As the name implies, a landing page is a single page that has only one purpose – to create more customers for your business – by enticing them into the front end of your sales process. This page can be part of your website or it can be free-standing, which is more common.
People arrive (land) on your landing page by following a link in an organic search result, on a website or in an article somewhere, or by responding to an online ad (Google, Facebook ad) or to an offline ad (signs, a radio ad, mailings, etc.).
A landing page can be very short or quite long, like a typical sales letter. Regardless of its length, its mission in life is to move your audience through a sales process, described as follows…
● Instantly grab the attention of your audience with a show-stopping headline, that will…
● Engage them with focused, benefit-packed content that…
● Motivates them to answer your call to action.
Before you begin assembling your landing page, decide on exactly what action you’d like your audience to take. Starting at the end clarifies your goal. Upon deciding that, your content should focus on moving people down the page and enticing them to respond to your call to action at the end.
Another characteristic of a landing page is that there are no distractions. There are no menu items or links to other pages. All the content on the page leads your visitors to only one decision – either accept your call to action or abandon the page.
Some landing pages are very short with an attention-grabbing headline, a sub-headline or some follow-on text, concluding with a call-to-action button. This goal of this type of landing age is usually to capture a person’s email address in return for some valuable information, such as a free report.
Longer landing pages have a larger goal in mind. The longer copy is designed to encourage its audience to make a larger commitment than clicking a button to receive a free report. This can anything from contacting the business to ask questions or actually ordering a product.
This is a critical question that deserves your close attention. Here’s the reality in today’s online world – it’s mobile. You may say, “Sure, I know that” but do you really know what this means to your business? Here’s what’s going on out there in the world, where your audience lives…
● Google’s research has indicated most online visits occur on mobile devices – mostly phones – and it’s trending upward.
● From hundreds of millions of online sessions, Google has found 53% of mobile users will move on if a web page doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
● Mobile users are far more likely to be in a distracting environment when going online.
…if your landing page isn’t lightning fast and doesn’t load within 3 seconds, you will lose a large part of your audience right off the bat. In a few more seconds most of the rest are gone, too. Not good.
If you’re running ads on Google or anywhere else and half of your audience loses patience and moves on before even seeing your page, a lot of your ad money is going up in smoke. There is only one answer – a lightning fast landing page that loads instantly.
A typical ad/landing pace scenario begins your story in the ad itself then continues the story on your landing page. A quick and smooth transition from your ad to your web page is very satisfying to your audience. They experience instant gratification. Anything less is immediately irritating.
The transition from your ad (or from any other link) is when you’re most vulnerable to a total loss. If people bail out before your page loads, the game is over before it even started. That’s how important loading speed is. It delivers a very good first impression and avoids a total loss.
The mass migration to smart phones has turned web development upside down. Memorize this, “To be safe, always assume people will arrive on your landing page from a phone.” This means any new web pages you develop should be optimized for mobile access.
Pages designed for mobile will work fine on a desktop but the opposite is not true. The first requirement is the page must be very fast. Then, the content needs to be formatted for small screen viewing. Short paragraphs, each with its own curiosity-inducing heading (like this page) is most comfortable for mobile users.
As a rule, your paragraphs should be kept to fifty words, if possible (again like this page). A single line on a desktop monitor converts to about four lines on a phone. Lots of compact text in long paragraphs is the kiss of death for phone visitors. Their eyes will glaze over.
Since the purpose of your landing page is to make a great first impression, the ideal situation is to have two versions – one optimized for mobile and the other for desktops. Unfortunately, a dual-purpose page with a “responsive” feature for mobile viewing really isn’t good enough. Why? Because of all the other stuff…
In addition to the formatting of your body copy, there are other things unique to mobile viewing that go beyond just being readable on a narrow screen. For example, the header graphic should be downsized. Finger-friendly navigation should be accommodated. One-touch dialing or texting should also be included. It’s not complicated, but it’s different.
If you have developed pages optimized for both mobile and desktop, how does your system know which type of device people are using? Some web development platforms (like the one used here at AGSW) can detect the screen size of the device being used and deliver the correct page. This feature is totally transparent to your audience.
So, to make the best impression during the most vulnerable point in your entire sales process, you should create a landing page that…
● First and foremost is lightning fast;
● Has two versions optimized for both mobile and desktop viewing;
● Has a headline that instantly grabs your audience’s attention;
● Contains copy that continues the story, includes benefits and flows well from paragraph to paragraph; and
● Concludes with a compelling and convenient call to action.
As you see from the information on this age, a landing page is designed to be totally focused on selling – creating more new customers for your business. A website has a broader function and is most useful later in your sales process or for helping existing customers. So, here’s the question - if your website is supposed to be a salesperson, would you fire it for sleeping on the job and “hire” a landing page instead?