This is part 1 of a 2 part series on ROARlocal’s “How to” mini course on creating a great landing page.
Part 1 will cover the elements of a landing page, while part 2 will go through the design and copywriting essentials of a landing page.
What Is a Landing Page?
It is the page your visitor arrives at after clicking on a link. It can be any page on your site.
The landing page plays an extremely vital role of converting traffic into customers/leads in your online sales funnel.
This is even more crucial if you are paying for your traffic, such as through PPC (pay per click ads, which affects your quality score).
What Is a Great Landing Page?
A great landing page is a culmination and alignment of extensive research, effective design, and compelling copywriting.
Using a model by advertising pioneer Claude Hopkins, a great landing page must achieve AIDA.
Attention: Your headlines must grab the visitor’s attention and get him to continue reading.
Interest: After getting his attention, you must be able to pique interest within the next 1-2 seconds.
Desire: Next, create the desire in your reader to find out more.
Action: Once the previous three stages have been achieved, it is time to get your visitor to perform your desired action. It will be good to raise urgency at this point.
Research should be your first step. The purpose of research is to know your target audience so well that you know their innermost needs and wants, and know how to communicate with them.
This information would be extremely useful for crafting your design and writing potent copies.
But as this is not the focus of this article, I will not delve into it.
The very first thing to do right after your research is to come up with a story or a theme, which is the premise.
This premise is the emotional hook that not only attracts attention, but maintains engagement throughout every element of your landing page and marketing campaign/sales funnel.
This alignment is what separates the great landing pages from the rest.
Keep this premise firmly in mind as you set about designing your landing page.
2.1 Company Logo
The importance of the headline cannot be underestimated.
Even advertising legend David Ogilvy acknowledges this by rewriting a headline for a Rolls Royce advertisement 104 times. This is the final headline:
Purpose of a Headline
The headline is the first and only impression you make on a visitor! As such, it is essential to grab the visitor’s attention and get him interested enough to continue reading.
Another use of the headline is to orient the visitor and let him know that he is in the right place.
Principles of a Great Headline
1. The most dominant visual display – you want readers to notice it immediately –
2. Be useful for the reader –
3. Convey your unique selling proposition (USP) –
4. Triggers a strong, actionable emotion –
For more examples, check out this list of emotional headlines.
Note: Do all of the above in an ultra-specific way to make it more intriguing and believable, like a promise.
Of course, it’s not possible to fulfil all the principles always. Instead, understand them and try to incorporate these principles in a way that makes it interesting enough for your specific target audience to continue reading.
Make Your Headline Stand Out with These Design Elements
- Display typeface
a. Your headline should be the essence of what you offer.
b. If possible, have your main keyword that is used for SEO/SEM to bring visitors to your landing page in the headline.
b. There are many ways of creating an effective headline. You could say it simply, add urgency, create scarcity or even incorporate social proof to make it believable. Check out 9 other proven ways of writing your headlines
2.3 Secondary Headline
The secondary headline serves to show the visitor what exactly is on offer, and expands upon the headline. In marketing speak, it has to show the visitor “what’s in it for me”.
Again, the purpose is to get the visitor to continue reading.
2.4 Hero Shot of Product/Service
The hero shot is the main photo of your product or service.
Imagery is powerful. Use it to evoke positive emotions in your visitors, and establish trust.
Also, keep it relevant and consistent with the theme of your landing page.
You can use a video as well, which can be even more effective since it engages more senses than a simple image. Hence, it has the potential to trigger more emotions which will push the visitor towards performing your desired action.
This section should encompass about 3 to 5 benefits of your offer. The purpose, is to “sell” to your reader in such a way that they cannot live without the benefits.
It is best to keep them easily readable and scannable. For example, in the form of simple bullet points as web visitors tend to skim.
Do not confuse benefits and features.
2.6 Trust Indicators
There are many ways of building trust and reducing risks, with social proofs such as testimonials, endorsements, press mentions, guarantee seals, and 3rd party trust and security certification (Better Business Bureau, Verisign, etc).
Another tip is to locate these trust icons close to the call to action button.
2.7 Call to Action Button
This is where a lot of testing is done, as a simple change of colour or positioning can seriously change your conversion rates.
Wording also plays a huge effect on conversion. Strive for simple, clear, compelling language that inspires visitors to take action.
Most importantly, make this button stand out. Bigger is usually better.
Finally, limit the number of call to actions. Less is more here. However, the exception is when you have a long landing page and it is only logical to have multiple call to action buttons spaced out evenly on the page and one at the end.
2.8 Any Promotional Mechanics
These can be limited time offers, special exclusive discounts, or even free trials.
This marks the end of part 1. Keep a lookout for part 2, where we will delve into design and copywriting guidelines – the key that makes or breaks your landing page.
But if you are more than ready to start setting up landing pages for your online ads, why not contact our friendly consultants today and double your conversion rates?