Fresh eyes

Landing pages: Getting the most out of them

Little girl dressed as a pilot with model aeroplane

Written by Mark Brennan,
Head of Digital; Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Freshfield

An increasingly common feature of online and offline marketing campaigns is the use of a dedicated landing page to handle enquiries and manage data capture. Landing pages are the first place you go after seeing an advert – either by typing in the dedicated URL on a print advert, scanning a QR code, clicking on a digital banner advert, or choosing one of the paid links on a search engine.

Why you need landing pages

So why not just send people to the homepage of the website? After all this is the front door to your business and has been designed specifically to engage new visitors.

However, don’t forget that the visitors have come directly from a piece of advertising so their interest isn’t general – it is specifically about what you were advertising. For example, if I click on an advert for a new housing development in my home town, I don’t want to land on the developer’s homepage and have to navigate through dozens of developments to find the right one. If I go straight to the development, I’m less likely to leave the website and far more likely to register to be sent a brochure.

Make it easy for people to do business with you online and you’ll reap the benefits.

Keep it simple

When laying out your advert you’ll no doubt have adopted a ‘less is more’ approach focusing on only providing the most relevant and useful information in a simple, easy to read and visually striking way. These rules need to follow through on the landing page – so avoid including loads of copy, trying to sell all your products and services in one go or a complicated / unattractive layout. You have to grab and maintain the attention of visitors.

Remember that the visitor has seen your advert – so don’t just repeat it verbatim. The landing page is the next step in the sales process.

Have a clear goal in mind – whether that’s to get users to download a white paper, register to receive your e-newsletter or request a callback – and have a clear call to action to let visitors know what you want them to do.

Relevance is critical

As well as keeping copy on a landing page brief, it is vitally important that the copy is totally relevant. Having spent advertising budget on getting people on to the page, you don’t want to lose them by being boring or disappearing off topic.

If you’re using Google Adwords as part of the advertising campaign, Google will assign your page a quality score based on the content of the page. The lower the quality score of your landing page (due to low keyword density, poor page design or an unclear focus) the fewer times your advert will be served up to potential targets.

Don’t forget mobile users

The rules on simplicity, clear calls to action and grabbing attention increase in importance on smaller screen sizes. Your landing page should be mobile-responsive and must include a clear call to action using a button rather than having links to click on.

Generally speaking, buttons work well as a light, strong and contrasting colour (e.g. yellow, orange, lime green) and big enough that you can click on them with your thumb. And no using Flash – ever!

Measure, tweak, test, repeat

Make sure your landing pages have Google Analytics tracking codes on them so you can measure and monitor what is working. Give the landing page a week and look at the conversion rate (the number of people following the call to action / overall number of visitors) then try tweaking things and see what difference this makes.

Things to tweak will vary according to the campaign, but they could include size and position of call to action, landing page copy, button placement and colours. Find what gives you the best result and then stick to it, if it doesn’t work then undo it.

What happens next?

Before you make your campaign live, it’s worth double-checking that the systems, processes and people behind the landing page are in place and ready to go. You don’t want potential customers waiting days for a follow-up because your sales team are at a trade show, or find that the automated e-mail that you send to applicants doesn’t display properly on mobile devices. For a modern marketing campaign to work – this needs to be seamless for the customer, who is still at an early stage in the buying process and can easily be put off dealing with you.

When running an advertising campaign it can be easy to focus on the media buying (after all this is the most expensive part) but for the campaign to work and actually convert suspects into prospects and then into clients your landing pages play a fundamental role.

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