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hosted by: John Dockins

WMS 008: Anatomy of a Perfect Landing Page

Weekly tips, strategy, and advice for building & leveraging your website to maximize your business.

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Show Notes

Welcome to episode eight of Websites Made Simple podcast where we are covering the Anatomy of a Perfect Landing Page.

In this episode, we are going to cover the Anatomy of the Perfect Landing Page and how that differs from your home page or content pages on your website.

We’ll not only cover what it is but I will also cover which elements make up the perfect landing page and where you should place them. So, grab your favorite beverage, and let’s get after it.

You'll Learn

Resources

What is a Landing Page

A landing page, sometimes called a post-click landing page, is a stand-alone page on your website that visitors will land on after clicking on a link typically in an ad or social media post. The landing page is designed to have one purpose: conversions

If you listened to Episode 2: Start Here, I explained how traffic turns into leads and leads into conversions. A landing page is designed to handle the last step of leads into conversions. Remember, conversions might be paying customers, but it could also mean getting leads to sign up to your email list, start a free trial to your membership site, or opt-in for a freebie.

Regardless of the conversion type you are after, your landing page should take into account color theory and best practice design for user experience.

So now that you have an idea of what a Landing Page is, let’s look at the best practice elements that make up the landing page.

The Perfect Landing Page Elements

No Navigation

One of the first things you should notice about being on a good landing page is that it will not have any navigation to other pages. Unlike your main pages where you have a menu (typically at the top of your site) that helps visitors navigate their way around the site, your landing page doesn’t need to link to any other page.

Think of your landing page as the place you are asking your visitors to either convert or move on. In other words, you are asking them to make a decision right now.

Headline and Sub-headline

Moving down the page, next you need to ensure you have a “click-worthy” headline. Outside your CTA, your headline is the most important element on the landing page. Why? Because it should be the first thing your visitors notice and grab their attention.

Besides being short and concise, your headline needs to convey your selling proposition. If you have not heard of that term before, it simply means the thing that sets your service or product apart from the competition. The good news is that there are some great online resources available for free to help you generate and analyze an awesome headline.

The first is by Sumo and is called the “Kickass Headline Generator”. This is a fantastic resource and it works by simply typing in a few answers on the left side and choosing a general category of the headline at the top. Some of the categories are How To, Number Lists, and Strong/Controversial. By the way, you should use this for all of your headline needs. Things like email subject lines, blog posts, etc. This works for all of those.

Once you have a good headline, the next step is to put that into CoShedule’s Headline Analyzer. The results will first show you an overall score from 1-100, but scroll down the page and you will get a deeper look at your headline regarding length and evaluation of your first and last 3 words in the headline. As I said, both these tools are free and I highly recommend you use them to find the perfect headline for your landing page.

Call to Action

This is typically a button element that draws the attention of your visitor on the action you want them to take. Your CTA should use a clear font and a great color that helps distinguish it from all other elements. If you are using a good color brand strategy, the CTA button is a good place to use that 3rd or 4th color option to make it stand out on the page.

When it comes to the copy on the button itself. Try and stay away from the same old boring crap like “sign up” or “Subscribe”. Instead, use something like “show me how” or “yes I’m ready now”. Find something a little more creative to grab their attention.

Lastly, just make sure your button looks like a button. Don’t get carried away here as your visitors need to know exactly what they are supposed to do. And that is to click on the button.

Engaging Images and Other Media

Some research has shown that content with images or video gets 93% more views than those without. Think about that for a moment. That is a lot more views simply by including some engaging media on your landing page.

A word of caution. This does not mean you should grab any old stock image from those sites we all know about. Look, I’m not saying all stock images are bad, but I am saying using a personalized image or video that explains the product or showcases the service you are wanting your visitors to convert for would be far better.

Remember the images or videos you choose should complement your product or service and not just be something that fills a space on the landing page.

Social Proof

If you are like most people who shop online, you will look for reviews and testimonials from others. You are looking for social proof that the product or service you are interested in actually is worth it.

Social proof can of course be testimonials but it could also be highlighting awards you have won or you could even include an “as featured in” section. Another great social proof option is a subscriber or follower count or the number of shares on social media. All of these are great ways to demonstrate a social proof for your product or service.

A quick word on testimonials. When you can, be picky about those that you use on your landing page. Try to get testimonials that include specifics. A testimonial with numbers, time range, name, title, etc. is far better than a generic statement like “this product was good”.

No links

Ok, moving on to no links. Like the first best practice element of not including a navigation menu, you want to keep links off your landing page to zero if possible. You want to keep the exits to a minimum. Remember, you are trying to force a decision from your visitor. Either convert or move on.

Don’t get fooled by thinking you can get around this by having all the links on your landing page open in a new tab. That way your landing page stays open. Sure, that might help your overall bounce rate metric, but do you want to take a chance that your visitor won’t get distracted and forget to come back to the landing page tab?

There are two exceptions however and if you listened to last week’s episode on legal policies you need to protect your website then you already know what these are. But just in case, since you are collecting information from your visitor during the conversion step, it’s good to include a link to your Terms of Use and your Privacy Policy somewhere so that you remain legally protected.

Forms

If your conversion includes a lead generation form then you should keep these best practices in mind. First, the form should go above the fold on your landing page. Remember, above the fold refers to the part of the page that is displayed without the need to scroll down to see more. Simple logic here applies. Anything above the fold will get more attention from your visitors.

Second, keep the form fields short and to the point. Your form fields should match the intent of the landing page. That is your form should be proportionate to what you are offering. It should also be goal-oriented which in turn will help you get more qualified leads.

Now that we have covered the anatomy of a perfect landing page, let’s cover one last topic, A/B testing.

The Importance of A/B Testing

There is no one size fits all when it comes to a good landing page. What works for one business might not be the best for another business in a different niche. Thus the beauty of testing. And testing landing pages are easy if you followed the above best practices.

It is easy to create multiple landing pages for the same product or service using different copy, images, and calls to actions. Remember, landing pages are accessed by a visitor clicking on an ad or perhaps a social media post. Just as you would test different ad copy and social posts, you can simply point those back to different landing pages to see which page converts better.

Just keep in mind what you are changing and when so you can properly measure the results. Testing is an important part of finding the perfect landing page. One that is well-optimized and high converting.

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I am a proud affiliate of some of these tools. That means if you click the links and then make a purchase of those products, I will earn a small commission. Affiliate links absolutely do not cost you anything additional. 

All of the affiliate links are clearly marked for your benefit. Please know that I recommend these products and chose to be an affiliate because I truly  believe in them, use them, and know they work.

NEXT EPISODE

WMS 009: How to Hire Brand Photographer

About the Show

Created for the non-techie entrepreneur, John Dockins reveals all of his website and online business strategies, income sources and killer marketing tips so that you can be ahead of the pack with your website and online business. 

Self proclaimed “coffee addict”, you’ll learn how to build authority online using content management systems like WordPress, email marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, and much more so that you can create something amazing without burning yourself out. 

about john dockins

YOUR HOST

John Dockins

Websites Made Simple Podcast

John is a family man who also owns his own web design agency and has won several design awards for his work.

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