So what’s the big deal about a landing page?
You’ve just finished creating your latest school tour, e-book, or open house campaign. You’ve prepared a page on your website, a new blog post, images, and social media content to support that campaign. Now you’re told you need a landing page as well. What is so important about a landing page? Well, as it turns out, they happen to be a crucial component when it comes to getting visitors to your website to do what you want them to do once they get there.
Your efforts may be attracting a good number of visitors to your website. And you may even be getting your visitors to read the blog articles you’ve written to support your campaign, but what next?
Unless you create a clear path for them, there’s a big chance your website visitors will become distracted once they get there. For example, if you have a well-constructed homepage with a prominent navigation bar, they’re bound to go wandering. Without proper guidance, those visitors could easily get lost in your website and forget what they came there for in the first place: to sign up for your campaign.
If you don’t provide proper guidance, you’ll end up missing out on opportunities to convert visitors into leads. Landing pages provide the guidance needed to keep your visitors on task.
By understanding the purpose of landing pages, you’ll be able to maximize your efforts and get higher conversion rates on your campaigns.
What Exactly is a Landing Page?
According to Hubspot, a landing page can easily be defined by also saying what it’s not.
“All landing pages are web pages, but not all web pages are landing pages.”
In other words, any page on the internet on which one might land is a “web page;” however, a landing page includes two unique features:
- It contains a form
- It exists solely to collect a visitor’s information
Landing pages typically allow visitors to :
- Download your e-book or any informational material
- Sign-up for your newsletter
- Invite them or have them sign-up for your open house, conference, or webinar
- Make a school merchandise purchase
- Make a donation
- Take advantage of a discount offer
Whatever action you want your visitors to perform, you need to be clear on what you want them to do and what information you want from your visitors. These will depend on the objectives of your campaign.
Your campaign’s goals dictate what elements should be included on your landing page. Here are 7 landing page elements and how you can utilize each of them effectively:
1. Limited Navigation
Since the landing page is a separate page from your website, you can choose to be liberal in its design. Aside from conforming to the overall look and color scheme of your website, you are free to alter the layout to suit your content and purpose.
Since your objective is for your visitor to read your content, limit their options to do anything or go anywhere else by omitting the website navigation bar from the page. By removing any navigation options, they can focus on the campaign.
2. Quick Scan Details
Present your visitors with complete but concise details on your purpose. For instance, if you’re inviting them to a conference or a webinar, be sure to emphasize what the offer is, and include other relevant details such as the venue, as well as the specific date and time. Let your visitor scan and absorb all these important details in one glance.
It’s also important to have a clear and catchy headline, along with a supporting subheading if necessary.
3. An Image That Supports Your Topic
Don’t limit your content to a wall of text. A catchy, relevant image also accounts for drawing a viewer’s attention. Keep in mind that 40% of people respond better to visuals, more than just text (source: WMG Agency). Photographs, videos, rendered images and other graphics can attract your viewers AND are likely to persuade them to perform your suggested action more readily. Make sure your image has relevance or a connection to your text information and campaign and is not just there as eye-candy.
As an example of how an image can be used to identify with your brand and capture the attention of your visitors, Teambit's landing page does both:
4. Bullet points
Deliver your campaign’s purpose in short, quick-to-read phrases. Lay them out in bullet points for quicker consumption. Remember, it only takes 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on the part of your site that will leave an impression (source: CXL). Make it count.
As an example of keeping your text copy in just a few words from Shopify:
5. Share Links
Promote your social media links in a single row or column. Make it easier for your visitor to tweet or share about what they’re getting from your landing page. For example, if your campaign is an event, you can monitor the amount of buzz it has generated by checking your social media links and whether people are liking, sharing, or discussing it.
6. Trust Elements
To sway visitors into performing your Call-to-Action, you need to first gain their trust. With an abundant use of trust elements, like one-sentence testimonials, anecdotes, or even a short promotion of your school’s history, prove that your school and your campaign are trustworthy. If you have a specific target audience, like millennial parents, for instance; testimonials from those belonging to that audience can be more effective.
Word of mouth marketing usually assures your visitors that other reliable sources trust your school. You may make use of a combination of your school’s reviews and testimonials (if you already have them). It’s been proven that testimonials do indeed boost conversions and sales.
7. Shorter forms
When asking for your visitors’ information, you don’t need to ask for a lot of it. Make it quick and painless for them to type it in. Get their full name and their email address.
Here's an example from Webflow's landing page: a shortened form, with the fields placed beside each other:
As a general rule, you should not be asking your visitors for the information you don’t plan to use. Asking for their age, gender and location will turn them off as it may seem to be a security risk when you’re asking too much and their trust in your campaign could be jeopardized.
Landing pages have proven to be very effective in conversions. They have their own identity and purpose. But to retain their effectiveness, you need to abide by specific design elements. Keeping your designs simple, your content concise, and your Calls-To-Action clear, are practices that will make your landing page work.
The very nature of showing your visitors a landing page can make or break your purpose in doing so. Establishing your visitors’ trust by including trust elements is a tried and true method that you should always consider.
Keep enhancing your knowledge in designing and implementing landing pages for your campaigns. A good approach would be to try out different designs and layouts for each campaign. You can always tweak, test, and re-tweak your designs until you come up with a unique and efficient “tailor-made” page.
You can learn more about how your school website is your most effective marketing tool, from a previous blog.