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Your homepage is prime real estate and can be a make or break a visitor’s experience of your company or business.  There are different terminologies for a “homepage,” including “landing page” and “splash page.” Splash pages tend to be very simple, and often don’t have a lot of content but rather are intended as eye candy.  In reality, splash pages often frustrate visitors because of lengthy load times and few navigational options (the most common one being to enter the site). Let’s instead focus on a landing page, which can still be visually stunning, but also has a clear purpose.

What’s The big deal?

Why do I need a great landing page? According to some research, the average attention span of an online visitor is right around 8 seconds. So first impressions have never been so important.  If you can’t connect with a visitor immediately, they are moving on. Additionally, landing pages are highly valued by search engine rankings.  As much as 93% of business to business (B2B) buyers start their hiring or contract work by doing a search. If you are a business, you absolutely need a compelling landing page.

Of course not every business (or website) is the same.  There are all kinds of companies and organizations that have different purposes and services, but whether you are a designer, a tech company, or have tangible products you are selling, some basic marketing principles can be applied. Ultimately, an effective landing page means greater conversion, and more bang for your buck .

The Elements

The backdrop to a fantastic landing page are beautiful design, and an easy navigation, if you have include one, but preferably a call to action. Let’s look more specifically at what else makes for a great landing page.

1. Simplicity

So what basically makes a good landing page then? In a word – simplicity. Make sure to use simple language. Use a simple layout. Have a simple call to action. There is such great power in simplicity.

There are of course occasions in which you might need different calls to action or may want to highlight a different feature or service of your company.  You might consider building out some different templates, but the key is to always keep them simple, focusing on the call to action, remembering that distractions kill conversions. Also, note that simplicity does not mean boring or generic.  There are ways to infuse your personality into a landing page.

2. Lists and Bullets

MarketingSherpa, a well know market research company has conducted some studies that have shown that most people visiting landing pages will do three things.

  • Read the headline
  • View bullet points (i.e. this list!)
  • Read a bio, if available

That really eliminates the bulk of the words you write. Keep this in if you have a lot of text on your homepage.

3. Graphics

How many times have you heard it?  A picture speaks a thousand words.  Visual interest is key. Remember to include your logo somewhere visible, though not necessarily dominant on the page. Trending right now are “hero shots” or mock ups of white papers or site layouts.  Stay away from Googling images or really popular stock.  There are great free image resources out there. Whatever you use, it is always good practice to make your graphic clickable in addition to having a button.  By now, most people know and have been conditioned to click on graphics.

4. Gratitude

While it is not part of the landing page, I can’t neglect mentioning the importance of saying thank you.  Consider it a part two of your landing page.  Whether you are offering a deal, having someone sign up for a newsletter, or are actually hiring you, if there was any call to action that was clicked on, make sure and say thank you.  Everybody likes good manners.

Conclusion

When starting or growing your business, your website is a powerful way of gaining more clients or customers. You might be a small shop and be your own marketing team in which case managing your time is a major battle.  Though your time is precious, it is worth experimenting. All of the top B2B marketers test everything, and I mean everything — offers, web copy, headlines, different types of forms, colors, layouts and on and on. Testing is important as it gives you piece of mind in know what works and what doesn’t. Your landing page is the most important thing to test on your entire site.  It is the first impression, and could be the last.

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