I often hear from vendors that they don’t want to use landing pages because they personally don’t like them, and they want to give their visitors absolutely everything they need to know about their product up front.
If that’s the way you think… I have two phrases for you, “less is more” and “make it count”. You have between 5-8 seconds to capture the attention of a web visitor when they come to the page. If that doesn’t seem like a lot of time, that’s because it’s not. In those 5-8 seconds, you’re trying to educate a visitor on what’s being promoted, share the benefits of the product, and explain what action you want them to take.
An optimized landing page can do that, and do it well. Here are four essentials to help you create that perfect landing page.
A landing page should have one primary objective. Adding multiple offers that compete with each other has proven to decrease conversion rates by 19%. Figure out the most important thing you want the visitor to do, and go with that. For example, if your objective is to get visitors to sign up for a free trial, everything on the page should be centered around the value of your free trial.
Once you decide on the objective, you need to capture the attention of the web visitors with a single strong call to action (CTA). You have two seconds at this point to pique their interest, so the CTA has to really pop off the page. It can be the button that “submits” the short form, or the button that directs the visitor to the short form they need to fill out. Either way, it should be large, be a contrasting color, be appealing to click on, and restate the offer with wording like “free”.
Try to put yourself in your prospect’s shoes – how can this product help me? Be their hero and make it count.
Now, stay in your prospect’s shoes when you start writing the copy on the page. The first thing a visitor will read after noticing the offer will be the headline. It’s important to connect with the visitor immediately – why should they care about your product? The benefits are the first thing to highlight, not the features. A prospect is looking for a solution because they have a problem they need solved. The benefits should connect with that problem. How will adding your software better their lives and grow their business?
Now, let’s discuss how you display that copy. 5-8 seconds…do you really think visitors will read paragraph after paragraph? No – limit the text and remove the clutter! You want prospects to be able to skim the page and quickly understand the main benefits.
- Bullets and lists will help break up the copy
- Bolding keywords will make the right points stick out
- Using sub headers as extensions of your initial headline and objective will help users scan and find the content that’s important
Remove the distracting graphics, photos and unnecessary buttons that don’t support your main objective. The objective should be all that grabs their attention, and the direct and concise copy should be what sells them on the solution.
A good rule of thumb – after writing your benefits based copy, keep revisiting it to boil it down to the essential selling points. You want to make sure you’re only writing about the very best features. Too many could overwhelm the visitor and clutter the page. Every time you read it is a chance to get rid of unneeded copy and verbiage…less is more.
Since a landing page is a stand alone page, you’ll need to build confidence in the visitor that they can trust this company and product. Testimonials help demonstrate that other people have tried the product and like it. Don’t use a long testimonial that takes up half the page but, instead, make the social proof you use count.
- A short 10-15 word testimonial that highlights a benefit you’ve listed elsewhere on the page is great
- Add awards and trust seals to show that other companies back you up
- Add statements about popularity or have a count of your current customers
The goal here is to build trust and confidence in your company and product, so choose the strongest for your company.
Don’t forget to continue building credibility after they’ve filled out the form! Building social proof can lead to higher quality prospects, so use it often and in the right way. The thank you page is a great place for social widgets and another testimonial. Just because you now have their contact details, doesn’t mean you should stop selling them. You’re just getting started!
You want the visitor to share their contact details with you, so make it as easy as possible for them to do that. When it comes to your form, only collect the critical information you need. Up until this point you’ve been trying to sell the visitors on needing the product, but now we want to make it easy for them to try the product. If you start asking them for more information than they feel comfortable giving, you could drive them away, losing what could have turned into a great lead.
Simply put, the shorter the form, the more leads you will get. The “sweet spot” length of a form varies from company to company, so testing is an important part of this point. If you only need the name and email address to give a free trial, then that’s all you should start off asking for. It’s a balance of quantity and quality.
As you continue testing with form length to find your sweet spot, we generally recommend staying under 6 fields…less is more. Remember, you can always test making the form’s footprint smaller and changing the field titles. The number of fields you ask for is not the only thing you can be testing.
An optimized landing page has been proven to work time and time again. Don’t let your personal feelings get in the way of generating more leads and business. Remember to have one objective, clear benefit-based copy, promote social proof, and make it easy for prospects to reach out with a short form, and you’ll be well on your way!
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