Why Landing Pages Outperform Your Website for Ads

You’ve worked hard to get visitors to your website. Now, you need to convert them into leads. 

One of the best ways to do this is with a landing page: a dedicated web page customized for a specific marketing or advertising campaign. 

Sounds simple enough, right? But even today, many businesses are still sending traffic to their home page instead of landing pages. Either they’re too worried about the investment to design an effective landing page or are (more likely) just too busy to do it right. 

But with a little help you can learn what to look for in an effective landing page and know why your company cannot afford to ignore them when it comes to lead generation. 

What’s the Difference Between a Landing Page and the Rest of My Website? 

A landing page is a standalone web page specifically created for a marketing or advertising campaign. 

It’s where a visitor ‘lands’ after they click on a link, like in an email, a search ad from Google and Bing, or a social post from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms.  

Now, you might be wondering “why do I need a landing page when I have a perfectly functioning website already?” 

Why not just send people to your Home page, your Contact Us page, or one of your product/service pages?  

Here’s why: 

  • Most of the pages on your website offer general information about your business. You’re the focus, not your customers. And these pages are all linked together, with a menu that lets people jump around unfocused and unmotivated. 
  • On the other hand, landing pages are solely dedicated to getting people to take action on one specific offer. It’s all about generating leads or sales. No links, no distractions. Just a single, simple offer. 

That singular focus makes landing pages extremely effective when converting leads ‒ and research backs this up. Studies prove that landing pages with just one call to action will get you more conversions than pages with two or more. 

And not only does a landing page get you more leads than a home page, but it also: 

  • delivers a higher ROI and gives you valuable information about your prospects. 
  • generates leads that you can segment, nurture, or distribute to your sales team with ease.  
  • lets you track the marketing performance of your offers and how visitors become leads over time.  

To put it simply, sending people to a landing page instead of your home page is one of the most effective ways to increase sales, leads, and revenue from all your digital advertising and email campaigns. A successful landing page asks prospects to take a single action, whether it’s making a purchase or signing up for a quote, consultation, or lead magnet.

 

10 Critical Elements of an Effective Landing Page  

So now that you know why your business should use landing pages, what should you do to create a high converting and effective one? 

Below are some of the most critical elements of a landing page that every business should be incorporating. 

  1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Great Headline

    Your headline is the first thing people will read when they land on your landing page. It should sum up exactly what you’re offering and how people will benefit in a few words.  

  2. Write Concise and Compelling Copy

    Tell a concise yet compelling story that makes an irresistible offer and nudges people to convert. Focus on the reader, not on yourself. Use short sentences and paragraphs. 

  3. Use Strategic and Natural Keywords

    Using commonly searched keywords throughout your landing page (in the headers, body text, and page title) will help to optimize the page for Google search and ads relevancy. Avoid the temptation to keyword stuff. 

  4. Embrace a Mobile First Mindset

    Over half of all website traffic is now from mobile devices. Make sure your landing page loads quickly, is responsive and looks good on mobile, tablet and desktop devices. 

  5. Seal the Exits and Hide Navigation

    By hiding the top and side navigation, you reduce distractions, minimize friction, and lower bounce rates on your landing page. This means more visitors stay, stay longer and convert more often. 

  6. Use a Lead Capture Mechanism

    A landing page isn’t complete without a lead capture mechanism, such as a form. In general, a shorter form will generate more conversions, but from leads of lower quality. Inversely, a longer form will generate fewer conversions, but from leads of higher quality. 

  7. Add Some Social Proof

    Fear of missing out is a powerful tool to use when building social proof behind your landing pages. Testimonials and reviews add credibility to your product or service. This demonstrates that customers trust you and that business is in demand. 

  8. Help Explain It with Images

    Using images that relate to the copy on the landing page allows people to visualize what it is that you are trying to say about your business, products, and services. If a picture is worth a thousand words, an image is surely worth a few hundred characters of copy.

  9. Don’t Forget the Thank-you Page

    After the visitor has put their information into the lead capture mechanism a thank-you page should pop up to confirm with the visitor that their information was received properly. If the page includes a specific deal, the visitor should receive a message that guides them to their next steps and prepares them to be contacted by the business.

  10. Follow-Up with an Email Autoresponder

    Many thank-you pages are accompanied by email autoresponders. These emails offer more information on what’s next for the visitor after converting on the landing page. Email autoresponders serve as a type of ‘receipt’ for the lead capture mechanism to confirm opt-in consent with the visitor. It also acts as a prompt for your sales team to check-in with your new lead.


Get More Leads at a Lower Cost with Landing Pages
  

Setting up landing pages is time well spent, and the results from conversion to leads will be all the proof that you need.  

Guiding your website visitors to focus on your current business offer will steer them towards action and turn them into customers. 

If you’d like to learn more about landing pages and how they can benefit your business, or if you’d like advice from an industry professional about the next steps reach out to us to chat.

SEO Timelines: How Long Does It Take to Get Results?

You might have heard that search engine optimization (SEO) is a quick and easy way to rank number one on Google and get more traffic to your website.

Here’s why that’s wrong.

The truth is…once upon a time, SEO could work quickly.

But as search engine algorithms have evolved and the online space has become more competitive, the SEO landscape has changed drastically.

Every business owner wants to see results come quickly. But when it comes to legitimate, proven SEO strategies, results simply don’t happen overnight.

Any agency that says otherwise is not to be trusted.

Below, we’ll cover the real factors that will affect how long it will take for SEO to get measurable results for your business, as well as the minimum time investment to really get your money’s worth from SEO.

 

How Long It Takes for SEO to Generate Leads and Sales

When it comes to SEO, business owners often ask, “How long does it take for SEO to work?”

Which usually means, “How long before I rank #1 in Google?”

This is the wrong question to ask because ranking #1 in Google isn’t the end goal. The goal is to generate qualified leads and sales opportunities.

In other words, organic search traffic is only as valuable to your business as the revenue it generates.

The real question that you should be asking is, “When will SEO start generating sales and leads for my business?”

Based on our experience and that of our colleagues at other reputable SEO agencies, we can give an estimated timeline of 4-6 months for SEO to begin producing some form of results, which could include:

  • Overall improved average ranking
  • Website being indexed for more keywords
  • More traffic to your website and opportunity to close that traffic

The above timeline represents our average client experience. This is when things start to work, but not necessarily when you achieve your end goal.

There are numerous factors to consider when determining when you can expect to begin seeing SEO generate results. It would be impossible to cover them all in detail here ‒ but some of the most significant factors are:

  1. Competition for high-priority keywords
  2. How effective are the site’s inbound links
  3. Healthy, SEO-friendly site
  4. Regularly published content on the site

1. Importance of Competition in SEO Timelines

Generally, the more competing websites that your business is up against, the harder and longer it will take to see your website climb to the top of search engine results.

In a crowded industry, many of your competitors will have experienced SEO professionals behind them to improve and maintain their rankings. Understanding the level of competition based on your products/services and location will help you get a sense of how long it will take for SEO to get results.

For example, a small local massage therapy clinic will face less competition than a real estate brokerage business serving a large city, amongst many other real estate brokerage businesses. That same brokerage would face less competition than a national-level mortgage company with competitors in every market in the country.

Search results are all relative, and that is the key to understanding why SEO works differently for different businesses online.

2. Importance of Inbound Links in SEO Timelines

Acquiring more inbound links will help your business achieve the SEO success you are striving for more quickly… but it is not all a numbers game.

Quality over quantity, like most things, is always the way to go. Having fewer, high-quality links from relevant websites will have a much greater impact on your overall results than having a greater number of low-quality links from other irrelevant websites.

Acquiring higher quality links are much harder to earn, having them on your website will make it more difficult for your competitors to replicate and compete with you. As well, higher-quality links last longer and keep their effective power.

The speed in which your business online can acquire links takes time, make sure to look out for any abrupt increase in links. This could identify an inorganic attempt at a manipulative ranking and negatively affect your business’ SEO.

3. Importance of a Healthy SEO-Friendly Website

SEO isn’t just about keywords and content. Your website’s internal workings also have a big impact on how it ranks.

When your website appears on a Google search results page, it becomes part of what Google offers its users. And Google cares a lot about its users’ experience.

So, a big part of its search ranking algorithm is focused on checking the ‘health’ of your website. It looks at technical aspects of the site that have an effect on the user experience, like:

  • Site speed
  • Crawl errors & broken links
  • Mobile friendliness
  • Site structure
  • Navigation
  • txt
  • Sitemap

When your site is healthy and SEO-friendly, the work being done on the content and external links side takes effect much faster. On the other hand, a site that is not technically optimized for SEO will move slowly or not at all.

4. Importance of Content in SEO Timelines

Quality content published on your website plays a vital role in how quickly you will see SEO results.

There isn’t a set length/word count for SEO optimized content. It just has to be long and detailed enough to solve the visitor’s problem.

Along with quality content requires consistent content. Maintaining a publishing schedule will encourage Google to come back to your website to read and learn more about your expertise. It also encourages users to return, suggesting a positive user experience that Google’s signals will notice.

If you focus on producing helpful content that answers specific questions your target market may have, you will see results. Users will come, have a great experience and build trust with your brand (possibly reaching out) and Google has more information about you to determine where else you can rank.

SEO Timelines Then vs. Now

To explain why SEO doesn’t happen overnight, it helps to recognize a crucial difference between the early SEO landscape and what we see today.

Old SEO: When Low Competition Got Big Results

In the early days of SEO, it was possible to skyrocket a website’s search ranking by identifying and optimizing for a small number of high volume, low competition keywords.

The trick was to target keywords that were popular, but not competitive.

You could build an entire strategy around these ‘golden’ keywords, climb to #1 in the rankings, and have most of your traffic come from them within a few months.

Nowadays, it’s extremely rare to find a single keyword or small group of keywords that can drive a lot of traffic to your site.

People just don’t search like that anymore. Plus, the web is way more competitive today than it was in the early 2000s. There are nearly 2 billion websites today, compared to just 17 million in 2000, an increase of nearly 11 thousand percent.

New SEO: Targeting the Long Tail

Today, people are adding more words than ever to their searches to get faster, more specific results.

They’re asking specific questions that they need answers to, rather than searching individual keywords and seeing what comes up.

We call these searches long-tail keywords. And search engines like Google and Bing have gotten very good at delivering long-tail keywords relevant results.

Long-tail keywords are:

  • Easier to rank for, because they’re less competitive
  • Generate more revenue, because they’re more specific
  • Account for a higher search volume in total than shorter “golden keywords”

Today, generating search traffic that brings you leads, sales, and revenue means curating a larger number of natural language or long-tail keywords searches that grow and change over time.

Is SEO a Good Investment?

When you have the funds and stamina to be patient with the results, as well as stay in the game for the long haul, SEO is an incredibly powerful marketing tool that all businesses should invest in.

A minimum of 4 to 6 months of SEO services will allow you the time and money to see the results that you want. For businesses that do not have a budget for SEO services for up to a year, we recommend a few key steps regardless:

  1. Make your website SEO and user friendly – you may need a professional to help with this as a one-time project
  2. Work on building out good quality content on your website if you build genuinely helpful content to your target market, it will pay SEO dividends down the road
  3. Consider using additional funds towards paid advertising to start generating traffic to your website

It’s important to remain patient throughout the SEO process. When businesses fail to see results after a couple of months of SEO services, they are tempted to give up ‒ when they could actually see results in a matter of weeks. We often refer to this time period as the “trough of sorrow” in the industry.

 

We as agencies or individuals cannot control a lot of the SEO process. We don’t control Google, their algorithm, or what competitors do. The only thing we can do is understand what Google is looking for, give them what they want, connect with our customers and give them what they want, and we will start to see results.

SEO is not only a science, but also the art of adapting to changes in the industry.

Remember that SEO results increase over time, not overnight. Your results should be significantly better after 12 months than they were after 6 months.

To get the results that you need online for your business, professional SEO services are OFTEN worth the time, energy, and money that you invest.

If you would like more information about our SEO and digital advertising services, please do not hesitate to contact our SEO team here at TrafficSoda.

From Awareness to Action: How to Capture and Create Demand

There’s a universal truth that persists no matter how good your product or service is, or how much you spend on marketing: 

Sometimes, your perfect customer isn’t ready to buy right now.

  • Some of your prospects just don’t know you yet.  
  • Others know you, but aren’t sure they’re ready to trust you. 
  • Still others are trying to choose between you and your competitor. 
  • And some people aren’t even aware that they need what you offer at all. 

When someone doesn’t know you and doesn’t trust you, the likelihood of them clicking on your ad that says “Buy Now!” is very low (but not impossible).

On the other hand, someone who is ready to buy will respond better to an ad that says “Buy Now!” than a weaker offer like “Click Here to Learn More.”

Both of these kinds of potential customers can be a goldmine of traffic, leads, and sales if you have a strong understanding of customer problem awareness. 

Think of customer problem awareness as a “journey” customers take, starting from the point where they aren’t aware they have a problem to the point where they decide your product fits their needs. 

If you know where someone is on their problem awareness journey, you can deliver the right message at the right time to create and then capture their demand.  

Let’s talk about how and when to capture or create demand based on your customer’s level of problem awareness.

 

Understanding Demand Creation vs. Demand Capture

Without demand, there can be no sale. Yet demand alone doesn’t translate into sales.  

Customers have to know what you can do for them and trust that you’ll deliver.

You need both demand creation and demand capture as part of your marketing mix.

What is Demand Creation?

Demand creation, also called demand generation, is marketing that aims to stimulate demand for a certain product or service in the market.

Creating demand is the first step in the marketing funnel. It involves building awareness, positioning relevance, supporting validation, and more.

The most effective form of demand creation taps into your target audience’s existing interests to build trust with them, while positioning yourself (your product or service) as the answer to their wants and needs.

Once you’ve generated demand for your offer, you can move on to step two: converting that demand into a sale.

What is Demand Capture?

Demand capture is marketing that aims to take the demand for your product or service and convert it into real sales or leads.

Demand capture happens further down your marketing funnel than demand creation, focusing on the part of your audience that already knows they want what you offer. The only thing left to do is give them that final push to convert!

 

Leveraging 5 Levels of Customer Awareness to Create & Capture Demand

In general, the less knowledgeable a customer is, the lower their demand for your product or service. After all, how can they want something they don’t know exists; how can they yearn to fill a need they haven’t realized yet?

For any business, it is important to balance both demand creation and capture in order to grow. To figure out that balance, you need to know where your customers are right now and ask, “What does my prospect already know?” about their problem and your solution?

To answer those questions you need to understand where your target audience is on the customer problem awareness scale.

In his groundbreaking book Breakthrough Advertising, Eugene Schwartz emphasized the importance of customer problem awareness and identified five different levels. They are:

  1. Unaware
    These people don’t even know they have a problem, let alone one you can solve for them! Of course, this doesn’t mean their lives are perfect ‒ they just don’t realize it can be better. You have to open their eyes. 
  2. Problem Aware
    There’s a problem, and they know it, but they may not fully grasp it yet and definitely don’t know the solution(s). You can help them make that connection. 
  3. Solution Aware
    Now, you’re getting somewhere. These people already know products or services like yours, so they’re open to learning about what makes yours better.  
  4. Product Aware
    Finally, at this stage, people are familiar with your product or service. But they probably know your competitors’, too. Now, you need to persuade them to make the right choice. 
  5. Most Aware
    This is where you want people to be: a loyal customer who’s fully aware of what you have to offer, and can be guided towards repeat or new purchases.

Where your target audience falls in this scale will dictate:

  • What kind of information you need to give them; 
  • How you should speak with them; and 
  • What offer will produce the best results. 

Knowing your customer’s problem awareness level is crucial in determining which type of promotion will be most effective for different segments of your target audience.

 

When to Use Demand Capture vs. Demand Creation

For customers with less problem awareness, you want to entertain, educate, and inspire trust in your business through content like:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media updates 
  • Graphics 
  • Podcasts 
  • Webinars 

You have to build trust with your prospects before they’ll be receptive to your offer, especially if your solution or business is brand new, unique, or has never been advertised to them before. Launching right into your products or services without making a connection makes people feel like you don’t care about them (so why should they care about you?). 

Demonstrate that you understand their problem and experience their pain through relevant, relatable copy and content.

Near the bottom of your funnel, where customers have greater problem awareness, you want to seal the deal and capture demand with higher-commitment content like:

  • Product demos 
  • Free trials 
  • Free consultations 
  • Product details and spec sheets

At this stage, you can ask customers for some contact information in return, which gives you a chance to start that sales conversation.

 

Bridging the Gap Between Demand Creation and Capture

Rather than dividing customer problem awareness into five neatly-separated shelves, think of it as a spectrum. Many people exist somewhere between two levels. You can’t focus all your attention on one level.  

If you concentrate solely on capturing demand, you leave out scores of potential customers who just haven’t been acquainted with you yet.  

On the other hand, if you raise awareness without taking steps to capture demand, you’re leaving money on the table.   

Plus, as more governments crack down on online data collection and privacy, it’s becoming harder to pinpoint the people in your audience that are actually ready to buy. This makes it more important than ever to layer in both demand creation and capture. 

Focusing too much on buyers who are at one point of your sales funnel will mean you miss out on buyers who are coming in at other points.   

The ideal marketing funnel is built around generating demand and then capturing it. These two elements are essential for generating more traffic, sales, and leads, especially as new privacy regulations make traditional lead generation more challenging.   

TrafficSoda can help you audit your existing marketing materials and develop a strategy to close those content gaps. If you’d like help getting started, reach out for your free strategy proposal now.