Driving traffic is only half the battle. Once people have landed on your website, it’s time to turn those curious web users into clients or customers. That’s where landing page optimization comes in.
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page is the first page people see after arriving to your site from a web ad, social media post, or search engine results page. But unlike your home page, which gives a general overview of your products or services, a landing page is tailor-made to motivate visitors into acting on a specific call to action, like:
- Signing up
- Making a purchase
- Downloading a software trial
- Filling out a form
- Sharing your content on social media
…And so on.
A landing page can serve one-time events, like weekly promotions, or “evergreen” offers designed to generate ongoing leads, like a newsletters or email lists.
In either case, the landing page is optimized to achieve a single conversion goal.
While the term ‘landing page’ may be new to you, chances are you’ve seen one before. For a visual reference, check out this landing page round-up by Hubspot — this will help you along as we cover the ins and outs of landing page optimization.
Why Create a Landing Page?
Landing pages are designed to respond to nudge curious visitors towards becoming paying clients or customers. The power of landing pages is their versatility: different landing pages can be crafted and optimized to cater to buyers at all different stages of the marketing funnel or buyer journey.
Take cold prospects who are only just learning of your business for the first time. Instead of pitching your products or services outright, you could optimize a landing page to encourage those prospects to sign up for your email newsletter; later, you can direct that person to another landing page designed to nurture warmer leads.
Beyond lead generation, landing pages can be used to gain tons of useful information about your prospective customers:
- By analyzing the performance of your landing pages, you can learn more about the types of offers most interest your customers.
- You can create separate landing pages for the same campaign and audience to A/B test different offers, images and copy.
- With a Facebook Pixel, you can retarget landing page visitors with highly relevant Facebook ad campaigns.
Landing pages are also a valuable part of the search engine optimization equation.
Relationship Between Landing Pages and SEO
Each landing page is another opportunity for your site to rank for relevant, desirable keywords. Although they may be somewhat separate from your main site, search engine crawlers will pore through landing pages the same as any other page on your site, and they have an impact on your search engine ranking.
The relationship between landing pages and SEO is another reason why it’s important to optimize your landing pages to convert; if visitors who land there are quickly closing the window or bouncing back to the search engine results page, it reflects poorly on your site as a whole.
So, how do you convince people to share, sign up, download, or buy?
Using Lead Magnets
One of the most tried-and-true landing page tactics is the lead magnet: a freebie offered to landing page visitors in exchange for their contact information. You can then utilize that contact information to build an effective, highly-targeted email marketing list.
In the words of digital marketing geek Russ Henneberry, lead magnets are designed to be an “irresistible bribe.” It’s something that makes prospective customers feel like they are getting the better end of the bargain.
What makes a lead magnet irresistible? The specifics will depend on your industry and your customers, but in most cases, successful lead magnets are:
- Highly relevant and specific, answering a specific customer need and tailored to a specific buyer persona.
- Polished, effective, and well worth giving up one’s contact information.
- Immediately useful or gratifying.
Popular items given away as lead magnets include eBooks, reports, case studies, templates, checklists, and coupons.
Landing Page Optimization: What Makes a Great Landing Page?
The purpose of landing page is to entice visitors to complete a specific conversion goal, like signing up for an email list. One of the best ways to do this is to offer something in exchange for that action. An effective landing pages are concisely and fine-tuned towards achieving that goal, with:
- Clear, action-based headline that tells visitors exactly what you want them to do.
- Subheadings that provide a bit more information to generate further interest.
- Eye-catching but minimal visual elements, like a single gorgeous photo or catchy graphic.
- Concise but keyword-rich copy that explains the lead magnet, answers potential questions and tears down any barriers that might stop customers from converting.
- Prominent, impossible-to-miss action button that completes the exchange between you and the customer.
Creating Landing Pages That Convert
There are a lot of ingredients that go into creating a landing page that works: copywriting, coding, graphic design, advertising, and more. But when it all comes together and leads start coming in, it is well worth the effort it took to plan and execute. Don’t leave landing pages as an afterthought — a well-designed and optimized landing page is an essential part of a winning digital marketing strategy.