9 Keys to Wicked Awesome Landing Pages

Note from Drew:  Every once in awhile I like to open up the blog to a guest with a depth of expertise that I think you’ll benefit from.  Here’s Jason Well’s take on landing pages.

A few weeks ago I spoke at SES New York about mobile PPC and SEO. I touched briefly on mobile landing pages.

After the presentation one of the attendees walked up to me and said, “thanks for covering mobile landing pages, but most people still need help on their standard landing pages.”

He was right.

Especially in the B2B world, ‘regular’ landing pages are still critical.

While keeping in mind that no landing page is perfect, there are a few simple (and not so simple) rules to creating wicked awesome landing pages.

  1. Goal – When you create a landing page what is your goal? Do you want people to download a White Paper, schedule a demo, or call you on the phone? This goal should be clearly defined and obvious to the visitor at-a-glance. Everything on that landing page should work to accomplish that goal.
  2. Headline – The headline of your landing page needs to be short and precise. That is all.
  3. Brief Copy –There is a rule that journalists use that marketers should also apply. The rule is this: use the fewest words necessary to get your point across.
  4. Call-to-Action – What do you want a visitor to do on your landing page? (Remember our discussion about goals above). This call-to-action should be crystal clear. (Think blatant, obvious and simple).
  5. Options – You don’t want to necessarily mandate that your visitors fill out a form. Give them options. Place your phone number in prominent locations on the landing page so they can call you, if they prefer.
  6. Fields – The other day I visited a landing page that stunk. It was terrible. Why? Because they wanted me to fill out 16 information fields! 16! Now, there is no perfect number for form fields. But one thing iscertain: 16 is way too many.
  7. Testing – You should A/B test every element of your landing pages. Place phone numbers in difference locations. Change and tweak specific form fields. Change copy and headlines. Test and refine. (Everyone knows they should do this, but most people don’t).
  8. ‘Retreat’ Offers – If someone doesn’t want to sign up for a demo on your landing page, for example, give them the option to download a White Paper when they leave.
  9. Metrics – Most marketers know what percentage of visitors to their landing pages are converting. (i.e. how many people are filling out a form to download a product or see a demo). But does your conversion rate include people who called you as a results of your landing page? Does your conversion rate count those people who +1 you after visiting your landing page? Including those ‘other metrics’ in your conversion rate will give you a more complete picture of how effective your landing page actually is.

Bio: Jason Wells is the CEO of ContactPoint. Their new product, LogMyCalls, represents the next generation of intelligent call tracking and marketing automation. Prior, Jason served as the Senior Vice President of Sony Pictures, where he led the creation and international expansion of Sony’s international mobile business line from London.

Jason holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

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8 comments on “9 Keys to Wicked Awesome Landing Pages

  1. No 5 – Options is a big one! Last year I was on a search for an e-learning platform and went on-line to research LMS options. It was incredibly frustrating the number of companies that provided me with the option to download a free demo but didn’t provide a phone number so that I could talk to a real, live person. I ended up selecting a company that provided me both options. I called first, spoke to a company representative and then, once I knew how many items on my must have/wish list could be checked off, took my test drive. The companies that didn’t give me the option of a phone call didn’t get a chance. I knew I would need some hand holding as I built the e-learning platform and their lack of availability in the sales stage made me question their availability after the sale was made. (And based on the number of words used in this comment, I need to work on number 3 – keep it brief!)

    1. Laurie,

      Excellent point — we can’t forget that:
      A) people like choices
      B) People do business with people

      While many people like to do their initial shopping online, most of us want to know there’s a human being at the other end, if we get into trouble. I think your concerns were very valid and whether they meant to or not — those companies that didn’t include a phone number were communicating that they’d rather not actually talk to you!

      Thanks for adding to the conversation and your comment was the perfect length!


  2. Jeremy F. says:

    One thing I’d like to add to this list.
    When creating the Landing Page, it really should be optimized. When it’s for SEO or SEM, using good standards is also extremely valuable. If this Landing Page is getting traffic from PPC campaigns, then allowing it to use Dynamic Keyword Insertion is also necessary.

    1. Jeremy,

      Great add — thanks!


  3. Matthew says:

    Interesting points. I find number three to be particularly salient. I think there is a tendency to want to put every little bit of information on a landing page in order to convince the visitor to give you their email, and finding that balance between brevity and getting the necessary information in is very difficult.

    1. Matthew,

      You and everyone else! It’s a common desire. The trick is thinking about it from their perspective. You want to give them sips of information, not force them to suck on a fire hose. They simply can’t absorb that much information all at once. Better to give them a little at a time.


  4. While A/B tests are important, it’s also useful to test additional KEY variables A/B/C/D/E tests. But to underscore … only on important elements. Great post. Thnx!

  5. Nancy Fox says:

    Choices, yes. People like them and sometimes they need them in order for them to respond to a CTA call to action.
    We need to be cautious – too many choices and people get overwhelmed.

    ” A confused mind buys nothing”

    I’ve started reducing choices from 3 to no more than 2 and upped my conversion rates considerably.

    Good approach is AB testing

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