Creating a great landing page is a critical step in the conversion funnel. By viewing the page as a speed bump in the conversion process rather than an information dump, you’ll find users will be inclined to move onto the next step, and they’ll do so because there is less friction.
In addition, you’ll be able to attach ROI measurements to your various marketing campaigns. As you test and refine your campaigns, this insight into their net values will enable you to become more efficient and effective at driving down costs per acquired customer.
Here are the top seven tips for designing an effective landing page.
1. Have a Clear and Emphasized Call to Action
When running a marketing campaign, the ultimate goal is to convert prospects into customers. Driving prospects to an online landing page is often an interim step toward this end goal.
Landing pages should be designed to make a prospective customer take action. The offer is a critical component of getting the sale, so make a big deal out of it.
Set the offer copy and corresponding call to action apart from the rest of the page to make it special. Use white space, a box around it, lines above and below and/or some sort of contrast to point out where the visitor needs to focus to obtain the item.
Finally, make sure you spell out exactly what will happen if someone fills out the form or clicks on the desired link.
2. Align Your On-Page Message and Call-to-Action With Your Off-Page Promise
Your visitors arrived from somewhere, and an expectation was set before they even landed on your page. This could have been in your pay-per-click ad, a third-party blog posting, or a comparison-shopping engine.
Make sure you understand the context from which your visitor arrived. It is critical to align the content of your landing page with their intent and expectations.
3. Simplify Design and Reduce Text
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. The goal is to minimize distractions.
- Don’t use a wide variety of font styles, colors, and sizes on your page.
- Remove images and interactive rich-media content unless it directly supports your conversion goal and is a clearly superior way of conveying important information.
- Bland landing pages are often the best conversion drivers.
People don’t read on the web. Study after study has shown that less content on a landing page leads to higher conversion rates.
Ruthlessly edit your text down to simple headlines and short bullet lists. Cut out the self-promoting marketing speak. People won’t read it. Detailed information can be linked to (in the footer) and made available on supporting pages.
4. Use Images Judiciously
Images are good to use on landing pages to give a visual representation of the product or service as long as these following rules are followed:
- Don’t make the image too large. The purpose of the image is to add some visual candy to the page and help orient the visitor to the product and headline. If an image is too large and dominates the page, you lose the opportunity let the headline do the heavy lifting and you push other content below the fold.
- Don’t make it too complex. Multiple versions of the same item in different colors won’t help. Keep it simple and clean.
- Make sure it renders properly and is sized correctly. A jagged image will reduce the perceived quality of the page while a large image file will slow the page load.
- Use a caption. After headlines, captions are the next most read pieces of text.
5. Show Brand Validation
People want to feel an affinity for your product or service. By transferring recognition or good will from other sources you can help reinforce their desire to act.
Liberally use logos of well-recognized client brands. Add the badges of media sources that have covered or mentioned your company. Prominently display glowing testimonials from existing customers.
Do everything possible to reduce anxiety for your visitors, by using safe shopping seals and other indicators of your trustworthiness. The logos of trade associations, acceptable payment methods, and money-back guarantee seals can all be powerful ways to make your visitors feel that transacting with you will be safe and secure.
6. Enable Sharing and Highlight Social Validation
Social media buzz grows exponentially and also serves as a stamp of approval by others highlighting the value of an offer. Social buzz will drive more traffic to the page, validate your credibility and has the potential to help your website rank higher on search engine results pages.
Make social sharing of your landing page easy. Include popular social media share buttons above the fold and in the sign up process. If you can, enable social-login to make it easier for visitors to accept your offer and follow through on your call to action.
7. Test, Test, Test
There are many elements of a landing page that can be tested such as the use of a demo, multiple pages linked by tabs, number and length of bullet points, approaches to copy (salesy, helpful, long, short, etc.), dynamic content, etc. The key to ongoing improvement is establishing a culture of testing and tweaking.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!