Have you ever wondered about the pages that are simplistic in design, have an opt-in form and there is just one option, sign up or exit? Let us look at the design and the intrinsic difference between a website and a landing page. The more you are clear about the essentials, the better results that knowledge will give you. I will follow up this post with more in-depth posts about strategies and creating a landing page, but let’s dive into this
What you will learn:
- Learn the differences between the key characteristics of websites and landing pages
- Understand why landing pages are key for your online marketing and strategy
- Benefits of using a landing page builder in addition to your website
General Website vs. Landing Page
No doubt, you have surfed a ton of websites while being online. But what’s the common structure, design and purpose of our modern websites (I thought we graduate from the clumsy style of the 90s… J ). As you know every page on the web is a website. Let’s agree that landing pages are a special form of websites and the comparison here focuses on the general website you find for companies, organizations etc. and landing pages used for special marketing purposes.
The 7 key characteristics of a website:
- Provides general content ABOUT your business and services
- Has a menu on the top and sometimes on the bottom as well
- Often includes a blog, video blog or podcast with posts to share news, information, entertaining content, forums etc. that is updated regularly with links to other websites
- Includes often contact information, a contact form, social media links or even a map if it is a physical business like a restaurant, hairdresser etc.
- Can include moving or interactive elements like image gallery slideshows and event calendars
- Can show ads on various places, banner ads, in the sidebar etc.
- Can host an online shop or ecommerce store
The 7 key characteristics of a landing page:
- Promotes one specific free or paid offer
- Includes only a few design elements and is often very short so users see the most important information on the top of the page
- Is very focused, has no sidebars, ads or other distracting elements
- Has no menu, sometimes only on the bottom
- Has a clear call to action and very focused message
- Includes a form, so potential subscribers or customers can enter their contact/payment details
- Independent from other pages
- Mostly the first page of a funnel (series of pages, email sequences and other marketing elements)
- Used to often promote free and low priced offers/services
So what’s the hype around those landing pages? Well, let’s put it this way, if you want to seriously market your business online and want to grow beyond followers on social media and contacts in your general email account – you should start using landing pages. They are extremely powerful and once you have created your own, you can get serious about growing your business, audience and marketing with webinars to boost your impact online even further.
You always want to look out for opportunities to expand and diversify your business and income streams. Landing pages can help you in a million ways with that, since it has never been more easy to create them with the right tools. So let us have a closer look at the elements of landing pages, some examples and how you can create them.
Landing page anatomy & design elements
Let’s have a look at some landing page designs. There can be many different elements suitable for different purposes that you or your business may require.
It often boils down to a combination of headline, sub-headline, video, image, opt-in form, shipping form and some text or bullet points. Here are some template examples that give you an idea what a successful landing page that converts (= turn visitors into leads) can look like:
Landing page ideas and templates
Keep in mind, no matter how fancy things look like on a landing page template. If your audience just doesn’t like it because you are working in a complete different industry than this page was designed for, you have to tweak it and find something better. That’s why A/B Split testing is so important, yes that’s what it is called. But that’s a topic for another blogpost.
Here are some ideas for templates from Clickfunnels:
Landing page above the fold - what does that mean?
You might have heard about the term “above the fold”, what fold you ask? If you open a website all you can see on the screen – that’s above the fold. When you start to scroll down, all the information that comes than is below the fold.
The reason why this is important when creating your landing page is that you want to make sure that people see all the necessary information once they “land” on your page. You don’t want them to scroll and search. The objective is to convince them in just a few seconds or minutes that the offer is what they WANT. A visitor registers or buys by entering all the details without scrolling.
Here is an example that I can share from one of my clients Heidi Ross. You can see that the webinar registration page is also a landing page and has the button right on the top. Visitors can sign up without even scrolling.
Here the content of the whole page where I zoomed out.
Marketing people collected a lot of data in the past decades to improve their pages. Most of them would agree that having your content above the fold is THE #1 rule.
Take a look at some pages while you surf the web and check how they designed landing pages and websites. By now you should easily distinguish between the two. Now let’s dive into how we can actually create them.
Landing page hosting & landing page editor
How does this all work now? If you have a website already, some providers offer the possibility to create landing pages. At the moment, I do not know of one that has all the features and capabilities that landing page builders have.
A landing page editor or builder is a software that helps you create those nice independent landing pages and hosts the data and files for you too if you like. Some providers offer possibilities to download the html files or have plugins for WordPress.
You can also link up your own domain or subdomain to have it appear like it is hosted by you. Brand it with your logo and colors and you are good to go.
This is the Clickfunnels Drag & Drop Editor - clean, simple and after the principle WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). You edit directly on the page and can move arround elements easily.
Creating a landing page takes like… minutes. Really. You can be up and running in just like 15 minutes. If you like to change the template further to your liking, it might take longer. If you want to create and upload a video it takes more time too. But you don’t have to start with the more advanced things. Sometimes simplicity is king. And that’s for sure true for landing pages.
Here is another landing page editor from Leadpages. They have great templates, but if you want to tweak a little more and use the drag & drop editor I found it has some limits in designing exactly whay I had in mind. As you can see below with the calendar image and the text. I couldnt' adjust all the white space arround it and align properly. But they are very popular, still I highly recommend signing up for a trial first for different tools and see what works best for you.
There are many different software providers out there and you might want to take a look at my software comparison chart. Here, you find the most popular ones in one chart with a lot of features that you can easily compare, including pricing. So you can easily find the right software tools for you.
The one I recommend and promote is ClickFunnels – get a 14-day trial here and have a look for yourself how powerful it is. You get a lot of more features in one platform than puzzling around with 3 or more systems to get the same thing done when using other software tools. There are a thousand reasons to use ClickFunnels and I will cover that in a separate article. If you have any questions about it, just get in touch!
Landing page analytics and the first 100 test
If you have read so far through this article, than you are seriously interested to learn and implement landing pages in your marketing. And while there are a lot of different people out there claiming to have found THE best way to do it. Hold your hands still for a second, breathe and stay focused for a little longer here.
There is just one way and only one way how you can find out what landing page works for your audience and offer. TESTING! Analytics sounds boring and techy but tools like ClickFunnels make it super easy (again, they just rock. You should really check it out or have a look at my strategy session where I show all the tools I use in a video series. Open this for later here >> )
Example for a freebie funnel that I run. The statistics will give you the answer and there is no such thing as guessing here!
You want to drive traffic to your website and see how your page performs. Once you have 100 visitors you see how many did convert. To give you some numbers, depending on your offer and industry numbers above 20% are good, above 30% great, above 40% your just rock it and all above 50% is just freaking awesome.
Once you have some numbers to work with, you can also start to do split testing. Now what’s that? Another techy term I know! Well, A/B split testing is when you create a variation of your initial page and change the headline or something other part of it. Your visitors will automatically visit the initial page or the variation. That’s basically it.
Landing page builders give you the possibility to do split testing, plus you will see all the statistics as well so that you can choose the winning page after another test with 100 visitors on each page. That is, let’s say, enough data to base this decision on.
Next, you continue with the winning page and start split testing again, this time change another element, styling positioning etc. See your numbers grow and always keep testing
I hope this helpful and gives you the best foundation to get started with your own first landing pages. Feel free to leave a comment with feedback or a question!
To your success business lion,