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10 Mandates For Your Landing Pages

I wrote earlier about the best session I attended at Content Marketing World 2014 called “Your Baby is Ugly – Rapid Fire Live Landing Page Critiques.” Tim Ash, the presenter, critiqued the landing pages that the audience submitted and shared a ton of tips that work universally for B2B or B2C marketers. He understood that marketers have spent a lot of time designing their landing pages, and often think their “baby” is perfect, i.e. clear messaging and stunning visuals. It became obvious that every landing page has an update that can be made, it’s just the level of how egregious the error. I condensed my notes to the ten best lessons that I hope you can use as a checklist to update your future landing pages.

Call To Action Button:

  • Make sure the button is prominently featured on the page. The eye needs to be drawn to that button, not a headline or image.
  • Don’t just say ‘SIGN UP’; any button on the page should complete the phrase “I want to ___.” Say what the user is signing up for. A Newsletter? Price quote? Survey?
  • The button must be above the fold. Users spend 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold. Yes, users do scroll, but they allocate only 20% of their attention below the fold.  Marketers need to make the CTA button as easy to find and clear as possible.

Graphics:

  • Don’t use stock photos just because they look cool. Your images need to make sense for your end goal and encourage use of your call to action; otherwise they are just a distraction.
  • Remove all moving images (e.g. sliding banners) from your page. Why? Any small text on a page is immediately going to be overlooked by graphics, especially anything in motion, and your important messaging will get muddled.
  • Video Players
    • Pick the still frame – don’t put up a person talking mid-sentence! You have control of what the opening image is, that’s not a decision for the videographer.
    • Let users know if it’s a 30 second video, 60 seconds, etc. This gives them knowledge of what time they’re committing to.

Page Layout:

  • There’s no need to be “original” with layout. We are trained for logos on the upper left. The upper right is meant for contact info.
  • Keep the number of tabs to a minimum, ideally no more than four. Tab navigation is only useful if there’s a failure on the rest of your page to direct your user to your call to action. Tabs should be a user’s last resort.
  • Does your landing page have a streaming Twitter or Facebook feed? It’s time to ask yourself, “Why would users care about that?” It just serves as another distraction taking up space on the page.
  • Create a landing page that addresses ‘Who am I’ related to your site? A business?  A returning customer? A new user? Making buckets will help with navigation and show a better understanding of your user base.

I left the session with a new point of view on what our landing pages look like to the user, and am eager to make changes to our template. I hope these tips help you scan your pages with a more critical eye.

Tags:
Lead Generation, content marketing, landing page, marketing best practices, brand awareness, content marketing, content marketing, Search Marketing, Tech Marketing Smarts Blog