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An unrealistic expectation can doom a website to fail before the design process even begins.
Unfortunately, many clients have limited knowledge of what a website should be, and more importantly, what a functional, intentional website can deliver. They underestimate the value of going beyond aesthetics with their sites, assuming that build success relies solely on an appealing interface. Clients believe that, as long as their site “looks good,” it will float in cyberspace, effectively extending brand reach while magically attracting millions of interested users and converting them into customers.
The truth is, that’s not how website magic works.
To deliver digital results, a website must offer an engaging, dynamic user experience. Yes, graphics are critical to the design process. However, to optimize success, your site must provide more than compelling graphics. Your developer is or, at least should be working hard behind the scenes for you, creating a sophisticated infrastructure of both site and SEO functionality that must be developed and tested before going live. That is where the website magic truly begins.
It’s important to remember that you ultimately get what you pay for. Effective, intuitive website design is complicated. But the return is well worth the investment.
Let’s start with the basics. What is the purpose of a landing page? It is to capture a visitor’s information through a conversion form. It should target a specific audience with a specific need or interest while also capturing information about who they are and where they converted. Landing pages typically allow qualified visitors to sign up to receive additional information, download content offers, or redeem other marketing offers (free trials, demos, or coupons). Through their content, landing pages pages allow you to target a specific audience, offer them something of value, and convert a higher percentage of visitors into leads.
Length matters. Landing pages with the goal of gathering leads or sign ups does best with 500 words or more. Consider the goal of your landing page. Is it to educate or to sign up? Make sure you landing page is clear from distraction and leads the user toward your conversion goal.
Define a path to conversion. The most effective marketers have a clear path to conversion mapped out before they build a landing page. Start by thinking about what information the user needs to convert.
Focus on one topic. While your business likely has many products and services that complement each other, having one topic per landing page will aid in driving your user toward conversion. If you delve into multiple topics you risk distracting your user from the path to conversion you want them to go down.
Continue to test and optimize your landing pages. Only 11% of landing pages are redesigned for better conversion after they’re launched. The best marketers are constantly testing and optimizing the various elements of their landing pages.
Give video a try. Only 14% of landing pages include a video. As long as the video you use compliments your conversion path and doesn’t distract from it, video could help engage visitors and effectively convey your message. Use a good thumbnail so that clicking on it is tempting.
Use a subdomain. A subdomain is a third-level domain that’s part of the original top-level domain. Subdomains are beneficial from both an organizational aspect and can give you an SEO boost.
Tell users how to connect with you. Over a third of landing pages included a phone number that connects users with sales reps. Keep in mind that depending on what phase of the buyer’s journey your landing page is targeting, the user may not be ready to speak with a salesperson. Give them other ways to connect like social media or a newsletter sign up.
Display a CTA above the fold. Use an eye catching CTA to drive users to action. The CTA should stand out clearly among the rest of the landing page’s content and should give users a clear idea of what will happen when the CTA is clicked. Use 1st person speech to create a sense of urgency.
Offer something of value. According to Neil Patel, one of the best ways to secure conversions is to give something valuable to your users in exchange for their information. Offer a download or other piece of information that will entice them to submit their information. Be sure to convey that value throughout the landing page through the copy and visuals.
Use personalized copy. This doesn’t mean you need to know the user’s name before they visit your page (that would be creepy).