14 Things You Need To Design An Effective Landing Page That Converts
Do you want to create a killer impression, grab your visitor’s attention and skyrocket conversions? A spectacular and well-designed landing page can do just that and much more. And the good news is – you can create one just by following these instructions.
What’s A Landing Page?
The landing page is the page a visitor is lead to when clicking a traffic source that can be a social media post, guest blog, banner ad, etc. It can be tailored for different offers such as competitions, email sign-ups and e-book offers. As they are designed to cause a specific action, landing pages can be regarded as an essential component of your online marketing activities.
Creating an excellent landing page is a complex mix of visual composition, information architecture, compelling copywriting, strong branding, convincing selling and an outstanding user experience. Sounds like a demanding task? Luckily, there are some elements the best landing pages have in common. Read further to discover most important things to become a landing page expert yourself.
1. Think About Your Purpose
As Henry Ford has recognized, “obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals”. Knowing your goal is essential before building an effective landing page. Do you want the visitor to sign up for a newsletter? Or do you want them to buy your product? Any landing page should serve one goal and stick to it without diffusing the message.
These are some of the most common usages of landing pages:
And don’t forget to take into account what are you creating the landing page for – is it a web service, a startup, a product or an app? That will influence the purpose of your page as well.
2. Get Into The Head Of Your Audience
When you know the goal, think of who your target audience is. Before offering a product or a service, consider what are your audience’s aspirations, what do they respond to and what size the audience is. Think also about where your visitors are coming from – different messages might be necessary for the ones coming from Google and the ones coming from Twitter or Facebook.
Check out these tools that can help you to understand your audience better:
- Research provider eMarketer
- American consumer trend analyzer Nielsen Service
- Online survey and opinion poll service Survey Money
3. Be Simple And Clear
Did you know that you could decrease your conversions even by 266% if your landing page consists of multiple offers? Instead, keep it simple and offer one thing at a time. Create a landing page that consists of all the essential information but does not overwhelm the reader. Don’t be afraid to use a simple design and avoid too many images or graphics that can be distracting.
- IFTTT rocks it with its simple design and clear color scheme reducing the text to the minimum and guiding all the visitor’s attention to the goal of the landing page.
- SuperTasker charms its visitors with a straightforward headline and informative sub-headline. More detailed description is provided under the fold.
- Basecamp’s convincing landing page shows that if you decide to use more complex images make sure the background is clear and the headline – distinct.
4. Offer High-Quality Content
Great landing pages provide rich and useful information and answer the basic questions your visitors would have. Look at this must-have checklist to see if all the necessary information is there:
- How does the product or service solve a common problem?
- What is the value of your product or service?
- What is the price?
- How long will it take to be delivered and to see results?
5. No Exit
6. Clear Call To Action
A landing page that works and convinces your visitors that your product or service is worth trying definitely includes a call to action. It can be present in the headline or as a button. A perfect call to action should be short and use action verbs. The button should be very distinct and obvious for your visitors, and the text should clearly state what you want the visitor to do next – “download your free e-book here”, “signup here”, “click here”.
Want to create a call to action that is impossible not to click? Consider this:
- Increase motivation by creating the fear of missing out (FOMO). Simple texts like “Only a limited number available”, “Sale”, “Buy now” will work perfectly. Check the example from Campaign Monitor.
- Reduce the perceived risk by emphasizing that it’s “free”, “no credit card required”, “free for 14 days”. Check the example from Dropbox.
- Stress the good things that will happen once you’ve purchased or signed up, for example, “receive the benefit today”, “get a free gift”, “start creating powerful landing pages today”. Check out the example from Neil Patel.
- Consider the Gutenberg Diagram – if you mark a “Z” across the landing page, each end point of the “Z” indicate different levels of visual attentiveness. Based on this, the two spots on the right are where visitors expect to take action and therefore, where your call to action button should be placed. Check out the example from Code Combat.
7. Embrace The Power of Headlines
Most effective landing pages are those that use the headlines in a smart way. Remember, your visitors don’t have a lot of time so you need to communicate the important benefits of your product or service fast. Speak more about the benefits than the features – give your audience a reason to care and answer the question “What’s in it for me?”
Check out these headline analyzers to be sure that your headline performs its best:
- CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
- Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer
- Share Through Headline Analyzer
Moreover, make it SEO friendly by using properly selected keywords. For example, if you’re trying to sell an e-book on how to master creating landing pages, you should consider using the phrase “powerful landing pages”. Try out some of these online tools that will immediately tell you what your audience is looking for:
- Moz keyword explorer
- Keyword tool
- Kwfinder keyword research tool
- Google Keyword Planner
- Keyword Research Tool AnswerThePublic
8. Create an Impactful Copy And Use Storytelling
Storytelling is one of the most effective tools for persuasion. Order the narrative of your story by thinking about the information the first-time user would need to receive to be persuaded to take action. The three-act structure can work well here:
Introduce the problem and your service;
Seduce the visitor by providing testimonials, benefits, creating trust;
Convert with a call to action.
Body copy is the content that motivates your visitor to want your product or service so remember that every word of the copy counts and be sure to use special hypnotic words. For example, the word “you” will make you feel more personal, while the word “imagine” will encourage the visitors to visualize your solution and increase the desire. Optimize your content for emotion and persuasion by using tools such as content performance indicator Toneapi. And make sure you avoid meaningless buzzwords like “world leader”, “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”, “leading company”, “paradigm shifting”, “groundbreaking”, etc.
- Squarespace for example uses simple language the audience can easily comprehend and by using the second person they speak to the reader directly.
- Dollar Shave Club clearly focuses on the benefits. By using a casual language, they clearly speak to the target audience and are not afraid to use bold and direct sentences.
9. Add Relevant Images And Videos
Around 50% of our brain is involved in visual processing, so adding some high-quality, attention-grabbing photos to your landing page is a must to improve your visitor’s experience. Luckily, nowadays it is easier than ever as the internet is filled with sites that offer free, good quality images that are cleared to use for your landing page. Check out a few of them:
- Free Images – more than 350,000 stock photos, searchable and categorized.
- Free Digital Photos – free and premium stock photos and illustrations for personal and business use.
- Pixabay – more than 1, 010, 000 free stock photos, vectors and art illustrations.
- Rgbstock – free stock images from enthusiastic photographers and graphic artists.
Did you know that using videos on your landing page can increase conversions by 86%? Videos increase the length of time people stay on your page and can be extra helpful as the human voice, facial expressions, and body language will convey the message better than written words. When adding videos to your landing page take these points into account:
- Use an engaging thumbnail
- Place the video above the fold of your landing page
- Make its content useful enough for everyone who lands on the page
- Size the video appropriately for the value it offers the audience
- Use directional cues within the video to point to the conversion goal on the landing page
- Add your video to YouTube and optimize it for SEO
10. Provide Social Proof
Remember, the visitors of your site are short on time and attention – if nothing grabs them, they’ll leave immediately before converting. What else can help your audience to make a quick decision? That’s social proof and it can be a very convincing factor. A study conducted by the Wall Street Journal revealed that 92% of interviewees trust more the user-created information online than the information provided by the salesperson. Powerful social proof can noticeably increase the credibility of your landing page. Social proof can take different forms, including:
- Logos from companies who use your services. Check out the example from Zapier:
- Testimonials – your happy customers who tell why they love your service or product. Check out the example from Kissmetrics:
- Celebrity endorsements. Check out the example from Backlinko:
- Press coverage. Check out the example from 4-Hour-Week:
11. Know Your Competitors
Learning from your competitors is invaluable. When you are improving your landing pages, take time and explore what your competitors have changed in their content or what they are targeting in their SEO efforts. Pay attention to what are they doing that you are not, for example, are they using multiple headings, are they including more buzzwords? There are many tools that can help you to “spy” on your competitors, these are some of them:
- SpyFu is a powerful tool that lets you explore competitors’ keywords.
- Ispionage provides a comprehensive overview of your competitor activities and allows you to browse landing pages on which your competitors are sending traffic from ads.
- Adbeat reveals your competitors’ display ad strategies by pointing out the most successful ad copies and landing pages.
- SimilarWeb shows you how popular a competitor’s website is, its traffic sources, average time on site, ranking info, top referring sites, paid keywords, related mobile apps, and much more.
- Google Alerts is a powerful tool to keep track of trends, interesting topics, and your competitors.
12. Make It Mobile Friendly
As mobile now represents 65% of all digital media time, ensuring your landing page is accessible on mobile devices is a must. But don’t forget that when adapting your landing pages for mobile devices, you need to consider the mobile user’s mindset:
- Long-form content requires a lot more scrolling on a mobile device than on desktop. Take that into account and include multiple calls to action throughout the content.
- Remember that slow loading pages can easily bore users, so it’s necessary to reduce the time it takes for your mobile landing page to load.
- With mobile landing pages, try keeping your headlines extra-short, try to make it around five words or fewer. Think about how the text will look on a mobile screen, make sure it’s not too small and the color allows it to be easily legible.
13. Don’t Forget About A/B Testing!
A/B testing is a strategy where two versions, A and B are tested against each other to identify changes that increase the conversion. A/B testing your landing page is probably the most essential way to create a powerful landing page. It can help you to find out if there are specific words in your call to action that improve conversion if users prefer certain colors or fonts, and if they respond better to videos. Creating an amazing landing page takes time, and it can go through several improvements on the way to perfection. Here are some A/B testing ideas to explore what your audience responds better to:
- Headline testing – smaller v/s longer; larger font v/s smaller font; left v/s right positioning.
- Call to action button – text in the button; shape, size, and color of the button; location of the button.
- Layout and the design – dark v/s light; navigation bar left v/s right; different font sizes, colors.
- Text block – long v/s short; bullets v/s normal text; one keyword v/s another keyword.
- Form – same page v/s multi page; text label location top v/s left.
- Social proof – case study v/s celebrity endorsement; video v/s photo.
- Pricing – $19 v/s $20 v/s $19.99.
Remember to communicate with your visitors – customer feedback forms, e-mail, phone numbers and visitor forums are effective ways to do that. Customer feedback is a gold mine of information. For example, run a focus group and collect opinions and comments before going live with the landing page. It will allow you to modify your site accordingly.
With landing pages, there’s always room for improvement, and there are plenty of tools out there to help optimize your landing page. These landing page analytic tools can help you greatly to create effective landing pages:
- Google Analytics is a must for landing page analysis and optimization. Use it to gain insights into conversions, page views, visitor demographics, and track interactions with your page.
- SEMrush is a valuable tool to research how your landing page ranks in the SERPs (search engine result pages) and which keywords it’s ranking for to give you more information to work with when optimizing your page.
- Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results, as well as search terms your page is receiving clicks and impressions for and which sites are linking to your page.
- Hotjar.com allows seeing how visitors are really using your website with heatmaps and recordings of real visitors on your site.
- Capsulink is a URL shortener that protects you from traffic loss, damaged external links and offers insightful analytics.
Since the goal of your landing page is to drive conversions, it’s crucial that you pay attention to conversion rate that shows the rate at which an action is taken (e.g. form fill, a download, a subscription). To track conversion rate, you have to first specify a goal and set it up to be measured in Google Analytics or another tool.
+ Free Tools That Will Help To Create A High Converting Landing Page
- Ucraft – completely free option that offers templates in a wide range of categories.
- Xtensia – free templates that allow you to test an idea, measure interest, run a campaign, or generate leads.
- ONTRApages – free landing page builder offers templates for every type of page you might want to create.
Alexander Bickov is Riga based product designer with over 15 years of ux design and digital marketing experience. In his work, he aims to connect people and products by using strategy, creativity and technology. Alexander has built digital services and products for organizations ranging from agencies, startups to large companies. His work is featured in the iOS App Store, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Business Insider, Forbes and Big Think.
March 31, 2018
January 10, 2018