Landing pages have a specific purpose, which makes them different from most of the pages on your main website. To be effective, they need to be handled differently as well, so let’s talk about the best strategies to get the desired results. But first, what is a landing page?
Marketing professionals are familiar with the concept but others may not be. For those who aren’t sure, a landing page is a web destination devoted to one main idea. It’s where accounting firms might direct readers who click on an ad, offer or type of content shared online, in a place other than the firm’s website. (Social media, for example, or professional journals. It could be anywhere really, including the firm’s website, but more commonly the link originates elsewhere.)
The point of a landing page is to entice visitors into a certain behavior. That could include a variety of activities:
- Signing up for a newsletter
- Downloading a white paper
- Scheduling a consultation, by phone or in person
- Registering for an event
- Entering a contest
- Joining a group
Though the benefits to the visitor vary, the firm’s goal is typically consistent: gaining contact information to be used in future marketing efforts and building the relationship between firm and potential client.
Upon arriving at the landing page, visitors should find the information and encouragement they need to inspire interest and enthusiasm sufficient to drive the desired behavior. But because of their goal-driven nature, these pages can’t afford to offer too much distraction. That means design and copy must maintain a narrow focus.
Design: For landing pages, simplicity is the key. You want the page to be eye-catching and appealing, giving visitors a sense of confidence and mastery. Choose pleasant colors and images, but force yourself to keep it super simple. No busy graphics, no crowded pages, no extra detail. Think minimalist for the best effect, with the call to action highly visible and easily understood.
Layout: When done well, landing pages act as a funnel. Put your key message right where readers’ eyes will first settle and lay out page elements so it’s automatic to flow from message to action. It should be no more complicated than “I want that; I’ll do this.” The experience should feel effortless and obvious – you don’t want them to have to think at all.
Navigation: On most of your website you want users to have an easy view of the entire site, or at least of the section they’re in (like services or industries). On landing pages, you don’t. Leave out the sidebars, overhead navigation tools and teaser boxes. Provide one clear path that leads to the action you want, and nothing else. After the action is complete, you can reveal all the rest of what your site offers.
Text: Visitors should arrive on the page and quickly grasp what you’re offering, why it benefits them and how to make it happen. The fewer words you use to accomplish this, the better. Use a big enough font that no one must struggle to read the text, and make sure the call to action isn’t so cute that it ends up being vague or confusing. Try to speak from the visitor’s perspective, but your first priorities should be keeping the copy brief and clear.
If you follow these guidelines to keep your landing pages simple and focused, they’ll become powerful tools to help your accounting firm accomplish the goals you set for them.