, you might be leaving a lot of potential conversions on the table.”
Your landing page can highlight a single product or campaign, engage with customers to track your ROI on a social media post, or even test a website redesign. There are many potential uses for your landing page.
Perhaps you want to better understand your audience segmentation. Who is coming to your page? Where are they in the customer journey? How can you make content relevant to them?
Or maybe you’re interested in targeting potential customers who simply need more information? A landing page is a great way of offering a buyers’ guide that can identify and provide solutions to their pain points in a relevant and personalized way. Sherpa did just that with our previous example of VIDIR. They wanted to target buyers interested in warehouse storage, so Sherpa created a landing page to speak to those potential customers by addressing their pain points by providing value-adding solutions and having a clear call-to-action to contact a product specialist or download the product brochure.
Perhaps you have a website that needs updating, but you’re still interested in driving customers to your site. A landing page for a specific campaign is not only helping to avoid users getting lost on your website but allows you to leave an outdated platform and showcase an updated design and better experience without having to update your entire site. Your landing page will allow you to measure the results of that redesign before committing to a site-wide overhaul.
One of the most common mistakes made with landing pages is focusing too much on yourself. That is, copy that speaks to your company, your products, what you do, and not enough on your potential customer and how you can help to solve their problems or pain points. The landing page copy should be written with that end-user in mind!
Your call to action should also be loud and clear. Despite what a designer might prefer, the call to action should clash with the rest of your page so that it clearly stands out and doesn’t get lost in the design.
And finally, the headline, value proposition, and page copy are all incredibly important, so it’s vital to spend time on that copy and the images that you choose. Sherpa’s team of digital marketing and copywriting experts know the ins and outs of creating relevant and effective landing pages so that yours won’t fall prey to these common mistakes. Take the next few landing pages as examples of what not to do:
Cruise.com: Too many distractions
It’s hard to know exactly where to focus on this landing page from Cruise.com – there is far too much happening here! Your landing page should be clean, clear, and simple.
USPS: CTA is too complicated
In this example, USPS is asking users to fill out an incredibly detailed form to get information on direct mailing to a specific demographic. This is a sure-fire way to turn potential visitors away!
Chase Bank: Too many CTAs
Even though Chase Bank is a massive national bank, they still missed the mark on this landing page, which provides visitors with far too many options. A better design would focus on one CTA – perhaps just signing up for a credit card – without the distraction of other offers.
Whether you’re interested in driving users to sign up for a service, download a buyers’ guide, or test out a website redesign, a landing page is a great way of creating a hyper-relevant means of directing users where you want them. At Sherpa, our goal is clear, well-thought-out landing pages that are simple and effective in their design. Avoid the pitfalls of cluttered, ineffective, or messy landing pages and get in touch today to chat with one of our experts about a landing page that can help you drive conversion, measure user metrics, increase leads that actually convert, or better manage your marketing efforts for every stage of the sales funnel!Just as you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink, you can lead a potential customer to your website, but you can’t make them convert. However, a landing page can help your business by providing that extra encouragement required to get a potential customer or client to sign up for your service or try your product. If you’re looking to increase leads, engage customers, and actually track the ROI on your marketing efforts, adding a landing page to your digital marketing strategy for a campaign or product could be the solution to your problems.
Landing pages first came about in 2003 when Microsoft was having a difficult time selling Microsoft Office. Their IT department came up with the idea to create a separate mini-site designed specifically to sell this now-popular software. From there, landing pages started to pop up everywhere, but “they were messy, shouty affairs,” according to Web Designer Depot. “Often several different brash sales pitches competed for prominence with the obligatory glowing testimonials, all on a white background.” Since then, landing pages – much like websites, ads, and copy – have become more sophisticated, clear, and user-friendly.