How to Сreate, Test and Promote Powerful Landing Pages
Posted Oct 5, 2016 by Michelle Nickolaisen

How to Сreate, Test and Promote Powerful Landing Pages

You keep hearing about landing pages and how important they are in an online business strategy. But do you know what they are, how to set one up, and how to test it for effectiveness? Never fear, we’ve got you covered — just keep reading.

The ideal structure for your landing page

What is a landing page, anyways?

A landing page is a page with one set goal for visitors. Whether it’s buy your product or sign up for your email list, the entire page is focused around that one goal and funneling visitors to it.

The structure for a landing page is the same as almost any sales copy.

Here’s a general formula that works well, that you can experiment with:

  1. The hook, an attention-getting phrase or sentence that summarizes the problem and makes the reader want to keep reading
  2. A longer clarifying statement of the problem — depending on overall length of copy, can be anywhere from a few sentences to several paragraphs — it should remind the reader why they’re trying to solve the problem
  3. Introduction of your product/service as a solution to the problem
  4. Overcoming objections to buying or signing up — cost and difficulty of use are two common ones — your reader will almost always have some objection, it’s up to you to know what they are
  5. Main call to action — other CTAs can be scattered throughout the landing page as well
  6. Recap, FAQ if necessary (if readers will have a lot of questions), and one last call to action

Depending on what your landing page is for, you’ll need to tweak this.

Here are a few examples of how you might change the copy:

  • If your landing page is for your newsletter with the goal of getting email opt-ins, then the objections you’ll be addressing will be small ones, like “my email inbox is already crowded, why should I add to that clutter?”
  • If you’re selling a $5,000 product, your reader will have many more objections to overcome (and you’ll need to work a lot harder to sell the product).
  • If the reader is more familiar with your product or products like your’s, it’ll require less explanation. Part of this will depend on where the traffic to the page is coming from — if it’s your social media channels, you can assume the reader is at least somewhat familiar with who you are and what you sell, but if you’re driving cold traffic to it from a landing page, you need to assume they don’t know anything at all.

The design elements of a landing page

In general, you don’t want any distractions on a landing page. That means no sidebar, no menu — nothing. You will, however, want to break up the copy (especially on longer landing pages) with images and videos, to keep the page from looking like a huge wall of text as the reader skims.

Read also: Simple Product Photography Tips to Beautifully Showcase on Your Store

In addition to adding graphics and the occasional (short) video to spice things up, you’ll also want to follow the general rules of internet readability. That means using:

  • Short paragraphs and short sentences
  • Bolding
  • Bulleted and numbered lists

…to break up the text and keep it easy to read.

The great short copy vs long copy debate

If you start researching what goes into a great landing page, you’ll find that you’ll either read that longer copy is the only way to go, or that longer landing pages are a death knell for conversion rates, and you need to keep it short and snappy because this is the internet and attention spans are miniscule.

The real truth is, there’s no definitive answer here. Unbounce, CrazyEgg, and ConversionXL have both covered case studies from each angle, with the conclusion being: it depends. We’ll come back to this when we talk about how to improve your landing pages.

The tools you can use to create your landing pages

Ready to set up your first landing page? Here are a few tools for the e-commerce business owner who wants to try out landing pages (but doesn’t want to break the bank).

Instapage

Instapage

Instapage

Instapage features all mobile responsive themes, the ability to match a template to your current site design, widgets (including call to action buttons and countdown timers), and built-in download delivery. Plans start at $29/month for basic integrations, unlimited visitors, and email support, but that plan lacks the ability to run A/B tests or customize the code.

Instapage might be for you if mobile themes and design continuity are important to you, and you’re not worried about running A/B tests right now.

Lander

Lander

Lander

Lander has great analytics integrations, an easy-to-use editor, and all mobile-ready landing pages. It offers A/B testing on all plans, but the lower plans have a usage cap: at the $29/month plan, you’re limited to one domain and three thousand visitors a month.

Lander might be for you if you’re not concerned about Facebook integrations, you want to run A/B tests, and you think you’ll have less than 3,000 visitors a month to start with.

LeadPages

LeadPages

LeadPages

LeadPages uses a drag-and-drop builder, has built in plugins for publishing directly to your WordPress site, and also has a plugin to publish your landing page on Facebook. However, the lowest priced plan ($29/month) doesn’t have A/B testing — you’ll need the $49/month plan to test. (It does have unlimited visitors, though.)

LeadPages might be for you if Facebook integration is important, you need to publish directly to WordPress, you’re specifically looking to collect email addresses (compared to selling a product), and you’re less concerned about A/B testing right now.

Testing, analyzing, and improving your landing pages

When you’re testing a landing page for effectiveness, you’re looking at the conversion rate.
The conversion rate is the percentage of people who take the action that you want them to take.

If the landing page is set up to collect email addresses, then the conversion rate is how many people are giving you their email address; if it’s set up to sell a product, it’s how many people are buying.

A/B testing involves testing two different versions of your landing page (version A and version B). You can test small differences (different colors for the buy buttons) or huge differences (completely different copy and landing page layout).

As noted above, many of the landing page tools out there don’t offer A/B testing on their most basic plans. That’s not a big deal starting out, as you need to have a decent flow of visitors to the landing page to be able to successfully test your pages.

For an A/B test to be successful, the difference needs to have a degree of statistical certainty, which is hard to reach with a very small sample set.

If you do want to start testing your pages, you’re better off upgrading your plan on your current landing page app, since most split-testing tools (like VWO) start at $49/month anyways.

Turning to resources like Behave can help you learn a lot of A/B test case studies and create better landing pages.

One of the case studies on www.behave.org

One of the case studies on www.behave.org

To figure out what to test, you can use a tool like CrazyEgg (or another heatmapping tool — SumoMe also offers it) to get a heat map of your landing page.

The heat map will show you where visitors are looking and clicking on your page, and where on the page visitors are clicking away, and you can use this information to come up with design variants.

For example, if people tend to drop off 1/3 of the way down the page, you should try creating a variant that’s 1/3 as long.

You can set up the heatmapping tool early on to collect data as you drive traffic to your page and use that data to set up a test when you’re ready to drive more traffic to the page or upgrade your plan.

Promoting your landing pages

So, you’ve set up a landing page, you’re collecting user data on it  now you need to drive traffic to it. Here are a few ways you can do so.

Social media

Some of the apps above have built-in integrations with Facebook, making it easy to send people to it from your Facebook page.

Otherwise, you can still share the landing page on your most active social media networks.

Make sure to share the benefits people will get from heading to the landing page, instead of just telling them to look at it.

Blog posts and other content marketing

You can write blog posts or record videos that will send people to the landing page. Brainstorm topics that are related to the problem your landing page solves.

Related: The Importance of a Blog and How to Start One for Your Store

If you’re getting people to sign up for a free e-course or ebook, it’s topics related to the ebook/e-course. If you’re selling a product, it’s topics related to the problem that the product solves.

Create helpful content around those topics, that answers questions and solves problems, and then direct people to the landing page if they want to learn more.

Ad campaigns

Landing pages are well-suited to being used in ad campaigns — you can drive traffic to them via Facebook, Google, or Twitter ads. Since the page design is minimal and distraction-free, visitors are less likely to click away than if you were sending them to your homepage.

Read also: 10 Quick Tips For Effective Mobile Ads

***

And there you have it! You have everything you need to start using landing pages in your marketing and improve your business as a result. Your next step: pick a goal for your first landing page and set it up using one of the apps above. Good luck!