The importance of landing pages for marketing campaigns
Here at Black Lab Digital, we spend a lot, and I mean a lot, of time optimising our paid media campaigns to drive traffic to our client’s websites. Leads are carefully targeted; we consistently scrutinise ads and campaigns to maximise the budget. However, all this hard work is wasted if the visitor doesn’t convert to a lead. So once you’ve got the visitor’s attention, how do you get them to make an enquiry or even buy your product or service?
The answer is landing pages! These web pages are specifically designed to get the visitor to perform some form of call to action. Simply dropping users onto a homepage isn’t going to cut it; all that effort and marketing will be wasted. Landing pages are a critical component of any marketing campaign and should not be overlooked. This article will delve into the importance of these specialised pages.
What is a landing page?
They’re not complex or scary. A landing page is customised to a specific user group based on the messaging you’ve been hitting them with (Pay per click advert or Google display ad). Landing pages typically have a single call to action, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading a brochure, enquiring about a service, or starting a free trial. This is naturally a limited example of actions; in essence, the landing page can ask the user to do whatever activity you desire them to carry out. It should be relevant to the advert or content that drove them there in the first place, adding value to their experience. It’s essential to put the user first. Speed and clarity of messaging are critical to achieving the objectives of the page. With this in mind, you will convert a higher proportion of your traffic than if you landed them on any old web page.
What features make a landing page effective?
The design and layout of landing pages have no hard and fast rules. However, as we’ll see, certain features help improve the results. It’s important to remember that what works for one campaign might not for another; your audience is vital so understanding them is critical. Below we’ve detailed some of the key features to consider when building a landing page:
- Headline – This is likely to be the first element anyone will see. It needs to be punchy and to the point, summarising why the visitor is here.
- Body copy – Here, you can add more detail about the offer and its value. Again keep it straightforward and remember to feature any USPs. Don’t run with large blocks of text; bullet points are perfect for ensuring the reader can quickly digest salient points.
- Call to action – Make it clear to users what you want them to do, whether filling in a form or providing specific information; make sure it’s signposted.
- Relevant keywords – Inject important trigger words pertinent to the users, including page titles, headers, and body copy. Not only is this helpful for the users, but it’s also great for organic search engines.
- Trust signals – Reassure visitors that the service or product you’re offering is legitimate. You can use customers reviews, industry certifications or even videos to help validate your brand; they will all prove helpful. Also, ensure your page is hosted securely using an SSL.
- Navigation – Actually, we mean the lack of it. You don’t want to tempt users to click away. So hide your main nav items. Keep users focused on the content in front of them and complete the actions desired.
- Data capture – Don’t just give things away for free; capture data. Doing this allows you to follow up with those customers later. Work to gather as much data as is useful without asking for so much that the visitor will be put off entering their details.
- Confirmation or thank you page – once you’ve captured data and provided the visitor with what you’ve promised, give them a thank you page. It confirms the process is done and allows you to change the messaging, letting them know what will happen next. Also, it makes tracking conversions that bit easier for us paid media guys!
Why use landing pages?
Landing pages do more than generate better conversion rates. They are just one tool in helping make campaigns more effective, giving brands a bigger bang for their media buck. By splitting out demographics to use different landing pages, managers can understand what works and what doesn’t. This allows campaigns to be tweaked and tailored to resonate with visitors. Additionally, it provides a valuable metric to identify which groups are more or less engaged, allowing for a change in tactics or, if necessary, strategy completely.
How to drive traffic to landing pages
Landing pages can leverage any traffic source to convert users. Commonly associated with paid media such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, Display and Paid Social, it’s important to remember that a well-optimised page can also generate traffic organically. At Black Lab, we use all of the above techniques to generate relevant traffic.
How important is it to consider mobile when creating a landing page?
Yes, mobile is pivotal to a successful campaign. Some activity may weigh towards mobile over desktop or vice versa due to various factors. From the outset, assume both mobile and desktop platforms are equally important and spend time crafting your landing page to work as well as possible on each. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to each version based on learnings to drive incremental gains as time goes by.
On-going optimisation of landing pages
As with anything, you’ll never get it right on the first shot, so we recommend a process of constant improvement based on detailed data reviews. Analytical systems such as Google Analytics or Oribi can provide you with the hard numbers about how visitors use a page; this is particularly relevant if you have detailed tracking and goals set up. However, another helpful tool is HotJar; this system allows you to capture videos of anonymous users working through your page. This system can provide practical insight into where users are dropping off, where they may have problems, or why they provide incorrect information.
For example, at Black Lab, we’ve recently observed users inputting a full stop instead of commas on property values. For example, instead of writing £100,000, they were inputting £100.000, which our system interpreted as £100. Therefore, we’ve adjusted the form to show an example of how the figures should be input. Additionally, we’ve removed the need to use a pound symbol. This is now hardcoded into the landing page.
While these might seem minor and potentially obvious tweaks, they can significantly impact conversion rates over time. For example, our landing pages have gone from an okay 11% conversion rate to an impressive 18% on this particular campaign. As learnings grow, you can become increasingly efficient. Remember, this process takes time and dedication.
How to evaluate and measure the success of a landing page
Every client has different metrics. However, the majority of our work utilises a consistent set of key performance indicators with slight variations from client to client. Below we have listed some of the common ones:
- Conversion rate is the ratio of visitors who have performed the desired task on the landing page.
- The volume of traffic – sometimes a campaign is all about visibility, getting as many people into a space where they can consume the message.
- The number of leads (conversions) – where leads can be of high value, it’s common for a specific number of leads to be determined by a client.
- Cost per conversion – as you’d expect, this balances the media spend versus the number of converted visitors. For example, if you spend £100 and two leads are generated, the cost per conversion is £50.
Over time as a campaign is optimised and the landing page(s) is adjusted based on live data, it’s expected that metrics will improve. As highlighted earlier in this article, this takes time and dedication. Our years of experience at Black Lab means we can accelerate this process; we never stop evaluating and adjusting our pages based on what the data tells us. Each campaign, each demographic is different.
So keep working on it, and you’ll make it work.