Landing gear; learnings from 1000 landing pages

Landing gear; learnings from 1000 landing pages

20-Nov-2013 by Marc Wesselink

Over the past few months, Startupbootcamp Amsterdam 2014 have navigated through *literally* thousands of landing pages, trawling tech’s most exciting trends for the worlds most promising startups. It’s been a hugely educational experience, learning more about the startup-sphere with every click, and moreover, non-click.

A landing page is your startup’s bodywork; it’s what customers, clients, potential investors and partners usually see first (pro tip; pay it some attention). It needs to be updated and it needs to pull us in- the bodywork reflects upon the people behind the wheel.

Taking the lessons learned from our ongoing recruitment process, I’d like to offer a few insights into the best practises for optimising impact and interest through your startups landing page. Here are a few ways your landing page can add value rather than just profess it.

Be a social animal

A lack of social-media presence on your landing page says a lot. As a key channel of engagement with both current and potential users, social media also acts as a trust element whilst your company is still early stage. It’s a forum for exchange that shows you’re interested and interesting, which is of vital importance if you want your trajectory to be an upwards one.

Your startup needs to be contactable

We thought this was obvious too. Although it’s understandable that for spamming reasons you may be hesitant to include email addresses on your site, an [at] can go a long way. Think about it; if you want to be marketable to an accelerator program, do you want them to have to hunt you down or wrestle with forms rather than drop you an email? Probably not. Although your email may be on Crunchbase or AngelList, they pop up later in the search chain than your website, and you don’t want interested parties to shy away before they get there.

Who are you?

Your CV should be a document of continual development- it shouldn’t be stagnant. It should however be tailored to your current goals and target audience to optimise relevance. The same can be said for your landing page; if you’re applying to an accelerator it’s vital that they can see what, and who, you’ve got on board. One key facet of an SBC application is your team, so it’s really helpful, and moreover advantageous, if your landing page includes information on who we’re dealing with. Remember, your landing page is part your initial application, and shows us things that the application form can’t.

Conversions are king

The quantitative revolution has seen the proliferation of (and heavy investment in) services such as Optimizely’s conversion-oriented SaaS. Kissmetrics, CrazyEgg and similar services have grown in popularity and transcended the corporate-startup boundary- epitomising a seemingly universal understanding that small margins matter. Having looked back at so many landing pages, sometimes we’ll see two versions of a startups page and know they’re A/B testing. That’s a smart team right there, and smart teams are who we’re looking for.

P.S. What go-to strategies encourage you to engage with a site? What landing page fails force you to contribute to the bounce rate? Share your landing page insights in the comments.

Amsterdam 2014 is set to be the hottest SBC program yet, taking the proverbial bar, raising it, and then moving outside because the ceiling is getting in the way. Every year we endeavour to improve, as well as taking our startups further and learning smarter. That way our 2014 cohort can concentrate on what really matters: accelerating their growth.

Marc Wesselink