Landing pages have one primary goal… to engage your visitor!
Conventional wisdom will tell you that visitor attention spans are measured in seconds these days, so you need to use all kinds of bribes and gimmicks and tricks to trap them… or else they’re gone.
And if you look at the stats for pretty much any website, you’ll probably see the vast majority of visitors to back out of there in seconds…
But it probably won’t surprise you to hear I take a different view…
People who see stuff that is relevant and interesting to them will stay.
And the people backing out of there just aren’t seeing anything that interests them.
So as long as I’m being clear about what I’m offering, the people I want to connect with are hanging around, and the one’s leaving were never going to buy in anyway.
And to take it a step further…
If I use bribes and gimmicks and tricks to get those people onto my list… people who were never really interested in what I’m offering… it’s going to cost me.
- It’s not much, but I do pay for every single email I send.
- Non-responsive subscribers impact if/how Google chooses to deliver my messages.
- Eventually they’ll unsubscribe randomly and mess with my Email Stats…
- Or worse they can just start Junking my messages… more Deliverability Problems.
- Or making spam complaints… which can stop me using some Email Sending services!
And all this is unnecessary…
Because they tried to let me know they weren’t interested way back on the landing page… If only I’d listened!
So this part of the process is a balancing act… you do want to optimise your landing pages to capture as many leads as possible, but you don’t want to go so far that you mislead or bribe people into joining a list or newsletter that just doesn’t interest them.
Squeeze Pages versus Landing Pages.
Landing pages are generally short, simple pages that load super-fast, and instantly convey to the visitor what the rest of your website/offer is all about…. most still work on the old AIDA formula…
Attention: a powerful headline that catches the visitors attention.
Interest: a short intro to stir a little curiosity…
Desire: a few bullet points and an image, or a short video.
Action: a clear Call To Action… do this to get that.
If it’s a Squeeze Page, the CTA will be attached to an opt-in form and the content will be all about getting the visitor to enter their details in the form and submit it.
If it’s a Reverse Squeeze, the download link will be there as well, and the rest of the content will be geared to getting the visitor to opt-in for more good stuff, just like this…
If it’s a Splash Page, it’s basically all the same information, except the CTA is a link/button and the goal is to get the visitor to make a decision to go look at something else.
Either way, they’ll be nothing much else on the page!
The idea is to offer no distractions and no other options than the one you want to visitor to take. Generally this means no linked logos, no navigation menus, no footers… just the essentials to get the desired action.
While these pages are not complicated, you shouldn’t let the simplicity fool you.
Each element needs to be perform a very specific role AND work together with the others.
Become A Landing Page Wizard!
If you’re new to this, I strongly recommend you take a few minutes to read through the following blog post on Instapage. It looks as a number of really strong pages and points out exactly what was done to make them work so well. (Plus there’s a few mistakes to avoid as well!)
This next link goes to a set of 5 infographics that cover the key elements of effective landing pages, design principles, common mistakes and more. If you’re not into reading long critiques, this might be more your style… there is some great info that will be useful as a checklist or for inspiration, when you start making your own pages… have a look now and bookmark it for later!
You should also start your own Squeeze Page Swipe File…
Any time you come across a Squeeze Page that works well… i.e you find yourself about to submit your own info! … grab a screenshot!
If you want to make a quick start on this, do a quick image search in Google for “good squeeze page examples” and you’ll get a massive list of screenshots that other people have already clipped as good examples…
I’ve got a folder with well over a hundreds of these, and no matter what I’m working on, I can always find the perfect layout in a matter of seconds. Even if it ends up being a combo of a few elements from a couple of different swipes.
Using Images & Video On Squeeze Pages
Images used to be essential. In fact, for a long time a great cover graphic was sometimes all you needed to get an opt-in. These days there is so much crap PLR out there, people don’t put a lot of faith in pretty mock-ups.
So much so, I often test with/without images and most of the time there’s not a lot in it… especially if I use that space for some good benefit-driven bullets.
Videos can be a bit the same…
As ebook and software cover images lost their punch, video became the next big thing. You simply had to have a short video of some sort on your squeeze pages… Photo slideshows, Powerpoint text presentations, simple doodle videos, more complex whiteboard videos…
All of these worked while they were new…
Nowadays they only work if they do the job… building interest and generating desire…
Personally I’d rather put the time and effort into getting the text version perfect… ie. headline, sub-headline, bullet points and CTA… but if video is your thing, go for it!
Just be aware, doing this my way I can test and tweak everything and keep improving it, any time I want.
But with video, people tend to make one version and stop. And if it’s no your absolute very best work, your squeeze page is never going to convert to it’s maximum potential. and that could amount to hundreds or even thousand of leads per year!
So if you’re going the video route, always start with a text squeeze page to do some split testing. Get that version working really well, then use that as the basis for a video. Then you’ll not only have a much stronger video, but you’ll also have a benchmark to decide if the video was worth the effort!
If you are using other people’s videos… often supplied with PLR packages and some Affiliate offers, be really objective about any provided videos or squeeze pages… most won’t be tested much and are often thrown together as part of the package.
I’ll often use the core ‘products’ from some pretty reliable content creators… but the squeeze pages ALWAYS get a rework and the videos rarely see the light of day!
Test and Tweak, Constantly… Within Reason!
When we get to the practical steps, we’ll show you how to implement some simple no-cost A/B testing, so it’s worth a quick explanation here…
There is a lot of value in testing multiple versions of your web pages… Squeeze, Splash and Offers… to make sure they are all working well.
This is usually referred to as Split Testing or A/B Testing.
You post two versions of the same page with everything identical except one element that you want to test.
You send traffic and see which version converts better…
When you have a clear winner, you set up your next test and then start over.
Some marketers take this to the extreme, testing anything and everything, just in case there’s some tweak that can get an extra half a percent signups…
The reality is, it’s just not practical for most people.
A single test of a squeeze page with a 10% opt-in rate might need 500 hundred visitors to each version to get a big enough data sample to see a clear winner. So that’s 1000 visitors for one test…
If you plan on testing a few headlines, multiple calls-to-action, different bullet points and maybe a couple of images for good measure, you’re already up to 10,000+ visitors required.
And that’s before you start on the design elements… background color or images, font color, font family, font size, button color, opt-in form layout and style…
You could easily test 100+ variations there if you wanted too…
So your testing could go on for years and expose your offer to hundreds of thousands of people… before you even settled on your design and content.
That’s just not practical so we need to look for other options…
One approach I use is to watch what the big marketers do on their successive launches.
These are the guys who sell thousands of units on the front end, and twice that on the back end, every time they launch a new product.
I rarely have much interest in their products but I watch out for their launches and study their sales pages constant. Because you can be sure these guys have the traffic going through to do some serious testing.
And when you watch their launch offers over time, you can soon start to see the changes as they find stuff that works better than what they were doing before.
Just remember all this is very dynamic and little is set in stone.
There’s a few Split Testing Bibles out there for sale, that promise to share the results of years of testing, so you can instantly improve the conversion rates on any website or offer. I bought one myself and got a lot of good ideas to try…
Some of it was kind of obvious in hindsight…
Replace ‘Click Here’ with a benefit-driven Call To Action and you’ll get more clicks.
Orange buttons on forms get more clicks than the default grey option.
Bigger, easier to read font-sizes kept people on the page longer…
Believe it or not, this was ground-breaking at the time!
The thing is, what was working back when the tests were done won’t still be working.
People didn’t stop clicking buttons because they no longer like grey… they stopped because they’d been seeing them everywhere since the dawn of the internet… and it probably didn’t help that they have had years of disappointing results after clicking them.
Orange was bright and interesting and new… so people clicked.
But if you’ve been pay attention to the big name launches, you won’t have seen an orange CTA button in ages!
So pay attention, and model your efforts on what the winners are doing now, where that suits your style, but don’t sweat the small stuff.
Focus on your offer… the value proposition.
Whether it’s an opt-in or a sale, as long as you have the basic design elements covered, the substance of the offer will always far out-weigh the presentation.
Personally I think a fresh, simple design will always outperform tired old ‘optimizations’ that everyone’s been using for years. Just as ANY concise, descriptive copy and calls-to-action will always work well if they are carefully written with your customers needs in mind.
Swipes, Templates and Hosted Solutions
Swipes and templates are handy as a starting point, but just like swipe emails, you need to edit them to make them your own.
Most are pretty basic and will need some work so look at them as a blank-ish canvas… find a layout you like, then change the text, insert an image, tweak the colours… and match it to the rest of your website or offer.
The problem with the hosted solutions, apart from the unnecessary cost, is that most of the designs are crap! They might have hundreds of templates, but most people will gravitate to the same few templates…
So you’ll often see the exact same landing page promoting a dozen different offers… which is anything but click-inspiring!
As mentioned we’ll show you how easy it its to create your own when we get to the set up module, so don’t stress the details on this step… they are simple by design, so they are dead-simple to make!
So on with the next step…