A landing page is a page on your website where you want visitors to complete a specific transaction, such as donating money or joining an email list.
Obviously these are some of the most important pages on your website. In Seth Godin’s words, “Landing pages are the new direct marketing, and everyone with a website is a direct marketer.”
As you can imagine, this is always harder than it sounds. Bad design, uninspiring text, and slow load times are just a few challenges.
Following are 15 specific things you can do now to improve the performance of your landing pages.
Planning your landing pages
- What’s your goal? Pick one, and only one.
- Who’s your audience? It’s tempting to think that your landing page need to engage all of your audiences. But if you try and create a message that speak to everyone, all you’ll end up doing is inspiring no one.
- What’s your story? Pick one. Make sure it hooks into people’s emotions.
Creating your landing pages
- Maintain the same branding on all landing pages. On your Facebook custom tab and avatar, in your email newsletter template, and in your direct mail pieces. A consistent visual experience is the lubricant for smooth transactions, higher conversions.
- Use white space to direct the eye. White space at the margins will tend to direct your visitor to the center of the page.
- Use bullet points and numbered items. Bullet points are extremely humble little creatures. But they subconsciously convey two powerful messages: “You will be getting several things here” and “These things are very specific”
- Use big buttons. Amnesty International found that bigger donation buttons help convert more donors.
- Focus attention with a compelling and concise headline that states the outcome. Malaria No More does this very well.
- Focus attention with a compelling image – preferably a single person looking directly at the user.
- Spend the money on licensing a professionally shot photograph. Good sources for these images are Fotolia and Getty Images.
- Use less words. Only focus on story and call to action. A good exercise is to take your existing copy and cut it in half. Chances are you’ll end up with a much more effective landing page.
- Keep the important stuff above the fold (area of browser that’s visible without scrolling down).
Improving functions within landing pages
- Ditch the sidebars. Unless the information in the sidebar contributes to the landing page, get rid of them!
- Reduce page load times. People start to drop off if your page takes longer that 2 seconds to load. Use Google Page Speed.
- Get more out of your thank you page. Your cause is top of mind for people when they donate or sign a petition. Use that moment to get them to take another action (share, join an email list, text message list…).