You see the signs everywhere: Visit our site... Find us @... Check out our website!
If you build it, they will come, right? Well, maybe. And if they do, then what next?
Business owners spend huge amounts of time, effort and cash on getting website traffic. But all the traffic in the world won’t help if you’re not directing people to the right place and into taking specific actions. This is why landing page optimization is so important.
Landing pages have evolved significantly in recent years. Once typically viewed as an online brochure or a digital version of a yellow page ad, today’s website landing pages need to be much more engaging and “sticky” for the visitor than they have been in the past.
So what are landing pages? Simply put, a landing page is a doorway to your website. You may have several doorways/landing pages to your website experience, depending on how your visitors found you. You could be driving traffic to the home page through organic SEO. Maybe you’re using pay-per-click (SEM) to send traffic to a specific offer or download page. Wherever people land on your site to interact, that “entry page” is considered a landing page.
The typical user’s experience might be something like this:
The searcher has an itch. Searcher goes to a search engine, like Google, hoping to scratch that itch. Our searcher begins to click and hit the back button over and over again in frustration, not finding what they’re looking for.
The very first search result they click on appears to be exactly what they have been looking for. That is, until it is time to download the report or make the purchase and it’s impossible to find out how to make it happen. “Okay you have what I am looking for, now how do I get it?” “Why do I have to jump through hoops to get what I need?”
The above scenario is unfortunately very common, as many landing pages lack sufficient instructions or a clear call to action to lead the searcher into achieving the desired results.
When you’re too familiar with your own website, what may appear to you to be clear instructions or an obvious call to action is often overlooked by a prospective buyer who is new to your website, and most likely in a hurry. The average online visitor has an attention span of only 8 seconds or less.
Think of a time when you stopped to run a quick errand. You duck into the store, gather up your items and make a mad dash for the cashier. When you get to the front of the store, there’s only one cash register open and the line to check out winds down one of the aisles with no end in sight. You say, “Gee, you would think they would make it easier for me to give them my hard earned money!”
A disorganized website is that mile-long checkout line. And most of the time, web users don’t bother to wait in line – they just abandon your site to find an easier place to spend their money.
Ensure your messaging is clear and effective by using these three key landing page elements:
Are you relevant to the searchers wants/needs/desires (search query)?
Do I know why you are the right solution for me? Have you explained your value proposition/offer well?
Call to action:
Is it obvious what I need to do next? Have you given me the confidence to take that action?
There’s no such thing as too obvious when the clarity of your website means the difference between success and failure. Having a website that provides a favorable user experience will even give you a better search engine ranking, which will in turn bring more visitors. Give your landing pages a focus and give your visitors clear and direct messages to help them get what they’re looking for.