The anatomy of a landing page
We’ve been working on a lot of client website new builds and rebuilds recently, including working with clients to rewrite their website content. Consequently we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and designing website landing pages.
Website content has to work really hard. It has to do a number of things:
- Grab the attention of the reader and keep them engaged
- Encourage and increase conversions
- Tempt readers to share some of their data
- Attract the attention of search engine crawlers and ensure they validate the most important pages on the site
- Increase search engine rankings for a website
- Allow readers to quickly find what they’re looking for – where they expect to find it
- Promote storytelling and journeys round the site
- And position the company brand effectively in the online marketplace
Landing pages have to do all of this and more – and in the few seconds it takes a completely unfamiliar reader to make a decision about whether to stay on your site or bounce off it.
Following our popular ‘Anatomy of a blog post’ page a couple of weeks ago, we thought it would be a good idea to examine ‘The anatomy of a landing page’.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a landing page?
Broadly speaking, a landing page is any website page that a reader ‘lands’ on from another website – whether that be from a search engine, a social media link, or a referral from another website.
For pay per click campaigns (PPC campaigns), you can specify a particular landing page for a specific keyword. In fact, you can set up different landing pages for each referral site based around the same content but with hidden URLs – so for example you know that everyone who clicks through from your Facebook campaign gets landing page A, and everyone who clicks through from your partner’s website gets landing page B. This is useful if you know that each set of readers will be part of a different demographic group or coming for a different purpose. You can tweak and tailor your landing pages accordingly so your landing page is very appealing to those readers.
So, how you set the page out and what content you put on it is somewhat dependent on your target audience and your business goals.
But there are a few common things that all landing pages should do or should have. Some of these are detailed below, along with links to further information.
Key components of landing pages
(1) An attention-grabbing headline
Without this, readers may never even arrive on your site. It is the first thing they see when they do, so it has to have impact.
(2) A savvy subheading
This should succinctly explain what the reader can expect from this page. Tell them what problem you are going to solve. Focus on benefits to the reader.
(3) An image or video
For visual impact and to engage readers who think more visually (see Fleming’s VAK learning styles), an image or video is really important. Video overcomes barriers by putting a (real person) face behind a brand, and people are increasingly choosing video as a preferred way of consuming information.
(4) Great copy
On a landing page, where research says you have just 8 seconds to influence the reader (I think it’s probably even less), your copy has to be pitched perfectly and get straight to the point. Less is more. Keep it simple and help the reader make a quick decision. Every word has to work hard to achieve a conversion, so give the vital sales information and nothing more.
(5) Call to action
A clear call to action with a quickly identifiable button is really important. Don’t confuse the reader with too many calls to action, or hide them in the text. Your CTA button should be easy to locate and should be inviting. And think carefully about the copy you use: ‘Get my free ebook’ sounds much more appealing than ‘Submit the form’.
(6) Client testimonials
Confirmation from one of their peers that this is a good buying decision can make all the difference right at the point where your reader is making that decision. It can be the difference between converting, and not. One brand I have seen always puts a customer review next to the ‘Buy now’ button on their ecommerce site.
(7) Trust elements
In addition to client testimonials, include trust elements such as accreditation stamps and professional body membership logos. These are particularly important for ecommerce sites as some people are wary of their data security when buying online. Give readers every reason possible to trust you and your website.
I hope that’s given you a good basic overview of the anatomy of a landing page.
For more landing page tips, have a look at:
- 7 things every great landing page needs
- The anatomy of a high converting landing page
- Learn from business landing pages
How do you structure your website landing pages? Do you agree with my advice? Want to challenge? Do share your comments in the box below!
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