Many small businesses choose to gain visibility through paid advertising. These advertising opportunities can be found across all the major social media platforms and are well within the reach of many small business budgets. To get the most out of your paid ad budget or any marketing campaign where the goal is to drive people to your website, you should send potential customers to a landing page that is optimized to convert visitors into leads. Let’s learn more about landing pages and optimization strategies to get the most from your advertising dollars.
Landing page basics
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a dedicated, standalone page created specifically to convert visitors into leads. It is highly focused on a single objective that you want your visitors to take. In most cases, its goal is to collect information about your visitor that will allow you continue to contact them. Your landing page has to simultaneously:
- Create a great first impression
- Meet the visitor’s expectations based on the ad they clicked
- Communicate trust and credibility
- Convert these visitors into leads
Why should I use a landing page?
Many think that it is enough to create a page on your website for the ad to capture leads. Depending on the offer, a specific page on your website may work. But in most cases, successful campaigns use a landing page that aligns with the ad to reinforce your message and dramatically increase its conversion rate.
When should I use a landing page?
Landing pages can be used for any promotional marketing activity where you want someone to take some action. However, you absolutely should create a landing page when you are paying for advertising and want to measure your return on investment. By focusing on a single objective that matches the intent of the ad, you help your visitors decide to share their contact information with you. A good landing page removes the usual distractions of a general website page.
What is landing page optimization?
Landing page optimization ensures that all of your landing page elements work together to engage your visitor and maximize the conversion rate of visitors to leads.
Landing page optimization focuses on things such as:
- Headline. In addition to making it congruent with the ad, font size, prominence and clarity of the headline can keep the visitor on the page longer.
- Content and copy. Too much content can distract the reader and cause them to lose focus on the value of your offer.
- Image or video placements. Using an image that captures attention, visually illustrates the offer and directs the visitor to the call to action makes the offer more real and inviting. Videos on landing pages keep people on the page longer and increase conversions.
- Colors and contrast. Contrasting color combinations can help key areas of your landing page stand out (like the button) while other color combinations can have a psychological effect on the visitor.
- Form placement. Put your form high on the page where it can be found with visual cues to move their attention to the form. Keep your form simple and ask for only the information you need.
- Button text variations. Use of “submit” on the form button wastes an opportunity to strengthen your call to action. Use stronger phrases that align with your offer such as “Try it for Free”, “Join Now” or “Take a Tour”.
The task you face is to get all these elements to work together to encourage the visitor to take action.
Best practices to increase conversions
Focus on a single objective
The goal of landing page optimization is to provide visitors an easy path to conversion. If your page has multiple actions, you may paralyze your visitor resulting in them taking no action.
Align the ad headline and the landing page
Ensure the landing page headline matches the messaging from the ad that was clicked. Generic landing pages used for all of your ads is a waste (like sending visitors to your home page). Make sure your landing page matches the specific call to action you put into the ad itself.
Clarify your value proposition
Answer the question “what’s in it for me if I sign up or buy from you”? Your value proposition is the promise of value you deliver, explains how you solve their problem and why they should buy from you.
Include a clear call-to-action
If you are trying to collect contact information, make sure what you want the visitor to do is very simple and easy to find. Put the form where they can easily see it as soon as they get to the page and define the action you want them to take through the button text.
Make it easy to read and take action
Write simple and succinct copy, using bullets, headings and white space. Cluttered, overly long landing pages scare away a visitor. They don’t have time to read a lot of copy. If there are too many things to do on the page, they’ll be confused, get frustrated and leave.
Guide the user through the page
Include directional cues to your call-to-action and put it where it can be seen. The combination of clear copy, visual cues and contrasting colors can guide your visitors to the action you want them to perform.
Keep your visitors attention
Eliminate distractions and unnecessary components. Remove items such as navigation, social widgets, blog posts and any content that is not specifically aligned with the ad.
Encourage visitors to give you their information
Only ask for information you need in the landing page form. If you are giving something away like a paper or free product, send the link to the fulfillment in an email rather than including it on the thank you page. At a minimum, you will get a valid email address.
Demonstrate your credibility
Include social proof that supports your expertise. People want to see who else is using your product or service. You may be the best at what you do but without social proof, people won’t want to take a chance. Showcase key customers and get testimonials to increase your credibility and prove that you are trustworthy company.
Design your landing page to work on mobile devices
More and more visitors are reaching your website via mobile devices. Ignoring this market could cost you conversions, especially from Facebook advertising where mobile device usage is almost 100%.
The following is an example of an ad and landing page that works. (The form is a bit long but otherwise it meets best practices).
Review and adjust regularly
You should never set it and forget it. Review and improve the elements so you can improve your conversions and get the most out of your advertising dollars. Try out small changes over time and see if your conversion rates increase.
Creating an effective landing page for your marketing campaign helps visitors easily understand your message and the value you provide them. Your advertising attracted that visitor because they are looking for something specific. Make sure your landing page aligns with the advertising, delivering on the message that drove the visitor to that page.