Charles Douglas Jackson once said “great ideas need landing gear as well as wings”.

And although he wasn’t referring to marketing, the same very much applies to your PPC and paid social advertising campaigns.

You can design and implement a great campaign, but without a good landing page you are unlikely to see it really take flight.

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So, what is a landing page and does your business need one?

To put it simply, a landing page is the first webpage that a potential customer lands on when they click a link on one of your ads - whether that be from Google or social media.

And if you are running paid ads, your business most definitely needs one, if not several.

When it comes to designing landing pages, it can be difficult to know where to start and where you’re going wrong.

Perhaps you’ve never made one before, your bounce rate is through the roof or you simply aren’t generating the leads that you wished to but can’t figure out why.

It can be overwhelming but getting better results from your landing pages is much simpler when you know what to change and experiment with.

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Keep reading to find out 10 things you need to consider to take your landing pages to the next level in 2021.

Have a clear goal for your landing page

The purpose of a landing page is to increase conversions for your business, which brings about the question what conversions does your business want to increase?

Do you want to build brand awareness and build stronger relationships with existing and potential customers? Or do you want to capture the contact information of prospective clients?

Understanding and defining a clear goal for your landing page is really important. It means that you will have a much better idea of what you need to include on your landing page and it will also influence its design.

Plan the layout

Whether you are looking to generate leads, drive sales or increase brand awareness, a strong landing page should always have the following elements:

  • A clear and eye-catching headline
  • A brief description of your offering
  • Relevant imagery and or video
  • A lead-capture form
  • A clear call-to-action

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There may be other elements that need to be added but starting off with a strong foundation and building from there is a good way to start.

However, as we will explain further later on, you should also bear in mind that distractions from your goal can significantly reduce conversion rates. This means that keeping it simple is usually more effective.

Match the message of your ads to your landing page

When a potential customer clicks on your ad and arrives at your landing page, they will very quickly make up their mind as to whether or not you have what they are looking for.

And more often than not, they’ll do this before reading the bulk of the landing page’s content.

When they arrive, they’ll look for your logo, brand colours, a headline that matches the ad they clicked and the same imagery.

Your landing page needs to convince these visitors that your page deserves their time and can give them what they need.

If your landing page’s message and design doesn’t match that of your ad, they won’t stick around for long.

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To avoid this happening, you should match the message of your ads to your landing page and vice versa.

This includes copy, imagery, colours and branding. Now, these don't all have to be identical but it is recommended that they are very similar.

Use compelling and engaging copy, but keep it clear and concise

You want your landing page to engage visitors by using compelling copy. But you should also remember to keep it clear and concise.

A 2018 Microsoft study found that a human’s average attention span is just eight seconds.

You should therefore focus your copy on how your business can benefit them by using simple, plain language that grabs their attention.

Striking the balance between engaging and clear copy is tough, and it requires trial and error. But, over time, you will get a pretty good understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Prioritise above the fold

Much like newspapers, web pages have a fold. This is where the bottom of the browser window cuts off the rest of the page’s content until visitors scroll down.

You should always keep the most important information, including your lovely, clear call to action, at the top of your landing page.

By keeping it above the fold, your visitors will always get the most important information they need instantly and know what they need to do next to take action.

This doesn’t mean that you should have no content below the fold of your landing page. It simply means that you should prioritise what visitors first see when they arrive and reflect that in your landing page’s design and content.

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Make sure they are campaign specific

Landing pages shouldn’t be generic. Instead, they should contain quality, focused content for the campaign for which they are designed.

You should therefore ensure that your landing pages are campaign specific, creating a targeted landing page for each different campaign you run.

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With this in mind, try to include only one offer on each of your landing pages. It was found that 46% of landing pages contain more than one offer, but including more than one offer can decrease conversion rates by 266%.

Minimise distractions and exit opportunities

On your landing page design, distractions and exit opportunities need to be kept to the minimum.

This includes keeping your design clear, simple and to the point. This is because distractions and exit opportunities make a visitor less likely to convert and more likely to leave.

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To reduce exit opportunities, you should remove your website's navigation bar, exclude any internal or external links, and don't mention any other related products, offers or services.

This way, your visitors have a straightforward user journey and are focused on converting before they do anything else.

Have a clear call to action

Your call to action should reflect your landing page goal and be instantly understood by page visitors.

To do this you should keep your call to action clear and concise, so your page visitors know exactly what they need to do next - whether that be picking up the phone or completing a contact form.

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Whilst a lot of landing pages focus on the headline instead of the call to action, studies have shown that calls to action are just as important.

For example, over 90% of visitors who reported reading landing page headlines also mentioned they read call to action copy, which just goes to show how important getting them right really is.

Use A/B testing to maximise conversions

A/B testing, often referred to as split testing, is the process of showing two versions of the same web page to different segments of website visitors at the same time and comparing which version is more successful.

Each split test you carry out should include a single change. For example, the button colour of your call to action or the page’s headline copy.

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If you change too many elements of your landing page at once, you won’t know which change had the most impact on conversions.

The more you A/B test your landing page elements, the more accurate your data is.

Once you have that accurate data, you can use it to redesign your landing page and confirm that those element changes improve your landing page conversion rates.

For example, we used Google Optimise to run an A/B test for Simplicity in Business from which we identified that one landing page layout was 6% more effective than its counterpart.

Make it quick

To keep your landing page’s bounce rate down and maximise your chance of conversions, your landing page needs to load quickly, as in supercar quickly.

As previously mentioned, a human’s average attention span is just eight seconds.

This means that people won’t stick around for long if you don’t capture their attention, and you can’t do that if your landing page takes ages to load.

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Google’s recommended page load time is under two seconds. However, the reality is that they found in 2017 that 70% of web pages actually took 7 seconds for the visual content above the fold to load. This is just one second quicker than the average human’s attention span.

They also found that all visual content above and below the fold took 10 seconds to fully load - 2 seconds slower than the average human’s attention span.

This is concerning because as page load time goes from 1 second to 7 seconds, the likelihood of a visitor abandoning the page increases by 113%.

To find out more about page experience, download our free guide today.

If you’re struggling to nail your landing pages, don’t panic - Brace is here to help.

Get in touch with our team today to find out how we can transform your business’s landing pages.

Give us a call on 01452 729 953 or drop us an email at hello@brace.co.uk.