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Best Practices for Landing Pages in 2015

Posted by on in SEO

Practices for Landing PagesEven in 2015, there’s still the need to know the best practices to use landing pages. They are a tool and an important tool at that. Crafting and honing them to today’s standards helps you put your web material on the vanguard of success.

Here’s what you have to know regarding modern landing page design:

What Are Web Pages and Why Do You Need Them?

Landing pages are standalone web pages that allow visitors to engage in a specific action; contrary to popular belief, these are not your homepage. Landing pages can serve as calls-to-action that encourage people to sign up for a newsletter or provide contact information in return for a free product offering or discount.

But why do you need landing pages? What’s the use?

  • Business Objectives

Landing pages help you meet your business objectives. Through a link such as a banner ad, visitors will arrive at your landing page. Because landing pages should only offer visitors one link, your audience can now either choose to take that action (e.g., join your newsletter, order a product) or leave. Put simply, landing pages force your audience to pay attention to what you’re asking.

  • Speak to the Right Audience

Landing pages allow you to adapt your message to cater to the goals and motivations of your specific target audience. Knowing the potential questions your audience may have can help you construct your landing page’s message to better suit their needs and prioritize your information. Plus, this will help increase the likelihood that they’ll not only stay on your page, but that they will also answer your call-to-action.

  • Entry Points

Be aware of all the ways your audience can access your landing page and ensure that your links are working. A very important point: be sure that the aesthetic of your landing page (or, at the very least, the main heading) matches that of the source from which your audience has accessed the page (e.g., your banner ad). If the aesthetic isn’t similar or the heading is too different, readers may believe they’ve been sent to the wrong page and leave.

But those are just the basics; there’s much more you need to know to build successful landing pages…

Making Your Landing Pages Adaptive

Landing pages are great because they can be spread across multiple locations. However, there are also ways to adapt them to these different outlets so they reach a broader audience. “Adaptive content” is a big buzzword in 2015—and it’s an important one for online businesses. You need to be sure that your landing page content is adaptive across multiple information formats and platforms, including:

  • Adapting Landing Pages to Different Traffic Streams

You should have different landing pages for each source or stream, such as one for each social media site, one for AdWords traffic, and one for organic searches. On each page, feature specific media based on the audience; for example, if your Facebook audience has responded well to e-book offers in the past, feature more e-books on your landing pages for Facebook followers. Observe and anticipate what your audience’s interests and needs are based on the source from which they’re accessing your landing page and adapt your content to suit them.

  • Adapting Landing Pages to Different Devices

You surely are aware of the surge in mobile devices for Internet browsing. As has been noted, you need to adapt your pages to suit your audience’s needs and expectations, so this includes the necessary mobile aspect; namely, your landing pages need to appear correctly on mobile devices.

Having Proper Landing Page SEO

  • Your Web Site Has More Landing Pages Than You Think…

And they all need to be optimized properly. Consider this: each product page, each service page, and each special offer page that is currently on your web site could be a potential landing page. Knowing this, use the following tips to better optimize your content.

  • Pay More Attention to Your Text Headlines

Search engine optimization (SEO) using landing pages requires careful attention, especially with aspects such as headlines, which should incorporate long-tail keywords and coding. More specifically, in HTML coding, placing your main headline with the <h1> attributes, rather than as an image (i.e., a logo or banner) and sub-headings with <h2> is key to building strong and successful landing page SEO.

  • Keep Your SEO Expectations in Check

It’s important to understand that landing pages won’t get the same traffic as your top SEO-optimized pages since they exist on their own (rather than within a web site with internal linking). To help boost rankings, though, be sure to focus on specific long-tail keywords.

  • Use Optimized HTML

Since landing pages have the benefit of offering focused content, it’s important that you focus on clean, optimized HTML coding. Know that it doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles of a web page; just have the text arranged according to heading levels and ensure that the page resembles your source link. Basic and optimized are the key words here.

  • Provide Value to Gain Links

For landing pages that are up for the long haul (not seasonal), offering valuable content, such as a white paper or e-book, can help boost lead generation and encourage inbound links.

Testing, Testing, Testing

Some landing pages work better than others, but you may not know why. That’s why A/B, or “split,” testing is a necessity when designing and utilizing landing pages. For this form of testing, you create two landing pages, then watch their results over a set period of time using metrics. This will help you determine which is the most effective and why, allowing for greater business success in the future.

Providing Proper Forms on Landing Pages

Providing proper forms on landing pages may seem simple, but there are some tips you need to keep in mind if you want to be successful:

  • Use Fewer Form Elements/Delete Unnecessary Fields

The old adage of “less is more” might seem cliché, but with landing pages, it’s practically obligatory. For forms, request minimal contact information on your landing page (e.g., name and e-mail address) and use it to follow up with a request for more information. Make the first step simple for your potential client and work on building a relationship from there.

  • Minimize the Space Used by Form Fields and Use Directional Cues

Don’t be afraid of white space; design your landing page to direct audiences to what you want them to see, using cues towards the next desired action. To minimize the space used by form fields, consider having two fields per line, such as first and last name.

  • Use Oversized and Colourful Buttons to Boost Conversion

It may seem exaggerated, but using large bright blue or orange buttons with large type is best to boost conversion. A simple test to see if you’ve got it right is to step back from your computer and quickly glance at your screen (about the amount of time it would take you to walk by it). You should be able to clearly see both the buttons and the wording that appears on them. One tip: be sure that they’re also adaptive for mobile platforms.

  • Provide a Clear Reason to Fill Out the Form

Offer a clear benefit or reward to your reader for filling out the form, such as a discount or free product. Make the offer clear so that readers won’t miss the reason why they should be filling it out.

Optimizing Your Landing Page’s Call-to-Action

When it comes to getting people interested, each landing page has to have a definite call-to-action (CTA). Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Make Your CTA(s) 100% Clear

Your call-to-action should be direct and absolutely clear to your reader. If they have to ask any questions, you know you’re not doing your job right. For example, if you’re offering a free report, your buttons should say something like “Get Your FREE Report Today!” Avoid using non-specific text like “Go,” “Submit,” or “Subscribe.”

  • Deliver on Your Promise

Make sure to deliver on what you’ve promised on each landing page. If you start by offering a free product then ask for cash on the very next click, you’ll lose the client’s interest and potentially damage your reputation.

  • Avoid Superlative Adjectives

Watch your word choice; stuff like “GUARANTEED!” or “THE BEST!” is too hard to believe and appears silly. They’ll also make it seem like you’re overselling yourself, making potential clients question your legitimacy.

  • Keep It Simple

Avoid too many graphics or videos. It’s important to have empty areas with a balanced colour scheme. Creating a high contrast between white space and your CTA and buttons is also key to conversions.

  • Make Your CTA(s) Be Seen

Keep your calls-to-action at the top and bottom of your landing page so that your audience can access your links no matter where they are on the page.

This might be a lot for you to take in and that’s understandable. But as mentioned, landing pages require a lot of care and attention to get right, so each one of these steps and tips is important. Once you put these design tactics to use, you will see how they can work positively for you.

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