Creating Effective Landing Pages (Part 1)

Landing-Page-Design1If you want your prospects to do something, you have to hold them by the hand.

And that's the purpose of a landing page – to get them to take a specific action. The entire page is dedicated to guiding them towards one goal, whether it be filling out a form, making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, and so on…

All of the valuable copywriting tips and tactics you've learned along the way are put to the test. On top of that, the page must be designed so the prospect knows exactly who you are, where to go, and what is expected of them.

It should also speak to exactly who they are and how they feel in that moment.

Now, this might seem like a really tall order from one little page, but the truth is, an effective landing page can get you conversions far beyond anything else you've created.

The industry standard conversion rate is 30%; optimize it well, and you could regularly get up to 50% and over per page.

Imagine if 50% of the people who went to your page requested your lead magnet. Or registered for your automated webinar. That would be pretty great for your bottom line, right?

Well, today we're going to jump into the big ideas of a landing page – four main concepts you must incorporate every time…

You'll learn why the research you do before creating your page will make or break it…

How being aware of eye movement tracking is crucial to your success…

And how you can overcome the most challenging objections of all.

The “Why”

online-shop.ExpertElevation.smThe internet has really changed how people shop.

Instead of walking into a store, flipping through a catalog, or even browsing casually for something, people go online with the purpose of finding one particular thing.

They type “career coaching services” in the search engine, and click on one of the top few websites that come up. If that website doesn't let them know within seconds how it can help them with what they are looking for, they move on.

And that is your biggest hurdle as a marketer.

When you create a landing page, it has to hook the prospect from the very start. And the only way you can know how to do that, is to understand their motivation for being there.

Now, if you've been with me for a while, you already know the importance of prospect research. But landing pages go beyond even that. There are a lot of questions you need to be able to answer before you write even a single word of text.

Where did the prospect come to your page from? Did they click on the link through an email? Facebook? A live event? Do they know who you are? Are they really your target prospect?

This is all in addition, of course, to knowing their hopes, fears, wants, and problems. You must know what's going through their head at the very moment they arrive.

Understanding this will help you put together a compelling headline, value proposition, and copy that will drive them to an action. Whatever the goal of the page may be.

A great way to find out exactly what your prospects want, is to create a survey through your CRM or a survey service like Survey Monkey. Ask the prospects already on your list to “tick” boxes based on what problems they have, or what they are looking for help with. For example, “What is your biggest goal? A) Doing what you love B) Financial independence C) Working from home D) Quitting Your Job.”

Based on what they check off (could be one or all), you separate them into different groups and send them through targeted marketing funnels leading to an offer. If you know their ultimate goal is doing what they love, you can write a very targeted page selling your “Follow Your Dreams” coaching program.

But how should your landing page look when they get there?

Understanding What You Offer

Your prospects may be coming to your page interested in what you have to say, but if you aren't abundantly clear about who you are and what you offer, they will leave and never come back.

So, it's very important you put your “Value Proposition” front and center.

Your value proposition is simply what you do. How you can benefit the reader. It doesn't have to be long or complicated. Just a few short sentences (3-4 words each) relaying the biggest benefit(s) you offer, and what makes your offerings unique.

For example, in the previous example, you may put “Go for your dreams. Live happily ever after.” It gives the impression you are helping people attain their fairy tale life.

Now, what may surprise you is where you put this value proposition is as important as what it is. Back in my post about creating the perfect webpage, I talked a bit about using the “golden triangle” and heat mapping data to determine how to lay out the important elements of your page.

Basically, when someone comes to a page, their eyes start at the top left, move to the top right, and then slowly scan down the page on a diagonal from right to left, ending at the bottom left corner. The Golden Triangle.

Knowing this, wouldn't you want to put your most crucial information in a place guaranteed to be seen?

Generally speaking, you always want to put your value proposition in the top right corner. Make it clear and concise. That way the prospect knows right away what they stand to gain by interacting with your page, and you.

Heat mapping refers to researching where people are clicking on your page. Is there a graphic they seem to like, and even try to click? Perhaps they leave after a certain point?

When you find out how they are interacting with your page, you can better optimize it to give them what they want. You could make that picture a hyperlink, for example, leading them to something related to the image. We'll talk more about optimizing your landing pages in Part 3 of this article.

This plays into another important element of your page: making sure people don't get confused…

The Path from A to B

From-Point-A-To-Point-B.ExpertElevation.smHave you ever given up trying to find something when lost?

I can remember family vacations before the GPS was invented, where we would drive around endlessly trying to find a particular restaurant, only to get completely frustrated and go somewhere else, instead.

Well, that is exactly the same thing your prospects will do if your landing page is at all confusing and difficult to navigate.

You see, that attention span problem is prevalent throughout the entire “web experience.” From the moment they come to your page, they are ready to leave at the slightest difficulty.

So, imagine if your page is incredibly convoluted with no clear direction for what to do or where to go?

Knowing about the golden triangle, you can make sure your page makes getting from point A, your headline and value proposition, to point B, whatever it is you want them to do (request a quote, register for a free ebook, etc), as smooth and unobstructed as possible. Ideally, it's just a simple straight line. Which is referred to as “eye path.”

To start, keep the text in one column if possible. If you make it “newspaper style” with multiple columns it can become very confusing. Remember, there is no common way people design sites, so users are coming into a new experience each and every time.

Next, don't try to be fancy – testing has proven what works best, so go with it.

Take them through your copy line by line straight down the middle of the page to your call-to-action. And make sure there are as FEW options as possible, ideally only one “most wanted response”.

If you want them to sign up for your newsletter, have that be the ONLY option available. Don't have a “read my blog here”, “sign up for newsletter here”, or “buy this product” option all on the same page. They will become indecisive and not do anything at all.

Now, if it is a landing page leading towards something that requires a payment, you can offer options – but they should be formatted in a very specific way. Something I will talk about in Part 2 of this article.

Addressing Their Anxiety

The final thing to consider when putting your landing page together is your prospects' potential barriers.

When you are about to buy something, you may find yourself suddenly worrying about the consequences: Is it too expensive? Will I regret this later? What if I hate it?

This is called anxiety, and it can range from very low to extremely high based on what you are asking your prospect to do. If it's simply entering a name and email, then it's relatively low. If it's a $2000 product, you can be sure anxiety will be a lot higher.

So what is the best way to counter this? We'll get to that in Part 2, coming next week.

Digesting Everything

Landing pages is a huge topic, and this article really only scratches the surface.

But just taking these four elements into consideration when creating your landing pages will make a world of difference in your conversion rates, and your results. You'll see more opt-ins, more action, and less resistance.

All resulting in more profits for your business.

ExpertElevationTargeting Leads and Prospects.SMHowever, this is just the start. Once you have your landing page up and running, your responsibility shifts to addressing the issues your visitors will have, which we talked about today, in addition to tweaking it to optimize the results. Just putting it up and leaving it alone won't do much for you.

So, because this is such an in-depth topic, there will be two more articles in the series. You'll find them in the April and May editions of Expertpreneur ™ Magazine. Be sure to take a look, because those tips and secrets could net you up to a 50% increase in your conversions, or more.

Start working on your landing page, and stay tuned for Part 2 next month.