August 22, 2007
We all know that the landing page is one of the most important aspects of increasing your conversion rate. Below I’ve listed 12 “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to keep in mind when looking at either constructing a landing page from scratch or revising an existing landing page. Any one who is involved with Search Engine Marketing should read this post and use it as a set of guidelines when it’s time to make changes to your landing page.
- Don’t write copy that is too industry specific! In my experience, reading copy that is so industry specific is copy only an expert in that industry can understand. Why are people wanting or needing to use your services if they’re already an expert in your industry? Write professional, but readable landing page copy just in case someone who isn’t familiar with your business can read and clearly understand. For example, it is not unlikely that a marketing director, president, or executive manager is asking an administrative assistant, intern or new office employee to look for services their company needs. An intern, assistant, or new office employee may not be familiar with your industry terms, and may get frustrated and abandon your landing page if they don’t understand your message.
- Use a bullet-pointed list of advantages and attributes when comparing yourself to your direct competitors. I don’t mean slam your competitor, but clearly state the advantages of hiring your company over them. Bullet-pointed and numbered lists are easy to read, and they stand out amongst a large grouping of text. This will help the ‘seeker’ find clarity in the services you provide, in addition to why they should choose you.
- Project a professional image. There are many people who believe in keeping landing pages short, simple, clean and neat, which I agree with. But adding one image of a professional nature will overall enhance the customer perception of what your company is about. It could be an image that portrays your companies’ brand and/or services, an image that gives someone the idea that you offer professional, creative and friendly services/products.
- Don’t have an obnoxiously long contact form. This is obvious, but I’ve spoken to many clients who want to ask potential customers as many questions in the contact form to see if they’re a good fit for the company before they make the effort to contact them. You’re only deterring people away from your landing page when you do this. However, if you’re concerned with having only qualified leads, making the questions in your form more specific will help.
- Whether your response time for following up with a potential client is 2 hours or 24 hours, say so. Don’t allow the customer to wonder when they may receive that phone call. Instead, simply say: “Response time may take up to 24 hours.”
- Clearly state what potential customers will receive once they fill out your contact/request information form. Are they getting a phone call? Email? Don’t make customers guess when and how they will be contacted with the next steps. Be clear. An example of this could be: “Fill out our information request form and one of our customer service representatives will be in contact with you via phone within 24 hours.” Or, you could ask the customer how they prefer to be contacted: Phone or email?
- Tell the customers what they should expect when someone follows up with them. Are they getting a whitepaper download via email? Are they getting a phone call from a customer service person looking to set up a day and time to meet? Are they getting an email of basic information? Be clear from the beginning why they should fill out your request or contact form. An example of this could be: “To receive your FREE book publishing guide via email, fill out the request form below!”
- Don’t have the form and submit button below the fold. Make the form and content of your landing page visible above the fold, and test this on several different browsers and screen resolutions. This is especially important for that ‘submit request’ or ‘contact us’ button at the end of the form. Don’t let your customer see your landing page and assume the form is 20 questions long. Show them there is an end.
- Have good organization. Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many companies try to cram as much information on one page as possible. If you need to create several separate landing pages for each component of your services then do so. Landing pages should be kept to a minimum of 2-3 small paragraphs, one professional image, one short form with submit button and one small bullet or numbered list of advantages of your services.
- Don’t give the customer a reason to navigate away from your landing page. Remove additional navigation from your landing page. This includes links to other services, links back to the homepage, etc.
- Directly address problems customers are looking to solve by searching for your services. For example: If I were creating a landing page for PPC services, I could say: Do you need to drive more traffic to your site? Are you looking to increase revenue?
- Test different styles of landing pages. Make sure your correctly performing A/B testing though. A/B testing is when you have two identical landing pages, but you only change one element to test at a time. For example, if I want to test to see if using images actually helps conversions or not, I would create two landing pages exactly the same, only one would have an image and one wouldn’t.
The conclusion here is to think smarter about constructing a landing page. Think about the customers wants, needs and business goals. Don’t overwhelm them, but be sure to give them enough information to make an informed decision about contacting your company for further information. And most importantly, these are elements that have helped me and the team here at PPC Hero, the key element is to test your own landing pages, and see which works out best for you and your company.