Nail Sales with Landing Pages
What is a Landing Page?
A Landing Page is the 1st page you intend a site visitor to see 1st. With search engines indexing every page of your site, any page can be a landing page, so each page has to be designed with that in mind. For our purposes, a Landing Page is a page designed as an entry point into a website. We all know that the Homepage is one of these, but it can’t be everything to everyone. No, really. It can’t!
Why You Need a Landing Page?
Your product or service needs a Landing Page so you don’t lose business. 80% of business websites receive adequate traffic, but few handle the traffic very well. This leads most businesses to believe they need more traffic, ironically to just lose more business. What most businesses need to do is stop focusing on getting prospective customers to their site, and start focusing on getting real customers through the site (This is called Conversion Rate Optimization). You can focus on increasing traffic after your site is optimized, and biggest factor in optimizing for converting customers online is Landing Page Design.
Keep the Promise.
Website success often boils down to keeping promises. If you tell a customer that there is a sales rack at the back of your store, it better be there right? Same with online. Lets break down the typical Internet Marketing “Promise”.
Offline or Online Ad –> Website –> Form or Shopping Cart .
Simple enough right. Now think of each stage as a promise. When a customer finds you online via a search engine, the customer is being promised you have what they searched for, especially if it is a paid result. They expect to see what they are looking for right away, and expect all the information they need will be one the page the result link takes them to (or else they would not have clicked it). Today’s Internet users additionally wants the information they are expecting to be well laid out for them and from their perspective.
This is why you don’t send everyone to the homepage (unless your website’s focus is so narrow, you only sell one product). Homepages are meant to offer transparency to an entire site, for information and navigation purposes. Homepages are not meant to handle a site visitor on a mission, with the attention of a ferret on meth. When it comes to visitors expecting information on SOMETHING, having information on EVERYTHING is going to confuse , delay and frustrate them, all of which means they leave (bounce) right away.
Keep ‘em Focused
A landing page is about one topic, and has one obvious way to navigate, that is towards the “objective” you set. For a niche product or service, you need to lay out a landing page that provides all the information a customer wants, and in a way they they are willing to consume it. Here is an excellent Landing Page “Wireframe” This layout has excellent psychology, and keeps the user focused well on what they want.
Tell The Web Designer
Before you engage a web designer to create a Landing Page for your Niche, you need to determine a few things;
- The Landing Page’s business objective (There should really be only one)
- The copy and content for the page.
- The Branding for the Page (if it will help with the sale, use your website header, if it doesn’t, don’t)
Once you have a final draft of a wireframe, take this to your web designer so he can create the web page, add images and complete the look and feel, making it consistent with the rest of your site.
You have 5 Seconds
Online vistors SCAN. Write your landing page for scanning, not reading. Within 5 seconds a Landing Page visitor knows if they are going to stay. keep it simple and relevant.
Embrace the Space
White space can be used to bring emphasis to areas of a page you want a visitor to have their attention focused on. Make sure your page does not look crowded, especially around your form or call to action button.
Always Be Relevant
A Landing Page needs to be extremely relevant to the visitor, especially the headline. For example, if you have products for women and men create a separate Landing Page for each sex. You need to be as targeted as possible, even if that means having dozens of landing pages. If you do search engine marketing, you more likely need to create landing pages at the Ad Group level, not the Campaign level.
Sell the Offer
Landing Pages promote offers, not products. You don’t need product details, company information or more about your services. You just need to confirm that they are on the right track, get them excited about it, and give them a clear path to go down.
Lose the Navigation
A Landing page needs to be without Top and Sidebar navigation. You want to keep them focused. You can have header and footer navigation which tells the user the page is part of a greater site, a must for some and key to search engines, especially when evaluating the quality score that determines your cost per click, should be be doing paid search. You should also have your logo linked back to your site.
Image a Better Life
Images can help or hurt. A fantastic image can lure people away from your objective. Imagine using a celebrity wearing your type of product only to have people leave in pursuit of more information about that celebrity. You images need to promise a better life if they purchase from you, leave it at that.
Also, the image needs a caption These captions are more likely to be read more than any other text on the landing page.
Write for Scanning
Writing Copy online is a bit of an art. Here is a basic formula to follow;
- Headlines are to capture attention.
- Bylines (Secondary Headline) are to expand on the Headline, fitting in what you could not say with a Headline alone).
- Write in point form as much as possible, and keep each point short
- The 1st few words of each point should be focused on selling the offer, and be in bold.
- Use Video when you can, and keep it short
Test with Constraint
I spend far more time testing what I have, then making more new stuff. That is because time spent testing pays off more than time creating new online content.
Test the following (Ordered by importance).
- Image Captions
- Call to Action Button or Form
- Graphical elements.
Test one thing at a time, its the only way you will really know what caused improvement or damage. Also, don’t stop a test till you can be sure the results have meaning.
Make a Template
If you are going to have several, even dozens of Landing Pages, don’t pay a Web Designer for each one. Have the first one created as a template, where text and images are easily swapped out. Make this need clear to your web designer.
We debated for a while on including some examples of the Landing Page wire-frame discussed here and in the end concluded that people would just copy the pages and end up with what they saw, not what they need.
Work with your web designer and this wire-frame to get something for your business. If you are looking at paying more than $500 for the Landing Page Design, I highly suggest looking at crowdsourcing the web design instead.
I have every confidence if you present a good set of requirements, and ask for the wire-frame to be followed above (plus your site’s footer links, and header if appropriate), you will end up with an extremely strong Landing Page, ready for testing to further capitalize on it.