Lesson #4 - Landing Pages [Video with transcipt]

Landing Pages are important in Inbound Marketing because they separate the casual guest on your website from a potential lead. In this video you will learn:

  • Best practices for designing a high-converting landing page
  • What content to collect when leads convert on a landing page form
  • Best practices for designing a thank-you pages


This video is going to walk you through the essential components and functions of landing pages, and also thank you pages which are sort of just a cousin of landing pages.

What we're going to start here with are the essential things that you want to think about when you're creating a landing page.

If you can manage to include all of these assets on every landing page that you create, you are going to dramatically increase your chances of converting and really engaging with those leads that you're collecting through these landing pages.

I know there's a lot going on here, but these are actually pretty simple really inclusions that will make a lot of sense to you once we walk through them, and I promise you they become absolutely second nature.

The more landing pages you create, the more practice you get writing and fine-tuning these things, the more you'll be creating landing pages in your sleep.

Let's start here with the top and the bottom of my landing page.

You can see I have these blacked-out sections and have these red stars next to each one.

What those are indicating is that a really great landing page really hones in that user's attention and puts all of the focus on whatever the action we're trying to get the user to convert on.

So whether it's downloading an ebook, whether it is scheduling a consultation - whatever it is that you're trying to get this person to convert on - we want them to focus on that.

We don't want them to be thinking about our blog, and our about us page, and I'm going around and exploring the rest of our website.

So a best practice for landing pages, whenever possible, is to actually strip out your header and your footer menus.

A really good idea to actually leave in your branding - sort of your aesthetics - at the top and bottom, but whenever possible, we want to take out those links there so that we're really minimizing those distractions so that people's attention is entirely focused in on the content of our actual landing page.

Now we're ready to go through the actual features of the page - what we actually do want on the page as opposed to what we're taking off of it.

We start herewith our headline for our landing page, and your headline is something that needs to really concisely explain what this offer is.

If my offer is a complete guide to recycling, and it's an ebook, that's going to be my header - The Complete Guide to Recycling.

And then you're going to have a subheader below that.

What that subheader does is it sort of incentivizes why this person should care about this offer.

So if it's The Complete Guide to Recycling, an example of a great subheader would be A Free Comprehensive Ebook - something that explains not only what it is, but why should this person care? In this case, this person should care because it's free.

We're actually going to even further incentivize this download down here where I have this personal portion right here.

This is the actual copy of your landing page.

This is the real body where you're really trying to explain to this person why they should care about this offer, and why this offer is going to improve their life. So we have sort of a mini-incentive up here, just explaining what it is.

This body right here is where we're going to really explain, This is-- The Complete Ebook on Recycling, covers this, this and this.

This is why you should care about recycling.

This is how recycling impacts not only your world but the world that your children will live in.

A really great way to do that, on top of making it personal, is to include bullet points.

Why is that? Because we have really short attention spans, so the more that we can break apart content, the easier we can make it for someone to visually understand something, the better off we are.

Whenever possible, break your content into bullet points on your landing pages.

And then below those bullet points, we have, I'm calling it here a call to action, or a CTA.

It's not the kind of call to action that looks like an actual image like we talked about maybe that banner or that module that you might have on another part of your website.

This is just a written call to action that says something like, "Fill out the form on your right to get started," or "Complete the form on your right to start your recycling journey today." This is just how we make the connection between what we're explaining over here and getting that person to actually fill out the form over here on the right, or on the left, however, your layout may be.

Another really important thing to include in our main body is an actual image that represents this offer.

It's pretty easy.

If it's an ebook, you're going to include your ebook cover.

It's a little bit trickier if it's something like a consultation or an assessment, but I'm pretty confident that you can figure out some sort of graphic here that's going to illustrate what this offer is that you're trying to convince this person to download.

Again, going back to that concept of visuals, really, really important that an ebook isn't so tangible.

Sure, I could print it out and then it would be something I could touch and hold, but it's not such a concrete object, and so including that image there helps people too, whether we know it or not, maybe subconsciously understand what it is that they're getting.

Moving over to the right side of our landing page here, we have our simple form.

Simple is absolutely key here.

The only questions you want to be asking on your form, especially on the first form that this person ever fills out for you, are the things that you absolutely need to know to determine whether or not you should be in contact with this person.

Also, the things that you need to be in contact with them, so their name, their email, maybe their phone number depending on what relationship it is that you have with your leads, but really, keep it as simple as you possibly can.

The fewer questions you ask, the better chance you have of getting that form filled out. Now, on the flip side of that, the more questions you ask, the fewer forms you're going to get filled out, the fewer people are going to convert here, but you're going to have more qualified people filling out that form because they're actually willing to provide that information.

There's no absolute right cut-off number - you should only have this many fields.

Maybe test it, play with it, show it to a couple of other people, maybe even ask some of your current customers if they're willing to check it out, but find that happy medium between asking too little and asking too much.

So we've got our simple form, and then our very last, really essential component on a landing page - and I'm a big fan of this part- is the social media buttons.

All these social media buttons do are allow the person who comes to this page to share this page with their social networks.

So let's say that I come across this landing page for the Complete Guide to Recycling and I'm just, "Wow, this is really cool.

I think that my Facebook friends could definitely benefit from learning a little bit more about recycling and how we can positively impact the planet." I could click this blue Facebook button and share this with my Facebook friends.

And what is that going to do? Obviously, it's going to amplify your reach.

It's going to give you the opportunity, not only to be seen by a lot more people but hopefully, get a lot more people filling out your form and converting into leads.

So absolutely, we want to have social sharing enabled on our landing pages if it's anything that, by any means, we want to be shared out to the world.

The central theme that I like to think of for your landing page is this is where we really reel them in.

We had the CTA that drew them here, or maybe we brought them here through, say, a social media.

Maybe a tweet drew them to this landing page, but once they're here, it's really important that we reel them in.

We get them really interested throughout our headline, throughout our engaging copy, throughout our image, our simple form that's not making it too hard for them to access whatever this offer may be, and we're going to get them really, really interested and really excited to convert on this page.

What happens after a landing page? If you've watched any of the previous videos, if you're familiar with Inbound, you know that you're not quite done after your landing page.

You have to create your thank you page.

And actually, your thank you pages do a lot of the same things that your first landing page does, but they also do some things differently as well.

I've actually summed up here, on this thank you page, the different components that you want to have.

I would argue that you could actually narrow them down into four essential steps that you have to have on any thank you page.

One thing to notice, however, is that you'll see I don't have these blocked off parts on my top and bottom.

My red stars have disappeared.

That's because on your thank you page, you want to return your navigation options.

This person has already converted and, in a perfect world, they're going to continue to browse through our website, to engage with us, so we want to make it easy for them.

We don't want to make it hard for them to find those other portions of our website, so we'll bring back our navigation here.

That's sort of that added one on top though, our four key features that we want to have.

At the top - number one - just a very, very simple headline that says, "Thank you for downloading." A better way than just saying, "Thank you for downloading" would probably be something like, "Thank you for downloading The Complete Guide to Recycling." Make it specific to that actual offer.

The more you can make things really specific and personalized, the better off you're going to be, so "Thanks for downloading the free ebook to recycling," is our headline here.

Right below that is where we're going to give this person actual access to this content, or this offer, whatever it may be.

So generally with an ebook, your little secondary text right here is going to say, "Access your ebook here," or "View your ebook here," or "Download your free guide here." And then in blue - and I like to make it really big and even underline it so it's very obvious that it's a link right there - you're going to link that to your actual PDF or whatever it may be.

Number three is sort of that next step.

Now that we've gotten this person to convert, now that we've captured their information, sure, we could just send them into the wild, or we could give them a couple more ways to engage with us, to get further involved with our brand, and maybe even to start moving even further down our inbound funnel .

And so a really good way to do that is to get them to subscribe to our blog or a newsletter, whatever it may be, and invite them to connect on those social media networks.

I know that I'm not necessarily the best artist in the world, but hopefully, you're noticing, "Hey, these social buttons look like these social buttons on the landing page." It's really, really important that you understand the difference between the social buttons on these two pages.

Remember, your landing page is your social sharing buttons where this person can click the Facebook icon and share that landing page to their Facebook audience.

Your social buttons on your thank you page are to your actual social networks, so when they click that Twitter button, it's going to take them to follow your Twitter account.

You absolutely don't want these to be those same social sharing buttons because we don't want people sharing out our thank you page that gives that ungated access to our content download.

That's going to completely diminish our lead-gathering efforts.

So make sure that these are different social buttons - really important tip there.

Throughout step three, we're just giving these people a couple different ways to continue to stay engaged with us and to keep hearing from our company.

And then finally, number four, another really, really smart thing to do here is to give that person the opportunity to keep moving down the funnel.

So if you have fully built out your inbound funnel - and let's assume that this is what we call a top-of-the-funnel offer, this is that first download that they're getting from you - what you can do here in step four is present them with that middle-of-the-funnel offer.

Or if this was the middle-of-the-funnel offer, this would be presenting them with the bottom-of-the-funnel offer.

But giving them the opportunity to download another really awesome helpful resource from you.

Really important is that you're going to want to make your form here a little bit different.

If you asked them for their name, email, job title, and company size on their landing page, why not ask them something different here so that you can gather a little bit more information on them? Also, it's just not repetitive for them.

Think about really diversifying your fields there and definitely putting a different from there, and ask them different questions here in number four.

The overall central theme of our thank you page is to hold on to those people.

Now that we've reeled them in, now that we've converted them and we've captured their information, we don't want to just set them out into the wild, like I mentioned earlier.

We want to hold on to them.

We want to keep them thinking about our brand.

We want to keep our brand providing resources to them, positioning ourselves as helpful, useful, and friendly to that person so that as they do continue to convert down that funnel and progressing through the decision-making process.

When they do get to the bottom and they're ready to select that partner where they're going to purchase from or donate to or volunteer for, or whatever it may be, they're choosing you.

And it's going to be because you have a really, really great, completely built-out conversion process, going all the way from that content download on the landing page, through the thank you page, through your lead-nurturing campaign, and all the way out to becoming a happy customer and advocate.