The Guide to Landing Pages for People Who Don't Know Shit About Landing Pages
Landing pages are the best way to turn visitors to your website into leads for your product or service. With that in mind, you need them. We need them. Every company needs them. At least one. Or 5. Or 30. The more you have, the more you can test. The more relevant you can be. And the more visitors you can convert.
The reason you need landing pages? To focus on a single objective. Landing pages allow you to focus on giving your visitors a content offer (like a PDF or eBook), test responses to a product or service, register for an event, book a call with you, etc. The possibilities are endless. Pages with singular objectives let you convert (and then close) people who are interested in what that page is about.
Landing pages are like an online hype-girl for your business. They continuously drive traffic to the offer page, and, when done right, will educate your visitors and inspire them to continue to your website.
Keep one thing in mind though. A landing page is not a home page. A home page is not a landing page. They. Are. Not. The. Same. Thing. Having one doesn’t exclude you from having the other. In fact, having one means you better have the other.
Homepages have menus and navigation to the rest of your pages. They help introduce people to your business and tell them everything they need to know. Landing pages are created to achieve a singular object. They don’t direct to other pages on your site because their only goal is to provide an offer to the visitors.
Using Landing Pages to Trade an Offer for Contact Information
For the purpose of this blog post, we’re going to be focusing on how to build landing pages for the specific purpose of getting contact information from your visitors.
Landing pages are round-the-clock sales reps promoting your company by converting visitors who want what that page is offering. And if they’re not converting yet, they will be after you’re done reading this.
Because they give you the freedom to test and play, without impacting your primary website, they help you figure out what content and information people are looking for, or staying on the longest. They’re like mini science labs. Your very own Dexter, humming away in his secret laboratory.
To get this valuable contact information, you have to offer something of value. It’s not simply ‘ask and ye shall receive’.. It’s ‘have great content, promise something amazing, ask, receive contact information, deliver that amazing promise.’ Landing pages are for the promise/ask/receive/deliver bit of the code you should live by.
Here’s what you need to do.
Step One: Know Who You’re Targeting
This is another example of where user personas come in handy. They help you know what content or giveaway to offer on a landing page, because you should already know what your persona is looking for. Don’t know? Read this article. Then come back here. Great. Now that you know what Susan is looking for, offer it to her. Is Brad looking for something else to solve his problem? Make a landing page for him! You get a landing page! You get a landing page! Every persona gets a landing page!
Better still? Your landing page activity will help you refine your User Personas, based on real-world data generated by landing page performance information. Dexter is really working overtime for you now.
Step Two: Communicate Clearly
Keep your message simple, concise, to the point and singular. They didn’t come here to read all about your company and your employee’s favourite kind of cheese. They came here for the offer. Make that offer clear, immediately. Give the people what they want.
Being clear includes writing copy that convinces them to take action. They need to know that your PDF on Tips for Choosing the Best Notebook is the best PDF for choosing notebooks, ever. If they don’t hit your Call to Action button and trade their information for this PDF, their life will never get better. Only worse. You need to be direct, even aggressive, with your visitors. Don’t turn them off with stuff like profanity and arrogance. Instead, say things like “with our tips, you’ll know what your life was missing and how you can fix it.” Use “now,” “today,” and other terms that inspire urgency. Direct and aggressive landing page copy helps you turn visitors into leads. Leads can be convinced, closed, converted, and delighted by their experience with your company.
Clear, direct communication also builds trust. Trust is good. Ideally, you’ve already begun building this with your website. Keep the momentum going with landing page copy that tells the visitor how they can get the thing they came to get.
Step Three: Prove Your Shit
Why should anyone give you their contact information? Use your page to prove you know what you’re talking about, using statistics, testimonials, etc. Social proof. People are always more swayed to do or get something if they know others are too. Nobody likes FOMO. Testimonials and product reviews are better at converting than classic product descriptions. Just ask Fast Company. Use social proof to your advantage on landing pages, because you can do it more obviously here than on your homepage.
Step Four: Give Value
They clicked to this page for a reason. They stuck around this long for a reason. They’re giving you their contact information for - you guessed it - a reason. Don’t make them regret it. Give them valuable content. What that content looks like or shape it takes is up to you (if you need help, we’re here for you), but make sure it’s worth their time. This will continue to build trust in their eyes. It also shows that you know what’s up in your industry and that you can help them solve their problem.
It also means they’ll share your offer. Come back for your next offer. Fall in love with you. Marry you. Move to Mallorca with you and live on the beach. Wait. Where were we...
Step Five: Have a Clear Goal(s)
How do you know if this has worked? Set some measurable goals and benchmarks. You need to know what’s working, what’s not working, and have somewhere to go. Landing pages are perfect for testing things, but you can’t know how the tests are going without goals and ways to measure progress.
Say it with us: S-M-A-R-T, find out what it means to me. Seriously though, set SMART goals.
OK, you know the theory. Now get after it. Build as many landing pages as you need for specific offers. Make sure they target your user personas. Talk to those personas clearly. Build trust and demonstrate the value of your company and content through social proof. Measure the success of the pages by tracking them with measurable goals.
Follow the STB Landing Page checklist. What's that? You didn't know we had a checklist. Of course we do. And you can have it, too:
You're off. Collect information, and use it wisely. With great power comes great responsibility (so don’t email blast them 5x a day).