The 4 Keys to a Well-Performing Landing Page

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The other day I attended a very informative webinar given by Anna Talerico from Ion Interactive. I was so inspired by her talk that I decided to recap the webinar with a nice blog entry.

As Anna stated, there are four key aspects that make up a high-performing landing page. What is a landing page? Landing pages are used as a high point of conversions typically in conjunction with a PPC Ad Campaign, or Email Blast. These four fundamentals state that your page should be engaging, dynamic, disposable, and agile. I’ll break each of these down for you.

Engaging

If you take a few minutes and peruse a few landing pages you’re going to find that most of them follow a common “cookie cutter” mold. Big headline, paragraph of text, a form, and maybe some additional contact information. Every day the web community is getting smarter, and they’re no longer enamored by the same old thing, so we need ways to cater to their new expectations. Anna gave four things to include in your landing pages that have proven to be highly effective:

Video

As of late, this is has been the number one driver of increased conversions. In some cases, adding video to a landing page has increased conversions over 800%. You might be thinking, “Sounds great, but I don’t know how my company could be represented in a video”. That’s an easy solution. A web video doesn’t need to be a full blown commercial, something as simple as a personal testimonial, short statement from an employee regarding the company, or a shot of a product with an audio description makes the conversion or sale more compelling to the customer.

Flash

This one takes a little bit of explanation. Flash can be used to functionally organize and display information. Things like animated diagrams, or tabbed content cannot only add visual interest to the page, but it can keep the page more organized and compact. Since your user is coming onto the page from an ad campaign or email, you don’t need to worry about this page being “SEO friendly”. Some of these effects could also be done with a javascript library such as jQuery or Mootools.

Pre-Conversion Segmentation

Okay, big word for a pretty simple concept. This states that instead of making a page with a bunch of more broad, general information in the company in an attempt to cater to everyone who visits this landing page, you segment, or “cattle-chute” to another page that gives specific information regarding exactly what they’re looking for. This kind of landing page acts almost as a “front door” directing each user to whichever section of the house caters to their needs. These pages should be kept very simple and allow the user to make a quick decision as to which path they would like to follow. A page like this should have a very high click-through rate, keeping bounce-rates low, around 10-20%.

Social Networking

Social networking seems to pop its head into everything involved with marketing online these days, but it definitely has it’s benefits even on your landing pages. Including live feeds from your blog or twitter account deepens your relationship with your customer. They get a more personal feel in the conversion. If you’re concerned with including links to external social sites, what about including these links after the conversion has been made? If once the user fills out your form you offer your Twitter or other account as a source of contact or resource for further information, the customer will feel that much more secure with the conversion process and has a better chance of being a repeat customer or telling a friend about their experience.

Dynamic

Your landing page should be context specific, which means that the content that is found on the landing page directly reflects and relates to the ad campaign which the user was brought in on. This is exactly why you need multiple landing pages. The more specific the content in context of what the user is looking for, the better the conversion.

Personalizing the content on the landing page using dynamic variables can also be incredibly compelling. Implementing a customers name or email in the content makes the user feel like the page was made just for them. This kind of content replacement is more common on landing pages coming from an email campaign. Similar to personalization, geo-targeting can be used in the same way to make the customer feel more unique and important to your campaign.

Disposable

Your landing page is not a website. You can’t invest in a landing page so much that you are reluctant to throw it out after testing. Your landing pages should have a low-level of investment and attachment. Once a landing page is made, it goes into a testing period where you watch what is working and what isn’t. If a page doesn’t perform well, you throw it out, and begin to innovate ideas for something that could be more effective.

Once you find something that works, use it, but never stop trying new things. There will always be something new that your users will find more interesting than the last. Basically, you line your landing pages up to race, and may the best performing pages win, and the losers go back to the drawing board. Your landing pages are nothing more than an extension of your ad campaign.

Agility

Your pages need to be agile in the sense that they should be quick and easy. A landing page shouldn’t take more than a week or two to create and implement to start testing. If you’re stuck building a landing page for more than this, you’re more likely to become attached to it, and be reluctant to remove it if it doesn’t get the conversions you’re looking for.

Your landing pages are user-directed, but marketer controlled, meaning you decide what to guide the user to. They’ve already invested interest in what you’re offering by following through your ad. Making your pages more agile is directly linked to making the pages disposable. Less time and fewer resources allow you to test more ideas and find more successful solutions.

The average landing page currently only has a conversion rate of 3.84%. Put your company’s conversion rate well above that with a high-performing landing page.

Tags: ad campaigns, conversion rates, customer conversion, email campaigns, landing pages, ppc

  • http://www.ioninteractive.com Anna Talerico

    Thanks for attending the webinar, and the great recap.

  • http://www.andrew-turn.net Andrew Turn

    This is a great article. I only wish that more people would be susceptible to using and creating landing pages correctly. Seems like so many people use the cop out of “my pages are so good, I don’t understand why it doesn’t sell” Thanks again!

  • Josh Lasdin

    @Anna – No problem, the pleasure was mine!

    @Andrew – Thanks! You’re right, sometimes it can be difficult to get clients on board with how important and beneficial good use of landing pages can be. Hopefully with articles such as these and some proven results, there won’t be nearly as much resistance in the future.

  • Murray Woodward

    Thx for the excellent blog.

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