If you are like most practices, your marketing efforts concentrate the majority of your attention, time, resources and money focusing on reaching more, higher-quality audiences. Whether it is SEO, PPC, social media, display advertising or retargeting, practices primarily focus on simply reaching more target prospects.
Unfortunately, few invest the time to assess, track, test, and update their most important conversion asset: landing pages.
Although landing pages may appear to be rather simple, they are deceptively important in generating a profitable ROI. Still, the majority of landing pages don’t follow “best practices” and continue to have high bounce rates and low conversion rates. Even more surprising, many practices that invest significant digital advertising dollars fail to use landing pages at all.
Sadly, most practices that choose to not utilize landing pages do so mainly to save a few dollars. Yet, they are willing to see significantly larger PPC and display advertising dollars wasted, and fail to convert expensive traffic into leads. In most cases, it is not the marketing medium that fails, but rather the execution.
This article is intended to provide insights and tips to develop high-conversion landing pages.
What Are Landing Pages?
In the digital marketing world, landing pages are simply target “destination pages” for online advertising and marketing campaigns. They are designed and built specifically to receive targeted visitors for a single, focused purpose: convert exposure and traffic into actual leads.
This singular purpose and focused exposure make landing pages your best opportunity to improve the conversion of your digital advertising dollars and ROI.
Unlike website home pages or internal pages, landing pages are typically simple designs that have minimal amount of content and promote a single call-to-action. So if landing pages are intended to be pretty basic pages, why do so many of them fail to perform?
Common Issues For Low-Performing Landing Pages
- The most common mistake is to clone a standard page with too many possible actions for visitors to take. Links and CTA’s to other resources, pages, offers, social media profiles, maps, etc. can distract landing page visitors from taking the primary action.
- There may be a significant “disconnect” between the image, messaging and/or offer on the landing page compared to the description and promotion in the advertisement that drove visitors to the landing page.
- The page may project a low quality, overly salesy, or untrustworthy image. Effectively designed landing pages promote a professional brand, and instill credibility and trust.
- Poor performing landing pages may lack a strategic, well-planned offer or element that stimulates “next step” actions.
Of course there are times when a landing page may not be the primary culprit for poor lead generation or conversion. In some cases, the landing page may not get the traffic volume necessary to deliver results or provide enough data on what is, or is not working.
In addition, if a source of your visitors is driving high volume, but low quality (lack relevant interest, have a low level of interest, located too far from the practice, etc.), your low conversion numbers may not be the result of a weak landing page.
Due to a number of variables, it isn’t always easy to identify obvious fixes or updates to your landing pages. However, there are some “best practices” and strategies that give your landing pages maximum opportunity to generate results and perform at a higher level.
1.) One Isn’t Enough – Most marketing and advertising campaigns promote more than just one specific practice area or service. Google AdWords (PPC), display ads, and retargeting campaigns typically have multiple ad groups with different headlines and descriptions. Each landing page will convert more visitors into leads if they are custom to one ad. Studies have shown that campaigns with more ad-specific landing pages convert more overall traffic into leads.
2.) Use the Same Words and Messaging – Visitors that reach an effective landing page immediately see the same words that motivated them to click on the ad in the first place. Maintain synergy and sales momentum on your landing page by using the same messaging in your ad.
3.) CTA Position – Changing where your call-to-action element is positioned on the landing page can make a big difference in the effectiveness of the page. One suggestion is to utilize a heat mapping software to track how your visitors’ view, scroll and engage with your landing page and make updates to maximize conversions.
4.) Color, Graphics and Images – Make sure your landing page’s primary CTA utilizes 1) an action color that stands out, and 2) compelling graphics or images that enhances user engagement, particularly those that include people. Some case studies indicate that including a human can increase conversions by as much as 47%.
5.) Reduce Form Fields… Appropriately - By reducing the number of form questions, particularly those that are “required,” you will increase the number of leads your page generates. Equally important, make sure each form field is appropriate for the action. The more relevant and concise the form, the better your landing page will perform.
6.) Chat Converts! – Many practices utilize live chat services and calls-to-action on their website, but overlook including them on landing pages. This is increasingly important when visitors arrive on your landing page outside of regular business hours or over the weekend.
7.) Optimize for Mobile – Not only should your landing page be “responsive” to mobile device visitors, it should be optimized to convert them. Keep in mind, mobile visitors view, scroll, and engage with pages differently than those on desktops. In many cases, practice owners never even see what their mobile landing page looks like! It makes sense to take a mobile-first approach to developing and updating a landing page.
8.) Faster is Better – Much like websites, landing page performance can be negatively impacted when load times are long. Fast-loading pages will maintain the sales momentum created by compelling ads.
9.) Add Video – Video can be the distinguishing differentiator. Not only can it create more immediate rapport with users, videos can help you communicate more detail, project more emotion/passion, and separate you from the competition. Potential clients will click on multiple competitor listings; make sure they choose you.
10.) Highest Priority: Phone Calls! – We all recognize that phone call-based leads turn into business at an exponentially higher rate than email and even live chat leads. Don’t just focus on form submissions as the only or primary action on your landing page. Promote the immediacy, ease, and thoroughness of phone calls (For immediate assistance, Hotline, Call Now, etc.) through the use of color, size, fonts and/or graphics. Universal touch-to-call phone numbers are essential for mobile landing pages.
*Hint: Many of these tips can also apply to your 'Contact Us' page, which should also be considered a lead-focused landing page.
If you are investing in direct response digital advertising, or plan to, you need to consider developing strategic, high-conversion landing pages.
And if the upfront cost of developing landing pages is preventing you from utilizing them, consider the cost of your media exposure every month is significantly higher, and you will amortize the cost with every exposure and conversion you generate.