A landing page is the final part of your marketing before eCommerce or player systems take over. You have spent time and money getting your user to this page, perhaps from paid search or banner adverts, maybe an affiliate or email marketing campaign. It should be the culmination of all of you marketing efforts and dollars.
So why are so many landing pages so damn awful?
Having a bad landing page is like saying “all that marketing I just did to get you here, I don’t care about that, in fact I don’t care about you either, go away!”
If you are not going to optimise the pages that you drive traffic to, don’t bother sending people there in the first place. It just wastes your money and confuses your users.
So what does a good landing page look like? Here are my ten tips.
1. Clear Call to Action.
By call to action I mean the simple message that tells your user what to do next. Examples for gaming could be: “Play Now, Sign Up Now, Buy Now, Pre-Order”. Even if you are not sending them to a page where they can interact with your game (which you should be!) then you still need to be clear about next steps. It removes confusion and helps users get where they want to go.
2. Be Obvious
Unless you have a high profile teaser campaign to run be clear about what the page is for and about. People don’t want to have to work things out. They need to see in seconds, literally, that the page is where they want to be. Once they know that, they can focus on getting what they want.
3. Keep it simple
Don’t clutter your page. It might be tempting to think this is your one shot to hook someone into your game and so bombard them with every scrap of info, screenshot and video all on the same page. It will be too much and drive people away. No one likes to be shouted at, cramming your page too full is the equivalent of someone opening a door to a screaming face. Also don’t make people jump through too many hoops to play, so keep form fields and process to a minimum.
5. Use a vanity url
mygame.com/pages/abtest/26655353/tp998.7688 is not an attractive web address. If I don’t know your brand it looks spammy and nasty and the kind of link that is going to take me to a site selling “meds” of the man enhancer variety. Change it to mygame/playforfree or mygame/welcome etc.
6. Limit your exits
You sent your user here for a reason and that was to sign up to your game or buy it, so don’t give them other options. If you have too many exit points from your page you are just harming your attach rate. Sure if someone wants to learn more first then let them get to you homepage or help page, but having more than a handful of links is just killing your conversion rates.
7. Keep it consistent
If your ads are blue and then you send your users to a page with a red colour scheme its disorienting and worse, make people think they have come to the wrong place. Make sure you use your page’s and ideally your brand’s images, font, colour scheme and even brand voice in all your advertising.
8. Be Transparent
If your game costs money be upfront about it, in fact feature it. No one wants to be suckered. If your game is free, shout about it. If your game is a trial followed by a paid option be clear they are getting the trial version. Trickery is for spammers and dodgy gambling sites. If your game is good then people will want to play and pay.
9. Don’t be all Me, Me, Me
If you have sent someone to a page to play, buy or interact with your game then the messaging and feel needs to be about their experience, not yours or how amazing you think your game is. “Play now to become the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy, experience huge space dogfights as you traverse the void in your fully customisable fighter” etc. Not “Space bounty is an amazing game of dogfights and space travel with cool customisable space fighters.”
10. Don’t trust me, test.
Test, test and test again. What works for one game wont necessarily work for another. If you have the tech, and its relatively easy to do simple A/B tests with google, then you should make variations of the same page and test them against each other. If you have the tools or are willing to employ an agency you could also run MVT. This will pinpoint key individual elements of the design and offer up users multiple versions of the page on the fly until you can narrow down exactly what works.
Don’t waste your efforts by sending people to poorly thought out pages and if all else fails keep it simple.