Why Are Landing Pages So Important? You Live Or Die With It
Imagine hiking in a forest without a compass or any tool of navigation.
It’s only a matter of time before you get lost.
Lost, in a sea of green, a dense foliage of shrubs and trees.
You see only filters of light, and you are surrounded by shadows and eerie sounds that echo off the trees.
You can smell the mustiness, the rotten smells of the forest, and your own dreaded sense of helplessness.
That’s how visitors to your website feel, if you do not have a proper landing page.
They are confused, helpless and overwhelmed at the many options on your homepage.
And the call to action button they will click without a second thought is the “back” button of their browser, in search of something more relevant, and simpler to process.
What is a Landing page?
Technically, a landing page is any web page that a visitor can arrive at/ “land on”.
But in online marketing speak, it’s referred to as being a standalone web page distinct from your main website, and designed for a single focused objective – guiding visitors to your intended conversion goal.
Here are 2 reasons why landing pages are important.
1. Important for Conversion
The problem with most sites (44%, from Marketing Sherpa’s Landing Page Handbook 2nd edition) is that they do not direct traffic they get from paid search to a special landing page.
Rather, it is directed to their homepage/shopping carts/registration forms, which are ineffective in converting visitors into leads/buyers.
1.1 Message Match
Why? Because a homepage offers too many messages and interaction points, and this dilutes a user’s focus.
Imagine yourself as a user, who chances upon an ad on “search engine marketing services”, but gets redirected to a homepage that offers online marketing services ranging from SEO, SEM, analytics, social media etc.
You will probably think, “am I on the right page? Why isn’t the page showing what the ad promises?”
Using the 5 second test, if you can find the information you need within 5 seconds, you might continue using the site.
But with the short attention span of today’s web users who rather scan than read, it is plain unwise not to get the relevant information to your user as soon as possible, with as little distraction and friction as possible.
In other words, it’s not just poor practice, it’s a gamble.
According to the same report, the number one reason businesses don’t use landing pages is because their marketing department doesn’t know how to set them up or they are too overloaded.
Which is a pity really, because a good landing page can seriously improve your conversion rates.
1.2 Subject Focus and Storytelling
A landing page is focused, offers little distraction, and as such “guides” the visitor to completing your most desired action.
Based on a single idea/topic, you can expand upon it, and get the visitor to reach a couple of “micro-yeses” based on what you have written and how you structure them (a.k.a copywriting).
Think of it like a plot – a plot where you introduce the problem, create rising action, and finally reach the climax and a resolution.
Not forgetting there are even sub plots within this main plot.
With a good plot on your landing page, you can influence your visitor to reach several “micro-yeses” which will then culminate into a macro-yes – the user completing your most desired action.
Landing pages also serve to warm your visitor up by providing relevant information, rather than product pages or registration forms which are sparse in content.
2. Better Quality Score, Cheaper Cost per Click and A Higher Ad Rank
With a landing page, you can tailor your content to be specific to a single focused topic. This increases the relevancy of your page with your Google AdWords ad.
With increased relevance, you will be rewarded with a higher Quality Score, which consequently leads to a lower cost per click and higher ad rank.
See the TRIPLE benefit?
You get (1) more visitors, (2) at a cheaper cost, (3) and you convert a higher number of them into leads/customers.
See how crucial a good landing page is for your sales funnel?
Note though, that a good landing page is not just paying $400 to a web designer for a site template with breathtaking graphics.
Instead, it is the amalgamation of relevant design and persuasive copywriting.
And based on the understanding of user trends, psychology and marketing.
Rather than think of it as optimizing landing pages, I recommend thinking of it as optimising for human “thought processes”.
How do visitors use your site? What is important to them? What gets them emotional?
Having established the importance of a landing page, you can explore further on the configurations of a good landing page.
If you would like to optimise your landing page for human thought processes and get triple the benefit, feel free to contact our friendly consultants today and we’ll see how we can help increase your conversion rates!