Leave an Impression
Landing pages are the Swiss Army Knives of content. They’re versatile, and the ideal setting to hone a product or service into a sharp sales pitch. More than other forms of content, they’re great at concretizing complex or nuanced information into an easily digestible form. At Ashworth Creative, we treat landing pages as an essential part of many marketing campaigns. They’re just that good.
Below, we unpack our collective decades of marketing experience and offer tips for creating a truly memorable landing page.
Here’s How to Drive Conversions
At a big picture level, landing pages function as a part of a marketing campaign. Their role is to convert passive visitors into active customers through an action. By completing this action – such as clicking on a button or completing a form – landing pages log one conversion. Say a visitor clicks on a Google ad for your product or service. They may be sent to a landing page, where visitors are served with a clean, simple message designed to drive sales. But be wary: being too salesy can have a negative effect. Offset this by offering value – in the form of actionable information – to your visitors. Here’s how our agency’s CEO describes it:
“Sure, a landing page is designed to close a sale. But that’s only half of it. Trust is a hard-earned commodity on the web, and simply pitching a visitor on a product is the fastest way of turning away a potential customer. You’ve got to make it worth their while, like giving them a surprising tidbit of information. Exciting and engaging visitors with an intriguing fact – that’s how you drive conversions” – Eve Ashworth
Landing Pages & SEO Best Practices
So, what is a landing page? As the name implies, they are stand-alone web pages with headlines, subheadlines, body copy, images, video, online forms – you name it. At their best, they deliver a succinct, targeted message aimed at a single product or service, and a clear call to action. Of course, you may offer a variety of items, but a landing page really shines when it spotlights just one of them. And they can be optimized for search engines. (check out this blog post to read more about Search Engine Optimization). Here’s a sample of SEO items we apply to landing pages:
- H1 (heading) & H2 (subheading) tags
- Word count
- Meta data, such as page descriptions
- Keyword research and integration
- Image and video descriptions
What do the experts say? This is from our agency’s digital marketing specialist:
“I think there’s a misconception out there that a marketing campaign is successful when it sends users on a linear path from Point A to Point B. So the starting point may be an ad on Google – for example – which sends them to a landing page and so on. But that’s not always the case, and we plan for that. We put in the elbow grease and load them up with SEO so that users can find it at the get-go, if need be. Not doing that is really a missed opportunity” – Brett Gutzmer
Landing Pages Visitors Want to Read
Landing pages tend to be shorter than other forms of written content. Whereas a well-performing blog post can be anywhere from 600 to a couple of thousand words, landing pages tend to be between 350 and 500. That’s not a lot of space to hook a visitor. Cover your bases by aligning your headline, offer and Call to Action (CTA) with the same message. And write about the user, such as outcomes and how they benefit from taking action. Gently use language such as “Buy Now” or “Sign Up Today” to give it a sense of urgency.
Above all: write something people want to read. This is easier said than done, so borrow a note from a writer with three-decades of experience, our agency’s marketing strategist:
“Good writing doesn’t just happen. Content is a labor of love that starts by uncovering a great idea. Once you’ve got that, then you may put pen to paper or hand to keyboard. Carefully outline your landing page and draft the writing again and again. Print and read it aloud. Iron out any wrinkles until it sounds human and natural. Trust me: visitors will notice, and that’s how you win their favor” – Phillippa Ewing
Build Trust With Landing Page Design
Through no fault of your own, consider that a landing page may feel unfamiliar to a first-time visitor. Maybe a user is simply discovering your product, service or brand for the first time. Once they arrive, it’s time to pull out all the stops and begin earning their trust. There are a number of ways to do this, but from a design perspective, “trust signals” are a good route. These are visual assets that can turn an undecided visitor into a committed buyer. Here are a few examples:
- Prominently display seals of trust from accredited sources
- Build a rotating carousel of written testimonials
- Integrate video testimonials into the page
Once a user is locked-in and ready to take the next step, direct them to an eye-catching CTA button. Here are a few tips from our art director:
“Color is a big factor when it comes to directing a user’s attention. A really easy way to go about this is to style a button in a color that contrasts from the rest of the page. Location is also important. Deciding how the page will load on different devices, such as a smartphone or laptop makes a difference. Will the button or form appear immediately or do you have to scroll to see it? If you have a lot of content on your landing page, repeating the CTA button as you scroll down the page is helpful to keep the task at hand in front of the user at all times. You don’t want them fishing around for what to do next and then lose interest” – Tracy Dwyer
Landing Page Form Tips
Again, landing pages are very versatile. On top of carrying a CTA button, they’re great vehicles for online forms. Often, a form acts as a mechanism to unlock valuable information, such as a white paper, report or project template, among others. But even with an incentive, getting users to submit their personal data can be challenging. Opinions differ on how to get users to volunteer their information. One camp advocates for short forms, no longer than three or four fields, while the other point to reports that suggest longer forms perform better. Dialing in the right number of fields is a matter of preference, as our marketing associate explains:
“Systems vary, but most customer relationship managers require a user’s name and email address at a bare minimum. Newsletter forms tend to ask that a visitor opt into future communications. On their own, these three fields don’t really allow you to create a healthy, functioning database. Knowing your audience is a big help, such as: are they likely to offer their age, gender or address? One option is to require the name and email fields, while making the other fields optional” – Nick Tantillo
Get a Landing Page Right the First Time
Partner with Ashworth Creative. We apply our best talent to every project, ensuring our clients get the best marketing. Be in touch, and see what an expertly designed landing page can do for you.