You may have a great website, great ads and big marketing budget in place, but if your landing page sucks, you won’t be able to convert your visitors into customers. It’s important to keep some critical principles in mind while designing (or having someone design) your landing page if you want to get the most out of your website’s visitors.
Here we’re going to take a look at those critical principles. Let’s get started:
1. Clear (and Just One) Call to Action
Your landing page should have a clear call to action. Whatever you want your visitors to do – whether it’s signing up, watching a video, trying your product, contacting you or whatever – the call to action, which is affectionately known as CTA in short, should be clear in your landing page.
Another blunder that people do is having multiple CTAs in one landing page. Don’t do that as well – you should have just one CTA in a landing page. That’s it.
Besides that, there are some design and copy related considerations as well that you should keep in mind:
- Test both demanding as well as demure types of CTAs. Test at least a few different versions of both with various words. And finally, keep the one that converts best.
- Prefer buttons instead of links – visual CTAs convert better because they make it clear for the visitor to decide where they’ve to click. Don’t keep your visitors guessing, otherwise you too will end up guessing where did they go after coming!
- Try to pull the attention to your CTA buttons through visual cues. Some examples of such cues include a person viewing (or pointing finger) towards the button or an arrow pointed towards the button.
- If you’ve a lengthy landing page with content under the fold, insert the CTA again. Most people don’t like scrolling up all the way to sign up for something, so make your CTA as easily accessible as possible for them.
2. Include an Offer
An offer can increase the conversion rate of your landing page several times. Any offer – whether it’s a discount on your product/service, a free version of your product, an emailed ebook/course series, a whitepaper, a coupon or any other kind of gift – if you give people something to do what you want them to do, that wll increase their chances of doing what you want. So your landing page should certainly include an offer in it.
Now, when it comes to offers, the best offer is one that pulls your visitors deeper into your conversion funnel. For example, if you want your visitors to purchase something, your offer should give them a discount on the product when they sign up through your landing page. Or may be a whitepaper/video/ebook related to the problem that your product/service is trying to solve. And whatever you offer give it with a tight deadline, because offers with deadlines convert more than offers without deadlines.
Finally, you should convey your offer in a simple manner that relates to your CTA. Use as simple text and visuals as possible to present your offer and avoid all unnecessary/complicated fluff. Be clear, be concise.
Remember the old, good principle of “Keep It Simple, Stupid” when creating your landing page. Even if you need to design it distinctively from the rest of your website, do it. Because by the end of the day it’s your landing page that’ll convert the visitors for you – not the rest of your site. The less options you keep in your landing page to drive users away from it, the better that page will convert. Research has already proved this point. So while creating a landing page, consider the importance of following elements in it:
- Navigation bar: Do you really need the traditional navigation bar of your site on this page? 9 out of 10 times the answer is NO!
- Form fields: Do you really need that many fields in the form of your landing page? Remember, for most visitors this is their first interaction with your business. If you make it a difficult one by including a dozen fields in your form, the chances are very good that most people won’t bother to go the extra mile and simply hit the close button of their browser tab.
- About page: Don’t talk about your company’s philosophy etc. in your landing page, and don’t include a link to your about page as well. That too is a distraction provided from your side. Besides these considerations, also keep following tips in mind while creating your landing page:
- Brief copy: Keep your copy brief. Everything that you include in your page should be relevant to the purpose of page.
- Dedicated landing pages: Instead of making all visitors flow through your home page, create dedicated landing pages for your various marketing and advertising programs according to the taste of visitors who’ll be coming from those marketing channels.
4. Put Most Important Things First
When a visitor comes to your site for the first time, he/she is almost always not interested in reading a lengthy manual of your product immediately. Therefore, it’s your duty to filter the most important things out of your product’s various benefits and proudly pronounce them first of all in the landing page. And remember, most important means MOST Important. They can never be more than 2-3 major benefits. Remember the KISS principle given above – when it comes to landing pages, choice is evil.
Start your landing page by clearly stating the key benefit of your product in one concise headline. Then you can proceed a bit further, mentioning one or two side benefits of using your product in form of bullet points.
It’s also important to describe your main benefit with vocabulary that’s easily understandable by your visitors, so there’s ample room for testing in this space. You should keep testing and researching until you find the copy that describes your key benefits in a manner that converts most visitors. Generally when it comes to most important things, they usually tend to be one of the following: features, benefits or pain points related to the problem that your product solves. Try formulating various types of statements describing the key benefits of your product and test them to arrive on the best one.
5. Simple And Effective Headline
We talked about the concise headline in the section given above. But it’s also important to address the headline separately in another section, because it’s arguably the first thing that visitors see in most landing pages. While you can make a good headline out of your product’s primary benefit, as described above, it’s also important to remember a few things while writing that headline:
- First of all, keep it simple. You may want to include curiosity generating phrases, questions and other click-bait stuff in the copy of your ads because clicking ads requires people to stop whatever they’re doing, but once they’re on your landing page you don’t need any such gimmicks. At least not in your headline. If you include them and provide them a page with confusing/mysterious headline, it’ll be a big turn off and they’ll leave quickly. So keep your headline simple.
- Next, ensure that your headline stands out in the whole page. Besides CTA button it’s the only thing that should stand out, and you should do everything possible to achieve that. A polished large font, alignment with background color and accompanying with the relevant image are some of the great ways to make your headline visible and easily understandable.
6. Keep Resolutions in Mind
Now, this is a thing that designers of your landing page should care about, but since it also leaves a major impact on your conversion rates, you too should give it some serious thought. As you may know already, there are a wide range of screen sizes available in the world these days. There still exist people who surf the web on monitors with 800 x 600 px resolution and the most used resolution in the United States is still 1,024 x 768 pixels. So it’s not necessary that your landing page that’s looking beautiful on your HD monitor will look beautiful on the screens of visitors as well.
And then there’s the power of mobile and tablets – that too can’t be taken for granted!
So ensure that your landing page looks good in all popular screen resolutions and sizes. Also ensure that the most important elements of your landing page (headline, CTA, most important things) can be seen at a glance in all popular screen sizes.
7. Include Great Visuals, But Don’t Forget Speed As Well
People respond more to visuals than they do to text, so it’s important to include relevant images and graphics in your landing page. You may also want to try including videos, because research has shown that videos can boost conversion rates up to 80% as they pack more substance without occupying a lot of space on your landing page.
However, whatever visuals you include they should be included while keeping another major principle in mind: the principle of speed! Slow webpages discourage users from visiting the site, and if your landing page becomes one of those pages then visitors may hit the close button even before your page has loaded. So compress your visuals before you add them to the landing page, and also ensure that the loading speed remains good enough even after you’re done with adding all of them. If your page is loading slowly, try getting rid of some visuals. Graphical attractiveness should never come at the cost of speed.
8. Include Social Proof
Finally, you will have to prove the worth of your product/service before your visitors can convert into customers. And to achieve that you need to provide your visitors some sort of proof. Social proofs that come from the profiles of your customers can work the best, and so can the press coverage that you’ve received. If you’re just starting out you may not have a ton of social proofs, but even a few of them will do if you can somehow get them. Urge your beta/alpha users to leave a review on your company page from their social media accounts, get some bloggers to cover your product/service and include logos of your client companies (of course, with their permission) in the landing page.
And most importantly, keep your design polished while including all these proofs. You shouldn’t insert social proofs in a way that spoils the layout and look of your landing page.
Following these tips will give you a landing page that’s very likely to convert a good chunk of your visitors. However, in the end don’t forget the importance of testing as well. You should perform A/B tests on almost all elements of your landing page to arrive on a winning combination.