Most often, landing pages are standalone web pages on your website designed specifically for a campaign or offer – a webinar, ebook, newsletter subscription, etc. Landing pages have one goal: to increase conversion rates and bring in new customers.
The only way to ensure a landing page’s success is with an effective design.
Here are the best practices for designing a landing page.
Remember your audience
Always remember the people you’re selling to – your buyer personas. (As a reminder, buyer personas are “semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on market research and data about your existing customers.” [via HubSpot].)
Create content and offers that meet their needs, address their pain points, and make them confident that you’re the business that can help them. When you remember your audience as you create your landing page, the design and content will resonate more strongly, which will lead to more conversions.
Be blindingly obvious
Visitors should immediately know:
- What they’re getting
- Why they need it
- How to get it
An ambiguous landing page confuses visitors. If it’s not immediately clear why they’re on your landing page, they’ll lose interest and leave. Choose a design that efficiently explains your offer. Be straightforward. Avoid fluff. Avoid business jargon. While it’s ok to be fun and unique, it should never be at the expense of clarity.
Write an enticing headline
The headline compels a visitor to stay – or not. It’s the first thing a visitor sees, and it should make them want what you’re offering.
A headline should:
- Grab visitors’ attention
- Describe the product or service
- Be short: never more than 20 words, and preferably limited to 10
Enticing, value-driven vocabulary ensures visitors know they’re getting something worthwhile when they spend time filling out your form.
Use a clean, organized layout
The goal of a landing page is conversions, and the landing page’s design should make conversion blindingly easy for visitors. Do this by providing only the information a person needs to convert – nothing extra. Too much information is overwhelming.
An effective landing page uses scannable text, complementary colors, and eye-catching images to lead visitors through the page. Don’t be afraid of white space and avoid distractions like pop-ups. Prioritize the content – what must be above the fold, and what can go below it? (Visitors know they can scroll down for more information, but some won’t.)
Be mobile-friendly (i.e., use responsive design)
The traffic your website sees from mobile devices is only growing, which means your landing page must “play nice” with every device. (Research shows that mobile-friendly sites can double your conversions.) Responsive design means the page automatically changes format based on the device visitors are using. This ensures landing pages will load fast, be easy to navigate, and not look distorted.
Keep Your Forms Short
As contact information is the currency of marketing, you want to collect as much data from visitors as possible – but restrain yourself. With effective landing pages, less is more. The more form fields a visitor sees, the less likely they are to hang around to fill them out. Only ask the essentials. (You can always request more information later.)
Do you have forms that don’t seem to work? One of these tools can help you figure out why.
Optimize with CTAs
The call-to-action (CTA) is the most essential item on a high-converting landing page. Everything else on the page – the text, colors, and images – should lead the visitors’ attention to the CTA.
It’s what ultimately converts visitors into customers.
- Keep it above the fold
- Make it big
- Use an enticing, persuasive verb (“submit” doesn’t fit the bill)
- Use a button (People expect CTAs to be buttons. They know what to do with buttons. Don’t mess with the tried-and-true.)
- Choose a contrasting color – your CTA must stand out from the rest of the landing page elements.
Test, test, test
Finally, publish that landing page and test it! Use A/B testing to test various design factors – colors, CTA buttons, phrases, fonts, etc. – to see which options get the highest number of conversions. A/B testing ensures your landing pages are meeting your audience’s needs based on data, not your gut. (Consider trying these three A/B testing tools.)
Landing pages are the cornerstone of successful online marketing. No matter how stellar your offers are, no one will ever know if your landing pages are lacking.