Essentials of a Landing Page
So, you’ve decided this internet thing is here to stay and you want to start creating a digital marketing campaign (such as the Learn to Dive campaign). Where do you begin?
The answer: A campaign landing page.
“But what is a landing page?” you ask.
Have you ever clicked an ad on Facebook (or some other internet dwelling) only to be brought to another site that is trying to sell you on the very thing you clicked on? That’s a landing page. It is a page on your site built specifically to speak to the people your ads, newsletters, and social media posts are targeting for any given marketing campaign.
“Can’t I just send them to my homepage?”
It’s a fair question. Your homepage has links to all of your courses and other goodies that you sell. But what it lacks, is direction. Let’s say you want to show your customers that you also offer First Response CPR training, in addition to the diving courses they all know and love. You make a few posts on Facebook and Instagram talking about how learning CPR can benefit divers, and then you add a link to your homepage. They click this link and…they’re lost.
“Where are these CPR courses that the post was speaking about?” they ask. “Why do they expect me to look through links and menus to try and find what I’m searching for?” Many people will simply give up here and decide to go twiddle their thumbs, or whatever else it is that people do. A few might explore your site and some of them might find what they’re looking for, but you’re already trying to reach a significantly smaller group of customers. By building and linking to a landing page, you’re ensuring that everyone who clicks your ads, newsletters, and social media posts finds exactly what they’re looking for.
Check out this nifty graphic showing the differences between a landing page and a homepage. To see an even more robust graphic (and a fantastic article), click here.
“What if I’m on social media, but don’t have a website?”
My first recommendation would be to consider creating a website. There are many low-cost options out there, and while it may be a daunting task, there are tons of guides or companies that will help you get started. A website is your digital home base, and even a mediocre site is going to bring in more customers than having none at all.
Another option would be to look into your email/newsletter software. Many of these systems (MailChimp, ConstantContact, etc.) include a landing page builder which you can use as well.
Ok, I want to build a landing page, but what are these essentials?
I’m glad you asked! While every landing page is its own unique snowflake, there are a few components that should basically always be included to ensure you are showing your customers what they want to see:
- Call to Action
- Follow Up
Let’s take a deeper dive into these components.
Hook – Include an enticing hook that ties into the campaign
Anything that the customer sees before scrolling down is said to be “above the fold,” and this is the single most important aspect of a landing page. It needs to speak to them. It needs to entice them. It needs to excite them. Beyond that, it needs to show them that they’ve found exactly what they are looking for.
Before customers start reading walls of text or watching a video you made with an iPhone and a random editing app, they are going to need to be drawn in. The easiest way to do this is with a large, high quality image that is relevant to whatever it is you are offering. Trying to sell those CPR courses we mentioned above? Show a big pic of a CPR class in action. Showing off a vacation package? Show a pic of people smiling at the location you are presenting. Don’t be afraid to use some stock photos if your photography skills range from “everything is blurry” to “what the heck is that!” There are plenty of free and paid options for you to choose from (I really like Pexels).
The text you choose for this area of the page is also very important. I recommend keeping it short, relevant, and exciting. Include the name of the campaign, and if possible, make a promise. For example, for the mock landing page we created for you to use with the Learn to Dive campaign, the area above the fold includes a large picture of a diver underwater, the text “Learn to Dive,” and a promise that the customer will “Start diving the world in 3 simple steps.”
Offer – What is your offer and why should someone be interested in it?
The customer took a look at the top of the page and decided they wanted to venture onwards. Now is the time to really sell them on your offer. You can use text, images, videos, or any other tools to really cement their interest. Show them how they will benefit by buying what you are selling. Show them how their lives can be changed. On our Learn to Dive mock landing page, we took the “show, don’t tell approach,” but you can include anything that you think will get someone truly excited for your offer.
Details – What else do they need to know?
Some portion of your landing page needs to be dedicated to the details. Be sure to answer questions before they are asked. The easier you make it for a customer to decide they are ready to move forward, the more likely they are to do it. Think of all of the frequently asked questions and be sure to answer them in as simple and concise a manner as possible.
Proof – Why choose you?
It’s pretty rare to have a business niche all to yourself. There is almost always a competitor lurking around the corner, and your customers may have already seen a bit about what they have to offer. It’s time to nip that in the bud. Show off your company. Include testimonials and (positive) reviews. Tell those on the landing page why they shouldn’t even bother looking for the same service elsewhere. Show images of your happiest customers. Show who you are and let your personality shine through.
CTA – What should they do next?
Let’s go back to the CPR classes example. Say you’ve included all of the above components on your landing page, except a clear next step. Visitors are excited to know more. They look around your page and are met with dismay. “What next!?” they proclaim. Sure, you’ve got your phone number on the bottom of the page, but is that really enough?
Do they need to call you to schedule a class? Make a button that shows an icon of a phone and includes the text “Call 777-777-7777 now to schedule a course.” Need them to register for an eLearning? Include a big button that says “Start Your Training Today” that leads them right to the eLearning signup.
In many cases, it’s better to have this “next step” located on several spots throughout the landing page. It’s common to see a button above the fold as well as at the bottom of the page, so that those who have already decided to move onward before visiting the page don’t have to scroll down to search for it. Whatever you do, make it large, visible, and easy to understand!
Follow Up – How do they find out more?
The final (and oft forgotten) essential component of a landing page is dedicated to capturing leads and giving those who are not quite ready to get started the ability to contact you for more information. We recommend a form that customers can fill out to request more info. These customers are at least somewhat interested, so they present the perfect opportunity to follow up and close the sale. Ideally, you should try to call every customer who fills out the form to answer questions and discuss additional benefits, but emailing a response and adding them to a relevant newsletter are also highly recommended. The most important thing is to remember to follow up with every customer who requests more info, because failing to do so could lead to lost business.
Whew, that was a lot…
We know building a landing page for the first time is a big task, especially if you aren’t technology-endowed. But it’s important to keep in mind that a solid landing page is integral to any digital marketing campaign. It’s the place that you are sending everyone who clicks on your ads, social posts, and other digital marketing endeavors. More importantly, it’s the page that will make or break an online sale. You’ll find that once you’ve created your first page, you can use that as a template to build others, and things continue to get easier from there.
If you have any questions, the International Training marketing team is here for you. Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to help!