Online marketing is an industry that’s constantly in flux, but due to recent evolutions in technology, SEO, web design, and people’s habits it can seem like some changes are happening at breakneck speeds. This is especially true in regards to landing pages, which have had to adapt to the multitude of internet-capable gadgets while keeping up with Google’s game-changing Panda and Penguin algorithm updates.
With all that’s occurred, how do you know what practices are best for your landing page? Which strategies are still viable and which ones are destined to remain in 2012?
At Spark Logix Studios, we keep an eye on everything happening in the worlds of inbound marketing and web design, and we make a point to adopt innovative tactics with the greatest potential for success. With that in mind, here’s our advice for moving forward with your landing page in the new year.The Perfect Landing Page
You can reference the perfect landing page while you read this blog post.
With Landing Pages: What’s Still Good and Important?
Although your landing page may need an overhaul, that doesn’t mean you have to start totally from scratch with your methods, as some strategies never go out of style, particularly:
Specific Page Information and Focus
While the weight of keywords may have downgraded slightly in regards to SEO, they’re still important to human readers who are looking for specific information as they skim your page, and it’s still vital for your keywords to match the focus of your PPC campaign. Even though you may use multiple variations of a single keyword or phrase, make sure they all stick to one subject — your product or service.
Having your keywords, PPC ads, and content singularly focused makes it possible for you to devote all your energies in one direction, which equates to a more efficient campaign and improves your chances of connecting with consumers who are searching for what you offer.
Clean Design and Clear Message
Arguably, consumers have the shortest attention spans when searching the net — if something doesn’t catch their eye or is difficult to understand, they’ll just click away. There are simply too many other websites out there (your competitors!) for people to waste time on a cluttered or confusing page.
Thus, it’s vital for your page to have clean design which clearly highlights your message. In other words, define in your mind what you want visitors to know about your brand and ensure everything on your page works towards meeting that end. Avoid extraneous graphics or overloading readers with content. Although it can be tempting to cram as much information about your business on your landing page as possible, visitors can only absorb a limited amount of information, so whittle your content down to the most critical facts.
Generally, you’ll get the greatest results if you delegate these aspects of your page to a professional web designer and writer, as they perform such tasks on a daily basis and know how to best layout your page and polish your message.
Clear Call to Action
Obviously you have a webpage for a reason, but if you don’t steer visitors in a particular direction once they’re on your page, you may never see your objectives fulfilled. Just as you clearly defined your message when choosing your content, you also have to plainly identify what you want readers to do with the information. For instance, do you want them to contact you, sign up for your newsletter, buy a product, or something else?
Whatever it is, make sure it’s obvious. Include some form of a “click here” button that offers an incentive for people’s action. Your incentive doesn’t have to be anything extravagant; something as simple as a coupon or a free eBook can win users over if you’ve properly piqued their interest with your content.
Additionally, make your call to action apparent by keeping it “above the fold” or in a constantly visible location.
With Landing Pages: What’s Newly More Important?
Along with the tried-and-true strategies above, here are some essential practices to adopt as you optimize your landing page for the future:
Show Why You Should Be Trusted
While having a professional looking landing page is a great start to earning visitors’ trust, most internet users demand other reassurances before giving you their time or money. Despite all its advantages, unfortunately, the internet is also a haven for con-artists, fly-by-night companies, and others looking to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. However, people are spending more time online than ever before and are consequently becoming savvier about what sites they frequent.
You can win visitor confidence by:
- Prominently displaying any awards or professional associations — this shows that other well-known people trust you.
- List the physical location of your business — users like to know you exist somewhere in the “real world.”
- If applicable, show pictures/descriptions of your team — this gives a real face to who you are and what you’re about.
- Evoke a clear, understandable mission — visitors need to know what you can do for them and why).
- Show that you have nothing to hide — visibly display your shipping and return policy, phone number, email address, and anything else which proves you have no tricks up your sleeve.
Community and Social Engagement
You don’t need us to tell you social media is big stuff right now. It’s where many users spend a good portion of their time online and, just as in real life, no one wants to be left out of a hot conversation. That considered, it’s essential to project your brand as something people are talking about while showing you are in-tune with online discussions.
You can do this by, first, participating in social media and, secondly, showing off the number of users talking about and communicating with you via social networks or directly from your website. Essentially, if folks can see that their friends and other people they know are talking about you, they’ll get curious, won’t want to feel left out, and get interested in your brand too.
Responsive Design and Clean Accessibility for All Devices
If online marketing had a word of the year, 2012’s word was undoubtedly “mobility,” as nearly everyone spent the past 12 months devising ways to effectively reach out to the mobile audience. This was because the popularity of smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets caused mobile internet use to skyrocket, and, judging by the continually strong increase in mobile users, there’s a good chance “mobility” will be the word for 2013 as well.
Still, there are plenty of desktop users around, which means landing pages must accommodate both static and mobile users. For this reason and more, Spark Logix prefers and recommends using responsive design for all webpages. Responsively designed sites automatically adjust in size and layout, so visitors are always given an optimal viewing experience no matter what device they are using. Also, responsive sites are elegantly simple to manage, since you only need to maintain one site (it serves as both a static and mobile site in one).
If you rely on a professional for nothing else, use a skilled design and marketing company to construct your responsive landing page. This is still a relatively new type of design code and not everyone knows how to execute the technology correctly or to its full potential. Also, your landing page is often people’s first impression of your brand and an experienced marketer can leverage online resources carefully to ensure you put the best face forward.
It’s important to remember your content has to appeal to your entire audience, and while they may be similar in some respects, they are likely different in terms of their senses of humor, intelligence, and personality. Thus, you should avoid being cute, trying to be too funny, or using company jargon that is meaningless to most outsiders.
However, what resonates with nearly everyone is positivity. Be upbeat, make it obvious you are enthused about your industry, and illustrate how you can help the consumer. This type of attitude is contagious and you’ll find people naturally want to be a part of your brand (i.e. conversions.)
It’s not always easy to know how to deliver your message in the ideal way while balancing the needs of a varied audience, so again, consider hiring a professional content writer for help.
There’s little chance strategies like having focused keywords, clean design, clear messages, and distinct calls to action will ever go by the wayside, as they are fundamental to any worthwhile landing page. However, to remain successful online, you have to stay up-to-date with current trends (both within the industry and among consumers), so you can provide the most relevant experience possible to your visitors.
Right now, folks are looking for businesses they can trust, that have a presence in online arenas they frequent (e.g. social networks), and are accessible whenever they need them. By meeting those needs you’ll have better SEO and PPC success, as your brand will match what and how people search. No matter if users are searching for your products or services from their desktop, mobile device, or if they happen to click on your ad, they can clearly see you’re a business who not only understands itself but also the needs of consumers — two qualities necessary for evoking consumer confidence and having a profitable campaign.