There are few things out there that can create quite as good of a first impression as a strategically and well thought out landing page. Many companies have seen their conversion rates, and above all – their profits, rise, as a result of creating a properly designed landing page.  Landing pages can come in all shapes and sizes – but the one thing that’s true about all of them, is the fact that there’s more to them, than simply putting an email newsletter form, or a “Free Download,” button on them. Landing pages, and the practice of landing page optimization, is about formulating the right quantity and the right substance which is persuasive and get’s the readers attention. At the same time, you have to offer an amazing offer in a visually digestible manner to readers.

While it sounds simple – it’s often much more complicated. There are companies out there that making a living simply focusing on landing page optimization.

We’re hoping this comprehensive blog post can help those looking for guidance on the concept, and best practices, involved in successful landing page optimization campaigns.

Who Needs To Read This?

If you’re landing pages are suffering and have poor PPC performance, or if you’re simply not getting enough customers to reach out to you(despite having tons of traffic), then this guide is for you. You recognize you need to do some form of landing page optimization. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what caliber company you’re a part of, Fortune 500, or Fortune 5000 — this guide is for you, if you think your landing pages aren’t performing. If you need results from your landing page, you will enjoy – and benefit, from reading this guide.

How To Use This “VERY LONG” Blog Post

The goal of this extensive post will be to break down the process of creating an amazing landing page. Our goal will be to help explain how everything fits into a landing page, and how a landing page can improve your marketing campaign. In addition, we’ll discuss how to troubleshoot a problem-prone landing page and what actions have to be taken if your landing page is performing poorly.

How To Make Landing Pages Fit Into Your Strategy

Landing pages are pages that get traffic from anywhere. Generally, they are used with PPC campaigns, like Google Adwords, where you can drive traffic to a specific URL which has been designed/customized to receive those targeted visitors.

The reason marketers SHOULD WANT to create a landing page, is because the landing pages tunnel visions on a topic, a concept. It is tunnel visioning, and provides a dedicated focus on the topic at hand. When you’re paying for each and every click, you want to give consumers a very dedicated and focused experience – so that they find exactly what they were looking for – and do what you want them to do (buy your product, fill out a contact form, etc).

If you’re funneling traffic to a landing page – then this page can be your first and last opportunity to make a good first impression with prospective clients. Landing pages are a way to start a dialogue, and welcome visitors to explore your site. For many sites, especially in higher competition arenas, having a dedicated and specific landing page can be the only way to convince a visitor that can “handle,” their specialized needs.  Because of this, you really can’t afford to get this concept wrong. Having said that, creating and managing landing pages doesn’t have to be difficult. The goal should ALWAYS be to create a web page that combines all the different things your prospective customer is looking for.

Are Home Pages Considered Landing Pages?

Many people think that their home page can be their landing page. It might be possible that your homepage is your landing page. If for some reason people are likely to navigate to your home page directly – then it may certainly be your landing page. Typically, home page’s are not the first thing you think of – when considering a landing page. Generally, home pages are far too generic and thus can’t focus on a particular topic(which is an objective of a landing page!).

Many marketers make the mistake of sending paid traffic to their home page, thinking that visitors will “figure out what subpage,” to go to. Most customers don’t. They don’t even try. They just click away – there is so much competition, and so many players – it’s easier for a visitor to click off and find someone who gives them WHAT THEY WANT. That’s why landing pages should be created!

Why Should You Use Landing Pages?

Simply put – landing pages let you narrow your message and focus it. They help you eliminate all clutter from your pages, which would distract visitors from taking the action you want them to. Landing pages allow you to take control of the visitors user experience, and allows you to direct them and help them find what they want – in a faster method. The assumption is that this ease of access – makes the visitor more likely to “convert,” and do the desired action you need. Landing page optimization is the process of making these landing pages as good as possible.

Can Landing Pages Help With SEO?

Search engines want to do one thing: provide visitors with the most relevant and targeted result. That means if someone types into google, “Blue Widget,” then Google wants to show them a page that specifically discusses, “Blue widgets,” — NOT a page that shows ALL widgets on it. Because landing pages are targeted, and query driven, there’s a good chance you’ll outrank your competitors in search engines using your landing pages. Good landing pages can be a great way to improve your conversion rate for existing traffic, in addition to being a source of NEW traffic due to their targeted nature in the context of search engines.

When To Use a Landing Page?

Not all pages should be transformed into landing pages.

Destinations For PPC Ads

For PPC, you should create a different landing page for all the keywords, and group them so you can test and see which landing page performs the best for a certain keyword.

Product Launch

Landing pages are a good way to promote a new product you’re about to launch. With the landing page, you can remove all excess clutter and focus details on the product in question – exclusively.

Segment Your Audience

Not every visitor should see the same page. By employing landing pages, you can segment your traffic into segments based on their preferences and needs.

Do Landing Pages Help Other Marketing Strategies?

Landing pages are meant to complement other marketing strategies. Landing pages are built with the purpose of providing a very narrow – but AMAZING user experience on a specific topic. It’s not uncommon for landing pages to have even the navigation bar stripped away, so that it doesn’t distract users from the content you want them to read.

It’s common for landing pages to be used in conjunction with other marketing strategies.

Landing Pages and SEO

Landing pages are a great compliment to SEO. Treat your landing pages as you would your home page. Add relevant content to them, and optimize them so they can rank. Landing pages have a higher chance of ranking for a “specific” keyword, than your homepage – due to the fact the content on them is very specific.

Landing Pages and PPC

Landing Pages and PPC go together well. Landing pages are destinations for PPC ads. By providing a narrow but good user experience, you improve your PPC conversion rate.

Landing Pages and Social Media

Landing pages work really with social media. Many businesses often make social media posts on FB, Twitter, G+. Depending on your social media strategy, you might make posts about a “certain topic,” depending on your marketing objectives. You can have your social media posts click through to specific customized pages, that are relevant to the topic. Because you can embed a custom link to a landing page in your social media posts – you can improve how visitors convert.

What Landing Pages Shouldn’t Be Used As

Long Sales Pitch – The point of a landing page isn’t to give your consumer an essay. The point is to give the user the exact details that would then encourage them to WANT more details. Your immediate objective should be to give relevant and high level details.

Squeeze Pages – This is an old-age marketing term. Landing pages are no longer squeeze pages. You shouldn’t create squeeze pages, where you force people to share their info in exchange for a newsletter sign up, etc. Your landing pages should be more than just this.

Stock Pitch – Don’t use your landing page as an opportunity to hard sell prospective visitors. This is your first impression – if you push the sale too hard, then you’ll likely lose the visitor. The objective of your landing page is to EARN the trust of your visitor – and then do a hard sell later.

Provide Visual Cues

One of the first things you have to ask yourself when designing a landing page is the user experience. Ask yourself, “What did the visitor have in mind when they landed on this page?” — What is their intent?

The first thing to think about when optimizing a landing page is to focus on the user’s intent, versus what your landing page has on it right now. By their very nature, visitors on your website, “scan,” rather than read. They have no desire to read all the content on your website. They do a topical glance on your site, and look for visual cues. Their objective, before they read your website – is to understand whether the content on the site will meet their expectations – and whether they can trust you or not.

MATCH SEO KEYWORD RANKINGS WITH VISUAL CUES

If you have a landing page which ranks wells in Google for various keywords, you should look at which keywords rank. You should then look at how much traffic the various keywords get. If you’re position #3, for a keyword that gets 14,000 visitors per month – then you should match the landing page headlines with the high ranking keywords. It’s extremely important that you match your webpage headlines with the user’s search queries.

When you match the headline with the user’s search query you’re more likely to get the user to remain on your website. The user assumes you have the answer they are looking for.

HEADLINES ARE IMPORTANT

Headlines are extremely important because they provide users with directions. It tells them where to look, and what to read. The best landing pages provide immediate visual cues and direction, upon loading, to visitors. The most effective landing pages answer the visitors emotional want-fear-needs, immediately.

SHOW YOUR TRUSTWORTHINESS

One of the best ways to improve your conversion rate is by adding logos which show you’re trustworthy. For example, if you’re a small business owner – add your BBB rating logo.

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