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Landing Pages Best Practices: Concept and Content

The first step in designing an effective landing page is to conceptualize what it is that you want to appear on that page. As we discussed in our previous post, landing pages are to your company website what entrances are to your typical mall department store. They are the face you present to visitors, so obviously they should look good. But looks aren’t everything. The real challenge is to pull visitors in and get them to answer your call to action (which ultimately means buying something). Coming up with concise and persuasive content that culminates in a clear call to action is the key. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Plan to have at least one distinct landing page dedicated to each of your campaigns. Pardot makes it easy to create campaign-specific landing pages, and you don’t even need to know how to code. You can use the drag-and-drop landing page builder to maintain consistency between your campaigns and the respective landing pages you create for each.
  • Get to know your audience and appeal directly to them. Don’t just focus on how to get visitors to convert–think hard about who these visitors actually are, and decide which ones you want to target on each landing page. Then craft your page’s content to appeal to that particular audience segment (e.g., executive decisionmakers, IT folks, marketing teams, and so on). Landing pages that are not only campaign-specific but also tailored to a target audience tend to have much higher conversion rates than generic one-size-fits-all pages.
  • Make sure your content corresponds with common search keywords. If your visitor searches for “drip marketing” and lands on your site, it should be on a drip marketing landing page, not on a general homepage with a company logo or flashy animated intro. They clicked on your link, so give them something meaningful in return. Optimizing your landing pages to correspond with common keywords will result a sizable boost to your conversion rate.
  • Determine your desired conversion action. Do you want visitors to fill out a form with their contact info? Do you just want to make sure they see specific content? Are you curious to find out many people end up downloading a particular white paper? You can keep these actions separate if you need to track and measure the conversion rates for each one, but in many cases it can be more effective to combine several of these into one call to action: Fill out this form with your name, company, and email address and we’ll send you this particular white paper with this specific content.
  • Focus on one clear call to action. A good landing page offers specific information and includes one clear call to action, along with a streamlined path designed to elicit the corresponding action from the visitor. Offering too many choices (e.g., the barrage of information and choices presented on the company homepage) or not having a clear call to action (or multiple/complex calls to action) will only confuse or alienate the average website visitor. For example, instead of directing visitors to your company website’s homepage for information, the link they clicked should send them to a landing page describing a white paper that contains the answers to all of their questions. All they have to do is answer the call to action–providing their name and email address–in order to receive said white paper. Engaging with your company’s website should feel easy and risk-free to your prospects; ideally, you’ll be able to collect the data you want in return.
  • Keep things simple, honest, and to the point. Give prospects a clear value proposition. Tell them exactly what you need them to do and precisely what it is that you’re going to give them in exchange. If you fill out this form, we will send you an invitation to our free webinar. Any grey area here could be interpreted as shadiness on your part, so make sure you’re as clear and transparent as possible in order to ensure the best conversion rates.

Once you’ve conceptually linked your new landing page to the appropriate campaign, optimized your content for relevant keywords, and formulated a clear call to action, you can begin to think about the look and feel of your landing page. For some tips on design elements, check out the next installment in our “Landing Pages Best Practices” series.