A landing page is a simple page that has a very important goal:
To collect emails and turn traffic into subscribers and the customers. This whole process starts with crafting a good landing page.
The Best Landing Pages Have Two Options
The properly designed landing page should be designed to allow a visitor to do one of two things:
- The action you want
This may seem simple, but too many don’t design landing pages like this. They design their landing page with a call to action, but then on the same page they will have various links to other posts, pages and resources.
Don’t distract your visitors. Make it so they can either opt-in or leave. Nothing else.
Want to see an example of a bad landing page?
Here’s one for “How To Program With Java“ by Trevor Page.
Trevor was interviewed on SmarPassiveIncome.com. A website that gets a half a million readers a month. Pat (the guy behind SPI) can send a lot of traffic to your website. Trevor smartly designed a landing page in anticipation of his interview on SPI.
However, his landing page fails on so many levels.
First, the goal of this page was not singular. Trevor want’s you to sign-up for his email list, check-out his products, and to thank you for clicking over to spend a minute on his website.
Trevor’s landing page kinda sucks.
Let’s get into why Trevors landing page is so poorly done and what pitfalls you need to avoid when creating your own landing page for email opt-in conversion.
1 – Using your regular blog post design
A landing page, in this case a “welcome readers of super popular website” you want this new traffic to take some sort of action.
Most likely, if they’re from a relevant website. You want them to subscribe to your website as a way to grow your traffic, pre-sell them on your products over time, or to just establish trust and a relationship.
Trevor did this right with an email list sign-up form at the bottom. Where he went wrong was using a blog post.
There is nothing wrong with a blog format, but for a landing page it’s irrelevant to have a sidebar and all your other design elements.
You don’t need share buttons, a sidebar with links, AdSense above your email form and a comment box.
Clean and simple works best when directing people to do something, which on this page looks like the sign-up form. What is a landing page again? NOT a blog post unfortunately.
2 –One page one goal (not two)
Next, every single page or blog post should have one goal, one idea, one concept, one call to action on it. Not two. Not three.
Look, choice is good if you’re selling a product. Make ONE product have 3 price points, then the middle price point physiologically become the most appealing to your customers and you will actually sell more than you would than if you only had 1 price point BECAUSE:
It turns customers from bargain buyers into value purchasers.
But with calls to action and directing people to buy your products, sign-up to your list, read your content, click your advertising, leave a comment, use your navigation bar…it’s just too much.
Even if you’re trying to direct people to do one thing, by having all these other options on the page you’re also inadvertently directing people to do something other than what you want.
These other elements on your page are distractions from the one action you want people to take, so just remove it all.
3 – Basic Boring Headline
Headlines are your one and only chance to sell people on your website. Just like how you determine if you’re attracted to someone or not within the first 10 seconds of meeting them, same goes with your content and headline. Either it steals attention or it doesn’t.
It’s a common practice to create a welcome page for traffic from a high traffic website aimed at converting those specific readers to do something. BUT people have seen this before so make it unique. Use a more original, pithy and compelling headline that “welcome readers of XYZ website”.
Now for any landing page YOU ABSOLUTELY want to name the specific source where the traffic coming from… but do it with a purposeful, clear, and persuasive message.
4 –Answer Objections Quickly
I’m on your website, why should I care? I did not find your website via a search query for JAVA programming in a search engine so why should I stick around? With traffic from other websites coming to your website because of a guest post or by being featured, craft your landing page with words and concepts that this specific audience will understand.
Also answer objections this new traffic will have to your website. Like, JAVA is hard – what’s the benefit of learning JAVA – what can I do with it – why would I want to know JAVA – how can JAVA help me grow my online business.
Lastly, get them to sign up for your email list or have them subscribe to your website. Get them to share your website with someone who might be a better fit if the traffic is irrelevant to your website. Build a relationship with these new people too.
An an example of a good but not great landing page
Fit Marriage crafted a decent landing page here. It still has unnecessary elements like the navigation and the sidebar, but overall it’s fairly compelling because the language used is specific, and customized to the readers of the website where the traffic is coming from:
Find out exactly how to find time for exercise in your life as a busy online businessperson
Keep in mind, this website is called FIT Marriage. It has nothing to do with busy online business people.
An example of a GREAT landing page
How To Make a Landing Page Checklist:
Let’s get into some essentials when creating a landing page. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but this check list is a good run down of the important aspects of a landing page.
A single column with NO sidebar, footer or header works best.
If you wish to add a sidebar of some sort then make it purposeful to the main goal of the page.
Don’t be cute or clever with your headlines.
Be purposeful, pith, and original with your headlines and content. If you’re making a landing page or sales page you’re obviously doing some sort of commerce online. That means you’re building a business. It’s time to be professional, not to express your inner artist.
People read in an “F” style manner.
Keep this in mind by having the more important information and images off to the left.
People read everything if they’re your target audience.
It’s true that people scan mostly, but when it comes to making a landing page, they read and look at everything. Make sure you pay attention to grammar and answer objections. Demonstrating you have the solutions they’re looking for.
Focus on benefits.
Don’t write we do this, I do this, we can help you with that, bla bla bla. No one cares. Instead write like you’re talking to one person, your ideal person you want to help: You should sign-up because I’m going to show you how to build your first Iphone Application without any cost and without even needing a “good” idea.
Your “right people” read everything. If you’re making a sales page GO LONG (as in yes write a 3,000+ word long page). If you’re crafting a landing page to collect emails, go short.
Copy your competitors
Do your competitors have a landing page that has excellent points but perhaps something is missing something?
Great! Read through that and notice the points where you feel the copy is weak. Weak in the sense that it does not go into enough detail, it does not provide enough proof, it’s irrelevant, whatever. Then go back to what you have created and try and look for the same weaknesses that you could improve upon.
Don’t link to anything on a landing.
These pages act as attention funnels, as little journeys you’re taking people on. To link to something interrupts this journey. If you must link to something (supplemental material, whatever) make it so the link opens up into a new tab.
Your landing page or sales page should match the tone of where the traffic is coming from.
So if traffic is coming from an ad you’re running somewhere, or from a guest post or article, use a tone that matches the traffic source.
White space if your friend. So is text size 14-17 px for reading. Break up text walls with headers and sub headers that use different font sizes to make it visually more interesting and easier to read. Keep your first paragraph short and powerful also. 1-3 sentences.
Don’t guess. Test.