Hello dear SEMrush blog readers!
The first word that comes to mind when thinking about our recent SEMrush Twitter Chat is “wow!” Our participants, as well as the 2,500 tweets and the fantastic insights we received, made this chat one of the most successful we’ve had so far. It was like a one-hour master class, during which our participants and our amazing guest expert Oli Gardner (@oligardner), co-founder of Unbounce, not only shared professional tips, but also secrets of creating lead-generating landing pages.
— SEMrush (@semrush) May 6, 2015
Every question you’ve ever wanted to ask a professional about creating the perfect landing page was answered in this chat! Let’s dive in!
Ok, let’s begin right away and talk about landing page essentials – from basic structure to content and design details.
— Oli Gardner (@oligardner) May 6, 2015
As a reminder you can reference this picture shared by Kristel Cuenta @kristelcuenta. Now let’s talk about each of these elements in particular. Everything begins with copywriting. It plays a very significant role – every word matters and copywriting imperfections (we are not talking about grammar of course; it has to be perfect) can not be completed later.
Copywriting magic begins with a headline. “The headline's job is to make me read the first sentence, which should make me read the second, etc.” - Florian M. Heinrichs @fmgoerres.
The message should be clear and focused. Let “users know that the page offers them exactly what they want and need” - Ecreativeworks @ECWseo.
Not only should the text itself be clear – the page design and structure should not divert or distract the reader's attention. Text and design should highlight the most important aspects and attract readers’ eyes.
You are going to see the words “clear,” “simple” and “easy" many times during this chat. As Ben Smith @bensmith130 said, “less is more when it comes to landing pages.” No matter what you do, you should think about a landing page as a consistent story – it should have an intro, a high point and a happy ending.
Remember that a landing page is only good for one story – don’t pursue too many goals at once; keep in mind users’ attention ratio, as suggested by Oli Gardner.
The main advice here – "Keep it super simple!" The answer we prepared is quite simple, too. Here is a checklist of essentials for a lead generation form that converts.
Now we come to a very interesting question. It may seem that we have delved into too much detail, but when it comes to landing pages, details are what distinguish a good landing from a mediocre one. Finally, all your efforts to build the perfect landing page should be aimed at leading users to your CTA button. So what does a perfect CTA button (and its copy) look like?
A CTA that works appeals to our emotions and desires. If you know what your audience wants, you’ll be more likely to find the right words. “For CTA button copy, I get the best results by using action words that communicate that a user’s desire will be fulfilled” – David Cohen @explorionary.
The value proposition that runs throughout the whole page can be concentrated into a CTA.
Speaking of successful and unsuccessful copy, Oli Gardner @oligardner recommends avoiding the word “submit” for CTA copy, because “you are missing out on an opportunity to be persuasive.”
Diana Mackie @Diana_at_Work shared her successful CTAs: “Interesting text, perfect opp to be fun. 'Send me the goods' has been working well for me.” Also she shared example of successful copy that “unites” her with her consumers via problem solving.
Remember the storytelling concept – if at the beginning you attract users with one story headline, don’t put them off by ending another story.
Now let’s talk about CTA button design.
You can attract users to your CTA button with both smart disposing – place them “where users are naturally going to look” (Anneliese Sparks @iamanneliese) and use complimentary colors.
Either way, be sure that your button is easy to find. As Oli Gardner @oligardner said, “Affordance (visual clues in an object’s design that suggest how to use it) is really important.” We are going to talk about landing pages for mobile devices shortly, but I think this statement need to be highlighted.
If you want to know more, check out this thread on Inbound.org, where Oli Gardner @oligardner describes the characteristics of a good button: We are Conversion Rate Optimization Experts. Ask Us Anything. We'll answer your questions on CRO.
Ok, this one is tough. “Mobile is a whole other bucket of squirrels when it comes to lead gen. Watch someone fill out a form on their phone. QA” - Oli Gardner @oligardner.
Although mobile landing page development is more complicated, it’s entirely necessary. Take a look at these mobile usage statistics and see for yourself: Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015.
Let’s take a look at the main differences between desktop and mobile landing pages. Once again, we want to remind you about simplicity.
One of the main issues that was pointed out by our participants: simplify sign up forms!
There is also another way to keep the process of filling out forms quickly...
… and easily.
UX parameters are crucial; anything that can slow down page loading time has to be eliminated. “Don't use loud music or large images that will eat up your data and compromise load time. Think about the user, not what’s cool”- Marty.B.Trent @Marty_Marketing.
Сommon truth - the first question you have to ask yourself: "Does it fit?" Make sure it's a good UX for ALL devices” - Sarah Bernier Danks @bernier. And by “Does it fit?,” we also mean “design for fat fingers” - Oli Gardner @oligardner.
When using mobile, we’re used to doing everything quick, so don’t stretch your landing page and get right to the point.
There is no perfect landing page. There is a page that converts better than another one. If you want to find out which one is better, test, test. test! Here are some tips on A/B testing.
This is my personal favorite! No brainwashing or dirty tricks. Pure magic! First of all – use the magic of words.
— Oli Gardner (@oligardner) May 6, 2015
Words appeal to our emotions and feelings. If you’ll remember, we talked about the importance of emotional connections earlier. “Tell a good story – stories are an intrinsic part of our culture and they trigger emotions that influence our decisions.” - Andrea Fine @AndreaFine.
Colors are also very important when it comes to appealing to our emotions. They influence first impressions, as well as credibility, and they can create a certain mood.
One of the strongest emotions is the feeling of success. What could be better than this? So use it!
After you’ve made a connection, remember that it’s just the beginning of your relationship with the user. And it’s very important to deliver the value you promised. “Persuade but don't coerce. Nobody likes a charlatan” - Oli Gardner @oligardner (The Art of Conversion in 264 words).
A6: When you say, “guarantee,” for example, you’d better be prepared to back it up. Writing conversion content is a craft. #SEMrushchat
— Gabriella Sannino (@SEOcopy) May 6, 2015