Posted on Apr 22, 2015

How To Build a Great Landing Page

Landing pages are a key part of successful online marketing. Great landing pages, meanwhile, can turn companies around, launch products, and lead to significant business expansion. But what makes a great landing page and how do you build one?

To begin let’s think of what a landing page is. It may sound like a helicopter “landing pad” or the a stunt motorbike landing ramp. But it’s actually more boring, but much more lucrative than either of these examples. It is a page – or pages – where you funnel customers with a buying intention. You can do this via a pay-per-click campaign, for example. Instead of sending the traffic to the homepage of your website, you can send it to a landing page.

Why? You do this because landing pages are optimized to increase conversions. Your website can probably do lots of things. But landing pages focus exclusively on converting your readers into paying customers.

So, how do you build a good landing page? To explain that, let’s go back to the example of a stunt motorbike landing ramp.

Make it easy to spot

Imagine a motorcycle hitting 60mph at the top of a ramp and then sailing through the air over the tops of 20 cars. What happens next? It needs to land on a ramp to safely bring the motorcycle and its rider back to the ground and to a stop. To do this, the landing ramp has to be easy for the rider to spot.

While you’re not sending your website traffic flying through the air over the tops of cars, but they are traveling from a social media page, a PPC ad, or another source to arrive on your landing page, so make it obvious where they are. That means making sure the branding of the landing page is consistent with the brand on your other web properties. It should also have a clear and descriptive URL.

Distractions are disastrous

It is unthinkable that someone would put distractions on a landing ramp used for stunt jumping. You can imagine the peril the rider would be in if she had to dodge a cameraman standing at the top of the ramp, or weave through some advertising hoardings.

On your landing page, distractions have a similar effect as they reduce conversion rates, so make them simple. This means minimizing the links that can take the user away from the page, removing media elements like images and video as much as possible, and making the form simple. This last bit is the most important part of a great landing page, and the rule is straightforward – the less the user has to do, the better. This means you should include as few form fields as possible. Ideally just ask for an email address, or at most an email address and a name. The more you ask the fewer conversions you can expect.

Make sure the surface is smooth and well constructed

A stunt motorcycle rider needs confidence that they are landing on a smooth surface, and that the ramp is solid and well constructed. This is what makes the transition from flying through the air to wheels touching the ground possible.

The same applies to your landing page. Make the text concise and straight to the point, which means writing as little as possible while still getting your message across. And remember what that message is – you don’t need to tell your whole brand story, or talk about all of your products and services. All you need is the user to fill out the form and hit submit. Draft every word with that single goal in mind.

This will result in a landing page that is relatively short. Just like a stunt ramp, it should be not be too short, and not too long.

Get ready for the adulation of the crowd

All a stunt motorcycle rider needs to do once they come to a stop at the end of the landing ramp is soak up the cheers and applause from the audience.

Unfortunately this doesn’t happen in the online world (or if it does, you’re not there to see it). But you’ll have a lead for your business, which is almost as good as a standing ovation. Just make sure you have a plan in place for handling those leads.

If you do this you will start to love your landing pages. You will also be able to undertake some split testing in order to find out what works best to help you refine and improve. Ultimately landing pages – like stunt ramps – are pointless in any other context, but when used in the right situation, they are the most important thing in the world.