How to Create High-Impact Landing Pages

The goal of a landing page is pretty simple: turn traffic into money, convert website visitors into potential customers and deliver leads. But high-impact landing page copy can be challenging and downright difficult to write.

Let’s start with a definition: A landing page is any single webpage on your website onto which you lead visitors. It’s a stand-alone web page that acts as a gateway and funnels traffic to specific information. Traffic is sent to this page with the singular goal of prompting a specific action or result.

  • Traffic from a PPC search marketing campaign is sent to multiple landing pages optimized for the keywords used by the person searching.
  • Traffic from a banner ad can be sent to a landing page specifically tailored for that target audience
  • A link in an email marketing message can send traffic to a landing page designed to prompt a purchase from your latest special offer or sale.
  • Traffic from a blog post or sidebar link that encourages an opt-in to a subscriber list.
  • A content page that organizes related pages thematically.

Capturing quality leads is the sole function of a landing page. The most effective landing pages are those that pre-qualify visitors based on interest in a specific product, service or piece of information. They are a combination of a strong visual hierarchy and conversion-oriented web copy. Design and copy work closely together to keep conversion rates high and bounce rates low.

When you’re writing and designing your next landing page, keep some of these key steps in mind to help you increase conversions.

  • Keep that headline tight. The headline should refer directly to the ad copy or source page that drove the click. Visitors who clicked banners or PPC ads have an expectation of what’s on the other side of that click. If the headline doesn’t relate to the promise of the text ad or banner, they’re going to bounce right out.
  • Provide a clear call to action.  Once your visitor is there, tell them what to do. Use a combination of hyperlinked text and graphic buttons.  Short landing pages should contain a minimum of two calls to action (one near the top of the page and one near the bottom); longer pages can benefit from more.
  • Clarity beats clever. Deliver a simple persuasive message. Tell your visitor what you want them to do and why they should do it.
  • Anchor the most important points with bullets and short (read: 1-2 line) paragraphs.  Most visitors are skimming. Don’t let that important message get buried in tangents and non-specific language.
  • Write to the screen.  Sketch out where copy fields, graphic buttons and other design elements will go.  Repeat essential calls to action.  If the offer requires lengthy copy, seeding calls to action multiple times ensures that no matter where a visitor is on the page, they get the message – loud and clear.
  • Test, test, test – and test some more.  If you’re not testing layouts and copy for effectiveness in a live environment, you’re grasping at straws. Optimize for your industry keywords and make small changes to minimize variables and gather results.

Remember, these are just guidelines and not a fixed set of rules. If you can organize your copy around headlines, sub-headers/intros, need-to-know and nice-to-know information, you’ll be well on your way to higher conversions and lower bounce rates.

Image: nexim (Creative Commons)



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