5 Steps to Better Landing Pages — Convert More Visitors to Customers

by Karen J. Marchetti

To what web page are you sending traffic in your latest email marketing message or direct mail package?

What about your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads?  How about your ads in newspapers, or on radio and television?

If you’re just driving visitors to your home page, you’re probably not converting as many of those visitors as you could be.

1. Create website “landing pages” that focus on the action you’re trying to drive

If you’re doing a promotion to drive a particular action on your website (purchase, register, etc.), create a web page focused on that promotion — complete with a response button for the action. Anything you can do to deliver the visitor right to the page where they can get what you’ve promised will boost your results.

Bank of America has created a collection of eight web sites, each focused on a different product, to help visitors quickly locate what they’re looking for. When someone is in-market for an auto loan, don’t make them wade through your home page pitching mortgage rates and your latest CD special to find the “auto loans” link.

 2. Limit the links on the landing page to those focused on whatever product or offer the landing page is all about

If I’m looking for accounting software, I don’t need to be distracted by links to your other 7 software packages. Include just the appropriate links to help me with the product I’m interested in.

 3. Place the response button (“download the report”, “add to cart,” etc.) above the fold

The link to the action you want the visitor to take should be visible without having to scroll down to find it. When I visit your landing page for a new product or service you’ve advertised, I should see the “add to cart” or “download the data sheet” link immediately.

  4. The headline should refer to what you promised I’d find on the page

The headline and first few lines on the page should ensure the visitor they’ve arrived on a page related to the topic you promised in your PPC ad, email message, direct mail, or newspaper ad.  Whatever product, service, or offer you mentioned, that should clearly appear in the landing page headline.

The latest landing page study from Marketing Sherpa reveals that the “stay” or “bail” decision is based on whether the first 15 words on your landing page are relevant to the visitor.

It’s just too easy for searchers to go on to the next search result if they don’t immediately find what they’re looking for on your landing page.

 5. Start with design, to ensure the important elements stand out on your landing page

ALL of your web pages should be “design-driven.”  That means the design should be mapped out first, to ensure that the most important elements (usually the key actions you want visitors to take) are the most prominent on the web page or landing page.

Make a list of the elements that need to be on your landing page. Plan the layout to place the most important elements “above the fold,” make those elements the most prominent, and move the eye through the page. Then write copy to fit the layout.