Landing page creation is now one of my services. The absolute meaning of landing page is a page a visitor lands on, or can land on. When someone refers to the term, however, they usually mean an isolated page that looks different from the rest of the website. Visitors arrive through a reference of promotional nature (e.g. an advertisement, newsletter, or eBook); following the link in the campaign leads the visitor to the corresponding landing page. Ultimately, you create a landing page for a specific action you want to take place – and the landing page is designed in such way that this action, the goal, is most likely to take place.
Let’s start with these main questions:
What is the goal of your landing page?
Is it a purchase of a physical item? A download of a digital product? Do you want people to sign up for a course, or subscribe to a newsletter? There are so many possible goals – it may require a visitor to spend money, or perhaps it’s free (or a so-called warm-up). Needless to say, your specific goal is also unique to your type of business. This goal is an important aspect of the look and feel of a landing page. A landing page built to increase email subscriptions will likely not look the same as a landing page for a holiday deal. Remember that the goal should not just benefit you; there has to be something in it for the visitors. You want to entice them.
From what point(s) can visitors reach your landing page?
A landing page is one thing, but you also want people to reach it. Ask yourself where others are going to find the link to your landing page. How are you going to market it? It could be in an email campaign, on social media, in an advertisement… Even outside of the web, such as in a printed flyer.
Does (each of) that point make sense?
Would people expect a reference to your landing page at the locations where you promote it? Are the topic of your campaign/advertisement and landing page related? It’s important that you’re talking to (more or less) the same audience.
Are you targeting the right audience?
Are they interested in what you’re offering them; does it have value to them? And can they give you what you’re aiming at? The latter is especially relevant if you’re asking visitors to spend money (think about their budget).
Landing Page Design and Copy Best Practices
The bottomline is that you want to minimise distraction; this is essential to keep your visitors’ attention. It should be straightforward and hassle-free for visitors to take the action you would like them to take. You want to give information, but no overabundance, as it should be absorbed quickly and easily. Make sure that you don’t leave room for big questions, though, or you could miss out on conversion.
You want your brand to be recognisable. Styles, fonts and colours should be consistent with your full website.
So that your landing page – and offer – are associated with your company.
This can lead to visitors navigating away from your landing page.
An effective landing page almost always contains imagery, whether it’s a product, landscape or person. This can be a header image, which is usually full-width, but also an image in the content – or both, even, as long as you don’t overdo it. You could even go for a full page background image. The image should consolidate your offer and, if possible, demonstrate context of use.
A video isn’t so common to find on landing pages, but in some cases, it might be a powerful and valuable addition (think products). Just make sure that the video comes across as professional.
Use a strong and compelling headline to draw attention and spark curiosity. If you wish, you can complement the main headline with a supporting headline.
Communicate the features and benefits. Value proposition is key! Bullet points make for a more persuasive presentation.
Is it clear what visitors should do? No matter their interest, without a call-to-action they might be missing the point. ‘Free download’, ‘Subscribe’, ‘Sign up’, ‘Buy now’, ‘Get started’, ‘Talk to us’, ‘Try it now’, ‘Get access’ are all examples of calls-to-action. Obviously, you choose the most appropriate statement. You can even elaborate these examples to make them more unique and compelling.
To capture your visitors’ information, such as their name and email address. Some email subscriptions and download forms only ask for an email address.
Make sure people know how to get in touch. Provide them with a contact form or email address, and if relevant a physical address and/or phone number.
What are other people saying? Show your success (if possible)! Some examples are quotes, testimonials, mentions, features, awards, Facebook like box, Twitter stream… This might be more difficult if you’re coming up with something brand new – no proof may be better than low proof.
Above the fold:
This is a term used to describe everything that is visible on a page without scrolling down (that’s where the ‘fold’ comes in). For the best conversion results, it’s said that you should place the most important elements of your landing page – especially the call-to-action – above the fold. More than anything else, however, you should focus on a relevant location for your call-to-action; i.e. after the body copy visitors would want to read to take action in the first place.
Testing is another common practice in landing page development. This is referred to as A/B testing or split testing. Often, the design of a landing page is based on intuitive hunches. While our intuition usually makes sense, it’s still a good idea to run multiple landing pages simultaneously, with the same goal, to see which one performs best. You might be surprised about the results. And you can include as many pages in your experiment as you want (unlike ‘A/B’ suggests). Experiment with different layouts and element positions, try different headings, images, calls-to-action, etc… Last but not least, testing landing pages is also an educative experience.
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