Landing Pages – How to Win
Landing Pages are the weapon of choice for affiliate marketers.
Marketers who do not employ Landing Pages either do not understand the
concept, or they are just plain lazy. Usually, it is the latter.
Laziness is often contagious.
A Landing Page is more than just a duplicate of your sales page renamed
for a PPC campaign. A Landing Page often strips out many elements of
"effective design" and focuses on selling the product or service.
The main purpose of your Landing Page is to give the visitor two
choices: Buy or Leave. Nothing else. Don’t distract them with other
options. That is why they are there – don’t make the mistake of giving
them too much to choose from. If you want to get them to subscribe for
more information, fine. Then create a "name squeeze" page, but don’t
confuse yourself. Landing Pages are for one reason and one reason only
… to make a sale.
Here is a short laundry list of what I do when I create a Landing Page:
Font Face, Color & Size:
There is one thing that most people hate, and that is 4-5 different
fonts that clutter up the landscape of the page. Different Fonts for
headlines is fine. Different fonts in your body text is not good, it is
distracting. Don’t do it. Keep to one font in your body text. Testing
shows that the best "off line" (print) font is Times New Roman. This is
why it is the default font on the internet. Big mistake. Testing shows
that Times New Roman is one of the worst fonts online. Why? It causes
rapid eye fatigue.
The best fonts? Verdana and Arial. Standardize on Verdana as it
consistently outperforms every font out there in terms of reducing eye
strain and increased readability. Use standard fonts in the body of the
page, if you want an usual font for a headline, create it as a graphic
so it will look the same on every computer. You want your message to
have the look you intended.
The text should be readable. The standard size is "2". Text should
always be dark on a light background (black text on a white background
is preferred). Landing Pages aren’t designed to allow you to show off
how "cute" you can be. This is serious stuff, you are selling. Put on
your "best face".
Make the Links Easy to Find –
Now, having a cool CSS file that makes the links change colors, add or
remove underlines is fine on your site. Knock yourself out. However,
they have no business on your Landing Pages. Why? Because confusing a
visitor is not your priority, getting them to buy is.
Use standard linking practices to avoid confusion. If a potential
customer can’t distinguish between text and a link you are going to
lose. That’s not good.
Standard colors are:
- Unvisited Link – Underline in Blue
- Active Link (when the mouse "hovers" over the link – Red
- Visited Link – Purple
I recommend not messing around with the visited link, just have the
standard unvisited and hover so the visitor has some interactivity and
the link will "catch" their eye. I have done a ton of testing and the
standard linking practices always have better conversion ratios.
Color Scheme –
The colors you choose should match the product or service you are
selling. Soothing yellows, greens and blues are best for skin care. Pick
your color carefully as they will either bring the visitor in deeper
into the sales process or turn them away. A site for men shouldn’t have
pink as the primary color … or secondary color for that matter.
Not sure the colors to use? Look at the competition, as it is a great
place to start. And if you still aren’t sure, test.
White Space –
White space has been referred to as "negative space" by many designers
and thus, avoided. All of those designers should lose their jobs. This
is not high school art class. You are selling here, remember? White
space is good. White space is your friend.
When I look at a Landing Page with effective use of white space, I see
perfection. Without white space, text becomes unreadable, and the
graphics and other important elements become "washed out" and the
message is lost.
White space is more than just a background "color" – it is a part of
your conversion design. This also leads into another area, page
backgrounds. Don’t use them. Over the years I have seen floral designs
on iPod sites, vacation pictures as backgrounds, and even a woman and
her cat as the background …. and these were ALL landing pages.
Page Width and Page Height –
Have you heard the term "above the fold"? I am sure you have. It comes
from the newspaper industry and referred to ads and information that was
above the folded area. Testing found that 86% of the people who picked
up a newspaper at an airport, train station, office waiting room, never
"flipped" the paper over … they just looked "above the fold" only. The
same is true online. Did you know that of the people who don’t scroll
down that 6% of them don’t because they don’t know how?
Yes, you read that right. They don’t know how.
If your landing pages scrolls vertically on a 1024×768 resolution you
need to redo it. And if you are forcing a visitor to scroll
HORIZONTALLY, you are guilty of one of the worst web design mistakes of
all time. The scroll bar is your enemy. All of your important
information, including your Call to Action must be above the fold. Period.
Page Theme –
A Landing Page is geared to sell a particular product or service. So, if
I am doing a search for left-handed golf clubs or a Hawaiian vacation, I
am expecting to see a page about those topics. Don’t be lazy. Deliver
what I want, and I will be more likely to buy. Don’t dump me on a cookie
tracked version of your home page either. The content needs to match my
search. If not, I will most likely leave.
Stress Benefits, Not Features – Very few people care about features,
most care about benefits. Stress the benefits of the product or service
and you will increase your conversions.
Call To Action –
A no brainer, right? Wrong. Too many sites fail to have an effective
Call to Action. This is typical of most new and non-experienced sales
people. They fail to ask for the order. They just assume that the
prospects understands. Newsflash: They don’t. Explain what you want them
to do in easy to understand language, or an effective graphic. A "Buy
Now" is a Call to Action, and often a very effective one.
That’s it – we know you’ll be able to put these simple, but tested and
proven landing page strategies to work in your own business,
My Landing Page YOUR FUTURE