seo article

Landing pages are an overlooked tool in your search marketing arsenal. These are not to be confused with your homepage; instead, landing pages are separate but related to your core pages, simplifying the main themes to increase conversions. In order to be successful pages, you must spend time on refining them – just creating a landing page does not mean it will work.

Why do I need landing pages?

The truth is, you do not necessarily need them to be successful. However, if you drive traffic via PPC ads, multiple channels, or affiliate links, landing pages can help separate incoming traffic. Here are a few benefits to consider:

Audience filtration. Use the pages to separate incoming traffic based on where they found you. By connecting outside links to pages specifically tailored for that audience, you can get your message across very quickly to the correct consumers. Since landing pages require immediate action, you also quickly separate truly interested parties from casual clickers.

Easy A/B testing. Using landing pages makes it easy to conduct A/B tests. By creating two separate but similar pages, you can measure the impact of your marketing channels, the influence of design varieties, and more, to see which resonates better with your audience.

Visitor data. Using landing pages gives you objective data about your audience, such as bounce rate, conversions, and total visitors. These are key points to use when measuring ROI for a campaign, as well as campaign success.

Higher likelihood of conversions. Landing pages are by nature short, sweet, and contain a simple call to action that naturally drives conversions. If you stick to the basics and tailor them correctly, your pages will drive higher conversions than your normal homepage.

Now that you know why to build landing pages, here are the best practices:

A. Find the Right URL

The first thing to do is pick a custom URL for your pages. If you want to host these on your own domain name to give it an authority boost, you should create descriptive tail-ends to your landing page URLs such as “/twitter-promotion” or “/facebook-offer”. While tempting, do not fill the tail-end with tons of keywords – you will likely be penalized!

If you are running multiple inbound campaigns, it is easiest to separate them from your domain and give each one a custom URL. This way you will easily be able to tell which of your leads is the highest performing. Be sure to install Google Analytics script on each landing page, so you can monitor its progress.

B. Branding is Key

Throughout all of your pages, landing or home, the key component to keeping visitors from bouncing is consistent branding. No matter what page they are looking at, it should be recognizably yours. If someone clicks through from a dedicated link, any discrepancy can be jarring, and prevent them from becoming a conversion.

Focus first on keeping the core message and feel of your brand constant between all pages before turning your attention to details such as font, color scheme, layout, and message content.

C. Simplify, simplify, simplify!

Keep the design of the landing pages simple. The simpler the design, the more effective the page. You have other platforms, such as your website and social media, to explain your capabilities, play around, and share additional information.

The landing page should instead be kept as minimal as possible. Keep your message concise and to the point; do not have additional clickables or images. Streamline your design for the singular goal of making conversions. The conversion generally comes as a form users fill out with names and email. Remember, the easier to complete the form, the more likely users will follow through. Instead of requiring names, addresses, and email, try first names and emails only.

D. Copy that converts

Most importantly, you need to have compelling copy that convinces visitors of your message. Take your time to tailor each page’s message specifically for the target audience visiting it. Above all, do not copy and paste between pages! Keep the message consistent and feel free to use a template, but always write unique copy for each page.

You can use the A/B test between pages to see which kind of messaging is the most persuasive for your unique audience.

E. What is the payoff?

You have to decide the motivation, for both you and the visitor. In the user’s case, what is their motivation for filling out the form? Content? A discount? Make sure you communicate their incentive compellingly.

As for you, what do you do with their information? Subscribe them to a newsletter? Follow-up individually? Have a plan in place before launching your landing pages.

Above all, remember to update your pages regularly! As you learn more about what works, your marketing channels, and your target audience, keep your pages updated and optimized to get the most of your audience.