It can be frustrating when you spend time (and money) creating a marketing campaign that for some reason just doesn’t convert. Whether you’re trying to drive hotel bookings, leads for next year’s weddings or day bookings for your spa, if the campaign flops it can be disheartening. Often the reason can be the campaign landing page. Are you directing the traffic straight to your homepage or are you using a dedicated landing page?

A landing page is a page created for a specific campaign and with the goal to convert visitors to customers. Unlike web pages, landing pages typically don’t have external links or navigation to other pages and their specificity is what sets them apart.

Landing pages help convert your paid traffic into profitable direct bookings. The simple reason is that your homepage is designed with a more general purpose in mind. It speaks more to your overall brand and is typically loaded with links and navigation to other areas of your site. Therefore, directing paid traffic to your homepage means a user can be overwhelmed with irrelevant information and is likely to leave the site within seconds. So if you’re a spa hotel targeting UK visitors for example, you can customise your landing page to show the package price in the relevant currency and use a map to show your proximity to the airport.

Landing pages have a single message for a single campaign, so they’ve focused on converting the traffic that lands there. Landing pages allow you to send the right message to the right person at the right time.

So now you’re clear on what a landing page is, how do you make sure your landing pages are successful and increase your campaign conversions? Here are our top 8 tips.

1. The Blank Slate

Your landing page is built for a single goal. Remove any element from your landing page that doesn’t reinforce the main message of your offer. Ditch the header navigation to remove choice fatigue and keep users focused on the task at hand, making it absolutely clear what action they should be taking. If you have a secondary conversion (and it’s fine if you do), make sure it’s 100% obvious that it’s not the main action you expect users to take.

2. The Headline

A killer headline that quickly grabs your ideal guest’s attention is a good start. If your user doesn’t make it past your headline, there’s no way they’re going to hit your “book now” button. Remember you can increase your conversion by 40% by simply tweaking the headline!

Rather than spending hours dissecting high converting headlines, start by looking at your customer personas. Build a campaign designed to appeal to one or two of them, and write the headline in language and terms they’ll appreciate.

3. Message Match

A fundamental aspect of conversion centered design is message match, which is the ability of your landing page to accurately reflect the messaging presented in the ad.

Look at this example from Druid’s Glen Hotel & Golf Resort. This is their Facebook Ad;

druids

And when the user clicks on this ad they’re brought through to the landing page where the message uses the same headline, benefits and leading price. Strong message match increases conversions because it reassures people they’ve come to the right place.

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4. The Hero Shot

Your hero shot is a picture or video illustrating your special offer. If you have a high-quality video, we encourage you to use it. Videos can improve conversion rates by up to 80%.

Remember your hero shot should be above the fold. Take a look at this example from Seafield Hotel & Spa Resort. The black and white image fits in perfectly with both their brand colors and the Black Friday theme. The image also showcases the hotel as a spa destination and their call to action in pink grabs your attention.

seafield5. The Benefit Pitch

One simple way to ensure that your landing page is more benefit driven is to use the “so what?” test. Simply read through any statements or features about your hotel and ask, “so what?”

Let’s say your hotel landing page makes the following statements:

  • Children’s play area
  • Close to the sea

Here’s how they become more benefit-driven and pass the “so what?” test:

  • Let your kids play safely while you spend time with your significant other.
  • A beach right outside your door!

It doesn’t need to be complicated. Start by thinking about your visitor’s needs and how you meet them, then carry on from there.

6. The Social Proof

If you’re not using social proof on your hotel landing pages, you’re missing out. We’re more inclined to do something if other people are doing it  so tell your guests about all the happy customers you’ve had.

Reviews and testimonials are powerful ways to use social proof your hotel landing page. A consumer study by BrightLocal.com showed that:

  • 88% of consumers read reviews to judge local businesses
  • 72% of consumers will act after reading a positive review
  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

To get testimonials for your landing page, start by asking previous guests to send you a review in your post-stay email.  Then incorporate these into your landing pages.

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7. Call to Action

Your call to action is arguably the most important part of your landing page. Are you spending money on a marketing campaign that drives traffic but doesn’t convert? Review your call to action using these 4 points.

1) Text: Is your call to action clear? Does it create a sense of urgency? Is it short and to the point? Does it communicate value?
2) Placement: Is your call to action above the fold? Is it in a logical place where users would most likely take action?
3) Size: Is your button easy to find? Is it too big that is has become a distraction? Is it easily identifiable as a CTA button? Is it sized appropriately for mobile?
4) Color: Does your button visually stand out from the rest of the page? Is there enough white space surrounding it? Have you tested which colours provide you with the most clicks?

Adjusting these four elements can have a significant impact on landing page clicks, and conversions.

Add Urgency

Putting urgency or scarcity cues on your page, especially near your CTA button, can also help drive conversions. When we realize there’s less of something, we generally want it more.

To highlight urgency, you can display time constraints by telling the reader when the competition or offer will end. Some hotel marketers even add a live countdown timer which displays how much time is left to take part. Net Affinity offers Action Bars, tools that can be customized with a countdown, a calendar, or text. See one in action here.

Use Scarcity 

Competitions often use scarcity to encourage entrants. In the copy, they make it clear that there will be only ‘4 lucky couples’ who will win, or say there are only 2 coupons available. This shows that the product is scarce and more people will want to take part.

You might have already noticed this on Amazon. When a product is scarce, they display the number of items left in stock in big red letters. People driven by fear of the product being gone, or envy, will want to buy it before somebody else does.

8. Testing

Once your page is built, you have one more great opportunity: testing. To get the most from each landing page, know what’s working and what isn’t.

Here are elements you can test;

  • The main headline
  • The call to action (CTA) – typically the text on the button that represents your page’s conversion goal
  • Hero shot. Try a variation of your main photo
  • Button design. Use design principles to accentuate the appearance of your CTA (contrast, whitespace, size). Above all, try making it bigger.
  • Button color – green for go, blue for link color, orange or red for emotional reaction.
  • Form length. For lead capture and other form usage, you may want to test the optimum form length.
  • Long copy vs. short copy. Often shorter is better, but for some promotions detail is important in the decision making process. Test it and see.

CONCLUSION

To summarise, landing pages are important for their emphasis on conversion and are cheap to set up and easy to test. So remember when you’re planning campaigns and spending time on audience targeting and budgeting, don’t forget landing pages. It could be the campaign addition that will change your performance.

Are you using landing pages as part of your hotel marketing strategy? What benefits have you gained from implementing landing pages?