Every page in your site is a potential landing page. Depending on how streamlined the content is, your pages can provide a valuable resource for those seeking products or services and convert motivated searchers from window-shopping prospects into long-term loyal customers.
On the contrary, if the focal point of your pages are nebulous or the primary message missing in action, your site may serve as a temporary landing strip (for visitors to skim, bounce and move on) as your visitors seek out higher ground by leaving and finding competitor’s sites that provide a more thorough proposition.
Aside from the technical side of search engine optimization, internet marketing it’s counterpart is all about the message. Just like in other industries such as real estate there are motivated buyers or motivated sellers, in the search industry, creating relevance for your content and landing pages is all about appealing to motivated searchers.
As such, your landing pages require the right ingredients to convert by (1) encouraging phone calls (2) encouraging prospects to fill out a contact form download an e-book, read a report or a white paper or (4) initiate an (IMS) instant message chat to ask questions or acquire information (in the format they are most comfortable).
What are Motivated searchers Seeking? Are they Looking For?
- Instant Gratification or Emotional Triggers that Entice them to Click
- Logical Solutions to a Prevalent Circumstance or Dilemma
- A Trustworthy Brand or Authority to Quench Fears or Concerns
- a Quality Product, Service or Organization
- or a combination of all of these factors. The page they land on as a result of a link or a search that covers the most common ground is the page most likely to close the deal and get the endorsement / sale from that prospect.
The less chances you take (with your content) the higher percentage of conversion you can garner as a result of due diligence and attention to detail when assessing your website analytics to determine which pages have the most traffic.
This is where content SEO and web design come into play and must be equally as dynamic to assuage the dilemma and nurture “the feel good” factors as well as provide a solution (we are human after all) and emotion initiates the impulse to search as well as determines what we do when we arrive at a page and which actions transpire as a result.
From an SEO standpoint optimization is simple, but a landing page must be optimized to promote the ultimate outcome (action) aside from wishful thinking. What is the purpose of the page? to ramble, to offer an opinion, to offer a product or a service? and how is a prospect to know unless you spell it out for them?
If you offer too many options to a prospect this can actually work against the sales process and inhibit conversion. This was one reason why traditional marketing suggests offering 3 choices, any more than that is bound to overload the prospect. The purpose of your content if it is sales based and requires an affirmative and conclusive decision, the last thing you need is to have someone scrutinizing your pages looking for loopholes to exploit because your tried to oversell your product, service or yourself.
Every new option presented invites an entire series of questions, potential misunderstanding or solutions requiring more effort (on behalf of the qualification phase) or extra explanations, when all the motivated searcher wanted was “the right solution” to their circumstance.
Verbosity is your enemy (just get to the point), just like when your internal links run amuck as a result of content scaling outside of the original concepts and you have to perform a link edit on your site’s architecture to hone the way your pages pass link juice and are which are prioritized or prominent, you must also compartmentalize your content in a logical fashion to aid usability based on common sense.
- Formatting your content for the greatest impact – Use a Headline, bullets, italics or bold to emphasize the focus. Surprisingly just because you know what your content about does not mean that others are so adept. Use proper punctuation and formatting to make the right initial / visual impressions
- Your landing pages should deliver what was promised – if you started your call to action in the title or meta description / snippet, then the last thing you should do is go off-topic in your delivery. If you must veer away, then use a contextual link and funnel the reader into a more specific series of options more suited to fulfill their impulse.
- Make it easy for the prospect to take action – Is the phone number on every page? (in a position they can see without squinting), is there a contact form? (does it exceed 8 options), if so then think about using a graphic or text link to direct them to a more thorough page with a more thorough contact form. People will fill out information requests as long as you offer value, such as a free 20 minute consultation, an e-book, or if you have provided a demo that sells. It is really about creating the right mood to lead up to the commitment required from the motivated searcher (which is an emotional trigger based on necessity) vs hitting them cold with a decision that they are not yet ready to entertain. Your content must have impeccable timing and flow to be effective.
- Don’t crowd the layout with too many options – a busy layout can signal confusion regarding the topic of the content as well as make it more difficult for the reader to single out the most effective plan of action. Use white space to provide balance, if you have more than three lines of text, consider a carriage return to break it up. Since most people skim your content for something that hooks their attention vs. reading it word for word, integrating visual elements that also tell the story could increase conversion rates tenfold.
- Remember, based on your content, search engines provide pre-qualified traffic, not just random traffic – the way it gathers the impressions required to rank your content is the right place is due to the subject matter of your landing page. By definition, a landing page can be any page returned as a relevant result, therefore any page in your site is a potential landing page or can be refined as one with a little effort to include additional keyword modifiers to funnel a higher percentage of traffic from a series of common queries from search engines.
Just having a website is not enough, as options increase with millions of competing pages being introduced by the hour 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, those who understand that refined, succinct communication coupled with apparent solutions get the lion share of conversion at the end of the day. If anything, the message here is, to eliminate that which is unnecessary and increase value with your offer.
Above all else, make it easy for people to take action. You don’t see flashy graphics or loads of text on Google, it is lean and mean and is transparent aside from taking you where you need to go (now that is value). So, what can you learn aside from adding more specific range of content to address specific concerns, start selling with the title and keep the tone and pitch consistent in your page once they land there and know when to ask for the close or make it so obvious that it leaves nothing left to chance.
It is a sellers market, those still using methods employing stale sales copy from the 90′s need to step up before they join the ranks of the yellow pages a format that once dominated as a result of necessity, that is now forced to adapt to the new economic model of information retrieval, relevance, advertising and conversion.
If you enjoyed this post, then perhaps you will enjoy the follow up article How to Create Optimized Landing Pages that Convert. Otherwise for more thorough information, follow the link to this great landing page resource covering in depth information regarding usability, design eye tracking studies and conversion statistics.