The fundamentals of ‘landing page creation’ training, requires your full attention, whether or not you are a landing page creating novice or professional. The landing page laws are as true as physics or any other natural law in the universe. The biggest mistake people make when it comes to landing page design is not sticking to the fundamentals. If you stick to the basics you would have a high converting landing page that is hard to discredit or distrust.
1) Landing page law of Expectancy
- Great landing pages usually share one thing in common... i’m talking about the ad copy on the search and display network matches exactly to what the users expectations are. Your headline and meta description has to be clear as to what you are offering. Then your landing page needs to deliver on that promise made in the ad instantly.
- It is imperative that you provide a user with a consistent experience. You not optimizing a landing page for conversions, you not optimizing a landing page at all. Your job is to optimize a thought sequence and one of the most powerful ways to do this is to make sure your landing page matches the advert from the ppc campaign or organic search result. If your message does not match your users expectations then that user is going to bounce.
- If a prospect is clicking on an ad, (may it be search, display or any other). You want to direct your traffic to a specific page that is relevant to the ad, that targets the prospects problem, offers a relevant solution and has a clear call to action. Create a unique page that is relevant to what the prospect is looking for in their search query.The ideal way to think is “one goal, one message, one action”.
- Do not send prospects to your home page. This is a shockingly common mistake, it’s a very poor strategy for ppc, paid or profit sharing traffic. The campaign will most likely fail and most definitely be a massive loss in opportunity cost earnings. It is extremely rare that a home page has “one goal, one message, one action”.
2) Landing page law of Consistency:
One big mistake businesses make is that they use landing pages that do not match their website at all. Prospects see this and think the website is either not trustworthy or not related to the landing page.
The ideal approach is to try and keep the design, message and tone the same as indicated on the landing page. This way the overall feel and message is more congruent and closer to frictionless.
The main goal is to optimize or aid a thought sequence, not a landing page. This means drastic changes in design and poorly placed offers can disrupt the natural flow of the thought sequence towards your conversion goals.
3) Landing page law of Value:
Get to the point, do not babble on about stuff before you do. Your title needs to say exactly what you the page is about, demonstrate the value fast. There must be no muss or fuss about it.
Your prospect has just clicked on a link to a website they probably do not know, they got their trigger finger on the back button and there's nothing you can do about it. You need to prove to your prospect that they made the right decision clicking on your link. Every second they remain confused and uncertain increases the chances that they bounce.
You gotta make the juicy bits like the value (specifically desired outcomes), scarcity and the action you want the prospect to take to stick out. You can have the long form information down below, if needs be. We highly recommend only focusing on value, only incorporate information that demonstrates this effectively. Do not use information if it is not adding to the action. If it is not needed, then leave it out.
4) Landing page law of Headlines:
You need to think like an old school copywriter who is trying to figure out the next big catchy headline for the newspapers. We live in a world where information runs ramped with the average person suffering from a heavy dose of ADD. The truth is most people don’t care about reading what you have to say, you don’t even have time to explain to them why they should care before they already gone. This is especially true to prospects unfamiliar with you and your business. This is why you need a headline that explains exactly what you doing in the least amount of words. Every word on a heading is a friction point that reduces the amount of people willing to read it.
Your headline can not be too short either, if it is so short that it does not communicate your value effectively, then your headline has failed as well. You might be able to direct many people to your web page and get them to read your headline but no one will stick around to read the rest of the content if the headline does not capture both their attention and imagination. This means your headline needs to be tailor made for your prospective audience.
Additionally, your headline needs to attract a prospect's eye from afar much like a newspaper headline does. The font needs to be clearly legible, like ‘Impact’,’Arial’, ‘Myriad pro’ etc. The headline needs to be on the top portion of the page and the font should also be bold and large so that if the user is able to read anything in the noise of the landing page, they will be able to read the headline almost unintentionally at first. The purpose of a headline is to grab attention, capture the imagination, clarify the purpose of the page and initiated to guide the prospects thought sequence.
The headline has to communicate the number one benefit of the product or the number one problem of the prospect. Alternatively it needs to communicate a dream, aspiration or something bad the prospect needs to avoid. It needs to be relevant to what the offer is about, ideally summarising the landing page to its main purpose. The main purpose is not to sell but to solve a problem. If your ideal prospect feels nothing reading the headline, then you need to go back to the drawing board.
5) Landing page law of Segmentation:
Your product may have many different type of ideal customers or buying personas. Each customer is accustomed to communicating slightly differently in this world. People in general tend to respond better to people who are more like themselves. This means it is important for increased conversions to make at least one landing page for each segmented group/buying persona. You need to segment your customers and then communicate with them in the language and manner they appreciate.
Segmentation does not mean you segment for each individual customer but you segment for the major customer groups/types. If you selling wine the way you communicate with a collector is very different to the way you communicate with a social drinker. Once you understand exactly who your prospects are you then can start making multiple landing pages to target those groups better.
You may also find different customer types come from different sources, may it be just a different keyword or a completely different platform. In some cases you may want to experiment with direct mail, targeting a certain user group based on location, or interest, with a QR code or link to your landing page. This is an offline/online approach.
You should aim to go deep with customer segmentation with regards to the exact buying persona. ie) Your ideal prospect is a social drinker who is a stay at home mom aged between 25-35, who works a full time job and raises a family of three, who usually watches Grey’s Anatomy and who loves the red fruity flavours of Spanish wine.
Additionally you also want to segment landing pages for different devices. Using a responsive landing page design could be costing your millions in conversions. Responsive design kills conversions compared to a well thought out native design. You may want to keep you website responsive for a million reasons but you should not want to keep your conversion pages responsive, you should aim to keep it native. The way you consume content on your mobile device is different to the way you consume it on a desktop. Mobile devices are more bites sizes in comparison to desktops when it comes to content.
The 80/20 way to go about it is to have a responsive mobile design and a responsive desktop design. Each designed and written for a different type of consumer experience. This means you have a responsive design for only mobile devices and you have a responsive design for only desktop devices. In addition to the obvious design changes based on screen size you need to reduce the copy on mobile devices as to desktop. I recommend using different copy to convey the same message essentially.
6) Landing page law of Clarity:
The more that is on a landing page, the less it communicates. You need to get rid of all ‘aesthetic’ type content that does not help the prospect with the thought sequence objective. This includes all content that is poorly misplaced. i.e. You do not want to tell your prospect the price before you have communicated the value that justifies the price.
Do not clutter the page with content, aim to communicate your message in fewer words or in words that follow a natural pattern of thought for your prospect. Some prospects require 100 pages before a conversion, others require less than 140 characters. It is all about understanding your prospect, but either way you need to clear the page in order to highlight the message you communicating. A smart strategy is to keep reading to a minimum, ensure visitors get a chance to read your most important copy first. The less clutter on the page the clearer your message will stand out.
7) Landing page law of Funnel Navigation:
This is also known as “landing page law of navigation”. The prospect needs to be led, they will not lead themselves. You need to tell them where to click or what action to take. The navigation bar must not be available on landing pages solely designed for specific tasks like email capturing. These pages should have a clear navigational path with ideally one clickable option. “Either they buy, or they die” - Jordan Belfort. The bounce rate on this page will increase but so will your conversion goals provided you use the other landing pages laws.
Alternatively, you can have up to two clickable actions on a landing page. The one option could be the contact details of the prospect and the other could be some sort of social interaction, may it be a like, share or comment. The more actions you have the lower primary conversions you usually have. If you expect your prospects to take more than one action it's good to have a pre-existing relationship with them, but ideally try to stick to one action or desired outcome. The benefit of only aiming for one action is it allows you to communicate and aid the prospect clearly to the destination with a simplistic thought sequence. This lends itself to less friction and a better understanding of what is expected for both parties involved.
Also consider the value of each conversion and micro-conversion. If you had to quantify each conversion and micro conversion into monetary dollars, how much would the average expected ‘like’ be worth to you over capturing someone's email or making a sale. This also highly depends on your business strategy, I highly recommend focusing on the conversions that matter the most and ignoring the conversions that matter the least. i.e. If a facebook like is worth $1 then your email might be worth $15. You need to consider the impact of the conversion, don’t play a traffic game, play an impact game.
8) Landing page law of the fold:
This law is under much debate by marketing experts, however according to actual tests done there seems to be a more consistently clear winner. The old school belief was that you need to have the call to action above the fold. (Above the fold is the visible section on the top of the landing page when the page first loads before scrolling.)
The call to action on desktop devices needs to be above the fold. The first thing the user sees is the headline, then the benefits on the left, and on the right will be the call to action. If you're promoting to countries from the east, that read books opposite to that of the west then you want your call to action to be on the left and your benefits on the right. The reason for this is to see the benefits first and then the call to action.The basic structure would be headline, benefits, call to action and then information.
The call to action on mobile devices is done slightly differently, you want to have the call to action below the fold, but with a quick scroll button for users who want to get straight down to business. Floating buttons work well for this. The reason for this is most users need to be educated on the benefits of the product before the sale. The structure would be headline, benefits then call to action then informational content. You want to keep the content brief and to the point.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to the fold is to ask yourself what type of prospect/consumer am I speaking to? What is the prospects thought sequence and how should I lay out the content in a way that captures the prospects attention, and give them what they want with the least amount of friction.
The more friction inherently in a certain type of call to action the more important it is to motivate value before the call to action. You motivate value with the benefits, incentives and persuasive language. The general degree of friction is listed down below but should be taken with a pinch of salt:
Like: B 1
Share: B 2
Comment: B 3
Email details: B 4
Contact details: B 5
Small purchase: E or V 6
medium purchase:E/V/P 7
Monthly purchase: V or P 8
large purchase: V or P 9
B = Ethical bribe usually required
E = prior email usually required
P = prior Purchase usually required
V = Massive amounts of value needs to perceived by prospect
*This is just a general layout, each case is unique, this is just to aid you as a study framework.
9) Landing page law of Action:
This law only applies to long form landing pages. If you have a landing page that has a lot of copy in it, which requires a fair amount of scrolling, then you should have a call to action on the top on the page and at the bottom on the page. This has to be done with a layout that does not disturb the consumers thought sequence.
Additionally if the landing page has a lot of copy. That required 5 scrolls or more, then you might want to have quick action buttons that instantly directs the user to the call to action within the middle and lower half of the copy. You could also have you call to action present after each full scroll for desktops/large tablets between points and paragraphs. A great master of this is the famous copywriter Dan Kennedy. Alternatively you could experiment with a floating call to action, this tends to have a mixed result.
10) Landing page law of Gratitude:
This is all about what you do after the successful conversion on a landing page. This mainly applies to email signups and sales. The right step is to either redirect them to a thank you page, email them a thank you message, or email them a link to a
thank you page. If you don't have a thank you page for your landing pages or at the end of the sales funnel then you should start one. A thank you page is a great way to start, improve or continue a sales funnel.
Now that you have a thank you page, with a brief message that says thank you, “your purchase was success”, or “you successfully joined my email list” You need to capitalize on this valuable real estate. Here are some options that depend on your strategy and goals:
- On your crystal clear, thank you message, have links to relevant articles (image links optional choice)
- On your crystal clear, thank you message, have links to relevant parts on the website that users might find interesting. i.e) If your user signup to learn about email marketing, give them a link to a free tool that helps them with email marketing, this tool may have a paid version as well.
- On your crystal clear, thank you message, start the download, have more detailed information about the product, author or company
- On your crystal clear, thank you message, after a sale, make an offer for a time sensitive upsell.
- On your crystal clear, thank you message, have links to relevant products based on what the user has purchased, or interested in.
- On your crystal clear, thank you message, ask for likes and social shares. This is a tricky one that needs to be done right.
- On your crystal clear, thank you message, quiz the prospect/customer to understand how to serve them better
These are just a few examples of many that you can do to make your thank you page and sales funnel more effective. The main two points that can be derived is to make sure you have a thank you page and to make sure you maximizing value for the consumer on the thank you page. Always think about the 80/20 of your customer and then the business at this point. The intention is to get them to buy again, it does not necessarily require them to buy again today.
11) Landing page law of Virality:
“If you gonna bleed money then you might as well feed the wolves.”
This law only applies to specific types of campaigns that require a high strategic and tactical approach to do right. This should not be done by landing page noobs. This requires someone with a bit more experience and training than a complete novice.
This is all about embedding social elements like: shares, social comment section at the bottom and likes, all within the landing page. This normally works best when you have a pre-existing relationship with the prospect or if you a key person of influence in your niche.
The power of this is best seen by the product launch master, Jeff Walker. The way he does it increases conversions, sales, improves trust through the persuasive power of consensus and authority and connects your customers who have this similar interest together. This is one of the best ways to build a brand by connecting your customers together based on the similar interest of your product.
The danger of doing it wrong will lead to lower conversions, higher cost per conversions and low levels of branding. The danger of this was stressed in landing page law 7, law of Funnel Navigation.
12) Landing page law of Media Testing:
There are 4 primary types of media used: Images, video, audio and text. The best landing pages usually have a hybrid of these elements. The one exception being text-only based landing pages from people like Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer.
The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is using images that don't help or aid the thought sequence, they use images because they think everyone else is using images. Images are a very powerful way to trigger emotion and action but it needs to match the prospects thoughts.
Video on landing pages has become a serious force to be reckoned with. Many prospect groups prefer video over the written word. They can sit back and watch a video, without having to go through the process of reading. Visitors to your website are more likely to spend more time on your website doing passive activities like watching video compared to engaging activities like reading content
The challenge of using video is that it eats data, you could have a buffer problems in your well timed thought sequence. Additionally it can be expensive and take a lot of time to produce.
The good news is that all you need is a smartphone to get your content out there. If you worried that prospects might think the video is low production value, then you could try a screencast. The expectations of a screencast is rarely met with high production value.
One of the most under used media types is audio. Audio is a great way to communicate with your prospect in a passive way when the video drawbacks are unacceptable. Video and audio both can communicate authenticity better than any other medium, they both a great way to build a relationship, rapport and trust.
The irrefutable truth is that text, no matter how few will remain relevant. It does not matter which media type you choose to use, a great landing page will always have text. It is the only stand-alone media type for landing pages, a juggernaut not to be messed with. Landing pages need to have text in the form of great copy.
Visitors in many industries seem to be responding better to less text, however there has not been a high converting landing page without text. This means great copy is still very important, you should dust off the old direct mail copy books and start reading best practices if you don’t know what works already.
Different user groups respond to different media types, you need to test the different media types to see which ‘hybrid media types’ resonates best with your audience. The main aim of this would be to guide or aid the users thought sequence both on a logical