Landing the Sale: Great Advice on Optimizing Landing Pages

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Landing the Sale: Great Advice on Optimizing Landing Pages

It started today with an article in Spin Sucks on landing pages, just as it started with a post on content marketing last week in FM Signal. Within 15 minutes, four articles on how to make the most of landing pages came across my Twitter feed.

In direct marketing, the hardest thing to do is get someone to reach for their wallet. Perhaps more realistically, much of inbound marketing on the web sets its sights only on an email address. One effective way to do that is with an optimized landing page that presents a relevant offer beside a simple form, where visitors can enter their information in exchange for content.

“Effective landing pages are essential to successful online marketing campaigns and are probably the single largest factor in determining whether or not you will convert a web visitor into a lead that’s willing to give you their contact information,” writes Chris Chariton of Globalspec, in “Ten Tips for Improving Landing Pages.”

“Having specific landing pages tied to different pieces of content is a really effective way to track your leads and provide the sales team with a nice little pipeline,” writes Gini Dietrich in “10 Ways to Improve Landing Page Conversion.”

This a great pair of complementary lists. When they overlap, as they do often, it only serves to underscore the importance of those suggestions. In fact, these are more than just tips: They are generally understood rules that could be better defined as best practices.

The online marketing chaps at HubSpot put their spin on the “top 10 list” by focusing on how a landing page can present itself as a trustworthy keeper of personal information. “10 Foolproof Ways to Earn Your Landing Page Visitors’ Trust” takes a short case study approach, with specific examples explained with words and pictures–“hands-on,” “how-to” copy, as my first trade magazine editor explained it. This post focuses on how to make sure visitors believe you will deliver what you promise and that you are a legit organization, validated by outside sources. For a HubSpot landing page that offers more information about optimizing landing pages, check this out.

One of the most important tips that HubSpot offers here is to “include reviews and testimonials on your landing page.” The tips are geared more toward ecommerce pages than lead generation pages, but many of the lessons apply to both. Read this post, and you get six more landing page tips, for a total of 18 unique tips, more than half with multiple points of view.

Finally, the lonelybrand blog dissects another landing page as part of their “Best Landing Page” series. “Best Landing Page Designs: Square” focuses on the landing page of the up-and-coming mobile payments company Square. The company uses a narrow landing page design with a pictorial approach that clearly demonstrates how the product works.

The page made lonelybrand’s list of best landing pages, writes Katherine Leonard, because:

  • All of the page is above the fold
  • The slider displays the device’s capabilities
  • The page caters to mobile, like the product.

Landing pages are the work horses of ecommerce and lead generation, and there’s a lot of science that can make them work better. See Tim Ash’s definitive book Landing Page Optimization and the fascinating webinars from Marketing Experiments for that.

In the final analysis, however, they have to connect to people emotionally and technologically. One of the comments on the Spin Sucks post summarizes that nicely, where Howie of sky | pulse | media writes:

“I am appalled at landing pages and I am not a digital person. But I am a salesperson. I often see that is what is missing from landing pages is a person like myself helping out. In fact there should really be two people who design the page…sales….and the average Joe and Jane who will visit the page. Those two inputs trump any techie or marketing wonks input.”