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10 Practical Uses for Landing Pages

landing pages

photo credit: RayMorris1 via photopin cc

I like landing pages a bunch. I’ve written about Why Landing Pages Are a Must and I’ve had the really smart Oli Gardner from Unbounce write a guest post about How to Create Highly Converting Landing Pages. My good friends over at Copyblogger are pretty big fans of landing pages too – grab their landing page ebook.

Landing page use has become a foundational element of online and offline marketing and should be used by every regardless of industry or engagement type.

Let me restate that another way – landing pages can be used by any business whether you sell products from your website, want people to make an appointment to meet or are trying to drive people into your store for your holiday sale.

Below are a sampling of just ten of the ways you can use landing pages.

  1. Use a landing page in every ad, PPC or offline, to lead people to a place to get more info
  2. Use a landing page to drive people to your events
  3. Use a landing page to enroll people in your email newsletter
  4. Use a landing page to promote your new product launch
  5. Use a landing page to promote your free eBook
  6. Use a landing page to give away a free printable guest pass to an event in your store
  7. Use a landing page as a personalized destination in the resource box from a guest blog post
  8. Use a landing page as a personalized destination in the resource box from a contributed article in your hometown paper
  9. Use a landing page to offer Facebook users a printable coupon
  10. Use landing pages to personalize your social media profile links

Need some help with landing page tools – here’s a great list to start exploring

Top Landing Page Creation Tools
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John Jantsch Top Landing Page Creation Tools

Listly by John Jantsch

List of resources and apps specifically for building and testing landing pages.

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  1. 1  Instapage - Free Landing Pages

    Instapage - Free Landing Pages

    Instapage makes creating, publishing and A/B split testing landing pages simple.

  2. 2  Destinably | Crea y optimiza tus Landing Pages

    Destinably | Crea y optimiza tus Landing Pages

    Destinably te ofrece una plataforma en tu idioma para crear, publicar y optimizar tus Landing Pages, sin necesidad de programar ni de contar con un hosting.

  3. 3  LeadPages Software - Mobile Responsive Landing Page Generator and Builder

    LeadPages Software - Mobile Responsive Landing Page Generator and Builder

    LeadPages™ Software is the world's easiest landing page generator. It is this easiest way to build conversion optimized & mobile responsive landing pages for your business. These pages can be published to a server of your choice, Facebook, or WordPress . . . and can be a/b split tested.

  4. 4  Unbounce - Landing Pages: Create, Publish and A/B Test Without I.T.

    Unbounce - Landing Pages: Create, Publish and A/B Test Without I.T.

    Unbounce lets marketers build high-converting landing pages without I.T. 1-click publishing, A/B testing and a suite of best-practice landing page templates

  5. 5  HubSpot - Landing Pages Software |

    HubSpot - Landing Pages Software |

    How Landing Pages fit in your inbound plan Convert: You've got traffic to your site. The next step is to convert those visitors into leads by gathering their contact information on a form that lives on a landing page.

  6. 6  Google Experiments

    Google Experiments

    If you have a website, then you have goals that you want your visitors to accomplish (e.g., make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter) or metrics you want to improve (e.g., revenue, visit duration, bounce rate). Experiments lets you test which version of a landing page leads to the greatest improvement in goal completion or metric value.

  7. 7  Kickoff Labs - Landing pages and email marketing for everyone!

    Kickoff Labs - Landing pages and email marketing for everyone!

    Landing pages and email marketing for everyone!

  8. 8  Optimizely: A/B testing software you'll actually use

    Optimizely: A/B testing software you'll actually use

    Improve conversions through A/B Testing, Split Testing and Multivariate Testing with Optimizely!

  9. 9  Pagewiz - Landing Page Generator & Landing Page Templates | PageWiz

    Pagewiz - Landing Page Generator & Landing Page Templates | PageWiz

    Pagewiz Landing Pages for online marketeers - Create, Optimize, and Publish your landing pages. NO Programming or IT Necessary. Sign-up Today!

  10. 11  Lander - Landing Pages: Create, Publish and Optimize for Free | Lander

    Lander - Landing Pages: Create, Publish and Optimize for Free | Lander

    Lander lets you create beautiful landing pages for your social media, email and online marketing campaigns using an easy step-by-step process. Sign up now!

  11. 12  Top Landing Page Creation Tools

    Top Landing Page Creation Tools
  12. 13  Boingnet Personalized Landing Pages

    Boingnet Personalized Landing Pages

    Convert traffic into leads and customers with mobile ready, personalized and lead generation landing pages. Landing pages are focused mini websites with clear calls to action that support any type of marketing effort. Lead Generation landing pages are designed to capture web traffic that you generate through PPC, event and other campaigns where you don't have a relationship with the audience, and turn them into leads.

View more lists from John Jantsch

Why Landing Pages Are a Must

September 19th I’m hosting a free webinar titled - “How to Quickly Grow Your Email List, Dramatically Increase Your Conversions and Skyrocket your Sales and Profits.” with LeadPages founder Clay Collins (Sign up at the bottom of this post.)

Landing Pages

photo credit: AHMED… via photopin cc

Prospects today are abused, confused and rarely amused by the shear amount of options they turn up when searching for a solution to a challenge. I know that rhyme was corny, but that’s how bad it’s gotten. If you want to be part of the solution think about employing a landing page the next time you want a prospect to take action.

Online marketers have used the term “landing page” for many years to describe a sales tactic focused on getting people to take one, specific action. Today, landing pages have simply become a required element in the marketing toolbox for every imaginable business, including local brick and mortar types.

A landing page is just the page someone “lands on” when an ad or email directs them to take a specific action such as sign up for a free webinar, subscribe to a newsletter, download free videos or buy a new product. The landing page is used instead a site’s homepage.

Effective landing pages make it very clear what a visitor is going to get from a page and how to get it. That’s it plain and simple. They don’t have links to other pages or any other distractions.

There are many great articles on how to create better landing pages including this one from Unbounce but today I want to focus on some reason I think every business needs to create and use landing pages as a core online tool.

Local content

One of the best ways to get your site to rank higher when people search locally and on mobile devices is to have lots of local content. Creating landing pages that feature very localized, down to the neighborhood perhaps, content is a great way to start building the local content and link necessary to have your pages move up in the search index for local search.

Social content

Sending your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook connections to landing pages that are personalized to each network is a great way to deepen the connection. By running Twitter and Facebook feeds on these pages and acknowledging the connection with those that come from those networks you will also find a much higher degree of engagement in those networks.

Smart content

By creating landing pages that address the specific market segments, product segments or key content segments for your business you can begin to better funnel people to the specific types of content they desire. Using a tool like Survey Funnel in conjunction with your landing pages could allow a visitor to tell you what they are looking for and be directed to specific content based on their choices.

Lead capture

Landing pages are your lead capture workhorse. If you have a great eBook or free workshop to promote you may want to create signup forms for most of your web pages, but your signups will soar when you create a page that details, sells and demonstrates the benefits of acquiring your free report. A landing page with video, audio, images, descriptions and very intuitive call to action is a must for lead capture campaigns.

Advertising conversion

Any form of advertising will be much more effective if it is targeted to a page that contains nothing but content that supports the message in your ads. The more relevant the page to the ad, the more effective. Smart marketers constantly experiment with ad and landing page combinations, including creating keyword optimized pages for specific groups of PPC ads.

Use a powerful tool

There are many resources geared towards helping you create landing pages, but my favorite at the moment is called LeadPages. I run my entire website on WordPress and LeadPages comes with a WordPress landing page plugin that gives me total flexibility in the creation and deployment of landing pages. The tool includes predesigned configurations for sales pages and opt-in pages and is very easy to configure and style. A tool like LeadPages is a must if you plan to take today’s advice to heart.

In fact, on September 19th I’m hosting a free webinar titled - “How to Quickly Grow Your Email List, Dramatically Increase Your Conversions and Skyrocket your Sales and Profits.” with LeadPages founder Clay Collins. Clay and I will go over the exact science behind landing pages that convert and the simple tested tips and tricks they use every day to double and triple response.

Sign up for the free webinar today and I’ll be sure to send you reminders when we get closer.

Sign Up Today

A Crash Course in Landing Page Conversion

Yesterday you learned what makes a good landing page and the 9 concepts below can be used as a checklist to keep you on track the next time you run a marketing campaign.

1. Where landing pages sit in the funnel

To understand the role of a landing page it helps to show visually how they fit into your marketing flow, from the traffic source, through your different test variants, and finally, the confirmation page.

(Click the image for to explore in more detail)

2. Message match: Ad to Headline

This should be your first concern. Read your ad phrasing and then read the headline on your landing page to see how closely they correlate. One of the biggest reasons for a high bounce rate (and a poor PPC quality score for PPC) is that people lose the information scent when they arrive at your page, thinking they are in the wrong place.

Next stop? The back button. Then your competition.

3. A single CTA

Having a single call to action gives people only one thing to do and stops them wandering down the wrong path. Drill this into your head: only give them one thing to do and they will be more likely to do it.

4. Social sharing

There are 2 ways to add social sharing to your page. You can add them to your main page to show social proof or add them to your confirmation page (covered in part 9).

Don’t forget that a low count shows “negative social proof” so if you want to use them, try using paywithatweet.com to get your ebook instead of a form. This boosts tweet counts in the background. Then show the widgets when the count is high enough and switch back to a form.

5. Use video to increase conversions

Studies have shown that using videos improve conversions. But why?

  • Higher engagement: Videos increase the time on page, giving your brand message longer to sink in
  • Feature yourself or company employees: Raise the trust factor by showing you’re real
  • People are lazy: Many prefer to watch rather than read

6. Trust factors

Some things that can help instill a sense of trust in your visitors are:

  • Number of participants: My personal favorite is for webinars or events. If you show a running count of how many people are attending it can really sell people on the value of the event.
  • Testimonials: They can be video, but written ones also work well, especially when associated with a brand that your visitors know
  • Client logos/endorsements: If you have recognizable clients include their logo.
  • Media mentions: Show the logos of big sites where you’ve been featured. Often achieved via a PR push around a product launch.

7. Visual design

Professional page design is also important for establishing trust – but bad designs convert too (usually for cheesy pages selling miracle weight loss pills). So what can you do to improve your conversions using design?

There are a variety of techniques including directional cues like arrows, or people looking at your CTA, contrast, whitespace and color etc.. Read Designing for Conversion – 8 Visual Design Techniques to Focus Attention on Your Landing Pages for a detailed exploration of this.

8. A/B Testing & Optimization

Your page is awesome, right? How do you know? You just made an assumption because you spent a boatload of time designing it and you are feeling proud of your masterpiece. The thing is, EVERY page can be better, and this is where testing and optimization come in.

How do you optimize your pages? Most people just throw out some ideas (often untrained people) and try a quick test based on a headline or button color change… but most tests fail.

A good process goes something like this:

  1. Gather user feedback on your page using tools like Olark (live chat) and Qualaroo (simple surveys). You’ll be surprised to learn where people are hitting barriers in your conversion funnel.
  1. Brainstorm ideas with a diverse collection of team members: Include customer support, designers, copywriters and information architects.
  1. Develop a hypothesis: Now that you have feedback and some ideas for a test page you need to create a hypothesis for why you think it will succeed and build your page with this in mind. Try writing it like this:

Our Test Hypothesis: Will allowing visitors to download our PDF by providing their email address perform better than receiving it in exchange for a tweet? Considering that not everyone has a Twitter account, or is willing to share such information with their followers.”

It’ll you build a test page with a strong sense of purpose.

  1. Run the test: Finally, you need to set up a test with your new page against the original (control) page. Make sure you leave it running for at least a week to cover daily variations in behaviour and don’t stop the test until it’s had enough traffic to achieve statistical significance.
  1. Choose a winner: This is easy. Whichever performs best should be promoted to be your new champion page and the loser discarded.
  1. Try, try again: Remember that test will often not give you the results you were hoping for, but don’t give up if your first few attempts don’t pan out. Learn from them and keep trying.

To see how good you are at spotting what converts the best, try ConversionSkills.com. The value in trying to pick the winner is to remember that your decisions should be driven by data, not assumptions.

9. Post-conversion strategies

We’re at the end of the funnel, and the most under utilized conversion opportunity space you have at your disposal. Your confirmation pages are prime real estate to engage with your new lead/customer, after all they have just signalled positive intent by converting.

Things you can add to your confirmation page:

  • Webinar follow up: Remind people that they will receive full videos and slides of the webinar even if they weren’t able to attend.
  • Social sharing: Ask people to share your page with their colleagues.
  • Follow you: on the social networks they hang out on the most
  • Freebies: If you were doing lead gen to give away an ebook or whitepaper, give them an extra one free as a thank you.
  • Ask them to subscribe to your newsletter: This is a great way to keep people in your sphere of influence for further re-marketing in the future.
  • The Amazon model: Use “People who liked this also liked… ” to drive extra sales.

For an even deeper dive, read post-conversion strategies for lead gen landing pages.


Now you’re a real landing page pro, so visit the landing page we put together just for Duct Tape readers and take the next step.

– Oli Gardner

Oli Gardner is Co-Founder & Creative Director at Unbounce – The DIY Landing Page Platform. He is an opinionated writer, primarily on the subjects of landing pages and conversion rate optimization. You should follow him on Twitter @OliGardner.

 

 

How To Create A High Converting Landing Page

Today’s guest post is from Oli Gardner.  This is a two part post, the second part will be published tomorrow – Enjoy!

You’re do loads of awesome marketing: ads, promos, contests yada yada yada. And you send all that hard earned traffic to your homepage where people lose the information scent from your ad, get confused and leave.

You need a landing page. Landing pages are targeted specifically the intent and content of your ads.

In this post we’ll learn how to construct a high converting landing page by examining:

  1. The anatomy of a landing page
  2. Some landing page examples critiqued for conversion

Then tomorrow we’ll finish things off with a crash course containing 9 tips to ensure your landing pages are converting as well as possible.

Let’s begin today with…

Part 1: A Quick Landing Page Anatomy Lesson

There are 7 main elements to consider when designing your page.

  1. Unique value proposition in a concise headline

This is your intro to your prospect and should match the message that you promised in your ad, ideally in a way that explains the benefit your solution provides.

  1. Image/video showing context of use

Remember the goofy squinty guy from the SlapChop ads? Of course you do. He was awesome, and demonstrated the product “in use”. That’s context and whether it’s a cheap vegetable chopper or an online SaaS business, showing your product or service being used will get you more sales, guaranteed.

  1. Core benefit statement(s)

People hate reading. So keep your main points in bullet form, not big paragraphs, and make them focused solely on the benefits that people will get from using it. A feature is meaningless without an associated benefit. Always think “How would this help people?”

  1. Request for data (and a fair value item in exchange)

Every B2B marketer wants one thing above all else, email addresses. Remember this phrase: “Match the quantity of the data you’re asking for with the size of the prize.” People need to feel like they are getting value from their personal data in order to convert. Two ways to do this – make amazing content or make the form super short – ideally both.

  1. A strong call to action (CTA)

Your CTA should use principles of conversion centered design to stand out from the rest of the page and leave no doubt about it’s purpose. Aside from the design, a crucial aspect for your CTA is what it says – copywriting, especially for conversion can be challenging.

One good tip is to ensure you describe exactly what will happen when the button is clicked. Never say “Submit” – say “Download my free ebook” – big difference, and it lets people know they are making a good click. A good rule of thumb is to complete the sentence “I want to…”

  1. Trust elements

Would you buy from a company you didn’t trust? No one. So what can you do increase the trust of your landing page? Here are a few things you can use:

  • Testimonials: Make them authentic and try to use video if you can. And don’t be afraid to ask your customers if they are willing to help.
  • Twitter comments: Show a live stream of people saying nice stuff about you.
  • Endorsements: Show the logos of media placements or high profile customers.
  1. Post-conversion socializing

Want to take advantage of warm leads? There’s no better place than the confirmation page of your lead gen page or cart page. Use this opportunity when the lead has expressed intent, and ask for something else, like a follow or newsletter subscription.


Part 2: Examples of Good Landing Pages

Now that we’ve covered what goes into making up an effective landing page, let’s check out a few example pages, and run through a short critique of each to see what they’re doing well, and what could potentially be changed or optimized via an A/B test.

 

What works – It’s all about the benefits

People want to know how your product/service can make their life/work better. There’s no better way than writing in terms of benefits.

  • The image supports the implied benefit of the process; a happier family in control of their finances.
  • The bullet points take the benefits further, leading you to a more positive feeling about your situation.
  • The CTA caps it all off nicely by indicating that theres a solution there for you.

Things to change or be tested

They’ve done a really good job here, so I wouldn’t really change much. They could make the form shorter, but the target demographic for this page should be motivated enough to complete it.

  • If you were to remove any forms fields choose: Verify email, alternate phone and city.


What works

  • Directional cue: People need to be guided, so I like that they take you from the benefit statement to the action area by using an arrow.

Things to change or be tested

  • The headline is more of a branding/naming concept, rather than a descriptive title that explains the purpose of the page. The explanation in the black section is a more powerful message. I’d move “Web Marketing 2.0” to the header opposite the logo.
  • Take advantage of the white space below the form to display a supporting trust element such as a testimonial.

 

What works

  • Directional cues: Even better than the last example, this page makes great use of arrows to direct your attention through the flow of the page and it’s benefits.
  • Strong CTA copy: The copy explains exactly what you’ll get which is what every good CTA should do.
  • Guarantee: At the top right there is an excellent guarantee statement, which is repeated at the point of conversion – the CTA. The no-risk factor will lead to higher conversions.

Things to change or be tested

  • Example logos: The value proposition of this page is getting logos made – so show some examples to improve the trust in the company’s design skills.

Now you’re well on your way to craft compelling landing pages for your campaigns. As a final note, hop on over to a landing page we put together just for Duct Tape readers.

– Oli Gardner

Oli Gardner is Co-Founder & Creative Director at Unbounce – The DIY Landing Page Platform. He is an opinionated writer, primarily on the subjects of landing pages and conversion rate optimization. You should follow him on Twitter @OliGardner.

How to Create a Social Media Conversion System

followus

Image credit: anitakhart via Flickr

People often complain that social media is a giant time drain, but one that they know they must dive into because everyone says they must.

Of course this is exactly the kind of thinking that makes social media, or any business or marketing activity, a giant time drain.

Social media participation and integration is an important aspect of marketing and while the names, technologies, and tools may feel foreign, the fundamentals involved in making them pay are the same.

Marketing is about building trust and these days any effective conversion approach is steeped in building trust through engagement. This is true of selling, advertising, lead generation, and customer service – and it’s certainly true when it comes to building trust using social media platforms.

The trick, like all good inbound marketing, is to create value and a reason for someone that might encounter your business to want to know more.

Continue Reading

How To Increase Landing Page Conversion

Marketing podcast with Rick Perreault and Oli Gardner of Unbounce (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

Landing pages, those web pages you create and use to entice visitors to take a single action, have come a long way in terms of functionality and use. Internet Marketers have used them for years and with the introduction of services and practices dedicated to the use of these tools every small business can benefit from using highly optimized landing pages. I’ve been on a bit of rant about this topic so see the related posts below for more.

landing page

For this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I spoke with the CEO and Director of Inbound Marketing for a landing page optimization firm Unbounce.

In this episode we talk about how and when to use landing pages and the most important elements to consider when creating and testing your landing pages. I can’t say enough about the need to use a tool like unbounce or Google Website Optimizer to do routine testing of your pages.

It’s amazing how often I find that some little seemingly insignificant tweak can make all the difference in the world in terms of conversion.

If you’re not testing video and audio on your landing pages and thank you pages you may be missing the boat as well. But, video and audio messages can have a negative impact if not done authentically, so again, test and test!

Unbounce provides some great information about landing page design courtesey of a blog written by Gardner – Here are a couple of my favorite posts – 7 Elements of a Winning Landing Page and The 12-Step Landing Page Rehab Program – the topic that covers the infographic in this post.