Building Great Landing Pages

In part one, I wrote about how to optimize your registration modal. However, there’s quite a bit more to building a great registration experience.

For one, your advertising or SEO content needs to land the user on a page or experience that matches what they were searching for.

If a user is looking for clothing and they click on a page about T shirts, it’s always going to be better to land them on a page that highlights T shirts that are available on your site, and even better if you can land them on the specific shirt they hoped to buy.

However, if you also hope to collect their email address during this process, you can attempt a lot of tactics on your pages to convince your users to give you their information.

One important tactic is to only make certain information viewable unless a user provides their email address. 

Glassdoor provides a great example. You’re able to see a limited amount of company review and rating information, but in order to continue reading and learning more, you’re prompted to provide your email address and register. For people in the middle of a job search, they are strongly incented to sign up because they want data about potential employers.

Here’s a walkthrough of how they’ve done it and why it works well:

Search results for working at Google:
Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 15.01.51

For one, they are doing a fantastic job with their SEO strategy. They appear high in search rankings for almost any search about a career at a major company (in this case, Google). SEO is incredibly broad, so I’m not going to dive into it at all here, other than to say they are leveraging good tactics for SEO and getting traffic to their pages.
Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 15.02.05

The landing page is quite good. The page has a lot of content related to what the user was looking for:
  • Reviews about the company
  • Salary information for the company
  • Lots of links to learn more about the company.
  • Interview questions about the company

All of this content is valuable to someone who would be thinking of an interview with Google, so there’s a high incentive for the user to start clicking through and reading the information.

Here, they are leveraging the first principal which is to make the landing page content relevant for the incoming audience. If you are landing your traffic on a generic landing page across all forms of inbound traffic generation, users will leave because they won’t think your site is relevant. It’s critical that you demonstrate value in the first 5 seconds of landing on a page.

But hidden beneath this is a very clever way to capture users. Anytime a user clicks into any of the areas, they are only able to access a limited amount of content, either a single review, a single page of information, or some other limit. Once they try to learn more and go deeper, they are hit with a registration requirement.
Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 15.03.51

This exposes a secondary principle: If you’re trying to drive registrations, make it worth your users time to register. If you are hiding all of your content behind a reg wall and the user doesn’t get a sense for what they will see by registering, that can be too extreme and will likely result in a high bounce rate. Alternatively, if you give all of your content away from free, it’s hard to capture user emails for future re-marketing and retention efforts. Glassdoor strikes a nice balance – they give away just enough to make you interested, but once you want to learn more, you must register. (It also gives a click away for free, which is a requirement of Google in SEO).

Lastly, their registration flow is incredibly clean and easy. If you refer back to my post about creating a simple reg wall, they are a good example.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 9.50.30 AM

The benefits are clearly laid out, there are multiple options for registration, they have limited the fields down to only two, and everything is very simplified. The only thing for them to potentially try is escalation of commitment, but it’s likely they’ve tested it and not seen a lift.

How does this example of Glassdoor relate to your business?

For one, these principles can be applied to any web or mobile business. If you are driving paid or free traffic from a source, it needs to land on a specific page. That page should represent the discovery source for your product and have a clear tie in to where the traffic is coming from. It’s cheap and easy to build custom landing pages – don’t try to skip this step. If you’re desperate, there are good products like Unbounce that can help you do this.
Secondarily, if you intend to get users to sign up for your service, it’s important to help them understand what you are offering when they land on your site. However, forcing them to register to get all of the content is an ideal way to build a user base and later a mailing list to keep people coming back.

Here are a number of ideas for content that you could hide from your users to capture their email address:
  • Job Listings
  • The ability to make a post on your site
  • Prices
  • Viewing related content
  • Articles and further reading material
  • Infographics
  • An eBook

These are very broad, but the idea is that any one of these elements could the carrot that gets users to register for your product. However, it can’t be a gimmick – whatever the user registers for should be something of value that they actually want to receive.

Lastly, make all of these steps as easy as possible. Use pages that mimic your site and train users how to use your product both before and during the registration process. If your landing pages don’t match your actual product, it can lead to a lot of confusion later in the experience and may hurt your conversion rate.

Make registering easy so that users can get back to the content they were trying to discover. And take the user back to the content they were on – don’t take them somewhere completely different in the product.

Lots of other topics here, but this is at least a starting place for how to optimise your landing experience.

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