The essential guide to landing pages for photographers.
Learn how to create landing pages that generate high quality leads for your photography business.
What is a Landing Page?
The term landing page is often misunderstood and used in the broadest sense to describe any page on your website that is an entry page for a visitor, such as the home page, a blog article, a photo gallery index page.
That’s not what we’re talking about here. For the purpose of this article, we’ll define a landing page as follows:
A landing page is a page designed with a single purpose that visitors arrive at by clicking on an ad, promotion or organic search result, which is optimized to convert and uses a call to action (CTA) to encourage that conversion.
There are a few types of landing pages used in different industry categories for different purposes. As a photographer, the most useful type of landing page to use on your website will be what’s known as a lead generation landing page.
Lead Generation Landing Pages
Lead Generation or ‘Lead Gen’ is the process of attracting visitors to a landing page and capturing their name and some contact information via a form, often in exchange for something valuable such as a helpful PDF, eBook or email newsletter subscription. The contact information is then used to keep in touch with the leads and move them further into the buying cycle using a lead nurturing campaign.
Let’s expand on the above landing page definition in the context of making a lead generation landing page.
A page designed with a single purpose.
Landing pages are most effective when they only have to do one job and that is to get visitors to take action or ‘convert’. This laser focus is achieved by:
- Focusing on a single proposition.
- Removing all regular header and footer navigation that normally appears on your website pages.
- Using the right combination of content and imagery that matches the message in the ad or promotion your visitors clicked on.
- Using a concise form with a strong call to action button to collect information from your visitors.
A page that visitors arrive at by clicking on an ad, promotion or organic search result.
Whether you are paying for ads on Facebook or Instagram, running a sales promotion or targeting your visitors through organic search, there is a cost involved. It’s either your precious time or your hard earned cash. It stands to reason then that you’ll want to maximize the number of visitors who take action on your website after they click.
Homepages, blog posts and features / services pages are full of distractions and interesting things to explore that aren’t related to the promotion they clicked. The likelihood of a conversion on these pages is very low.
Where landing pages shine is in their ability to carry the message forward from the ad or promotion and guide your highly targeted visitor towards a conversion.
A page that is optimized to convert and a call to action (CTA) to encourage that conversion.
We’ve talked about removing distractions and keeping the message of the landing page consistent with the ad, promotion or organic search result. Some other factors that can help increase your visitor to conversion ratio include:
- A lead magnet — something of value you can offer in exchange for your visitors contact details.
- A compelling headline and subheadline.
- Content that focuses on the benefits of hiring you or buying your prints.
- Visual content — you’re a photographer, shouldn’t be a problem :)
- Typography — clearly defined headings, sub headings, paragraphs with appealing and suitable font choices.
- A well designed form with the minimum amount of fields.
- A call to action button that stands out from the rest of the page and uses a compelling action.
People don’t want to be marketed to and are getting increasingly reluctant to part with their email addresses. Whatever you offer in exchange for your visitors contact details has to be something special. Some additional content that isn’t available elsewhere on your website, doesn’t try to sell your services, is super relevant and offers immediate value to your visitors can have a dramatic effect on conversions.
A lead magnet can be in the form of a downloadable eBook, subscription to a newsletter with valuable tips, a PDF checklist.
Lead Magnet Ideas for Photographers
- The ultimate 12 month wedding planning checklist.
- 20 exotic honeymoon destinations for 2020.
- Top 10 tips for making your wedding day go smoothly.
- Choosing the right style of wedding photography for you.
- 5 stunning wedding venues within 10 miles of [visitors location]
Fine Art Photographers
- Choosing the right size print for your room.
- The DIY guide to hanging framed prints on any wall.
- Access to my private Facebook group or email list where I share upcoming shows, member only discounts, future project plans.
- How to dress for the perfect family portrait session.
- The essential checklist for creating a portrait gallery wall in your home.
- 10 tips for keeping small children engaged during a portrait session.
Designing Your Lead Capture Form
The layout and design of your lead capture form contributes significantly to your conversion rate. Let’s take a look at some best practices.
Lead Capture Form Placement
There are two schools of thought on the ideal placement for your lead capture form.
Above the fold form placement.
The most popular placement is above the fold. This choice is based on how above-the-fold content gets seen more than content below the fold.
An alternative placement is at the end of your landing page content, giving you a chance to sell your proposition to your visitors before asking them for their contact details.
Below the content form placement.
Either can work, depending on the content of the page. The key to choosing the best form placement is to test both and see which gets you the most conversions.
Keep it Short
Use the absolute minimum amount of form fields. You are at the very beginning of your relationship with your customers here so don’t ask for any information that is non-essential. In most cases, email address and first name are the only fields you need. First name, is useful for personalizing the emails you’ll be sending later.
Use a Strong Call To Action Button
Your form submit button should both inspire action and inform your visitors of what will happen next. The default “Submit” button does neither. Here are some tips for creating a high converting call to action button.
- Make the button colour contrast with the rest of the page.
- Make the button large.
- Start the text with a verb.
- Make it clear what happens next.
Here are some examples of strong call to action buttons:
- Get The Free Guide
- Subscribe To Newsletter
- Download The Checklist
Thank Your Visitors Using a Confirmation Page
As soon as your visitors submit your form, redirect them to a confirmation page that thanks them for taking this action and shows them how to download the resource or when to expect the first email in the subscription.
Choosing a Landing Page Builder
Landing page builders enable you to create professional landing pages using a visual interface. No coding knowledge is required and they help you to get your landing page up and running quickly. Here’s we’ll take a look at some common features you can compare when choosing a landing page builder.
Page Builder Software
This is the visual interface that you’ll use to create the layout of your page. Things to look out for here include ease of use, the level of customization you can achieve, drag and drop elements and for the resulting page to be SEO friendly and responsive across mobile, tablet and desktop devices.
Being able to select from a library of pre-designed templates and then customizing one to match your own brand and message can be a handy shortcut if you don’t want to start with a blank canvas. Landing page builders vary in their choice of templates so this can often be a deciding factor.
Using you own business domain for your landing pages (e.g. mysite.com) is more desirable than using the domain of the landing page builder (e.g. mysite.landingpagebuilder.com). Most landing page builders offer custom domains as a premium feature.
Whether you’re adding leads to your email list or a CRM database, you’ll want your lead capture form to be able to integrate with your marketing software.
Testing and Optimization
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a useful way to measure the effectiveness of two different designs and optimize your design based on the results. Common tests include placing your lead capture form above the fold vs below the content, button colour and wording, content length and heading / subheading copy.
Popular Landing Page Builders
The Instapage Page Builder
Instapage checks all the boxes with an easy to use, drag and drop mobile responsive page builder, ample integrations and templates, custom domains and A/B testing. The entry level price point is $129 per month (billed monthly), so it’s not the cheapest option.
The Unbounce Page Builder
Unbounce pricing starts at $99 per month (billed monthly). The Unbounce page builder interface is a little more complex than some of the other solutions but they also offer popups and sticky bars as alternative ways to present your lead capture forms.
A Lead Generation Landing Page Template from Leadpages
$37 per month (billed monthly) gets you quite a feature set with Leadpages. The page builder is relatively easy to use and they offer an extensive template library with popup forms and alert bars. For A/B testing, you’ll need to pay $79 per month (billed monthly) for the Pro plan.
With prices starting at $39 per month (billed monthly), Landingi is another super easy-to-use landing page builder. A/B testing kicks in at $79 per month (billed monthly) and with that you also get an email autoresponder which can be handy for your lead capture forms.
Track Your Landing Page Visitors With Statcounter
Keeping an eye on how your visitors are interacting with your landing pages let’s you know what is working and where you need to make changes. Here we’ll look at a few of the ways Statcounter can help you track your landing page visitors.
The Pages feature in Statcounter gives you insight into how individual pages on your website are performing over time and how visitors are finding each page. This is a powerful tool for analyzing your landing pages.
To view Page Analytics, log in to Statcounter, select 'View Stats' on the project you wish to explore, and select ‘Pages' in the blue navigation sidebar.
The Pages report in Statcounter
The Pages report shows a list of pages on your website, ordered by popularity. The date range selector enables you to see which pages were popular for a given range. If you have a large website with many pages and you want to analyze a page that doesn't appear here, you can use the Title Match and URL Match filters to find it.
Using Filters to find a page.
The small external link icon beside the page URL will open your website page in a new tab. To analyze a page, you can select the blue page title or the Page Analysis link at the far right of each row.
The Page Analysis page in Statcounter
The Page Analysis page shows you traffic trends for the selected page for the last 30 days. The large line chart displays the total number of sessions per day.
The four smaller charts show you a breakdown of traffic for the same period from the following four traffic sources:
Traffic from organic search queries on search engines such as Google and Bing. This excludes paid search listings (see Paid Traffic).
Traffic to your website from links on other websites.
Organic traffic from social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A further break down of each social traffic source appears below this chart. Social traffic excludes paid social traffic (see Paid Traffic).
Paid traffic from sources such as Google and Bing Ads, Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads. Paid traffic also displays a further breakdown
Breakdown of social and paid traffic sources.
The Visitor Paths report shows you the referring link where your visitors entered from, the entry page, the navigation path they took through your website, any downloads and the exit link they clicked to leave your website.
To view Visitor Paths, log in to Statcounter, select ‘View Stats’ on the project you wish to explore, expand the ‘Recent Activity’ menu in the blue navigation sidebar and select ‘Visitor Paths’.
In this example visit, you can see a visitor from Dublin, Ireland came from Facebook, browsed a number of galleries and downloaded some jpg photos, then exited to Instagram.
You can use Statcounter Filters to show only visits to a particular page. For example, if your landing page is called ‘wedding-promotion’, select the filter ‘Visits with URLs matching’ and type ‘wedding-promotion’. This will filter out any visits that don’t have ‘wedding-promotion’ in the URL so you can focus on visits to your landing page and what your visitors did next.
Clicking the magnifying glass icon at the top of the visit panel will reveal even more detailed information about a visitor, including a map, their host and ISP, visit length, screen resolution, number of returning visits and more.
Labels and Alerts
When someone has visited your website, you can add a descriptive label and set an alert to notify you the next time they visit. Alerts can be sent to your mobile device if you have the Statcounter Mobile App installed. Additionally, alerts get sent to your email address and appear in the Statcounter desktop app.
Seeing when a visitor or lead has returned to your website and which content they have explored is invaluable in terms of assessing their intent to purchase and knowing when the right time is to follow up on any inquiries.