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How-to Create Effective Landing Pages
Event date: May 21 2013
Posted by: Amelie Walker-Yung
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Have you been driving traffic to your website but not seeing the results you'd like? You can attract visitors, but if you do not have an engaging landing page, you are wasting your marketing efforts. But what makes a successful landing page? Paolo Vidali, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist for DragonSearch, joined Webgrrls on Tuesday, May 21, to answer these questions with an information-packed seminar on Creating Effective Landing Pages. 

Before designing your landing page or changing an existing one, says Paolo, it is important to determine your goals. Before you can declare success, you must know how you are defining it! Decide on improvements you are proposing, the changes you will make, and your desired outcome before you begin. 

Some of Paolo's key tips for creating a great landing page were:
  • Don't copy big brands! A landing page that works for a company like Amazon, for example, may not be working because it is a great landing page. It might just be the influence of a well-known brand.
  • Be careful when using templates. If you buy a landing page template, it will not be unique. Use templates only as a base, then create something that doesn't look like what's already out there. If you can, hire a web designer.
  • Do not copy competitors. Again, you want to be unique.
  • Remove any barriers to conversion. For example, only use the most important form elements. The more fields, the less likely the visitor will be to take the action and fill it out. You can always ask more later. First, you want to establish the relationship.
  • Always include a phone number with your contact information. Even if visitors rarely use it, preferring to email you, a phone number establishes legitimacy.
  • Use forms rather than just having email links. This avoids problems for a user who may not have an email program set for their browser.
  • Test! This is the most important thing, as you never know how visitors will behave.

Why is testing so important? Any change on a landing page can cause different results, sometimes drastic, so test everything you do. A/B testing is great, but multivariate testing (MVT) is better. One tool Paolo suggested for testing was VisualWebsiteOptimizer.com, and there are many others.

Google Analytics (free!) is still the best bet to track your traffic. Once you have a statistically significance sample of at least 100 unique visitors, dig into your analytics. Use the data to make decisions on which version of your landing page design you should use. 

Webgrrls left with take-home action plans to build or improve their own landing pages. A bonus at the end of the night, Paolo did a live review of three websites owned by audience members. He went through each, giving his honest opinion and suggested changes that could be made to improve them. Of course, even expert advice needs to be tested! Set your goals, plan your changes, and test, test, test.

Thank you to ThoughtWorks for hosting our workshop. Join Webgrrls for our next event on June 18!

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