Landing pages are important for two reasons – they motivate people to click further into the sales funnel and they capture user data so you can connect with prospects and create qualified leads.Though anyone can create a landing page, not everyone can do it well.
Landing pages are an indispensable part of an inbound marketing strategy. Approximately 96% of the people who arrive at your website are not ready to buy just yet – so a targeted landing page is essential to building a positive experience and helping prospective customers find what they need. Every campaign should have its own custom landing page that functions as a hub for your lead generation efforts.
With that in mind, we take a look at how to build a great landing page that converts.
1. A home page isn’t a landing page.
Visitors typically don’t arrive at your home page by accident – they’re probably already familiar with your brand if they searched for you through Google or typed your URL directly into the address bar. The home page is a general introduction to your brand, which is great for people who already know who you are and what you offer, but less ideal for people still getting acquainted with your brand.
A landing page lets you “narrow your focus and remove the clutter from your pages that could distract your visitor from taking the action you want them to take,” says Quicksprout. In other words, they allow you to take control of the interaction and direct them to the information they’re looking for without having to search through your entire website.
Visitors should reach a landing page after clicking on an ad, to get more information about a product launch, to download a piece of content, or sign up for a newsletter. Streamlining these initial interactions will save your visitors time and create a positive association with the brand.
Bonus – investing time in landing pages will not only help your visitor get the information they’re looking for, but can also have positive repercussions for your search rankings.
2. Less is more.
Don’t overwhelm your visitors with visual clutter and lots of text.
Minimalist landing page designs that clearly direct the visitor’s eye to the relevant information are the best performers. Visuals are important, but shouldn’t be distracting. Make sure images and videos are enhancing your message, not distracting from it.
It’s also important to remember that the more visuals you have, the longer it will take for your page to load. According to HubSpot, a one-second delay in page load time can result in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in conversions. Being selective in which images you choose to use won’t only reduce clutter, but will also increase conversions.
It’s not just visuals that can lead to higher bounce rates – too much text will overwhelm or bore visitors. The average human attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds but by 2013 it had already dropped to 8 seconds. That means our attention spans are already shorter than a goldfish! This is why it’s important to ensure that your text is short and engaging. Visitors will scan the page for relevant information so keep your text clear and succinct. Avoid empty “marketing jargon” and use stylistic tools like headers, sub-headers, bullet points, and italics to highlight the important information and keep things digestible.
Kissmetrics uses this MailChimp landing page as a great example of a brand that manages to get straight to the point. The brand immediately differentiates them from the competition with a large, clear, and bold headline. The supporting text is minimal and gets the point across in as few words as possible. The page also features a single image – the MailChimp mascot – to balance the text and facilitate brand recognition.
3. Pay attention to layout and formatting.
A logical layout and good formatting are the foundation of a seamless user experience. According to
Kissmetrics, 61% of companies do less than 5 tests per month on their landing pages, even though the layout is a major factor in the performance of a landing page. Don’t fall into this trap – make sure you test your layouts until you find one that works for you.
Keep fonts simple and structure information so that it’s easy to skim. Take a look at H.Bloom’s landing page below. It has a clear headline, a short form, and a bright CTA button. The page also features a clearly laid out and succinct 3-step explanation of the ordering process so users know exactly what they’re signing up for. The landing page’s structure is easy to understand and inspires confidence, facilitating more conversions.
This landing page also keeps the form short, simple, and above the fold. By sticking to the essentials, you reduce the amount of time visitors have to spend answering questions and ensure a higher conversion rate.
Remember, now that mobile searches have eclipsed desktop searches on Google, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your layout and design translate into a seamless mobile experience. Make sure that your landing pages are optimized for mobile so you don’t lose out on this segment.
4. Have a strong CTA (and test often).
“A common trait across all top performing landing pages,” says Search Engine Land, is their “incredibly unique offers that help them stand out in their respective industry.” If your CTA isn’t compelling then even the best formatting and layout won’t convert.
In order to know what constitutes a unique CTA, you need to know what your target audience is looking for. Find out what their pain points are and how you can address them. The best way to do this is to ask them directly by adding an extra form field or seeking answers on social media. Getting creative and testing different CTAs will help you maximize your conversions.
It’s also important to make sure your CTA is clearly visible. HubSpot recommends using contrasting colors to direct the reader’s’ eye to the CTA. They use the following example to emphasize how contrasting colors (blue and white) can make the headline pop, and complimentary colors (blue and red) direct the eye to the ‘submit’ button and CTA.
4. Build trust.
Good landing pages incorporate “trust signals” – content that lets first-time visitors know that you’re trustworthy. We like to showcase the logos of reputable brands that currently use our products to let visitors know who else trusts and uses our product.
If you have space below the fold, experiment with incorporating testimonials, links to case studies, endorsements, recognitions, or quotes from social media that advocate for your brand. Remember to keep them short and to-the-point, and ensure that they fit into the flow of your layout.
5. Always perform A/B tests!
It’s rare that you’ll get things right on the first try. That’s why it’s important to continuously perform A/B tests on different elements of your landing page to eliminate any points of friction.
Even if you put all of the previous tips into action, there’s no magic formula that guarantees a conversion. You have to continuously optimize until you find the right formula for your audience. According to Search Engine Land, if you want to break into the top 25% (of converting landing pages) you need to test four unique landing pages with different offers, messaging, and flow. If you want to break into the top 10%, you need to test at least ten different pages. This is how you’ll find your winning page.
You might consider changing the messaging depending on where your users are arriving from. Catering your message to different audience segments will help you personalize the experience and generate more leads.
Some guiding questions to ask yourself include:
- Are my headlines large and to-the-point?
- Is the text as clear and succinct as possible?
- Is my form as short as possible?
- Is the CTA clear? Am I using color to highlight its position on the landing page?
- Is my CTA compelling? Is it enough to motivate a form fill or a click-through?
- Do visitors have to scroll below the fold to find the CTA or important information?
- Are visuals enhancing the message, or distracting from it?
With every A/B test, you’ll learn something new that can be applied to future landing pages and eliminate barriers to conversion!
Landing Pages Aren’t A Sales Pitch
Remember, landing pages are not a sales tool, but a means of building trust and ideally a relationship with your customer. This isn’t where you deliver a detailed pitch for your product, but rather an opportunity to give visitors something of value. Make a solid good impression and don’t pressure your visitors – they’ll come back on their own if they find you useful!
Now that you know how to build a landing page that converts its time to create some high-quality content to offer your audience in return for their form fill or click-through. Need some inspiration? Check out our guide to creating compelling ebooks for the best advice on creating content that gets results.