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How to make your landing pages take off

Targeted landing pages are a simple and effective means to increasing conversion rate, be it contact us or add to basket, but a large number of sites still manage to stumble over the basics. Sam Sutcliffe, Account Manager for Radley and Warner Music International, explains how to use landing pages most effectively.

When & where to use landing pages

In short, you should use landing pages as often as possible. That should include campaign-specific pages, pages that appear for your top performing search terms, paid advertising pages, pages linked to/from email marketing campaigns, and even top performing product pages.

All too often, campaigns and paid ads etc. link to homepages. After all, it’s easy to view your homepage as a great place to drive traffic to. And in many cases it is; it’s home to all your key messages, vital navigation, links to social media, promotions, and latest information. But if you have a clear call to action that you want to promote, then your homepage is one of the worst you can be using as all of the aforementioned elements compete for visitors’ attention.

Consider the journey

If the visitor has arrived via a campaign ad, a targeted search term, or a promotional email, then they are more than likely to want to see related information, not a homepage or an uninspiring category page. Showing visitors the wrong page will likely lead to a bounce, which means wasted marketing budget and lost revenue.

When a visitor follows a link, they are expressing interest in a particular facet of your offering – these are the most valuable type of visitors by a country mile as they are easier to move through the conversion funnel. Targeted landing pages can hold the focus of visitors. Use landing pages to get visitors to do one single thing, with one clear call to action.

Get them to ‘land’

Before visitors even arrive on your landing page, there are elements you should be considering. The Page Title, Meta Description and URL are all opportunities to catch the attention of potential visitors. You can further enhance your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) snippet with images, reviews and much more. The key is to ensure the message the visitor sees on the SERP is consistent with what appears on the landing page. You can read more about rich snippets here.

The same can be said of paid ads. Reiterating your core messages and USPs during a visitor’s journey to your landing pages will drive the point home and improve conversion. Where possible it’s also beneficial to keep the visuals of your campaign ads and emails consistent to your landing pages.

Once your visitor is on the page

Designing an effective landing page is not rocket science. The first and most important thing to consider is the call to action (CTA). The reason for having landing pages is to increase conversion, so you must establish your goal and push the message clearly and concisely to make your sale. Make it as easy as possible for visitors to respond to your calls to action – it seems obvious, but it is often overlooked. How many times have you found yourself struggling to add a product to the basket or even checkout?

Use strong imagery. People like good images, particularly if they are planning on making a purchase. Your landing pages, be they product, campaign or range-specific should have good quality imagery. Images are also a great opportunity to add meta tags, which can help search engine rankings.

Limit interactive elements, especially those that take visitors off the page – you have likely spent money to get people here, so why make it easy for them to go elsewhere once they arrive? The only links on your landing pages should be those that move the visitor closer to your goal. Some landing pages even strip out common elements such as footers and navigation, in much the same way an enclosed checkout does.

Use a tried and tested template; conversion isn’t a guessing game, it’s a science. Test different versions of your landing pages and gradually build a template based on the best performing elements. Collate and analyse data from analytics providers, the obvious choice being Google Analytics.

An example of an effective landing page

Many of the leading online retailers have fantastic landing pages and Apple are no exception. As they have recently had a big product launch, they are a great example to use.

Apple have always been good at creating landing pages that meet all of the above criteria, and for the launch of heir latest product, the iPhone 6 is no exception: https://www.apple.com/uk/iphone-6/

The page is dominated by a product image which illustrates the larger size of the phone when compared to previous models. This is completely inline with the multi-channel marketing message that the new iPhones are the biggest yet, a sentiment that is reiterated by the simple wording placed directly above the image, ‘Bigger than bigger’. The same message is conveyed in the meta description on the Search Engine Results Page when one searches for ‘IPhone 6’, as shown in the below image.

Visitors to the page are offered the option to ‘Explore’ the product, which opens a drop-down navigation featuring a clean, visual menu highlighting the product USPs, as shown below. Next to this is the all important call to action. In this instance it is ‘Buy Now’, which remains in place regardless of the item selected from the drop-down navigation.

Beneath the image are links to three video content options, all of which offer the visitor the opportunity to learn more about the product. Note that even if they choose to navigate away from the page, they are kept within the buying cycle. If the visitor chooses to scroll down, they see further product descriptions and technical specifications. The call to action and ability to explore the product remains sticky as the user scrolls, meaning that the ability to ‘Buy Now’ is never taken away; the entire journey has been considered.

Landing pages are a vital asset when it comes to increasing conversion rates. Always consider the customer journey and how it should work alongside your core brand values and messages. If the two become disconnected, then your landing pages will suffer. Alignment between the two will help you get the most from your landing pages.

About the author

Sam Sutcliffe has been an Account Manager at Session since 2013. He works with leading brands to launch complex eCommerce projects both in domestic markets and abroad, and is particularly interested in optimising retail sites after launch.

 


Article update
This article was originally published under Session Digital, which unified with Inviqa in June 2016. For more information about the unification visit https://inviqa.com/new-era.