It’s a horrible problem. An epidemic really.
Thousands of businesses have websites that are ill-equipped to get site visitors to do the ONE thing their owners should want more than anything else – take action!
Whether it’s a phone call, Contact Form submission, whitepaper download – most websites are a confusing mess of conflicting pseudo-calls-to-action, irrelevant stock images and wasted space. It’s confusing to site visitors and confusion is paralyzing so most don’t take the action the site owner wants.
ESPECIALLY when you’re paying to send traffic to your site, you simply can’t afford to mess up your landing page.
Certainly how your landing page is designed depends on your business and what specific action you want a visitor to take once they land on that page. The landing page for an e-commerce site promoting a holiday special is gonna look A LOT different than a landing page for a software company looking to get visitors to download a whitepaper.
For our purposes, we’re going to talk about a landing page for a local service business that wants visitors to contact them to set an appointment, get an estimate, sign up for a free consultation, etc. Those are the businesses we have the most experience with, especially when it comes to driving PPC traffic to their sites.
(That said, the landing page template I’m about to share is certainly a good one to follow for a wide range of businesses/situations.)
Before I share the template, there are 2 big disclaimers I feel compelled to make.
First, while this template has proven itself time and time again, you should always TEST your landing pages to see which ones work best for your business. There is no single magic bullet, best of the best landing page template out there.
Second, a landing page is only as good as the copy on the page. If you have a horrible offer, no proof that backs up any claims you make about your company/service, copy that focuses on your company/service and not the VALUE your company/service provides to customers…
… no landing page template in the world, no matter how good, is gonna help you!
Okay, with that behind us, let’s take a look at the template. My right hand man, Burt Campbell, put a basic wireframe of this landing page together to give you a general sense of what it looks like and its components. I’ll expand on each section below the image.
(Click image to enlarge)
The header should be narrow – you don’t want it taking up too much of that precious real estate at the top of your website.
On the left of the header should be your logo. Under the logo should be a very short description of what your company does (if that’s not obvious from your company name). This is not the place for a meaningless slogan, no matter how catchy it might be. You want to convey exactly what it is you do to site visitors so they know they’re in the right place.
On the right side of the header should be a call to action of some sort. For a local service business this is probably going to be your phone number (using a local area code is best). However, don’t ONLY put the phone number there. Have a call to action before it along the lines of “Call Today For a Free Estimate/Consultation”.
Under the header on the left side of the page should be your main headline (and, yes, your landing page DOES need a headline!). You’ll generally want your headline to convey the main benefit/value proposition you offer your customers. Its job is to generate enough attention and interest that visitors want to check out more of the page. Though not mandatory, a good sub-headline under the headline is often quite effective too.
(Since this isn’t an article about headline writing, that’s all we’re gonna say about this part of the landing page – there’s no shortage of “how to write a headline” type articles out there.)
Video (done well) is a great addition to many landing pages. It generally engages visitors more than copy does so it’ll keep people on your site longer. If you use video, make sure you end it with a clear call-to-action.
If you use an image in this space instead of a video, use one that’s relevant to your company/service/offer. You’ll generally want to stay away from stock images here. Also, if you use an image, put a caption under it – that text underneath the image will be one of the MOST read bits of copy on your landing page so make the most of it!
On the right side of your landing page, above the fold (the part of the page users see without having to scroll), is where your contact/opt-in form goes. Use a benefit-focused lead in before the form fields to let visitors know exactly WHAT they’re signing up for and WHY it’s in their best interest to do so.
Be creative with the “Submit” button at the bottom of the form too. Don’t use “Submit” or “Click Here” as the text on the button. Use action-oriented copy such as “Get Your Free Estimate” or “Claim Your No Obligation Consultation”.
For Google’s sake, you want some sort of privacy statement right under the button about how you’re not gonna turn people’s contact info over to Nigerian princes, Viagra salesmen and/or Communists.
The Rest of the Page
Okay, everything above should be in that above the fold section on this landing page.
That means, without having to scroll… people know WHO you are, WHAT you do, have multiple ways to CONTACT you and have an INCENTIVE to do so.
Get that far and you’re WELL ahead of most business’ websites.
Let’s continue on and see what goes below the fold.
Copy / Bullet Points
This section goes on the left underneath the video/image section. Here, you’re going to expand on the promise/offer/value proposition you laid out in your headline.
It’s important to include some bullet points here that outline 3-4 key benefits you want people to know about. A lot of people don’t read, they skim, so are more likely to scan bullet points instead of copy in paragraph form.
Even though most people will skim, you’ll still want to include a few paragraphs of copy as well. Why?
First, your most interested prospects WILL read so you want to make sure they have enough information so they’re compelled to contact you.
Also, whether you’re using this landing page for PPC and/or SEO purposes, you want to make sure you have enough unique content on the page to keep Google happy. That means at least 400 – 500 words.
The “Proof” Zone
The “Proof” Zone is where you let people know why they should trust you. This section goes below the form on the right side of the page and can include testimonials, logos of well known clients, logos of media outlets you’ve been featured on, etc.
Another Call To Action
At the very bottom of the page, reinforce your call to action. You can include your phone number again, remind people to fill out the form, or whatever it is you want them to do. Just make sure you again convey the benefit they’ll receive for taking action.
The “Keep Google Happy” Footer
And that’s all there is to it. A simple, proven landing page template. Feel free to put it to use for your business’ website and see if you can convert more of your site’s visitors into quality leads!