Landing pages are all the rage these days. Every prominent online teacher seems to have one. Not sure what we’re referring to? That’s OK – this article is here to get you up to speed on how to make a landing page. For this month’s installment in the Teacher Indie Interview Series, we speak with Kim Walters of Mango Lane Media about landing page best practices.
In short, a landing page is the home base of your website, accessible by clicking on a hyperlink from another website. It’s a page for visitors to ‘land’ and gets a feel for what your page is all about. Frequently, the page leads into a sales funnel.
As an online teacher, you’ll want to set up your landing page to highlight the best features of your service. The page also conveys why students need to sign up now, and perhaps offer some type of a deal. We’ll get into all of that later in the article.
The good thing is that while setting up a landing page takes some general knowledge of web design and the platform your site is built on (WordPress, Wix, etc.) you don’t have to be super tech-knowledgeable to properly convey what you wish the landing page to look like and do.
How to make a landing page: Background
As we mentioned before, the goal of the landing page is to be accessible to those clicking on outbound links to other websites. The landing page is, for all intents and purposes, separate from the rest of your website. “It doesn’t have the global navigation,” Walters says. “This is good because the users focus on what the objective is, such as a sale or subscribing to an email list.”
Focused and tangible
“You want a focused message without a ton of links,” Walters says. “A big headline, you can have a big image as a focal point. I recommend having testimonials, and videos can also be helpful. Personally, if (a landing page) has a video, I’m more engaged.” Make sure the page has a tangible message like ‘Sign up for guitar lessons with Jon and get your first lesson free.’ Something to hook people once they’ve landed on the page. Plus, all necessary information a visitor needs to get started.
Call to action
This is the most important part. You want the visitor to sign up for your services, right?
“The CTA should be above the fold,” Walters says, referring to what appears on the screen when the visitor first lands on the page. “You don’t want them to have to scroll down to find what you want them to do.”
Give something away for free
To improve the desirability of your CTA, it’s very helpful to offer something for free to anyone who signs up for the email list or takes further action after coming to the page. A free eBook download, a free (or discounted) lesson, or a money-back guarantee – something to thank the visitor for signing up and let them know you are here to help them solve their problem. “This is almost necessary,” Walters says. “Most people aren’t just going to give their email if they don’t know who you are.”
An opt-in box, the fancy name for an email sign up form, is a necessary part of the landing page. Depending on your email software, you should be able to program a direct response email once someone has signed up. This is often where the free gift will be received by the visitor – as an attachment to the email (or a link within the email).
How to make a landing page: General hints
- Minimal content. “You want minimal content,” says Walters. “I recommend using bullet points, or other ways to keep them engaged because you don’t want to lose their focus. You want them to know what they’re in for.” Typically, the users will be either clicking on an ad for your site or following another outbound link, so they already have a general idea of what your site is about. They just need the bait and hook. “Don’t bombard them with information.”
- Brand consistency. “It’s also really important to make sure that the landing page matches the ad that they clicked on,” she says. “If you click on a banner and it has a different headline, it’s very confusing and they might just leave the page thinking they clicked on the wrong thing.”
How to make a landing page: AB testing
The concept of AB testing refers to trying out different landing pages and finding the one with the highest conversion rate. It is not an absolute necessity to do this if you’re seeing success with the first page put in place. “Have a couple similar versions, and maybe change the color or the placement of the CTA,” says Walters. “Or change the headline. Just little things to see which converts better, if you’re new and just starting out.”
Services such as leadpages.net or another online service provider can make this a breeze. Also, just about any web designer, you hire to create the landing page should be able to offer different options and go with the one that you see fit. Mango Lange Media specializes in personalized landing pages.
What your landing page designer needs to know
When hiring a landing page designer to craft your page for you, they are going to need a few critical pieces of information:
• Your email service provider (MailChimp, ConvertKit, etc.) login information to set up the auto-reply.
• Logo and desired color scheme.
• Videos, images of you teaching or providing your service to customers.
• Desired personality and vibe of content.
• Any testimonials or quotes you wish to include.
In general, a lead page should be simple and actionable. Key information should be found above the fold, and it should convey the message that the visitor will benefit from signing up. “Keep it simple and don’t overwhelm your audience,” Walters says. “I see so many people try to give me a ton of information, and no one is going to read it all.” It should be a simple process with a simple goal: getting people to sign up for your services.
About Kim Walters:
Kim Walters is a professional web designer and landing page expert, and the founder of Mango Lane Media. Reach her at email@example.com