With all the recent discussion about smartphone adoption rates, I’m starting to see more and more commentary about mobile landing pages. Most of what I’ve read, though, focuses on the “tech” side of the mobile equation – how to make the landing page work with mobile devices.
However, it’s important to remember that these are first and foremost “landing pages”. It’s not enough that these pages work correctly on smartphones and tablets – they need to accomplish their objectives. And that means getting the “landing page” part right before getting too wrapped up in the “mobile” piece. Here are a few points to consider at the start of the creation process:
Have a defined goal for the page. I know, this should go without saying, right? But all too often I end up on landing pages – even mobile ones – where multiple actions are competing for attention. Multiple actions are possible – but you don’t want them to distract your visitor from what you REALLY want them to do. Make sure the page accomplishes the primary goal first. Then, if there’s a need, additional actions can be added (sparingly!).
Have an Obvious Call to Action. One of the biggest problems I see with landing pages is that it isn’t immediately obvious what they want me as a visitor to do. Whether it’s calling a number; filling out a form; downloading an app; whatever – it needs to be obvious. I’m not saying it always has to be spelled out in words (although it helps). But it still has to be obvious.
For example, if your CTA is to click a link, make sure the link looks like a link, and has appropriate anchor text. Likewise, if the CTA is to click a button, make sure it looks like a button. I know you and your web designer want the page to be appealing, but make sure that the call to action isn’t buried under all the artistry. You’re not looking for page admirers – you want action-takers.
Everything supports the Goal. Text, graphics, actions – everything has to support the goal, and drive the visitor to taking the (primary) action. Anything else is waste. This is especially important in the pixel-limited world of mobile. Be ruthless in cutting the excess.
Be clear. Oftentimes when I look at a page that isn’t getting good results, I find that the offer on the page is not clear. Sometimes it’s a matter of finding a simpler or clearer way of expressing it. But other times the problem is with the offer: it’s too vague, too complicated, or just plain confusing.
This is where I like to use the “cocktail party test”. Imagine you’re at a cocktail party, and you’re talking to someone about your offer. How would you describe it to them? Write it out, using that exact language – nothing frilly or business-sounding, but rather plain spoken. Once you have it on paper, use that as a guide to describe the offer using language appropriate to your audience. (Note: if your offer doesn’t pass the cocktail party test, it’s time to create a new offer.)
Be Mobile-Specific. Once you have your goal and your CTA, and once you’ve got all your supporting elements in place, then you can apply all the mobile principles you’ve been reading about. If you’re still looking for ideas here, check out Search Engine Watch’s article on 10 Ways to Make Your Landing Page Mobile-Friendly.
A good mobile landing page is a good landing page – presented on a mobile device. Focus on the landing page elements, and then “mobilize” them.