I've had a lot of success with landing pages and sales funnels. In this article, I want to help shift your thoughts about what landing pages are and how to use them.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say “landing page?” What is your interpretation of a landing page? Ive heard people say a sales page, a squeeze page, an order page, the checkout and the answer is it can be all of those things. The landing page is what ever you need it to be but it needs to be designed in a specific way and it must have thought-out content or in this case sales copy to guide and motivate the reader.
My thoughts are that I will always try to make my site pages as conversion-friendly as possible. I try this to the point where I am out of options what else to do, these pages live in the website and I don't have the flexibility that I would with a dedicated landing page.
However, having “dedicated” landing pages is a smarter way to land paid traffic exactly where you want them, in front of a sales offer or product page. A page that has no escape and a big focus on the buy button. This works extremely well and it helps reduce the wasted traffic if you are paying for every click on your adverts.
Lets look at what these pages are, what they should have on them and how best to use landing pages for advertising.
Landing pages vs. Dedicated landing pages
A landing page is the page where a user first landed – the first time they’re coming in contact with your site or brand regardless of the channel they come from. It’s the first page they landed on. This does mean that the URLs we’re sending paid traffic to are considered landing pages. This can and does create confusion if these URLs are actually just pages within the main site as clients do still refer to these as landing pages. For this reason, we often recommend a strategy around “dedicated” landing pages.
A dedicated landing page is a page created specifically for a certain audience. When targeting specific keywords or stages in the funnel, we can deliver a dedicated landing page that suits the needs of that user.
Who should use dedicated landing pages?
Anyone who has a specific action you want users to take would benefit from dedicated landing pages. These typically work best for lead generation or service industries. Oftentimes, there isn’t a need to have dedicated landing pages for full e-commerce sites unless you only have a couple of products you offer, you’re running a specific promotion you want to highlight on a single page, or you want to focus on building your email list.
Dedicated landing pages work best if there is a single action you’re hoping to drive users to take. Registering for a webinar, requesting a whitepaper, receiving a demo, and getting a quote are all perfect examples of when we could create dedicated landing pages to drive these specific actions.
Why should I use dedicated landing pages?
Think about the abundance of information available to a user once they land on your site. Regardless of the page you sent them to, they now have an entire site full of information at their fingertips. Although this may seem like a good idea because you’re giving them access to almost everything they need to know about your product or service, this will likely result in the opposite outcome you’re hoping for.
Think about how much money you’re spending to drive people to your site through paid advertising. How much money is wasted if the user lands on your site and bounces because they’re overwhelmed or aren’t sure where to even start?
In a previous post I spoke about how I made a significant increase in-store revenue by doing some fundamental baseline CRO. The use of landing pages for my Shopify store played a big part in the spike in sales.
I'm a big believer that you should try your site pages FIRST! then try to optimise them for conversion as best you can before you start adding page builder apps and going down that road.
What should I include on my dedicated landing page?
My goal with a dedicated landing page is to drive traffic from paid ads to a conversion focus and well-crafted landing page. This will be a page with one sole goal, to make that traffic want to go ahead to the next step, usually purchase of a product.
Then once the traffic is moving to the next page I have a sequence of landing pages setup forming a sales funnel. Just like we had that landing page focus on one goal, each page in this funnel focuses on one thing like the image below highlights one goal per page.
I like to test the headlines and copy of each page along with button colour and CTA to see if I can improve my performance. Long copy or short copy I have no preference each has its uses. I let the testing decide what this audience wants.
Copy on these pages is only related to the thing we are focused on. We keep it on point and aligned with our advertising messaging. When we stray and use the content about other things the users become less focused on moving forward. We keep our ad copy and page copy very succinct.
When we send a specific audience to a dedicated landing page, we want to feel confident that they will understand what the product is and what it does.
I like to create a connection between the problem they have and what the product I am selling solves. That's my bridge to connect user to the product. That key messaging connection is all you need because the product sells itself but the user needs to know that this product is what they are looking for.
There should be minimal distractions so we keep them focused on the desired action. The sequence below outlines a well-structured purchase journey. Minimal distractions and each page has one goal per page.
My thoughts on focus landing pages are one page = one goal. I am never trying to do more than one thing with users on that page. My page has a call to action that matches my ad copy creating a related expectation from Ad to landing page. The messaging remains the same "you have a problem we have a solution" type query matching.
Can your users trust you? Because we’re not giving them an entire site full of information, this might be one of the more important elements that should be included on the landing page. They’re going to be skimming your landing page to ensure you’re a trustworthy and real company. Utilize the footer to display little pieces of information such as the location of the company, social links such as Facebook and Instagram, and a phone number. It might seem like minor information but people look for this information. Include social proof or testimonials to show past experiences with the brand and the success that others are having.
If there’s information that you know users search for before taking action, try and include it on this landing page to limit the number of users who click through to your main site before converting.
Take advantage of dedicated landing pages for improved conversion only after you have tried everything with existing site pages. Do not rush into the page builder app choice without at least exhausting options for what you have first.
Know your numbers. I always ask myself what can I afford to throw into paid traffic when I know my conversion rate on the landing page. I then ask myself what is my actual profit from a sale from the landing page conversions and what that math looks like for the business.
If I am confident that I can maintain the conversion rates Ill happily throw money into paid ads that help grow the business and you should as well. BUT know your numbers first.
Once you have this strategy in play its important to continue testing your landing pages and ad copy. The more you improve the better the result. Then the better the result the more money you can add to the budget further increasing traffic and conversion numbers.
Once you dial this sequence in it becomes a profitable system that grows your business month on month. I hope this helps open your mind to what alternatives you have if paid advertising campaigns are not working. Peace!