A landing page is not only an essential tool for any business conducting inbound marketing, it is vital for search marketing and the best way to capitalize on your SEO efforts. Think of a landing page as a strategic page. It is there in order to accomplish an a goal Ė to convert, direct or retain, and helps to ensure you are attracting the most relevant audience for your product or service. If done correctly, an effective landing page can mean the difference between 500 clicks per day to 5,000. Building an effective landing page does take time, but if it means higher conversions, itís worth every minute!
Before we get into how to actually construct a landing page, letís look at the key benefits of having a landing page to support your SEO efforts, or in other words, whatís your ROI in this:
Gives You Raw Data
Landing page data looks at your total conversions, visitors and bounce rates - information that helps measure your ROI. You canít argue with numbers, and successful marketing campaigns donít materialize out of thin air, they rely heavily on objective data. How do you calculate your bounce rate so you can fine-tune content to engage your users more? A landing page can do this for you.
Increase Conversion Trends
Users like simple messages, and landing pages need to accomplish this. You donít have to overcomplicate a landing page (or website) to glean conversions. If you are doing everything right, maintaining content consistency, visual consistency, and brand consistency, all with a landing page that directs people to what theyíre looking for, youíve done your job right.
Makes A/B Testing Simple
All effective websites go through A/B testing to see what pages, or page designs, are performing and which are flunking. A/B test allows you to run parallel testing of two or more pages at the same time. Why is this important? Because you want to maximize the effectiveness of all of your pages, and determine what you may need to re-work, or leave the same.
Filter Your Audience
The beautiful thing about building an effective landing page for SEO, is its ability to filter out irrelevant users. The key to higher conversion rates is to find the ideal user for you, and that requires audience segregation. By using distinct landing pages, you are able to tailor your core message to fit a very specific audience. Taking this even further, a landing page will help you segregate users according to their origins. A social media user may not have the same interests or behaviors as a user who enters a specific question or phrase into the Google search bar.
Now, letís go through the building blocks of an effective Landing page:
1) Make Sure the Branding is Spot On!
Remember, a landing page is a Ďwelcome matí, a first impression, and you know what they say about first impressions. If you are not entirely focused about your branding, your consumers are going to feel the same. An effective landing page should drive the brand message home as aggressively as your website as a whole. Consistency is key, right down to color, tone and font. When users are clicking around on your landing page, it should direct them to content that is inherently connected to what you have on your landing page.
2)Choose a Custom URL
A landing page is a separate but connected component of your website, and it needs its own custom URL. Though it may be tempting, ensure your custom URL is descriptive but not stuffed with money keywords. It may seem like a good idea for the purposes of SEO, however, you may suffer in the rankings if Google catches on, so use them wisely. If you happen to be launching a contest of some sort or a campaign, it is advisable to assign your contest/campaign its own unique custom URL. Not only will this help you drive more traffic to your main site, it will make analyzing your Google Analytics data much simpler, and help you keep an eye on the campaign progress.
Keep it simple. Do not get bogged down in design details. Think about how you want to reduce your bounce rates. A complicated, overworked design is going to irritate users before theyíve even had a chance to see what you are offering. Keep the Ďclickablesí to a minimum (images, links, ads etc). One of the key features of an effective landing page is a form to encourage user engagement. Keep the form simple - First and last name, their email - thatís all you need.
4) Create an Incentive
What are you offering that everyone else isnít? Thatís the question your users are asking too. Why should they provide their information? What do they get out of it? In any call-to-action marketing plan, creating an incentive for users is essential. Are you running a contest? Do you have a unique newsletter they can subscribe to? You need to give them a reason to give you their time, and info. A landing page is the perfect place to do this.
5)Creative Copy is Everything
Donít blather on; make it simple, concise and to the point. A landing page should never be an essay. When is the last time you stood on a welcome mat at someoneís door and took five minutes to read it? If you have a few landing pages, make sure the message is specific and relevant. Keep your content SEO-ish, but donít keyword it to death. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression, so make it count!