Mastering the art of a website landing page can pay big dividends

Think of a landing page as your online sales letter, and follow your common sense when developing your page
Greet your customers and reassure them that they have come to the right place. Remember that up to 40% of visitors bounce back to Google as soon as they arrive at your site | Photo: Gameanna

In a previous column we wrote about the art of creating ads on Google. This is the first step in your sales process and it will help you bring visitors from Google to your site.

However, advertising on Google is not enough. You need to take another critical step: to persuade your site visitors to take action and buy your product or service.

To accomplish this, it is recommended that you create a special page on your site for each major group of products or services that you sell. This special page (not your home page) is called a landing page, and its main purpose is to welcome visitors who just landed on your site and, as often as possible, to close the deal. Think of a landing page as your online sales letter, and follow your common sense when developing your page. Here are some of the most important principles for successful landing page design.

First, greet your customers and reassure them that they have come to the right place. Remember that up to 40% of visitors bounce back to Google as soon as they arrive at your site. So tell them right away that you have the product that they were looking for.

Second, be very clear. Avoid any confusion. Make it perfectly clear what you want them to do. Avoid clutter. Repeat your call to action a number of times on your page, including in your headings and “order now” buttons.

Third, be persuasive. Sell! Tell your story. Explain product benefits.

Fourth, be search-engine-friendly. This will help you get more visibility on Google while paying less for each site visit.

Fifth, build trust. Reassure your visitors that doing business with you is safe and convenient.

Following the above principles, here is a checklist for your successful landing page design. Make sure to use it before launching any online advertising campaign.

Reassure

Did you immediately reassure your website visitors that they have come to the right place? Did you repeat their search keywords in your heading line?

Be clear

Did you stick to the single most important goal (for example, order or sign-ups)? Was your landing page simple, easy to understand and clear in terms of exactly what you wanted your visitor to do next?

Did you provide a prominent call to action, such as a “buy,” “get started” or “sign up” button?

Did you avoid too many elements on the page, such as too many links, flashing graphics, choices and navigation options?

Did you make sure that your landing page looks good on different popular browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari?

Be persuasive

Did you consider your visitor’s eyeline? Did you start at the top left of the page with your logo, and put your call to action on the right (above the screen fold)?

Was the heading truly catchy?

Did you reassure visitors about the product’s benefits?

Did you provide visually appealing and effective images?

Did you write compelling copy? Did you check your copy for spelling errors, misaligned text or inconsistent fonts?

Did you provide a special incentive for their order? Did you create a sense of urgency such as an offer deadline?

Be search-engine-friendly

Did the landing page URL include the most important keywords? Did you include the most important keyword(s) in your title tag?

Build trust

Did you describe your returns/satisfaction policy? Did you include your privacy policy?

Was your page easy to load (maximum should be seconds)? Did it look professional?

Did you use various trust signals such as endorsements, testimonials or third-party trust seals such as the Better Business Bureau or McAfee secure shopping?

Did you provide prominent contact information including phone number in case they have questions and need to talk to someone?

BizTech Q&A is our answer to the most common technology questions related to your business. Email us your questions and we will respond

Cyri Jones (cyri.jones@zenlaunchpad.com) teaches at BCIT and Capilano University. He is co-founder of Zen Launchpad and Zen Maker Lab. He blogs at 24posts.com. Ivan Surjanovic (ivan@ipowerlab.com) is in the marketing faculty at Capilano University and is CEO of iPowerLab. He blogs at www.whereispuck.com.

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