Although we cover several areas of SEO, we very seldom talk about landing pages. However, landing pages drive the conversions of the Web. A well-designed and written landing page turns traffic into money. Let’s dig a little deeper to find out how.
Many people have a preconceived idea about what a landing page is. For example, visitors would hit a landing page from Pay-Per-Click traffic, a sponsored graphic, perhaps an email link or other traffic source. While these examples are definitely landing pages, a landing page is simply the first page visitors see of your site. If you don’t define “landing page” this way, your best prospects may very well be dropping of your site.
Many beginning website owners automatically assume this will be the home page. However, the landing page can be any page on your site, from Home to Services and beyond. How you link to and what you do with these pages makes all the difference in your percentage of converting traffic.
Landing Pages – Aiming for Conversions
Consider the page of a website. The more information, options, topics and so on available on a single page, the harder it is for visitors to;
- know where they’re going
- know what to do once they get there.
Yet, those with PPC campaigns, ads, link building and other marketing campaigns often link back to the home page. They try to use the home page as the conversion page, putting as much information on it as possible.
It’s just as common, though, for individuals to link their campaign to a page and forget to change the page to match the campaign. For instance, say you have a banner ad for 20% off a product. The banner ad points to product-sale.html, just as it’s supposed to. However, once the visitor reaches the page, they see an accompanying advertisement for 10% off, rather than 20% off. This reduces trust and loses customers.
When looking at your website with the idea of buffing up conversion numbers, look at each page as a landing page. Ask yourself, “If I were the visitor, would I know what to do on this page?”
Where to Start Looking
If you have active campaigns out there, the pages you have those campaigns pointing to are the best places to start. If the campaigns just point to the home page or you have no campaigns at all, you might as well being on the home page.
First, however, make a list of your most important pages. For instance, although not everyone comes through your home page, most visitors will. Likewise, if you have a Services page that then points to different services, you might want to put your first level Services page on the list.
Whatever you consider your most important pages, list them. Then, you need to create some way of tracking which page you’re on and what you’ve done with it. For more information on this subject, you can read The Three T’s for Stronger Optimization.
START with SEO: did you use the right keywords, are you linking correctly, have you stuffed your keywords, is your Meta data ugly…
CONTINUE to your content: is it appealing, does it match the specific campaign, is the call to action apparent, is it easy to know what to do…
ACT on your landing pages: change what needs to be changed, keep what needs to be kept, test what needs to be tested…
How Do You Know If It’s Working?
It’s simple, really. Once you know which pages to work on and you’ve followed the three T’s, listen to the data. Has your conversion rate gone up? Now, you might say, rather grudgingly, “Yes, but only by 1%.”
Let’s think about that, shall we? Let’s say your average sale is $50 – a nice round number. Let’s say you have 850 unique visitors per month, and only 1% buys. That’s $425 per month in sales. It doesn’t sound like much, does it?
What if you could raise your conversion level 1% per month for 6 months – just by testing and tweaking your landing pages? Look at the numbers:
- Average sale: $50
- Unique visitors per month: 850
- Conversion rate: 6%
- Actual conversions: 51
- Per month in sales: $2,550
By managing to raise your conversion rate to 6%, you also raise your annual income from $5,100 to $30,600.
Now, don’t get the idea that it’s as easy as 1-2-3. If you read the related article on Stronger Optimization, you’ll quickly learn the truth; very seldom can you make one change and that change make all the difference. Raising your conversion rates can be a time-consuming process. However, if you can take a weak landing page and turn it into a powerful, high-conversion page, it will be well worth the effort.