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The Anatomy Of Best Landing Page Design

The Anatomy Of Best Landing Page Design

Let me the clarify at the outset: Best landing page design for me is a design that brings in results. Anything more is welcome, but nothing less. Looks don’t matter. I don’t care about anything else except for the singular reason the landing page is being built for.

The trouble with digital marketing is that there are way too many things to do and to focus on. Each digital marketing channel commands a comprehensive 4-year training period (much like it is for medicine and engineering).

Yet, there are no secrets really.

As to why you don’t get the results you seek is because it’s just that someone executes it well enough and you don’t. Also, most people just don’t get it. 

I’ve already written about sales funnels and lead funnels. Since I’ve been focusing a lot on landing pages lately, I wanted to dissect, slice, and dice landing pages to at least provide a basic, must-have, you-are-a-fool-if-you-don’t-follow-through rules that landing pages are to be built with.

I mean, you don’t need experts to tell you these rules. You don’t need to pay someone a thousand dollars for something you could get from this single blog post.

You also have no more excuses to not do what you ought to do.

There’s just too many “opinions”, “whims”, and “preconceptions” doing the rounds with respect to a lot of things with digital marketing. But let’s focus on landing pages and get a few kinks ironed out, once and for all.

The Almighty Hero Section

The hero section is what your visitors see first. If you want to be very specific, it starts from left to right, and your visitors’ vision follows the “Z” pattern. Brandon Jones of TutsPlus already explained the Z pattern in great detail, and he puts it nicely, this way:

Z Pattern

The Z-Layout is a great way to start just about any web design project because it addresses the core requirements for any effective site: branding, hierarchy, structure, and call to action. While the classic “Z-Layout” isn’t going to be the perfect solution for each and every website out there, it’s certainly a layout that’s effective enough to warrant inclusion in any web designer’s arsenal of layout ideas.

And…

“The premise of the Z-Layout is actually pretty simple: super-impose the letter Z on the page. Place the items that you want the reader to see first along the top of the Z. The eye will naturally follow the path of the Z, so the goal is to place your “call to action” at the end”

because..

“Attaining a better grasp of how different layouts can change user behavior is one of the central principles of creating an effective user experience”

A Landing page then looks like this:

Z pattern example

In our case, it’s to do only “one thing” that you want visitors to do, and that’s to take action of some sort.

Instead of saying something vague like “…of some sort”, let’s cut the chase and come to the point: you only need to get your visitors’ email address.

You can do that by:

  • Giving a discount (if you are into e-commerce)
  • Letting users subscribe to get access to free samples (digital or physical) or even parts of your digital products (like first few chapters of your book, limited access to your membership site, first few video lessons of your online course, etc.
  • Giving away a lead magnet (like a guide, an eBook, a checklist, a secret something.)

That’s it. The hero section of your landing page is built for a purpose. That purpose is to get people to signup.

To do this effectively, you’d need to ensure that you:

  • Do not have anything that distracts and sits on the top of the landing page (or anywhere else)
  • Have No navigation menus
  • Place No social media buttons
  • Place No other clickable links
  • Put anything on the page that makes no sense

There are no ifs and buts here. I don’t care about what “you” want to put on the hero section.

This is all there for a reason, and that reason is to get you leads and email subscribers.

Now, let’s dig further:

Note: every single decision made for your landing pages should be based on data; not what you think is right. You get this data by letting traffic come through and by doing A/B testing

On the front of Hero section: Image or no image?

The only kind of images on your landing page (especially on the forefront of the page) have to be those that pertain to the exact thing you are giving away on your landing page

  • A snapshot of the cover page of your eBook
  • An Intro video that nudges your visitors to sign up
  • Your own photo (if it’s done professionally, and I hope you are smiling)

If there’s no such image, don’t use any. In my case, I didn’t have any image to put up here since this a pre-launch landing page (and there’s nothing there to offer).

Hero Section Plain

Background image or no background image

You have a bit of a leeway here, with the background image (unlike any images you might put on the forefront).

Again, it’s only a matter of choice, but the ground rules for the background images are as follows:

  • Whether or not you should include a background image is something you can find out with A/B testing.
  • If you have to use a background image, use one but add an overlay on it – don’t put a background image without an overlay (dark is good)
  • Get an image from Pexels.com or Unsplash and make it as close and relevant to your business niche, the offer you are making, or your brand.
  • Background videos are even better if you can get one. Again, videos work better as backgrounds or images? The answer lies in A/B testing.

I thought this hero section with people lining up makes some sense (but I have to test this).

Hero With Background

Headings, Sub-headings, & Calls to Action

The action center, as I like to call it, has all the good stuff that actually matters: your heading, the sub-heading, and the copy.

Then, you’d have the Calls to action (which could be a form to get email subscribers to sign up or a button to have them click on – this has to go somewhere else).

Before you get anywhere near “The Action Center”, know this:

  • Think about what you want to offer before you even get close to building a landing page. Just don’t.
  • Keep the offer straightforward and simple. Don’t overthink it. It’s inexcusable if you take 4 weeks just to figure out what to offer.
  • If you want to learn how to make offers, download this free copy of The Irresistible Offer by Mark Joyner [Thanks to HubSpot]
  • One offer = one landing page. This rule is universal. Don’t offer people to signup to your free eBook, a sample video lesson, and also put a button there pointing to your store.

Once you get the decision about what to offer out of the way, all the copywriting rules apply here. As Joanna Wiebe writes, “cute and clever” doesn’t work as well as a simple, straightforward, and direct copy does, and only rookies write from scratch.

As Joanna Wiebe writes, “cute and clever” doesn’t work as well as a simple, straightforward, and direct copy does, and only rookies write from scratch.

Here’s an ultimate Guide to No-pain Copywriting by Joanna Wiebe

I’ll repeat myself: What’s cute and what’s not? Do funny headlines convert? This headline or that headline? This sub-heading or that one? This copy or that? This call to action or that? This offer or that offer?

The answer: A/B testing. See how some experiments led to some awesome results.

The Mid Section

See, I’ll be honest. For some landing pages, you don’t even need to get this far. For something as simple as a simple one-page PDF which happens to be a “Funnel Checklist” [I do have this as a giveaway], I don’t need mid sections and footers even.

Depending on your use case, you might just need one.

The mid section: Beyond the scroll…

If your visitors look past the hero section, it only means one thing: they need reassurance, clarity, more information, or all the three. That’s why this mid section exists on a landing page: to reassure, to provide clarity, and to provide more information (along with some other good stuff).

This is how a typical mid section looks like:

Mid section landing page

  • Keep it simple but try to provide more information (since the hero section might be too direct and doesn’t usually allow for more information)
  • Keep it clean. Use short blocks of content.
  • Don’t over do it — this isn’t your thesis paper. I also don’t care if you are Amazon and have you more than 1,00,000,000 products.

Strike Two. Your second Opportunity

Now, because visitors did scroll past the hero section of the landing page and they did take a gander at some more information (which could also have some social proof, testimonials, product images, or more such info).it’s also a great opportunity to “try” nudging your visitor once more.

It’s also a great opportunity to “try” nudging your visitor once more.

Somewhere there (preferably another section below the main section where you provide information), put up another call to action.

See how it’s done below:

Beyond scroll landing page

The rest of the page

There’s an ongoing debate (never dies) about long-form landing pages and short ones. I don’t care. The only “form” of

The only “form” of a page that matters to me is the one that converts and whether or not I have the opportunity to improve on those conversions.

So, if your page has to end here, let it end. If you want to, you can add bits of social proof, testimonials, or yet another call to action here.

Footer of the landing page

If not, just ignore it and end the landing page with a logo.

That’s it. That’s all that should be on your landing page.

The colors, graphics, images, actual blocks on the page, the length of the page, the number of sections, and the calls to action – all of these can be different for different businesses and for different reasons.

But the only thing that can’t vary so much is the variation in “thoughts and opinions” on what is basically so simple and straightforward.
In fact, there should be no place for emotions on the part of anyone building a landing page.

It’s another thing that you should employ awesome copywriting techniques, images, graphics, colors, and everything else on your landing page to invoke emotions (for your visitors).

You can’t have opinions about a landing page, but you build pages that others should have an opinion on (and it doesn’t matter if some people don’t like the page – and they still signup – you see?).

It’s also not about looks because there are butt ugly landing pages that convert like crazy.

How is your landing page shaping up?

If you need help with landing pages, I am going to launch a dedicated service only to help build, organize, optimize, and manage your landing pages & funnels.

Signup Now to get exclusive offers and discounts for subscribers only

How to Make Your App Discoverable?

How to Make Your App Discoverable?

How to PROMOTE Your APPHow to PROMOTE Your APP

We all know that it’s the era of the mobile. People spend more time on their phones than anywhere else. Time and frequency of app usage is increasing along with the rise of apps (because there’s an app for almost everything now).

One of the biggest challenge for app developers is customers’ paradox of choice. With millions of apps on both the market places together, it’s almost impossible to get your app discovered (let alone downloaded or paid for).

For every 10 apps in both the iOS and Android markets, at least of them cannot be discovered.

Unless you do something about it:

App Store Basics

Remember how Search optimization was (and still is) a very critical part of a website’s marketing plan. Over the years, we’ve all been conditioned to search for “what we want”. App store is a directory of apps and is also driven by search. While principles of SEO might not apply as is to App store optimization, there’s not much deviation from the basics:

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Test search and see where your app shows up. What is your competition doing? What’s your app discovery process like, in the eyes of the end user while on the app store? What apps are ranking for the keywords that matter to you and what are they doing?

Get Technical

When it comes to your app discovery, you’d do well to stick to basics. It’s time to roll your sleeves up and get down to technical things – more to do with how you list your app and what you do immediately after.

To start with, allow people to move between the results off app stores and the apps themselves. Get to terms with Google App Indexing, Bing App Indexing, Apple App search & Universal Links, Facebook App Links, and more. Search Engine Land has a primer on indexing

Paid Mobile Marketing

The Internet has made it easy to laser-target your marketing messages to your audience – demographically, geographically, and even based on age, gender, race, interests, and more. Paid advertising is a great option for app developers – from testing and validation all the way to driving app installs and/or sales.

Plenty of advertiser networks such as AdMob, InMobi, MobiCow, and PocketMatch now make it easy (and very quick) to launch your campaigns and drive app installs.

Of course, the behemoths like Google AdWords and Facebook ads also have the ability to help you launch campaigns to push your sales revenues (for paid apps) and installs or downloads (for free or freemium apps).

Affiliate Marketing

While paid marketing could have been your own effort to push app discovery on app stores, affiliate marketing is a different animal. It has what’s called as leverage where thousands of affiliates from all over the world will put in their expertise, resources, and even run paid campaigns to help push your app downloads.

A worldwide workforce that’s hungry, skilled, and operating without asking for anything more than a commission or a payout for every conversion (sale or download).

Most app developers don’t go this far when it comes to app promotions, but you’d be in a different league when you do.

Signup with ShareaSale to get some campaigns going.

Customer Reviews: Use them For Good

Word-of-mouth and social proof have long been critical for marketing (traditionally and for digital marketing too). The more the word gets out, the more discoverable your app can be. Give your existing users first access to new features, ask for testimonials, build up the social proof, and try to use tools like push notifications to pump out the word.

While in-market listing, discovery, and promotion rules are changing constantly, doing your diligence always puts you in good stead.

How is your app discovered?

Powerful Freelance Writing Secrets Those Veterans Won’t Tell You

In business for 8 years continuously and I’ll admit that everything I learnt was a combination of veiled-truths and “reading between the lines” along with my own experience. I’ve come a long way from “reading emails for cents” to running my own Internet consulting business and straddling the learning curve has been a humbling experience, to say the least. I don’t you to spend another 8 years trying to decode secrets to freelance writing. Here are some powerful secrets that the freelance veterans and long-term career online workers won’t ever tell you:

Skills are not your USP; think of something else

Skills are not features to fill brochures. The fact that you are skilled is an unspoken understanding that clients will accept on face value. Your website, portfolio, your profile copy, the copy on your LinkedIn Company Page or the kind of content on your Facebook Fan Page will give clients insights on who you are, what kind of writing you do, your writing style, and much more. That reminds me: you got to have your own, hosted website today. Enough Said.

Putting Your Ass To The Road

Writing is hard work. Ask any long-term freelance writer and they’ll all admit this over a drinking session, maybe. Getting projects, working on those projects, waiting to get paid (and sometimes not getting paid), dealing with clients (while every client is different with varying needs), and managing deadlines (even if you had to miss your own funeral for it). In the end, some clients will continue working, some won’t.  Finally, there’s the actual work itself. For any self-respecting freelance writer, even a 150-word blurb involves research, attention to detail, and also trying to match client’s voice (especially if you are ghost writing).

It’s hard work. No doubt. If you do it well enough, it pays.

“There’s no secret sauce, Po”; it’s all about marketing

You did watch Kung Fu Panda I & II. Didn’t you?

Po (name of the character that Panda portrays) walks away deserting their village when his father asks him:

“I’ve been waiting to tell you something for a long time, Po”,

And then,

“Do you know the ingredients of the secret sauce to Po Noodles?”

“There’s no such secret sauce. It’s what you make of it”

Freelance writing is just like that: there’s no secret sauce. The big secret is that what you make each month depends on just a few parameters. The first – and most important of these parameters – is your marketing effort. How many bids on freelance job boards do you throw out? How many individual proposals go out daily? Does this marketing effort continue throughout the month, every month? Do this once and see for yourself. Assuming your proposals are written well, you’ll soon have more projects than you can possibly handle.

You are selling “You”. So, How exactly are you?

Freelancing success is not about your academic degree, qualifications, certifications, and years of experience. It’s always about you. How do you come across as a personality when you communicate with your clients? Do you fun?  Are you cheerful, accommodative, less demanding, and easy-to-work with? Or are you hard-nosed, strict-to-the-bone, highly demanding, condescending and somewhat rude? In case you didn’t know, how you write projects your personality in a way you never imagined. Every email, proposal, social media message (such as Tweets and Facebook Fan page Posts) says something about you.

That’s all there’s to it: have a USP, market more (religiously, everyday), showcase your personality and be true to yourself while being frank and straight-forward with clients.

Do you have any of those “sharable “secrets to share?  Please comment below.