At the core of every successful marketing campaign is a well-made landing page that converts. A standalone web page, its sole goal is capturing leads and guiding them toward your offer. When you click on an advertisement, a link in an email, or a promotional link on social media, you’ll find yourself on a landing page.
Quite often you’ll see marketing efforts that are enticing and cleverly crafted, only to fall short once users click on the link. It’s common for an advertising link to go right to the homepage, which can leave users distracted and with a lack of direction. Or perhaps the landing page itself is just poorly designed: not consistent in focus, ugly, or difficult to navigate.
You don’t want to be like those businesses. You want users to fall right into your lead funnel and stick with it the whole way down. For that, you’ll need to learn how to create high converting landing pages.
Design-Driven Landing Pages
Know how to make an effective design-driven landing page, and your leads will skyrocket.
1. Incentivize Your Offer
Landing pages exist usually to showcase a product or service. Someone has just clicked a link, expressing interest, and its job is to now convince them to give their contact information or go through with a purchase.
You need to make your offer good. It should be instantly convincing enough to push most people further down the funnel. Build your landing page entirely around it and make it clear everywhere — in the copy, the images, the CTA — what it is.
Not sure how to pitch your offer? Start with your UVP: Unique Value Proposition. What big issue does your offer solve? Why do customers need it; what are its benefits? What makes it different from competitors’ services?
On a landing page, focus less on how great your company is, and more on the problem your service solves for customers. Now is the time to make it about them, not about you.
If you’re having trouble getting readers to click that CTA, try including a lead magnet to increase conversions. This is something like a discount, a free ebook, or some other benefit that gives a little push to convince prospects to accept your offer.
Also be sure to include plenty of social proof: Testimonials, reviews, press mentions, user statistics (100,000 have already signed up, etc.). Social proof can help convince visitors that you’re a trustworthy, established business. And since others are happy with your offer, they should be too!
2. Optimize Your CTA
The CTA is the most important part of your landing page — perhaps more important than even the value of your offer. A great page with an otherwise stellar design, a winning offer, and perfectly written copy can be completely ruined by a bad CTA.
A call to action is the button on the page asking visitors to do something. “Buy Now”, “Sign Up”, “Get a Free Trial”, etc. It captures your offer in one small sentence and gets right to the point. It should be eye-catching, clear, and concise — even if they don’t read anything else on the page, a visitor should understand what you’re offering by glancing at the CTA.
Include only a single call to action on any landing page. You can add more buttons, but they should all point to the same offer. If you need more CTAs, make more landing pages.
You should also consider making repeated CTA buttons less visually distinct, smaller or with faded colors. The user experience is key here. Your primary CTA should be above the fold, or visible upon initial loading for all devices.
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Use design to your advantage to make it stand out. Give your CTA button a contrasting color to the rest of the page, and make it the only element on the page with that color. The button should also be big and look clearly clickable.
As for wording, be short and use action words that motivate users to do something. Don’t use CTAs like “Click Here”, however; it should be clear exactly what will happen when the button is clicked.
3. Write Great Copy
Poorly written copy is a common killer of otherwise well-made landing pages. Being too wordy or too short, not conveying the offer well, or having poor spelling and grammar can all damage your conversions.
There are three major parts of your landing page copy: the headline, the subheaders, and the main body text.
The headline is potentially the first thing visitors will see (besides images/videos and the CTA), and it should convey in a short sentence exactly what this offer is all about. Make it grab attention and entice users to keep reading.
Subheaders have a similar job and should be used to highlight your UVP and reinforce the message conveyed by your headline.
Last is the main copy, used to explain in detail what your offer is and why visitors need it. Generally your landing pages should be short and to the point, conveying the most important information quickly. You don’t want visitors to get bored or overwhelmed by too much content.
Use bullet points or feature lists to break it up and make it easier to read. This is also friendly to skimmers and ensures you capture leads from everyone, not just those who are interested enough to read an entire page.
All of your copy should emphasize the UVP. Again: What do you offer, what issues does this service solve, and what makes it different from competitors? Emphasize your benefits, any solved pain points, and the uniqueness of your product.
Last but not least: Spell check everything. Users are less likely to trust you if you have poor spelling and grammar, and it shows that you don’t pay attention to details. How can they expect you to deliver a quality product?
4. Nail the Design
Great design is a major contributor to successful landing pages. A good offer is more important than a pretty page with nothing of substance on it, but combine both and you’ll attract many more leads.
Make use of images and video to retain interest, draw the eye, and reinforce your message. If you have the means, creating a video landing page can seriously boost conversions.
While images are important, you need to use them correctly. They should be relevant and high quality. Now is not the time for corny stock images or blurry pictures of landscapes, but for images that truly enhance your message.
Whitespace is good for landing pages, as it gives room for everything on the page to breathe without overwhelming visitors. It also makes it easier to scan the page and distinguish elements from one another. Make use of lots of whitespace.
As you’re designing, consider the user’s first impression and what’s above the fold. Where will their eyes fall first? Likely on the image, headline, or call to action. Use these to guide their eyes towards the information you want them to see first. Only put the most important elements above the fold.
Your landing page should be mobile optimized and quick to load on any device. Don’t assume that your users are all coming from computers. Chances are, they’re using a phone.
5. Stay Focused and Consistent
Focus and consistency are where landing pages often fall short. This is definitely the hardest part to master.
People are very easily distracted. You need to remove anything that could potentially draw visitors away from your landing page, and often that means disabling navigation, turning off opt-in pop ups, and minimizing external links to other areas of your site.
A landing page has one purpose and one purpose only: Make an offer to draw users into your lead generation funnel.A landing page has one purpose and one purpose only: Make an offer to draw users into your lead generation funnel Click To Tweet
Make a single offer per page. Don’t have more than one CTA, or more than one goal per page. Don’t talk about your company, but talk about the service. Keep it simple and clearly focused. The point of the landing page, what you’re offering and why, should be obvious to the user.
Your landing page needs to be consistent with the offer you made to draw them there. You likely are distributing a direct link to the page through email or social media. What wording or headline did you use to get them to notice and click the link? Repeat that offer on the landing page itself. That’s a signal to the user that they’re going in the right direction.
Landing pages should also be consistent with your website appearance and branding. It would be jarring to visit your site only to find an entirely different style. Keep that in mind as you design.
6. Get in Contact
For many landing pages, the sign-up form will be the core of the page, and it’s important to optimize it. Users who see a huge form that’s difficult to fill out and full of requests for personal information, even if they’re interested by your offer, will likely just click off the page.
Keep your forms short with just a few boxes to fill out. Make fields optional if they’re not totally necessary, and cut out any that are too personal or difficult to fill out. Leave out sensitive information like phone numbers or addresses unless you really need them, as many people don’t want to give that kind of info away.
You may want to add other types of contact info, as well. Not everyone who reaches a landing page is quite ready to go through with it, especially if you’re asking a lot from them. Providing contact info — a phone number, an email, a contact form — can help you capture leads you may have otherwise lost.
Consider including live chat on your landing page. If anyone has any questions, they can get them answered instantly. This will greatly increase lead generation.
Whatever you do, contacting you should be easy. Don’t make your forms too hard to fill out, and display contact info prominently.
7. Test Everything
If there’s one piece of advice you take away, make it this: test absolutely everything. Obtaining user feedback is the best way to improve. While direct feedback is best, even analytics like bounce rate, click rate, and knowing how far down people scroll will help you optimize your landing page designs.
User testing will be very valuable before and after launch, giving you direct feedback, what’s working, and what isn’t. If you don’t have a way to gather your own people for testing, try a site like UserTesting.
After launch, make sure to install analytics (or use a landing page builder that comes with detailed analytics included). These signals will help you know how effective each element on the page is and where you might be going wrong.
Also employ A/B testing by trying out two different versions of a certain element: Changing the color or text of the CTA, swapping out an image, including a video, and seeing which version is more effective at gathering leads.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your landing pages, but gather the feedback and analytics necessary to learn from your experiences.
Building Better Landing Pages
A well-designed landing page will help you gather those conversions and result in a successful campaign. It’s easy to just throw something together, but if you don’t respect the unique principles of landing page design, you’ll find that users drop out right before you get that valuable information.
Landing pages are like mini-websites. As a major step in the lead generation funnel, their job is to get users to cross that final hurdle and give up their email or purchase a product. This is the most difficult part, so you need to get it right.
Figure out what your unique offer is and how best to present it, nail your CTA, create eye-catching visuals while writing great copy, and keep a focused, consistent design throughout. Make sure to test, gather analytics, and keep tweaking your landing page to make it perfect.
It’s a lot to do, but once you’ve got it down, you’ll have the perfect centerpoint to your online campaign.
Marketing is hard, and so is creating great landing pages. At DC Dev Shop, our marketing knowledge and web design expertise makes it easy to build your brand. If you’re having trouble generating leads, we can help you build landing pages that convert.
If you liked this article or have something you’d like added, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter at @dcdevshop. We love discussing design, landing pages and everything related.