Are websites dying? Maybe they’re already dead? Should you waste thousands of dollars building one, maintaining one, updating one, promoting one, or even having one at all?
The problem with websites
When was the last time you casually browsed a website then decided to contact the company or buy their stuff?
The world is changing and if there’s one thing we can’t afford as business owners, it’s losing our prospect’s attention and wasting their time.
Websites are spectacular at doing both.
Sure, they look pretty. They’re professional. We should all have one, right?
Well, that depends. They’ll cost you a lot of time and money to build and even more to maintain. They can break easily. They can even get hacked.
As a digital marketing agency, you probably think we’re mad for saying websites are a waste of time and money.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have one. I’m saying you shouldn’t rely on one to bring you leads and sales.
What really matters to your business?
Websites, more than ever, are becoming the background scenery to what really matters to most business owners; a single landing page that’s focused purely on generating leads or sales.
And if you look at the stats, when it comes to lead gen and sales, landing pages are getting the results we all crave:
- 300% improvements in lead conversion rates
- 41% revenue increase sales per person
- 27% improvement in customer retention
- 24% decreased sales cycle
- 23% decreased sales and marketing costs
So let’s back up a second.
What is a landing page, anyway?
Simply put, a landing page is a simplified page with zero distractions and designed for one purpose; get visitors to take action.
Whether that’s entering their email, calling you, buying something. The landing page only cares about the result.
- No navigation links
- No embedded links to other content
- No wishy-washy language or topic hopping
One page, one focus, one outcome.
When should you use a landing page?
Typically, landing pages are used to sell a product, offer a coupon, sign people up for a free trial, ask visitors to request more info, download a free report or call your office.
Landing pages are now considered essential when:
- Selling a product or service directly
- Building an email list by offering a free gift
- Running a competition and collecting entries
- Promoting events where you need registrations
- Offering coupons or discounts in exchange for email addresses
Typically, landing pages are used in PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns, Facebook Ad campaigns and when you want to send traffic away from your regular website pages to learn more about a specific offer you’re promoting.
You can - and should - keep your branding on your landing pages, but strip out all the distractions and focus on the single goal you’re trying to achieve with the visitor.
The 4 big differences between landing pages and regular website home pages
Unlike websites that speak to your entire market, landing pages are aimed at a single audience within your market who are seeking a specific thing from you (information, offers, discounts, etc.) Don’t create landing pages for all your prospects. Create separate pages that speak to each pocket specifically.
Unlike a website home page, landing pages don’t have navigation bars or embedded links to related content. The only thing people should be able to click on your landing page is a call now button, request info button or buy button.
Website home pages can go in many directions, leading different visitors to content they’re looking for. The landing page already knows what people are looking for and speaks only to them with a single message.
- Call to action
While traditional website home pages can have a call to action (e.g. Register today, request a quote, download our report, etc) the reality is that it gets lost in a sea of content and misdirection. Landing pages have a single call to action that directly relates to the specific prospect you’re targeting and where they are in the buyer cycle, which we’ll cover below.
How to create landing pages that convert
The secret is understanding your visitor’s intent. Why are they landing on your site? Are they aware of the problem you solve? Are they aware of similar solutions? Where are they in their journey to buying your thing?
There are 5 stages of awareness.
The prospect doesn’t know they have a problem. They see a n article on Facebook about people her age who are losing their retirement funds because of a new global health crisis. She was totally unaware this was happening until now.
Now she knows people are losing their retirement funds during the global health crisis, she’s uncomfortable. She doesn’t know the solution or even if a solution exists.
- Solution Aware
With a bit of Googling, she realises that she needs to make some smart investments to protect her funds. But she doesn’t know where to get help or what the help might look like.
With more research, she starts to uncover specific options available to her. This is only possible because she understands the problem and the solution. Now she knows who can solve it. If you’ve done your job, you’ll be somewhere near the top of her list.
At this point, she knows the problem, the solution and plenty of good reasons to choose you over the others.
Landing pages can serve different people depending on their stage of awareness.
For example, if someone is at stage 2 (problem aware) and they begin searching Google for solutions, your PPC ad and landing page shouldn’t dive straight into the sale. It should educate them on what the solution might look like and how to choose the right one.
If someone is at stage 4 (Product-aware) then she’s looking for reasons to choose you over the competition. Your landing page needs to focus on your USP, benefits and a powerful offer. The call to action would focus around signing up, rather than “learning more.”
With PPC, different keywords show different intent. For example:
Best investment company in Sydney - solution aware
Pensioners losing money due to health crisis - problem aware
These are two very different stages of intent and the keywords reflect that. Therefore, your landing page should speak to each person specifically. Which means creating separate versions of your landing page for each keyword or group of related keywords.
Landing page tactics that work
There are many ways to approach a landing page. By determining the visitor’s stage of awareness, you can plan the content accordingly.
For example, a problem aware prospect might be searching for investment advice to protect her pension.
Your landing page could offer a free report that gives tips and rates the safest investments in order of potential risk and returns.
If a solution aware prospect visits your landing page, you’ll probably want to show them why they should choose you, which might include:
- Telling a story
- Explaining your USP and approach
- Presenting an offer
- Answering FAQs
In any case, the golden rule with landing pages is to always keep focused on the prospect. If you say something about yourself, you must explain how that benefits them.
Don’t ditch your website yet
Traditional websites still have their place. They’re particularly useful when you’re:
- Developing an SEO strategy to attract prospects through a variety of content and keywords on your website
- Building an online presence and need an online “face” or “home” for your company
- Showcasing multiple products or services
So what’s the verdict?
We started off slating websites as dinosaurs of the modern digital age. Were we right? Well, it depends.
If you’re paying good money to get traffic and your website isn’t generating leads or sales, then a carefully constructed landing page could be the ticket.
Sure, keep the website. It will come in useful for SEO, branding, content marketing, business card fodder and all that other good stuff, but when it comes to converting traffic into leads and sales, all the data shows that landing pages still reign supreme.
Considering a landing page for your business?
500 can help you build one that performs best. Book a strategy session today to steal our best ideas and let’s see if we’re a good fit!
During your free strategy session you’ll also discover how to:
- Use the daily insights Facebook are giving us for businesses to adapt their marketing strategies online
- Reach more customers online and deliver your message straight to their handheld device
- Funnel and nurture cold traffic into people hungry to buy
- Boost your conversions without spending anything extra on traffic
After the session you’ll get a free social media funnel that will show you exactly what you need to do to convert cold traffic into highly engaged traffic and sales - including more specific strategies for your landing page, offer, business and market.