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For any business investing in content marketing, having a good website is more important than ever. When you send traffic to your site, you want people to stay. If visitors don’t, won’t or can’t interact with your website, all the traffic in the world will not help you.

So before spending time, energy and resources on social media and advertising to garner traffic, be sure the place your customers land is pleasing.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a page on your website where visitors land when they are directed from other sources, either organically via search engines or through promotions or advertising on social media or another site. Technically, a landing page is any web page that a visitor can arrive at or “land” on. However, when marketers talk about landing pages they’re usually referring to a standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a specific objective.

It is the first page new visitors see when they come to your website. As with many other things in life, it is important to make a good first impression if you want to continue the relationship. The relationship you want is conversion. You want the visitor to provide you with information, sign up for a newsletter, purchase a product or become otherwise engaged with your brand.

While the home page of your website is important, other landing pages are a critical part of developing and growing your business via your website. If you optimize your landing pages, you not only increase traffic and the user experience, you increase your conversion rate.

Creating a landing page

A landing page should be visually appealing. Make sure it is well designed, uncluttered and focused. MarketingSherpa reports that “the number one reason businesses don’t use landing pages is because their marketing department doesn’t know how to set them up or they are too overloaded.”

Yoast, a company that specializes in optimizing websites, says, “Focus is especially important on your landing pages, since this is where you’re selling your products! We just see so many websites with too much going on, it’s depressing.”

Remember, you are guiding your visitors. You enticed them to come to the page. Make it easy for them to know what to do next. Give them at least one good thing they should focus on. You want the process to be easy because the ultimate goal is conversion. In order to do this, you need a visitor to be comfortable enough with the experience to cooperate.

Headlines

As the Content Marketing Institute notes, good headline writing is a deceptively complex process. “In fact,” according to its blog, “crafting a clear, powerful, and compelling title may just be the most difficult part of content creation.”

Headlines on your landing pages must be very clear. Whatever you put into that little, one-line summary must capture a reader’s interest within milliseconds. You want to make sure the reader is not confused by what you say. You also need to be sure it aligns with your brand and highlights important keywords.

Headline writing really is a science. This is why many marketers opt to do A/B testing and compare more than a couple different headlines for the same content.

Focus on conversion

One of the first steps in focusing is to understand your target audience before deciding to create a page and get traffic to come to it. What do you want to gather from your readers? How do you want to solve their problem if they decide to participate? What will benefit them? Good landing pages typically promote things such as white papers, webinars, ebooks, free trials or coupons. Provide something of value when you capture their information: name, email address, company, zip code, etc.

Any text on the page should be concise and laid out in a way that makes for an easy read. Expedite the process for the visitor as much as possible. Make sure your call-to-action (CTA) is easily located. Put your button or form “above the scroll.”

Keep in mind that, according to KISSmetrics, approximately 96 percent of visitors who land on a website are not ready to buy. Thus, by making an offering on your landing page, you can capture data that can be added to your sales funnel.

According to entrepreneur Saad Kamal, there are four steps in the conversion sales funnel: awareness, interest, desire and action. On a landing page, you are making prospects aware of the product or service and gathering information so you can follow up to spark their interest, create desire and then have them take action. Do not try to have them take action immediately on the landing page. You will likely cause abandonment and lose the opportunity of getting the visitor to return because he or she had a bad initial experience.

Luckily, having a landing page allows you to access analytics that can provide information on click-through and bounce rates. Heat maps also provide good insight to behavior on the page. The metrics are vital in helping you know whether changes are necessary and how you can make the page better overall. Simply measure, analyze and adjust accordingly.

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