A landing page is an individual standalone website page, or a place somewhere on a website, where you send people who respond to an ad in order to get them to do the action you desire. They are typically created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign and typically have a specific function, as opposed to a general website which can have many goals.
As you can imagine, making sure the landing page is optimized for conversions — or getting people to do what you want them to do — is extremely important to accomplishing your marketing goals.
Let’s examine some of the key factors in building a better converting landing page.
Focus, Clarity, & Simplification
Landing pages that convert at a higher rate focus on asking the user to do one thing. Poor converting landing pages offer too many potential calls to action.
Remove menu bars, contact information, links to other products, etc. so that the page has a clear and simple single goal.
Decide your desired outcome ahead of time. Do you want people to fill out a form? Do you want them to book a call?
Set the page up where they have two options: do what you want them to do or navigate away from the page.
Headlines & Copy
Use simple headlines and clear copy on the landing page.
Experts estimate that five times as many people read headlines as read the body copy. That means if you’re spending a dollar to build a landing page, your headlines represent $0.85 of the dollar.
The headline serves a specific purpose: capture people’s attention and help them mentally navigate from section-to-section. Essentially, the headline should be good enough to keep people on the page.
While the headline should be interesting, avoid the temptation to sensationalize headlines to the point where they feel like click-bait.
If the job of the headline is to keep people on the page, and to keep them moving down the page, the job of the copy text is to persuade. The text copy should explain the offer, explain the benefits of the offer, and explain how to get the offer. Throw in what makes the offer different or better than what others are offering and the copy should lead toward conversions.
Images evoke different memories and experiences than do written words, so it’s critical to choose the right images to improve the landing page. When thinking about images for the landing page, consider what emotions or feelings you want the viewer to experience.
You’ll likely need to include a product photo or a representation of the offer on the landing page (a PDF icon for a PDF download, a computer mockup for a webinar, etc.), take advantage of the opportunity to use images that are more likely to connect with the viewer emotionally.
There are a variety of other factors to consider when selecting images as well, including colors in the images (research color theory), the size and orientation of images, contrast, etc.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the images selected for the landing page have the potential to be worth many dollars in business income and should be carefully and strategically selected.
Call To Action
If the goal of headlines is to keep users on the page, the goal of text copy is to persuade, and the goal of images is to create an emotional response, the call-to-action is the element that gets the user to the goal.
It’s amazing how many landing pages don’t have a clear call to action.
It’s critical to specifically and clearly ask the user to do what you want them to do. Ask them early, and ask them often.
If the user has clicked from an ad to the landing page, has taken the time to explore the offer and has been persuaded by the copy, don’t be afraid to explicitly ask them to take action. If the offer is as good as it should be, the user should be excited to take action. Ideally, they’re asking, “how do I get this” and it should be easy for them to get the reply to their question.
Call To Action Button
The call to action is typically created through a button or form. It’s important that these buttons be easy to find on the page. They should have contrasting color to other content on the page and the text of the button should be strong and action oriented.
Instead of “Learn More,” go with “Book a Call,” “Download Now,” or “Get The Resource Today.”
Avoid the temptation to be clever with the call to action button. Clear always trumps clever.
Focus on Benefits, Not Features
One of the biggest and often occurring conversion errors we see is focusing on features instead of benefits. When you focus on the features of your offer, you’re focusing on yourself…which is always a bad move in marketing. When you focus on the benefits, the customer is the focus.
Think about “what’s in it for me” from the user’s perspective and focus on that on the landing page. How does it help them overcome a problem? What value will it add to their life?
There is a user experience (UX) industry principle called “information hierarchy” that is important to understand for optimal landing page conversion.
Information hierarchy means organizing information with similarly-related meaning together and presenting it on the page in a logically sequential order.
This helps bring organization to the chaos of information on the page and helps the user more easily navigate it. It removes any mental resistance the user might have and reduces the mental calories a user might have to burn to understand the offer. And, the more easily a user can traverse the information on the landing page, the more highly likely they are to convert.
If the call to action is to exchange information for the offer you’re providing, a web form is probably going to be present on the landing page.
It’s important to understand that the more information you request from the user, the less likely they are to complete the form. As a general rule, a name and email address should be sufficient for following up with an email campaign. If you do need more information from a user, use a multi-page form. Once they’re partially committed, they’re more likely to give the rest on a second page.
A common mistake when building landing pages is a failure to consider how the page displays on mobile devices. A majority of users will experience your ad on a mobile device and will view the landing page there as well. If the page doesn’t load and display well on mobile, abandonment rates will be high.
Similarly to mobile display optimization, it’s important to consider the amount of time it takes for the landing page to load into the browser. Studies show that a user will not wait more than 1-2 seconds for the page to load before moving on.
Optimizing image size, leveraging caching, and reducing the amount of scripts loading on the page are a few ways to increase the page load speed.
Another common technique to get more conversions is to create some scarcity with the offer. Add an expiration date or text copy explaining how availability is limited and that the offer could disappear. If people are concerned that they will miss their chance, they’re much more likely to act.
Obviously, it’s important to have integrity with this and if you claim your offer is only available for a limited time, make sure that’s the truth.
There are other types of scarcity you can leverage on a landing page as well. For example, instead of the offer itself being limited, add bonuses or value-add offers that are available for a limited time.
Adding testimonials and other types of social proof tools (such as purchase indicators) to your landing page is another way to help with conversions. It’s important that the social proof be placed in a location or added in a way that isn’t a distraction, but when done properly adding social proof can certainly increase conversions.
An exit popup is a window that shows as people move their mouse out of the focus of the landing page. By adding a special message or special offer (perhaps a bonus), sometimes it’s possible to increase conversions.
Experimentation & Split Testing
Split, or A/B testing, is a great way to increase conversions on your landing page by adjusting headlines, text copy, photos, colors, buttons, forms, etc. based on actual data of which converts better instead of educated guesses.
Split testing different elements on the site takes a bit of time and effort, but in the long run is one of the best ways to improve the effectiveness of the landing page.
Advanced Testing Tools
There are a variety of tools, such as heat maps, conversion analytics, and more that can be used to create strategies that increase conversions.
After all the options above have been exhausted, leveraging additional tools that are at our disposal is a great way to squeeze out the extra bit of page success.
Extra Tip – Consistency
If you’re sending people to a landing page from an ad, such as a Facebook ad, make sure your images and headlines are the same as in your ad. The congruity as people move from the ad to your page will help build trust in confidence for the user and will increase conversions.
The landing page is one of the most important tools in an individual or organization’s marketing toolbox. In order to use it effectively, properly building, testing, and optimizing the landing page is important.
While not difficult at face value, landing page optimization can be a time-consuming and intricate process. Often, hiring an expert to help you can save time and money over working on it yourself. If you’d like help with optimizing your landing pages, we’d love to chat with you about serving you.