When new visitors arrive on your website, regardless of the channel, it takes them only up to 7 seconds to decide if it’s worth their time and attention, according to Forbes.
And even though you might believe your products are enough to do the converting job for you, you shouldn’t eliminate the importance of good landing pages.
So what is a landing page?
It might seem that every page your visitor sees first is a landing page.
According to HubSpot, landing page is a page that has a form and exists solely to capture a visitor’s information through that form.
This means that a landing page is the one that clearly directs a visitor towards a certain action you specifically want them to take.
There is a variety of such actions, including signing up for a newsletter, downloading a product catalogue, a coupon code and many more.
These actions are commonly called by the name call-to-action (CTA).
Keep in mind that these rules extend when it comes to online shops.
Reason for this is simple: when a potential customer is looking for a specific product, there is nothing wrong in landing them on a category page and narrow down your products to their interest.
Naturally, this needs to be as close match to their query as possible – but more on all of this later.
Why do you need a landing page?
When a visitor finds you through organic search results, they will enter your site according to the keywords they used – and you optimized your page for.
If they enter your website through a link shared on social media, either by you or someone else, that will be the first page they see when they enter.
However, when you are doing any online marketing, whether it’s on search engines, social media, display marketing or email, you are the one that picks everything about the page that any particular ad leads to.
Every advertised click costs you money and you should make sure you are investing your money the right way – and that’s exactly what landing page is all about.
What makes a good landing page?
Landing pages can be used across all sorts of businesses and have many different purposes.
Some landing pages only want a visitor to subscribe to a newsletter, some encourage a visitor to try a free trial of a service, download an e-book or a whitepaper, while others might be directing visitors towards a straightforward purchase.
- Continuity between ad and landing page
- Clear and concise headline
- Consistent keywords throughout the ad, headers and content
- Emphasized value of content presented
- Social sharing links
- Few or no navigation
- Clear call-to-action
- Relevant and appealing image
These can vary a lot according to different purposes, businesses and goals.
Let’s have a look at these features through some real-life examples.
A brilliant, essentially schoolbook example from Wishpond is a Facebook ad for a free guide about landing page optimization.
Here is the ad copy:
Clicking the ad takes us to this landing page:
As you can see, landing page brings exactly what the ad was promising – an e-book “Complete Guide To Landing Pages”.
Headlines are clear, keywords are used throughout the page and it’s easy to understand what value this e-book brings.
Social sharing buttons are below, there is no navigation whatsoever, and the image of the physical book directs you to the only CTA available – the e-book download button.
Best practices: landing pages for your online store
This was an example of a perfect landing page, but you might be asking yourself how does this relate to you, considering it isn’t eCommerce business.
However, it is a great way to realize what is a great landing page practice in general, but let’s get down to real eCommerce talk.
First things first: here comes an example of what you should absolutely avoid.
The search query here is “hiking boots”.
Looking at the paid listings, there are several online stores offering hiking boots.
Here’s the result after clicking on the ad from SportsDirect , whose ad copy promises hiking boots at amazing prices:
As you can see – no hiking boots in sight.
This ad is clearly linked to men’s footwear, and if you are looking for hiking boots, you’ll have to scroll all the way to the bottom.
Most people are not going to waste any time searching across website to find what they need.
Lead your customers to what they are looking for – exactly that, not broader.
Once they are on a page that shows them one or more product that fits their query, they will know they way around and they won’t get lost in the search.
That’s exactly what Hi-Tec did:
They bring you to their outdoor footwear section, listing their hiking boots, with clear 10% discount off the next order.
Even though this isn’t a classic landing page with a sign-up form and no navigation, it does the job great and it leads the visitor towards a decision.
Are you wondering what else there is for you besides bringing your new visitors to their specific category of interest?
Depending on the type of your online store, you might consider some of these options:
- Discount coupons
- Exclusive membership for discounts
- Rewards for referring friends
- Product catalogue
Also, just because your business is an online store, don’t disregard an option to offer e-books, downloadable how-to lists or similar content.
For example, if you sell suitcases, you might consider offering a downloadable packing list in exchange for an email address that might convert to a sales conversion further down the road.
Options are endless, just get creative and make sure you keep it related to your business!
Last, but not least: don’t forget to analyze!
To know how well anything on your website is performing, you need to measure the outcome – so the same rule applies to your landing pages.
This also means that you should switch things around from time to time and then compare which version brought in more conversions and engagement.
To conclude, don’t forget you can have as many landing pages as you need, depending on the amount of ads you are running and search queries you are optimizing for.
And once you have them, make sure you are checking back to see what works for you and what needs to be improved.