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Land, Ho!

No, my sadly un-punny title is unfortunately not referencing Jeff Tweedy’s fictional band on Parks and Recreation. Nor is it about sailors or explorers finding terra nova. I’m actually here to talk about landing pages.

As we know, inbound marketing is all about relationships. Part of a relationship, regardless of the type, is making that crucial step after getting to know someone: getting their contact information. How else are you going to create and maintain a relationship without being able to stay connected? For businesses and their leads, that step is seen in the form of a landing page.

Landing pages are website pages specifically designed to convert visitors into leads. High quality landing pages also allow businesses to successfully segment their audience into different markets, which means reaching the right people, at the right time, at the right place. As I’ve discussed numerous times before, content is everything. But with landing pages, context is equally as relevant. I’ve also mentioned Hubspot’s buyer’s journey and its various steps: awareness, consideration, and decision. An ideal landing page should be catered and customized toward your particular visitor, and whatever step they’re at in this journey (in fact, according to this Hubspot blog post, you should have at least 15 different landing pages to create maximum success – increasing the number of landing pages from 10 to 15 can raise conversions by 55%). A good landing page has a mixture of a lot of different things, and Mashable’s article on successful customer acquisition lists the three most important:

  • Make it clean and simple to use
  • Give a clear call-to-action
  • Make the design attractive

Minimalism is back, people. Simplicity is the new black, and embracing whitespace is a big deal. Clutter, in whatever form, is distracting and annoying. Removing it from your landing page removes distractions, and keeps visitors focused on that big end goal (also, your landing page is NOT your homepage). According to Copyblogger, the most successful landing pages are usually the most simple: one column of relevant, content-filled text with social proof and maybe a nice webinar generates far more leads than a busy site with too many links to click. It’s actually best if you remove any sort of links on your landing page: chances are, those visitors won’t come back.

Content is all about creating relevant information for a unique visitor and (at the end, the teeny-tiny 20% of your content) showing them how they can benefit from your services as a business, whatever they may be. The Content Marketing Institute summed it up nicely on their blog: “You need to entice visitors to opt in for your content. Just stating the title of your video or white paper is not enough to do this. Add some copy that explains the benefits of requesting your material. For example, I like to include short bullet points that highlight what visitors will learn when they check out the content.” After all, you’re asking your visitors and potential audience members to create a relationship with you by having that call-to-action: you’d better make it personally tailored to them, informational, and harmonious to whatever point they may be at in the buying process to keep them coming back for more.

You know how after you’ve gone to a nice get-together at someone’s home, or gone on a really good date with someone, you thank them for the evening and tell them you look forward to spending time with them again? Well, guess what? Businesses should be doing that as well. We as consumers usually get thanked for doing business with someone (in my case, buying shoes I don’t really need), but we don’t ever get thanked for providing them a little bit of our souls: our email addresses. By including a thank you page after a visitor has successfully been converted into a lead, you can further entice the customer with downloadable content and help encourage actions (like, for instance, maybe social media calls-to-action) that will help further the relationship even more.

Okay, so I’m kind of leaving out one big thing that I’ve discussed before: testing. A/B testing allows businesses to test which landing pages, call-to-actions, and even thank you pages are most successful at maintaining those relationships. I won’t go into too much detail about it (you can read my thoughts on the wonders of split testing here), but it’s incredibly useful and simple, and absolutely necessary to help cater your content and the context it’s presented in to each individual visitor.

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