The Key to a Successful Website Homepage
Having discussed the essential elements of a successful blog in my previous post, let's turn…
In my last post I discussed the general principles of a successful campaign landing page – so this time let’s delve down a bit more into the nuts and bolts of how you can optimise the specific layout of your campaign landing page.
First of all, it’s worth bearing in mind that the look and feel of your campaign landing page should closely match the appearance of the individual communication pieces that link through to it. This maintains consistency – reassuring your prospective customer that they have come through to the right place. In fact, wherever possible, you should personalise the landing page to each individual publication that sourced traffic to that page – as well as making an exclusive offer (for example: “10% off – exclusively for Men’s Health readers”). By maintaining a consistent, personalised approach from the original communication piece right through to the landing page you preserve relevance and encourage conversions. Even better when you match this with a personal and conversational tone of voice – just as you would do in a long-copy sales letter.
It’s sometimes advised that you should avoid using a navigation bar on your campaign landing page. The rationale here is that it may encourage visitors to click away onto your main website, rather than undertaking the desired conversion on the landing page, for example making a purchase. If you subscribe to this point of view, then it is wise to ensure that all supporting information relevant to making the conversion is included on your landing page – so that there is no reason for your prospect to want to click away to your main website once they have reached your landing page.
Do be aware though, that by not using a navigation bar, this will probably have a negative effect on the landing page’s Google quality score (Google likes links!) However you need to carefully weigh-up how important natural search is to your specific campaign landing page, as opposed to the increased conversions associated with a ‘ring-fenced’ landing page. As ever, the answer is to test it both ways and see what works best for you…
Turning now to imagery – the focused nature of your landing page means that it should only be used where it helps move the prospect closer to making the conversion, never just for decoration. If you do choose to use imagery on your landing page, ensure it strengthens your proposition – avoid bland ‘stock shots’ that may lose the interest of your audience. Consider captioning any product shots to make them more relevant to your proposition. Video can often work well on landing pages, especially where it helps build conviction by compellingly demonstrating the benefits of your proposition or by featuring in-situ customer testimonials.
Another crucial aspect of the layout that deserves more scrutiny is the call to action. A good approach is to prominently feature your call to action ‘above the fold’ as well as repeating it several times throughout the landing page (just as you would do in a long copy sales email) – so that your prospect doesn’t have to scroll through to the end of your landing page in order to complete the conversion. Try including it as both buttons and as text links throughout the body copy, providing your prospect with a range of ‘stepping-off points’ through to making the final conversion.
Don’t arrive at the final call to action too soon though – some prospects will need more convincing than others, and will therefore want to see more supporting information before they are sufficiently persuaded of the merits of your proposition and the trustworthiness of your brand.
Some specific tips for optimising the response mechanism on your landing page include:
A final thought worth mentioning – do ensure that your campaign landing page reinforces the quality standards and the overall design principles of your main website, in order to present a consistent online brand experience to your prospective customers. Like me, I am sure you have come across many campaign landing pages in the past which seem a very ‘poor cousin’ to the main brand homepage…
What about you – do you have any additional tips regarding how you have tweaked the effectiveness of your own campaign landing page layout?
If you’re interested in exploring this area in more detail (together with relevant examples), you might like my recent book ‘Successful Marketing Communications’. If you have any thoughts or comments, do drop me a line below.