The Anatomy of High Converting Landing Pages
Creating a targeted landing page can be the difference between sending your site visitors through a corn maze or down a simple, guided path. Both scenarios lead to the same destination, but we all know which will be faster, more efficient, and less irritating to use. Enter the marketing tool every financial firm should be using: high-converting landing pages. If you’re unsure of what a landing page is, keep reading. And if you’re looking to transform your current landing pages into high-converting, client-yielding machines, you should keep reading as well.
So, What Is a Landing Page?
We’ll start with what a landing page is not. A landing page is not, despite common misconceptions, your firm’s home page, contact page, or about page. In fact, landing pages should have no navigation bar and in no way directly link to your website.
A landing page is an ultra-focused page designed to directly convert visitors into clients. It’s only purpose is to increase conversion rates through the use of CTAs (call to actions). Typically, one landing page is used for one specific goal or action, meaning each landing page you create should only include one CTA.
Landing pages are designed to take the guesswork and decision making away from visitors. This is huge for conversion optimization because the more choices your site visitor has, the less likely they are to convert into a customer. These pages are optimized with one specific goal in mind, which means it should come as no surprise that the more landing pages equal more client leads.
Again, that’s more landing pages = more leads.
Your company’s website should be dedicated to providing important general information for the curious reader perusing your site. In contrast, your landing page should be designed for the customer ready to take action. It makes sense when you consider how the customer has accessed your landing page, which we will discuss in the next section.
When Should You Create a Landing Page?
Landing pages are used most often for paid, and sometimes unpaid, promotional campaigns. Offering a dedicated location for a user whose interest has already been peaked enough to click on your advertisement is crucial. Think about it – based on your ad alone, the user has decided they want more information and are possibly ready to take action.
Sending these users to your website’s homepage or about page muddles the message and does not fulfill the user intent. Instead of getting lost in translation, you must offer a landing page that perfectly matches what’s been promised in your advertisement.
Here are a few common scenarios in which a landing page would be necessary:
Using Google Ads
If you’ve already opted to use PPC (pay per click) to target qualified potential leads through Google Ads, you’d be sending money down the drain if you choose not to create a corresponding landing page. That’s because Google itself has said paid ads may not only cost more per click but result in lower quality scores if there is no dedicated landing page. It makes sense, Google wants to ensure what you’re promising in the SERP (search engine results page) is what you’re giving users when they click on your page.
Creating Social Media Campaigns
Along the same lines, both paid and unpaid social media campaigns require an enormous amount of effort. These types of ads are often highly targeted or specific towards marketing a certain service to a certain demographic of people. Linking these ads to your website’s homepage will not bring the conversion results you desire. Match your specific ad promises with a specific landing page to give users exactly what they’re looking for when they click on your ad or link.
Developing Email Marketing Campaigns
Once again, email marketing campaigns are often highly personalized and targeted toward promoting a certain service or catering to a particular clientele. To waste these efforts and CTRs (click through rates) on sending users over to a generic web page means it could all be for nothing. Your readers are clicking on these emails for a specific purpose, and it’s your responsibility to have the information or options immediately available to them with no additional decision making or website navigating.
Landing Page Anatomy
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of landing pages, it’s time to talk about what puts the “high-converting” in high-converting landing pages. Below are the elements every landing page needs to have to transform curious viewers into future clients.
Above all else, your headline must match the message your ad initially promised. It will take only an instant for a user to determine you’ve deceived them if your headline is too generic, off-topic, or confusing. Using the header to reiterate your campaign ad or email’s initial message builds the trust and peace of mind needed to keep your reader’s attention.
To sum it up, an effective headline should create instant identification for your site visitors.
Because a headline is often the first thing your visitor will see, use this chance to further draw them into your page with dynamic text. Try to play on your visitor’s own self-interest by explaining how your services can benefit them or their business. For the savvy wordsmith, try combining self-interest talk with a small curiosity gap. This gives readers two reasons to stay on your page and learn more or, preferably, take action.
The headline in the landing page below for WealthKeel LLC, is very straightforward, so the visitor knows exactly what they will be getting when they click on it. This is a major plus as there is no searching or wondering what will happen if they click on the below.
2. No Navigation Bar
We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. No self-respecting landing page will have a navigation bar. When you’re creating a page with the sole intent of producing conversions, you don’t want to give visitors an escape route.
Do not include a navigation bar anywhere on your landing page, including in the body text or footer.
3. Hero Shot or Visual Aids
If the header is the first thing people see on your page, then your visual aids should be the second. A hero shot is an image used to help viewers visual how your services will benefit them. Hero shots are commonly used on landing pages because they offer dynamic visual appeal for users who may not be interested in reading text.
If a hero shot isn’t possible, don’t settle on any generic image. Whatever media you choose to use should be an informative, useful addition to your page. Make it a smart and deliberate decision. Your users won’t be impressed by an uninspired stock photo.
Other visual representations could include infographics used to display simple statistics or icons strategically placed to break up blocky text.
Located in New York, Pivotal Financial Services Inc. used the backdrop of New York City as their hero image in order to draw in their readers.
4. Benefit-Oriented Content
Before you can convince a user to do a certain action, you need to tell them why they should take the action. That’s where benefit-oriented content comes into play. Offer snackable pieces of content – no more than two or three sentences at a time – to inform users the what, why, and how of your services.
Make this content incredibly skimmable, neat, and concise. Offering bolded text or bulleted lists is an effective way to exaggerate and emphasize your most important information. These viewers didn’t come to this page to read a blog post or learn about every service you offer. They’re there, instead, to get more information on the particular carrot you dangled in front of their noses.
Financial Planning Done Right offers the “Five Fundamentals of Fiscal Fitness,” ebook content to draw in more leads and conversions.
5. Call to Action
As we’ve mentioned before, you should maintain a one to one ratio of landing page to CTA. Including more than one CTA per page can muddle your intentions and create competition. If one CTA steals conversions from the other, neither will benefit. For example, telling customers to “Download our Ebook” and “RSVP to our webinar” on the same page presents choices that can lead to confusion and conversion-killing decision making on the user’s part.
Your CTA should emphasize to the client what they’ll be gaining by participating in this action, not the other way around. Using words like “subscribe” or “download” can make a user feel as though they’re doing your business a favor, whereas alternative descriptors like “Send Me Life-Changing Advice” or “Show Me How to Get Rich Quick” reverse that effect and make you the giver – though these examples are a bit hyperbolic.
The CTA is incredibly important, as you need to give the reader something to do next in order to entice them to take it one step closer to becoming a client. Brian Plain did a great job of including form titles and the CTA, which work to entice the client.
Most CTAs on your landing page will be accompanied by a few form fields the user must fill out to proceed. This can often cause discomfort in visitors, making it your job to ease any worry they may have towards handing you their personal information. In fact, you should make the process of filling out these fields feel effortless to the visitor.
Try to limit the number of fields you require the visitor to fill. The more hurdles you ask the visitor to jump over, the higher the likelihood they’ll abandon the course. Base the number of form fields you present to the visitor on a few factors including whether you’re looking for quality leads (more fields) versus quantity of leads (fewer fields) and at what stage of the funnel your CTA is at – the higher in the funnel, the fewer fields you should have to fill out.
To bring a bit of peace of mind to your site visitors, include indicators somewhere on the page (although preferably as close to the form as possible) that show your page is secure and can be trusted. These could be logos of well-known site security programs you currently use or even your own icons and assuring text that “Your information is safe with us.” We have more on the importance of trust indicators below.
Generally, people do not like to give out too much information, so keep it simple. Scott Advisory Group, only asks for the basic information to get in touch, so you do not have to give up privacy in order to contact them to get assistance.
7. Trust Indicators
Security badges or icons can certainly be used as trust indicators when it comes to users providing personal information. But other trust indicators on your site should be used to let the visitor know that your firm and services are legitimate and well-received by the public.
This can be done by offering testimonials from previously satisfied clients, logos your organization is a part of such as NAPFA or BBB, awards you’ve recently received, and even important statistics that indicate your strategy success rate.
C.L. Sheldon & Company has included badges at the bottom of the page to show affiliations that they are a part of, so that way potential clients knows that they can trust them.
Creating High-Converting Landing Pages
High-converting landing pages are all about relevance and ease-of-use. In creating them, you must know what the visitor’s intentions are and make it as simple as possible for them to act. Be brief, yet comprehensive, clear in your page’s intentions, but not pushy. Your visitors should have no question of whether or not they’ve landed on the correct page. With the right anatomical features, you can create high-converting landing pages for your financial firm in an effective manner.