An online marketing strategy cannot be complete without successful landing pages. But what is a landing page? Are there any common features that make a landing page effective?
The term "landing page" is often used to refer to any page, particularly a website's home page, on which a visitor “lands” after clicking on a link. For the purposes of marketing, a landing page is the page on which a visitor arrives after clicking on an ad. It is usually a standalone page with a single objective that is different, in terms of design, from the main website.
After evaluating several studies of landing page performance, the following stand out as prevalent characteristics. Try incorporating some of these features to help increase conversion rates on your landing pages.
1. Landing pages are long
Competitive intelligence company Crayon's analysis of 1000 landing pages showed that businesses are not afraid of content on their landing pages. Crayon found the average landing page word count is 2,106 words, with 52 percent of the pages containing between 1000 and 5000 words and only 19 percent containing less than 500.
Content marketing, which has been a trending tactic for several years, is still alive and well. Businesses and marketers are trying to woo potential customers (and search engines) with information.
At Custom Legal Marketing, we have been extolling the virtues of content marketing for some time. Page length can positively affect both ranking and conversions, if the page contains useful information that speaks to potential clients.
Law firms in particular can benefit from long-form page content. People who need the assistance of an attorney are hungry for information about the law, legal processes and law firms. They are willing to read and learn. Additionally, people want to trust the firm they are hiring to handle potentially sensitive matters, and speaking to visitors' needs through website content can help build that trust.
However, not all websites and website visitors are the same. Decisions about page length should be driven by how well the length serves that page's purpose. According to Crayon's data, transactional webpages, those that advertise a free download or a sign up, tend to be short; 45 percent of sign up pages examined in the study contained less than 500 words.
If the purpose of a page is transactional — downloading an ebook or requesting a consultation — then your firm may benefit from shorter pages that offer a brief description of the proposed action along with some social proof, like reviews. If the purpose is informative, and you are trying to convert visitors by providing knowledge and building confidence, a longer page will better serve that purpose. Testing, of course, will reveal the sweet spot for any page.
2. Landing pages scroll
A Clicktale study of webpage scrolling confirmed that users are willing to scroll down a page to see what it has to offer. Clicktale looked at 120,000 page views and found that 91 percent of the pages viewed utilized scrolling, and of those, 76 percent of users scrolled to some extent.
The study also showed that there is not a standard “drop-off point” at which people stop scrolling; once a visitor starts scrolling most points on the page are roughly equally likely to be seen.
The existence of scrolling is directly related to the amount of content, so the recommendation here is similar to that above. Attorneys should certainly not be afraid of the scroll. Consumers of legal services are uniquely likely to be performing in-depth research about an issue and will welcome pages with a comprehensive take on a subject.
However, if you are running a pay-per-click campaign and your landing page needs to function solely as a method for collecting contact information, consider limiting the scroll. At a minimum, be conscious of the fold when placing page elements to ensure conversion-based items are clearly front-and-center.
3. Landing pages limit navigation
Navigation can be a distraction on a landing page. From a functional perspective, any link that takes a visitor away from the page has the potential to prevent that individual from converting to a lead. Therefore, any links away from the page should be carefully considered.
One link that should always be visible is your call to action. If you use a sticky top navigation menu, consider removing site-wide links and placing a call to action button in the menu instead. As the visitor scrolls, the call to action will remain on the screen.
Landing pages tend to fall into two main categories: click-through and lead generation. A click-through page introduces the visitor to a product or service, with the intent of directing them to another page to complete the conversion. This type of landing page attempts to convince the visitor that he or she needs the service and then direct the visitor to follow through.
Lead generation pages, as the name implies, function to collect leads. For attorneys, these leads generally take the form of a request from the visitor for a consultation.
In either case, too many navigation options can prevent the page from serving its purpose. A click-through page needs to direct the visitor to a specific conversion page. Any information the visitor needs to make this decision should already be on the page; he or she should not have to navigation to a different page to learn more.
The same applies to the lead generation page. You do not want people clicking around the site, you want them to complete your lead generation form. Any links should directly support that goal, by, for example highlighting case results or letting people learn more about your attorneys.
Limiting navigation limits choices and makes decisions easier.
4. Landing pages use color carefully
Black, gray, blue and green are the most popular colors for landing pages. According to Clicktale, 41 percent of landing pages are predominantly black or grey, and 35 percent use primarily a blue or green color scheme.
This could imply that some businesses see a boost in conversions when using neutral colors. Alternatively, it could mean the sample was inadvertently weighted with brands that primarily use these colors as a matter of course. Whatever the reason, limited color palettes reflect the general trend toward simplicity in website design.
Your landing pages do not have to use the same design as every other page on your website; in fact there are some legitimate reasons for making them noticeably different. Landing pages should be on brand and use the same fonts and styles as all your marketing materials. However, they should be a slimmed-down version of the colors, graphics and other page elements used on other pages on a website.
If your website uses bright colors, bring them into the landing page in limited amounts. Use bold colors to highlight items, like a call to action button or important reason the visitor should take action. Incorporate the pops of color within an overall neutral palette to reduce the stress on visitors and make it easier for them to make the decision to act.