How to Create Effective Landing Pages

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When we work with our clients to redesign their AdWords campaigns, one problem usually sticks out: unfocused landing pages. The biggest crime among the campaigns? Those that direct to landing pages cluttered with links to other portions of the site. Most often, it's directed to the homepage. So what's the problem with that, and how does it hurt your landing pages? Simple:
  1. "I'm overwhelmed with choices, so I'll hit the back button."
    It's a psychological phenomenon: if you're confronted with too many choices, you tend to stall yourself. You don't know which links to choose. That starts to dampen your confidence, and you'll likely hit the back button.
  2. "I was looking for specific information. This isn't what I had in mind."
    People who use search engines seek specific phrases. It's a big world out there, with a billion links to choose. Your average user is starting to get more web-savvy, and the majority of them aren't typing in key phrases to look for general information. They want specific information, right now, and -- with no clutter attached.
Here's how to write an effective landing page:
  1. Be focused. Focus on one desired action only. Whether you want your user to sign-up for a newsletter, download a pdf, or sell a particular product -- focus your page entirely on one desired, intended, action. It keeps your visitors from going elsewhere -- increasing the chances of you trying to convert your users. Don't clutter your landing pages with a navigational bar, an about us link, or any other links that will dampen your chances of conversion.
  2. Personalize the landing page. Users are usually searching for one specific item. When creating your marketing ad campaigns, aim specific keyword terms to specific landing pages. Suit visitors to the fullest extent possible. You want your visitors to enter the landing page, thinking, "This is just the thing I've been looking for..."
  3. Testimonals! People primarily don't buy products or use services because of what features they have. People buy products because of who else is using them. It's called the "running with the herd" effect, when people don't have enough information to rely upon. Because others have bought your product, it's a good indicator of how good your product really is. Testimonials on your landing pages is an absolute must -- that is, if you can get them from your previous customers.
  4. Be genuine. No superlatives on landing pages. Our product is the BEST in the WORLD! Did that make you want to run away? Most people will hit the back button if it seems you're trying to "sell" the person your product. It's better to be truthful. Once you do that, your visitors will be more open to your pitch.
  5. Provide value. Sure, you probably want to keep your biggest secrets within what you're selling. But, from our experience, it's much better to provide value first. One, it demonstrates your credibility. Two, you're reaching out and building a relationship with your visitor. Third, and importantly, it gives visitors a glimpse of the goodies you have inside.
  6. Test, test, test your landing pages. Here's a great tip. On your Google AdWords campaign, or whatever else you may use, create two landing pages--but using the same ad entrance copy. Which ones are converting more users on a consistent basis? Good. Now, take the top performer, and test it against a new ad copy. Done? It's a continuous, infinite, never-ending process.
  7. Add other offers at the end of your conversion. We sure you'd love to offer other products or services, so we won't disappoint you. The perfect, prime, place to add your additional offers is at the "Thank You" message -- after you've converted your visitor from your landing page.

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Posted on April 07

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