Want the secret sauce to building a landing page…the magic method that leads to undeniable success? Sorry. There isn’t one, but many.
First impressions are everything. We know that applies to first dates, job interviews and client services – it is also crucial to your success online. Having a strong and engaging landing page for your website can make or break your digital marketing conversion success. Want to build a fantastic landing page that excites your customers and leads to higher conversion rates? Keep reading…
What are Landing Pages?
In short, landing pages are web pages your target audience will first see when they enter – or land to – on your website. For a lot of situations, that might also be your home page. But, if you’re running a target ad campaign (and you should be!) then the landing page is going to be a unique page on your site with the sole purpose of gathering information from a user or getting the user to click-through the page to make a purchase (or some other type of conversion). It might be a product page, a blog post or maybe a webpage made uniquely for that campaign.
Landing pages server primarily two purposes 1) To generate a lead or 2) To click through to complete an action (purchase, download, rsvp etc)
Before we start – take a look at this page from Wrike super simple, super effective (They pretty much nailed everything we’re about to chat about)
Landing pages allow you to deliver a specific Call To Action (CTAs) to a narrowed audience. They give you the chance to personalize your CTA to a defined group of people. We’ll take a look at the components needed for a successful landing page that lead to high ROI and great conversion rates. So, let’s get started! Soon, you’ll be pumping out unicorn like pages that should be giving you conversion rates and helping you gather ample customer data.
Building a Successful Landing Page
Want the secret sauce to building a landing page…the magic method that leads to undeniable success? Sorry. There isn’t one, but many.
Probably a bit disappointing, but it’s true! Landing pages need to be unique and crafted to suit your content and goals. However, there are some tactics that apply across all sites – so let’s take a look at what they are and how you can use them.
1. Have a Clear Headline
According to Neil Patel, the headline on your webpage is “your first and most critical action of a landing page.” You need your headline to be clear, catchy and concise. It needs to tell the visitor of your landing page in no uncertain terms what you do. Offer a service? Selling a product? Whatever the aim of your landing page is, people will be far more likely to engage and fill out that all-important form if they aren’t spending energy trying to figure out what on earth it is you do.
Good headlines will be short, preferably no longer than 20 words, and grab the reader’s attention. Don’t try to be too clever or persuasive in this headline – that’s what the rest of the page’s copy is for.
Wrike has a clever headline on their homepage – the text behaves as if it’s being deleted and retyped, filling in the blank of “Leading Work Management Solution to ______” with phrases like “Enable Collaboration” and “Streamline Workflow.” The user instantly understands what the product is and what benefits it offers.
2. Focus on the Call-to-Action
All eyes should be on your CTA from the moment the visitor lands on the page. A call to action TELLS the user what you want them to do next, while making the user actually want to follow through with that action. Here are some proven tips for crafting an effective CTA:
a. Create an Irresistible Offer
Offer visitors a discount, gated content or something else related to your product. The aim here is to make the offer something they can’t resist. Use powerful words, (marketing experts agree that using the word “Submit” on your CTA button is a bad move along with other typical bland/lazy wording; Sign Up Now! – Click Here – Download Now…etc, yawn) and make an appeal to your audience.
Checkout Spotify’s CTA…oh man a FREE 30 day trial for Spottily Premium??? Fu#k Yeah!
b. Have a Quality Image
People need visual appeal – we process visual data much faster and in a different way than we do text. This includes logos, smiling faces, illustrations and more. Don’t let it become too visually distracting. Instead, keep the lines clear and bright. Super Tip – people (your target audience) rather see…you guessed it people using the product or service you’re promoting, it helps with visualization and make product/service acceptance less of a painful process.
c. Make a Value Proposition
A value proposition is essentially your chance to tell the user why your product is different/new/better/valuable. Whatever you use, make sure it’s user-oriented (“You’ll enjoy better productivity!”) not you-oriented (“We aim at helping you be more productive!”)
d. Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S)
Keep It Simple Stupid. This adage applies to so much, and it fits here too the summarizing point being ensure that the CTA is hassle free that anyone gets it. Don’t overdo it, don’t use flowery language or make the copy too long, don’t overlay images, and sure as hell don’t use fake looking stock photography. Short, punchy, appealing. RealCar New York City (a top luxury car rental service startup in NYC) has a SUPER simple CTA that’s dead to the point and showcases the product in the background “Go for a drive, Rent a Premium Car in New York City” followed by a Booking form – awesome.
e. Narrow the User’s Focus
Cluttering a landing page can lead to confusion and visitors clicking away from the page before they complete the CTA. CrazyEgg is a good example of a solid landing page that narrows your focus onto the thing they want you doing most – signing up for a free trial for their visual analytics tool.
3. Minimize Searches & Navigation
Search bars and navigation menus can confuse users as to what they’re supposed to do on the page – plus, they give too many chances for people to leave the landing page without completing the CTA. Remove or minimize the search bars and menus on your landing page. CrazyEgg does a great job at this – their landing page is simple and clean.
4. Reduce Data Collection Forms
The more information you ask for on a form, the fewer responses you’re likely to get. One way to eliminate this problem is by having a basic CTA with a name and email address, then send the user to another page where you request more information. Again, CrazyEgg does a good job at this in both the landing page example above and their homepage – there is only one simple field for visitors to fill out.
5. Remove the Company Mission
The mission isn’t needed on a landing page – most companies put their mission on the homepage simply because they hope the customer understands what they actually do – yuk. It’s extra copy, extra clutter and distracting. If the information on your landing page doesn’t aim at moving people along the marketing funnel (Awareness, Interest, Education, Commitment, Sale, Retention), then delete it. There are other pages – like your “About Us” page – that are better homes for that kind of content. Trust me, people will go out an visit your about page to understand what it is you do…the homepage and about page are the top visited pages, like ever.
6. Limit Links Leading Away
Too many links = too many chances to click away from the CTA. Limit hyperlinks in your text, flashy buttons, navigation panes and anything else that will lead the reader away to other website pages. CrazyEgg has very few links on their landing page, and one is a CTA button! You can also look at Wrike’s homepage which has a navigation which is soft with design, as not to stick in your face and promote clicking away from their pitch to you.
7. Harmonize with CTA
All the messaging and information on your landing page needs to harmonize with the CTA. Anything extra or contradictory should be gone. Simple, straightforward and easy-to-read are the keys to a successful landing page.
a. All Content Supports CTA
The goal of a landing page is creating confidence in your product. Everything on the page should be aimed at supporting and reinforcing the CTA, building a unity of messaging and thought that helps move the visitor from casual viewer to customer. Neil Patel talks about how long the copy of your landing page should be. His rule of thumb? The bigger the ask, the longer the page, and vice versa. Just need an email address? Short CTA, simple form. Asking people to purchase or make a commitment? Longer copy, more information, testimonials and opportunities for them to ask questions. Grasshopper does a good job at this – their whole landing page supports why you should use their product.
b. Pain Relief Messaging
Targeting your customer’s “pain points” is a great way to connect emotionally and mentally with them. You want to identify a problem they’re facing and show how your product will fix or alleviate it. Talk about the situation they’re in – unproductive communication between coworkers, expensive options for a service, etc. – and then lead them smoothly to your CTA, offering them a solution.
8. Social Proof & Testimonials
Put a face to the claims. Providing social proof and testimonials is a great way to engage viewers. Social proof is just marketing based on the fact that individuals are more likely to value something that they can see others have already used and approved. You can make this work for you by displaying proudly the positive feedback clients give.
a. Client Logos
If you have prestigious or recognizable clients, display their logos on your landing page. You can even make them monochromatic to match the color scheme of your design. Displaying these gives you credibility, especially if you can throw in a few big-name companies. Wrike pops champagne in your face with, well…awesome brands – don’t you wanna be part of the party to organize your team now?
b. Testimonials (from Influences, Clients etc)
Give testimonials from the decision makers. Whether that’s a CEO, a manager or a department head, you want to provide opinions and feedback from the people who matter. Keep in mind, the voices that matter will differ based on what your product is. If you’re marketing to the agricultural industry, you’re going to have an audience who values different voices than a tech or marketing department will.
c. Images of Product in Action
Show how people use your product. If it’s a software, show happy employees around a computer using it. Use this to show how different people and companies make use of your product in different situations.
d. Guarantees & Badges
This comes down to how secure you can promise the customer that their information will be. SSL seals, BBB seals, verification by industry associations and more can help reassure clients that you will keep their email addresses, payment information and any other information they give you safe, it also helps when the user knows the industry and recognized that you’ve got a certain industry seal – must be a pro…
e. Star Ratings
Remember that time you bought the Squatty Potty from Amazon? Or that over-sized mirror from WayFair? Don’t tell me reviews didn’t help you make that decision. People are more like to purchase an online product when they see many other’s leave a nice star rating review – Ka-CHING!
9. Method of Contact
On your landing page, provide a way for people to get in touch with you in case they have further questions. Wrike does a great job at this. Their contact forms are streamlined and simple – one is an email signup with the text “Get started for free,” while the other is a “Request a demo” button. Both work well to engage the viewer.
10. Keep it Mobile Compatible
Mobile compatibility is one of the most important things to keep in mind when designing a landing page – and it’s the area that people most often forget. Make sure that when your page is viewed on a mobile screen all fields are clear, there’s no need to zoom in order to read text and buttons don’t overlap other copy. You can use this tool to see how your website will look on mobile devices.
11. Your landing page MUST be fast
Pages that load slowly will have a huge impact on your conversion rate. (Check out this graphic from Kissmetrics to see how it all breaks down.) You need to have a fast, easy-to-load page as your landing page, otherwise you run the risk of losing people before they ever see the CTA!
12. Test? Pfft…
Test your site. See how it looks on different browsers, screens, aspect ratios and more. Tweak, adjust and edit. There are so many ways that people view webpages, and you need to make sure that yours looks spectacular on all of them. Leave no stone unturned – you don’t want to lose out on sales because of a clunky design or a background that looks great on one screen and appalling on another.
13. Tools to Use (must try!)
– Unbounce will help you design landing pages, run A/B tests and more.
– Instapage will allow you to build one landing page for free, so give it a try and see if it suits you.
– CrazyEgg will help you optimize your landing pages.
There are countless awesome tools available to help you make your landing page the best it can be. What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!
BONUS – Checkout these 3 awesome landing pages (can you spot the elements we spoke of?)
Just to give you even more great ideas for starting points, here are three of our favorite landing pages of company’s that simply do it right.
Value focused statement (in green), Social proof in the form of company logos gives credibility, fun illustrations as you scroll down the page, and the CTA is easy to understand and interactive.
Clear CTA, good use of photos, nice colors, easy-to-find and easy-to-use navigation all combine to make this real estate site usable and pleasant. Plus you can already start using the site from the get go – win.
Clear Headline, Clear Join Now button and a clear message as to what ZipCar actually is with the product as the main background image.
Need Help? Drop Us A Line.
Optimizing landing pages to convert is no small feat, we’ll help you understand what IS and is NOT working and build a page that’s trendy and is a customer converting machine, we can’t promise you won’t talk about it to like…everyone. Let’s get to work and get you performing, no contracts, pay as you go, experienced team – give us a shout.