Jan 11, 2021

6 Steps to Build a Landing Page that Converts

As a professional service provider, an effective landing page can really grow your business -- turning clicks to clients.

A landing page is a page on your website or on a community marketplace like awarenow that is often the first page that visitors see; they “land” on the page. For simple websites, it can be the only page or the home page.  Businesses that service multiple markets or provide different products or services might have more than one landing page. Usually the goal is to encourage a visitor to your website to take a specific action. For coaches and consultants, for example, this action might be to sign up for your mailing list, download a report, or book a consultation. 

Most people spend only a few seconds on a website to decide if they want to engage further. That is why it’s important to invest in and polish your landing pages. The internet is full of thousands of - somewhat contradictory - processes to optimize landing pages. This article explains the 7 key steps that matter the most.   

#1 Prioritize a Single Call-to-Action 

The focus of your landing page should be your Call-to-Action, or CTA, as described above. This call to action must be clear and the page must be designed to draw attention to it.  Certified life coach Felicia Broccolo of The Life Coach School explains:

The first thing the user sees needs to be what you’re offering and how they can accept that offer. Once they know that, then they can consume your other content from a place of clarity. They know they’ve found what they want, and know they’re just looking for more details. If they don’t know immediately what you’re offering and how to accept that offer, then they’re scrolling through your content, trying to figure out if they’re even in the right place. If they don’t find out soon, they leave and try another website. 

Coaches tend to have many services to offer and it might be tempting to show all of them on your landing page, but as Blake Reichenbach, a CMS and Search Optimization Product Expert at HubSpot points out, doing this can be counter-productive: 

Landing pages should focus on a single offer, with a single call-to-action, for a single segment of your audience. If you try to promote everything to everyone at the same time, it won’t stick.

Remember: your visitors will take only a few seconds to engage with your landing page. Identify one CTA to make it easier for potential clients to accept your offer.

#2 Tailor to your Ideal Client’s Needs

A compelling landing page should be tailored to your ideal client. Before you can show that you can help solve their problem, you need to demonstrate that you understand it, and them. Pedro Campos, Founder of Advertongue, explains:

Make sure you really understand your audience and put a message on the landing page that will deeply resonate with them. This comes down to proper market research. You´ll often find a lot of good information from your sales calls to use in your marketing materials.

In addition to market research and reviewing data on past clients, Linda Mueller, founder of The Expat Partner Coach recommends “clearly defining the demographics and psychographics of your ideal client so that you can provide them the type of information they will find most helpful in the way they want to receive it.” 

Once you’ve accomplished that, you can explain what you can do to help. This needs to be similarly clear and compelling.  “You need to clearly articulate the transformation you are providing the client coupled with your unique genius and why you are perfectly suited to be their guide on this journey,” advises business coach, Kelly Trach

It’s tempting to make your target market too broad, in an attempt to prevent potential clients from slipping through. However, the more ground you cover, the less focused your landing page will be on your core target market and you risk losing ground to more focused competitors. If you genuinely serve different customer segments, have multiple landing pages and direct your inbound traffic accordingly.

#3 Build Trust with Social Proof

There are few barriers to entry for most professional services; anyone can make a website that claims expertise. Potential clients look for evidence that your business can deliver the goods. In particular, as Mostafa Dastras, content marketer of The Digital Project Manager explains, “coaching is one of those niches where your potential customers take your claims with a grain of salt until they find you trustworthy,” His personal research claims that 82% of high-performing landing pages of top businesses use some kind of social proof. 

Social proof could be success stories, testimonials, client names, books published, media quotes, or data such as social media followers and years in business. Social proof helps potential clients build trust for you as a coach, as per Darius Jokubaitis, Co-Founder and CMO of Attention Insight:  

Even if a brand’s unique value proposition is perfect, this may not be enough to secure a purchase. By seeing that other people have enjoyed the product or service, customer doubt fades away. Well-integrated social proof is what backs up your unique value proposition, builds trust, and encourages conversion.

In sum, a strong CTA on your landing page without some kind of social proof indicator backing up your work ultimately makes it hard to convince a potential client to move further.

#4 Make their Visit Easy and Simple

Your landing page should provide  an easy and simple experience for your ideal clients. “As much as you want to be unique and stand out from other landing pages, customers usually don’t want to be sent down a rabbit hole of clicks that eventually navigates to the final stage,” warns Benjamin Smith, founder of Disco Skincare for Men. As Malte Scholz, CEO and Co-Founder of Airfocus, explains: “You want the entire process to be done in just a couple of clicks.”

Brett Helling, CEO of Gigworker, explains the value of simple design choices: 

Remove clutter from your website and use  whitespaces. Do not use too many flashing lights and whistles as these will easily distract your visitor. Simplify the design so that the customer can focus on your products, value proposition, and other elements that convince them to buy. Simple designs also load faster so that will also help in boosting the conversion rate of your landing page.

Some top professional services providers take this a step further. “It's highly recommended to remove the navigation bar/side bar for your main landing page,” advises Sara Bernier, founder of Born for Pets. Simonas Steponaitis, Marketing Manager of Hosting Wiki, advises coaches and consultants to  “remove any other links on your page to draw all your visitors' attention to your CTA.” 

Another disadvantage of having a cluttered and complex landing page is that it can lower your website’s chance of being ranked highly by Google. According to Blake Reichenbach, “Google is implementing new ranking factors known as Core Web Vitals [by Spring of 2021] which will benefit fast, easy-to-use sites and detract from sites that are slow, complicated, and which don’t do well on mobile.” 

The bottom-line is that your ideal clients should be able to process your landing page quickly and without effort. 

#5 Embrace Infographics and Videos to Say More 

Today, people are used to seeing high-quality images on websites, but having a video is even better. “We live in a very visual world and our testing has shown that pages with video content are massively more successful than those without,” according to Johan Hajji, CEO & Founder, Upperkey.

A well-made video can convey information quickly and on multiple levels, giving your potential clients an immediate sense of who you are as a coach, consultant, or other professional service provider, and what it would be like to work with you.

In the same vein, well-made infographics convey a large amount of information in a clear, compelling, and interesting way. For examples, awarenow’s infographics on how coaches spend their time, how coaches get hired, and how coaches get fired are some of the most-shared pieces of content in the awarenow business blog.

Adam Rowles, CEO of Inbound Marketing Agency summarizes the benefits of embracing video and/or infographics:

Infographics and introduction videos create a huge difference. The reason is simple, people don't have time and don't like to go through tons of content on the website. So it's better to have some infographics and a small introductory video. The same video can be shared on social media platforms as well.

#6 Use Landing Page Templates

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Companies like Leadpages provide customizable landing pages that have been thoroughly tested and use best practices.  (Incidentally, awarenow users clicking the link above get 20% off with Leadpages).  This can both save you time and improve your results.  “My top tip would be to use the very best landing page builder that you can get hold of as this will make all the difference,” recommends Dima Suponau, CEO & Founder at numberforliveperson.com.

If your coaching website is built on  Wordpress, an alternative to Leadpages recommended Avinash Chandra, founder and CEO of BrandLoom Consulting is the SeedProd extension:  

Seedprod allows you to craft a stunning landing page in minutes utilising a visual drag and drop builder. You can select from 100+ ready to use landing page templates. The best part about it is that it is mobile-friendly, which means that your page will function smoothly.

#7 Test. Improve. Repeat.

After you’ve built a great landing page, it’s time to start testing it. Test a couple versions of your page against each other, determine a winner, and then start a new test based on that variation.  Ben McLaughlan of  Easy Mode Media explains where to start: 

A simple change in color, text size or location can have a big change in conversion rates. A simple AB test can identify what leads to better conversions from your audience. A solid content strategy should often pitch one CTA against another, over time, these small changes can greatly increase conversions of your landing pages.

Just as most professional service providers are problem-solvers for clients, testing and iterating provides an opportunity to be problem-solvers for your landing pages. The key is getting into the habit of testing regularly for improvements, recommends Blake Reichenbach: 

Coaches are creative problem solvers. We’re great at looking at a situation and identifying a multitude of options for what may work; it’s okay to do the same with your website! Identify and test out variables— such as a headline, call to action, or graphic— to experiment and see what best resonates with your audience. As you figure out what works well, do more of it.

Landing Pages for all your Services on awarenow

As you are reading this on awarenow business blog, it would not be complete without mentioning that on awarenow, you can create private sessions, group sessions and advanced programs all offering you landing pages that you can integrate in your funnel. For example, Mihai is offering private sessions for helping you integrating the proper tech stack for publishing your offering on awarenow and managing your relationship with your clients - and those sessions can be booked via a booking widget or directly on the landing page automatically generated for this service, screenshot below:

Similarly, a course is being prepared on how to best use awarenow for your coaching business so that you can better serve your clients and create actual time in your schedule. This course also has it's own landing page.

Conclusion

Your landing page is a custom shopping window you can create for your ideal client’s shopping experience. What do you put on it to make them ‘step inside’ and respond to your CTA? Through a simple and appealing design (possibly using a template), you can craft a captivating CTA that is tailored to your ideal client and quickly gains their trust.. 

By applying these 7 steps for optimizing your landing page, you can make your first impressions into first steps toward client engagements.

By the way, did you know that awarenow released another free Coaching Bulletin in January 2021? Get it here

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