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    Web Design

    Why landing pages are an important part of your website design

    For any business, its website and landing page design is vital for success. So anything you or, more precisely, your web design agency can do to optimise its performance has to be a good idea.
     
    At Cefar, we’ve found that one of the least understood elements that can help with this objective is the landing page. Often these can be confused with the website’s homepage, which is not so surprising as the name suggests that it’s where you first land on the site.
     
    While this is true, it’s where you land, but with a very specific purpose. It may be in response to an email, by clicking on a banner ad or even when you respond to a social post.
     
    So, when they’re used well,, landing pages can do everything. From getting valuable consumer data to actually converting sales.

    Why do you need landing pages?

    There are many reasons why landing pages are important, and they cover a wide range of objectives. Some are softer than others, but all have a role to play in business success.
     
    The first is that a landing page design is a great way to generate leads that may convert into sales in the future. Often, the impulse of a business can be to direct prospects directly to its homepage. You can do this by sending leads to a dedicated landing page with an area for data capture. Whether this is asking for more information or downloading a PDF guide. It can mean the details of a prospect can you can get and store for future use. This is provided that all the necessary GDPR procedures are in place. This data capture element is something that would be impossible for a homepage.

    GDPR regulations for your landing page

    Once you’ve started collecting enquirer data, you can also dig deeper. You can gain specific demographic information about the responders you are getting. This can greatly help future marketing activities and may even let you develop some personas for your typical prospects. And, as any marketer knows, the clearer the picture you have of your customers, the easier it is to target and sell to them.
     
    Looking a little further ahead. From the starting point of a simple landing page, it also offers the potential to see which customers are the most engaged. You simply need to track when they re-order or interact with your website. This information can then be used. For example, to target special offers at these hot prospects. Even set up a special VIP club for your most valued customers.
     
    An advantage of effective landing page design is that it offers insight. In addition to a touchstone into how well different marketing channels operate. Tracking and analysing the metrics allows you to compare offers and activities. Even with your offline initiatives, and can help to refine and reshape your marketing mix.
     
    On a purely practical level, landing pages also give your offers and other initiatives. They are places to sit on your website without disrupting its structure or flow. They can be added when needed and removed when no longer relevant. There’s also the option to carry out classic A/B split tests to see the most effective design or approach.
     
    Last, but by no means least, on the internet, content has always been king. So this is a great and hard-working way to increase the amount of that content on a site. Best of all, it’s not simply content for content’s sake. As we’ve seen, it can be shared across socials, giving email responders a destination and generating leads. Not to mention being the conversion tool that can make PPC campaigns truly effective.

    Facebook Ads - PPC - Paid Media

    The main components of an effective landing page

    Now let’s move on to the component elements of a landing page and take a look at how they combine to create an effective method of lead generation and conversion. All are equally important, as the landing page design is unlikely to offer optimal performance without one or more of these elements.

    1. The Headline. In all forms of marketing activity, from press ads to emails, it’s the headline that draws potential customers in. It should be the most prominent element on a landing page and, therefore, impossible to miss. In terms of what it says, it should be straightforward and explain the offer clearly and in an appealing way. So the reader will be left in no doubt about what they will receive.
    2. The Text on the landing can then go on to explain in full detail what’s on offer and how to get hold of it. But brevity is also key, so it should also include elements like bullet points and pull-out boxes highlighting key points. It should also lead directly and logically towards the ultimate call to action.
    3. Images. They are very important to make the landing page more visually appealing. Whilst providing the visitor with a clear idea of what they will receive if they convert. Try to avoid stock and generic images if possible, as these can detract from the overall impression and effectiveness.
    4. Keywords. They should also be used just as they are on all online marketing content for very obvious SEO purposes. So always follow the current rules of best practice and use all the tricks to appeal to Google’s frequently-changing algorithms.
    5. Sharing buttons. To enable the visitor to use social networks like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. They will greatly widen the potential reach of a landing page. While drawing in new potential customers who might otherwise be difficult to reach.
    6. The lead capture/ information form. This really is at the business end of the landing page. This is where you’ll get to acquire the visitors’ all-important personal information. It should be easy and intuitive to complete, ideally with an auto-fill option enabled too.
    7. Navigation, or lack of it, is also very important. Having hidden navigation on the page or none at all will help keep the visitor on the landing page. Whilst being free from distractions, this reduces the page’s bounce rate hugely.

    So what’s the best practice for landing pages?

    There are no hard and fast rules about what makes for the best kind of landing page. There are certain guidelines that it’s a good idea to follow for maximum effectiveness. So here, in no particular order, are some things that need to be considered.

    Meet with expectations

    You can determine your expectations when someone has clicked through to a landing page. Whether from an email, a social post or a banner ad, they will expect it to be a logical progression from what they have seen and read. So the messaging on the landing page should have a close and logical link to this and be the obvious next step on the journey to conversion.

    Place all the most vital information on the top of the page

    You want to make an immediate impact without giving people the need to scroll down the page. Ensure it is above the fold on your website. This is their way to find out more, as this is a fairly reliable way to lose prospects along the way.
     
    So when visitors land on the page, they need to be able to immediately see the headline and the key points of the copy and have a call to action to click on too. So it’s a question of prioritising information as well as making it obvious what the reader needs to do next.

    Follow the principles of directional cues

    There are some well-established methods of leading the reader’s eye around a page, including information that may be lower down the page. These can include arrows and other shapes and images that make it obvious there’s more to read if they scroll down.
     
    The most important directional cue will be one that highlights the call to action. This is often achieved by the use of contrasting colours.

    Don’t just tell, show

    Demonstrating the service or product you aim to sell will always be more effective than simply writing about it. You can do this in several ways, and you should choose the most appropriate one for the context. Demonstration videos or animations are probably the best, but you can also have step-by-step images as a simpler option.
     
    It’s also a good idea to make this one of the most visually dominant parts of the landing page so it can even be its main image.

    Copywriting for landing pages

    Make the copy sing

    The words you use to get across your sales message are just as important as the images. So make it compelling, short and snappy. A good principle to use is the inverted pyramid. This has a narrow focus on the key selling points at the top. Then, it broadens out to provide more detail as it progresses.
     

    Be ready to refine

    One of the big bonuses of using landing pages and the design is that it gives you instant feedback about how they are performing. Take advantage of the opportunities to test out how one approach fares. Do this against another or whether tweaks you make have any effect on response rates. And if, for any reason, one approach is underperforming, you can refine it in the hope of making an improvement.
     

    Testimonials always carry weight

    In our cynical times, marketing messages can often greet you with a little scepticism. Even when people have chosen to click through to a landing page.
     
    Using authentic and believable testimonials can go a considerable way. This is towards overcoming people’s doubts and convincing them that a product or service is worth buying. The more detail you can include about the person giving the testimonial, the more convincing and effective it will be.
     

    Make forms quick and easy to fill in

    No one enjoys filling in forms, so you need to make the whole process as frictionless as possible. The first step is to avoid overwhelming the responder with a whole page full of questions to answer. Instead, do it in a series of steps with the simpler questions first.
     
    Typing in answers is also potentially off-putting. We’ve already mentioned auto-fill; you can make other steps easier too. For example, a drop-down list of options is always going to be preferable to having to type in a person’s title, gender and, if relevant, nationality too.

     

    Remember to say “thank you” too

     Once your prospective customer has completed and submitted the response form, don’t just leave it there. It’s always a good idea to also give them a “thank you” acknowledgement.

    It gives them the reassurance that their form has been received and also gives you a chance for further interaction, perhaps by asking if they’d also like to sign up for your online newsletter or qualify for another offer.

    A note saying thank you - landing pages

    Let’s get a little technical

    There are also a couple of technical considerations if you want to maximise the effectiveness of your landing page. The first of these is to ensure that any landing page loads quickly by only including what is absolutely necessary on it. This will also help make it a cleaner, more focused, and more reader-friendly page.
     
    Plus, remember the devices people will be viewing the page on. That means making sure that you go lowest common denominator. You need to assume that many people will be viewing it on a small smartphone screen on an older-style device. That way, you’ll have all your bases covered.
     
    If this all seems like a lot to consider, let alone to take in, we agree that it is. But at Cefar, we have a team of professionals who can take care of everything for you and design landing pages that always make a big impact.
     
    So if you’d like to talk to us about creating online campaigns that punch well above their weight, get in touch today.