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Landing Page Best Practices Convert More Visitors

Landing pages
Image credit: Pixabay Creative Commons license

The best practices for landing pages come in two forms. The first is understanding why a particular landing page does so well. The other is getting better performance.

What is a landing page? It is a page where someone lands with their browser after they click on something such as a page on another website, an ad, a search engine result or a social media account, among other possibilities.

The most important landing pages are the ones that get consistent traffic over time. The ones that get a temporary boost, such as a news article, are usually not worth any landing page best practices. The benefit rarely outweighs the cost in time, money and effort.

Some of the factors that increase traffic to a landing page are controllable. For example, a highly optimized ad campaign will send traffic to the page as long as the budget lasts. A page with unique content rarely available on any other site is likely to get high search engine rankings and therefore meaningful traffic.

The opposite also is true. Even the best landing page design won’t necessarily get great traffic from search engines if they have indexed 100,000 other pages with the same or similar content.

The following seven best practices are controllable and known to make a difference in attracting more traffic to a landing page and converting that traffic once it arrives.

1 – Inverted Pyramid Content

The inverted pyramid is a concept in journalism that calls for putting the most important or interesting content first in an article and the least important or interesting last.

Website visitors want information quickly. They don’t like to scroll much if at all.  A visitor who doesn’t get what they want within seconds will easily hit the back button and look for the next website that will give the answers.

2 – High Quality Content

Quality content is a combination of substance and presentation. The substance is quality if it is creative, interesting, factual, attributed and grammatically correct. The presentation quality depends on short and simple sentences and paragraphs that achieve high scores for reading ease. Other techniques that make text more appealing are pull quotes and drop caps.

Imagine a 1,000-word article consisting of one paragraph. The enormous block of text will scare away just about any reader.

Analytics will help judge the content quality with a “time on page” report. The longer visitors spend time on the page, the more of it they are consuming.

3 – High Quality Images

Images break up text and create relief for eyesight. High quality images enhance content and help tell the story.

Even search engines signal a positive response to pages with images. They know people respond better to pages that have them. The length of the article determines how many images to use.

One image for every 500 words is a good goal. Take advantage of the alt tag to attract image indexing by search engines.

4 – Search Engine Optimization

Every landing page should follow best SEO practices for the title, meta description, headline and body copy. The article should have a clearly defined keyword or keyword phrase to ensure search engines properly understand the topic.

Google is moving away from traditional SEO and in favor of “machine learning”, which at this time seems to favor major brands. But Bing and many smaller search engines still favor SEO practices.

5 – Speed and Simplicity

Users and search engines alike have always favored fast-loading pages. The rapid growth of mobile devices, which often download pages, scripts and images more slowly, has made speed more important than ever.

Clutter often contributes to slow-loading pages. Clutter also is chaotic and distracts visitors who are trying to find the information they want.

6 – Access to More

Converting a visitor who arrives at a landing page is the real point of caring about landing pages. That conversion may come in the form of a click on advertising, taking part in a contest, buying a product or service, etc. The site publisher may simply want the visitor to click on more pages and consume more content.

Analytics again will show if the landing page has been properly optimized for conversions.

7 – Interactivity

Interactivity in the form of a survey, poll, comment, message board or other responses is debatable as a best practice for landing pages.

In reality, whether to have interactivity depends on the page content and conversion goal. But it is clear that interesting and appropriate interactivity has the potential to increase the amount of time a visitor spends on a page.

Spending more time on a page increases the potential for conversions as well as the potential for higher search engine rankings.

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