Because it’s time to get into shape!
Spring is here, and the pools are open. Time for some bikini boot camp for your landing pages to make sure they’re in tip-top shape as your business dives into summer. Landing pages on your website are those places where your customers land after clicking on a PPC ad or a display on they've seen on the Web.
Dedicated landing pages can be the most critical way to win new business "post-click" because they speak directly to the ad or link that generated the click in the first place. Which means you should avoid simply using your home page as the principle landing page for your online ads.
Here are some questions to ask to find the trouble zones you’ll need to focus on in order to get lean, mean performance from your landing pages.
- Do you go below the fold? Try to keep your content concise so that your page fits above the fold and doesn’t require scrolling. If it’s just not possible, make sure that your best assets appear first including what you do, your unique value and a call to action.
- Do you have meaningless words? There have been polls and studies done about the most abused gobbledygook words and phrases. These are the filler that you use to describe your solution that are completely meaningless to your visitors, which include “innovative,” “next-generation,” “cutting-edge,” “marketing-leading,” “easy-to-use”, etc. (I’m sure you’ve heard from blowhards around the pool who use language like this.) It’s time to shed the meaningless words and just stick with meaningful communication. Fluff is yesterday – clear articulation is today. Don’t use a single word that has an express marketing intent. Cross them all out and just say what you do and why you are the best, using only your customers words (i.e., “this widget cut my operating costs by 10 percent!”)
- Do you have too much information? Landing pages are not the place to ramble on about every little detail about your company and products. It’s important to stick to just enough information to help users understand in a matter of seconds that (1) they are in the right place; (2) you are better than everyone else; and (3) what the next step to take is. Save detailed comparisons, extensive product information and anything that would require several minutes of reading for other places on your website.
- Do you expect too much time? How much time does it take someone completely unfamiliar with what you do to read your page and digest what you are trying to tell them and take the next step action? Get some friends to help you out with this exercise. If this is more than 1.5 minutes, you’ll need to do some streamlining in order to have the digestion process occur more quickly.
Now that we’ve given you some ideas about how to cut the fat, let’s talk about the key assets that you want to have shine on your new and improved page:
- Headline: What do you do – in your customers own words.
- Benefits: What makes you the best – again, in your customers own words; keep the list short – just three-to-five will do.
- Call to Action / Offer: What should your visitor do next? Make this accessible right on your landing page to take the mystery out of how much effort is required to take it to the next step.
- Testimonials / Awards: Give yourself some credibility – just some teasers here will do.
It’s also important to use some lower calorie ways of communicating so that you can maintain your lean, mean page and not just gain the weight back again over time:
- Images: Use pictures to portray whatever you can – they are interesting to view and can convey at least 1000 words. A picture can help a visitor confirm they are in the right place and understand what you do in the matter of an instant.
- Videos: If you offer something complex or a concept that is not widely understood, a video can be a great way to provide more detailed information rather than lengthy bouts of text.
- Bold, Bullets, Formatting: Make sure it’s easy to “cruise through” your page and digest the information as quickly as possible.
Using these simple and easy tips to get your key landing pages into shape will ensure you’re not only attracting great traffic, but turning that traffic into real business (but don’t apply the bikini analogy here… because that’s just creepy.)
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