Online and offline advertising often invites potential customers to visit your site – with a click, a typed in URL, or a Google search. Guiding those prospects to a carefully crafted landing page that’s tuned to their needs will yield significantly more returns than simply sending them to your homepage.

Sometimes changing just a word can lead to a higher conversion rate – recently I read that when Dell swapped “learn more” with “help me choose” they made an extra $25million in sales. To get you thinking, here’s just a few tips on how your landing page should differ from any of your typical web pages.

It’s all in the design: A landing page should be designed carefully and will be markedly different to your standard web page.  Colour is important, an eye-catching orange or powerful black can set the mood you want immediately. Use of arrows on your page can direct a visitor to do what you want. Finally, make sure that the key messages and call to action are visible above the fold (content that can be seen without scrolling). Don’t put an action button at the bottom of a long page, or if you do, repeat it at the top.

Think about the URL: A “friendly url” eg can be memorable (good for offline advertising) and can direct visitors to the exact page you want them to visit – your specially designed landing page.  If you can’t change the URL of your new page, you can use a re-direct (see MySiteAdmin PageMapper) to set up a friendly URL.  Click on the “snow” link above and you will see it actually goes to – but that address is a bit of a mouthful!

Grab and keep their attention: Your advert has already interested them and it’s important to immediately re-enforce this by showing them that they came to the right place!  A good way to do this is to repeat the key message in your advert.  Use a compelling headline and keep the content short and sweet, use bullet points and short summaries. Make sure there is a strong call to action – “Buy Now” or “Help me decide” – or even consider having a response form on the landing page itself.  Testimonials work well or some way to show the popularity of your product or service.  You should also consider a social element if your product or service lends itself to social media – a Twitter feed for example.

Emphasise the product: Your page should communicate the benefits of your product or service and demonstrate that you have the solution to their problem. Use of video to preview your product or service is very effective or some way for your visitor to see what you are offering for themselves – a free trial or zoom-able photographs will work well.  Consider the use of a timed offer to promote that “must buy now” feeling.

Discourage browsing: Landing pages should be designed to discourage browsing – your visitor is here for a reason, they saw your advert and something made them click on it or act on it, don’t disappoint them.  Keep any links on the page “in the funnel” – fair enough you should allow visitors to get to the rest of your site but consider removing the normal menu and having a less obvious “Company Homepage” link – or move the menu to below the fold so visitors scroll to see it.

Test, test, test! Use Google Analytics or other web stat offerings to track visitors to your page, set up a Funnel and Goal and monitor activity. Try making changes to your page and see if behaviour is altered.

Need a landing page or want to find out more? Contact Refractiv if you want to discuss a landing page for your website.