If you’ve decided to run a paid advertising campaign, you’ve probably heard of something called a landing page. If you haven’t, then you should know that ads that direct users to a company’s homepage miss out on up to a 55% increase in leads. This is for the fact that your homepage should serve as the central hub where most of your site content stems from and therefore, isn’t all that specific to a single product or service. Users looking for a specific product – such as those who click on an ad after a specific search query – will quickly lose interest if they land on a page that isn’t directly related to what they’re looking for and click out, costing you money.
So now you know you need a dedicated landing page for your campaign. Let’s talk about what it is.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a web page separate from your main website’s navigation that is designed with the purpose of getting users to take a specific action. Preferred actions can be something like downloading information, signing up for a service or newsletter, registering for a demo, requesting an appointment or ordering a product. There are different kinds of landing pages that each have slightly different purposes, but the elements that go into creating an effective landing page remain pretty consistent. All of these design elements increase the probability that users will convert, or, take the desired action on your landing page.
- Use a clear and compelling headline. According to a study about landing page conversion rates, your landing page has only about 8 seconds to make a strong impression. This includes whether your page is clear and relevant to what the user is looking for. Use a short, compelling headline, ideally between 10-20 words) that grabs the user’s attention and leads them to feel confident they’re in the right place. Be specific and direct about the offer you’re making and the benefits they can expect to receive by taking action. Most of your buyer’s decision-making process begins at the title so make it count.
- Include enough white space. Choose the assets you decide to have on your landing page wisely and make sure they all support the landing page’s goal. If your landing page is full of text, has more than one offer or appears “busy”, you’ll likely receive much lower conversion rates. Make sure the page is free of distractions by including only one offer and include text that describes the benefits the user can expect. Also be sure to remove site navigation and keep clickable graphics to a minimum, if not, remove them completely. Other items that can be distracting are things like overuse of inconsistent font face types, colors or images.
- Utilize meaningful imagery. Viewers are 80% more likely to read content that features colorful visuals. It’s typically recommended to use one “hero” image (the most prominent visual element that shows the most important part of your landing page’s message) to capture the user’s attention. There are entire articles dedicated to the art of choosing the right landing page image and the type of image you use is greatly dependent on the kind of offer you’re promoting. Examples of ideal images might include images of your product, your ideal customer, emotions you want users to feel or even your business founder. Video also has the potential to increase conversions by up to 86%, so you might even consider including a video of some kind if it makes sense for your brand, too.
- Quickly highlight the pros of your offer. There’s a debate going on about the effectiveness of landing page length though it really comes down to the product or service you offer. Higher risk offers seem to do well with longer copy while free or less intimidating offers perform better with short copy. Either way, you want to be very clear about the benefits users can expect from acting on your offer by making it easy for them to see and read quickly. Then, if you choose to have longer copy you can go into greater detail further below the fold (the area users have to scroll down to see).
- Demonstrate credibility. Users will be less inclined to click through your landing page if you don’t seem like a credible source. Salesy text, no contact listing and poor grammar are all things can all make you appear spammy to a user. To increase your credibility, consider including customer testimonials and trust badges. Trust badges are symbols or markers of consumer trust such as the “Better Business Bureau” seal or the TRUSTe seal. Some badges are better known than others, so be choosy about which ones you include and don’t overdo it by adding too many.
- Optimize your landing page for mobile. According to Optimizely, a platform that makes A/B testing for landing pages simpler, says that 40% of users will choose another result if their first choice isn’t mobile-friendly. Focus on getting minimal information from the user such as only their name and email address, as you can always follow up for more information later. Make form fields easy to fill out and you might even include a click to contact button somewhere on the page. The call to action should still be prominent and above the fold (so that the user doesn’t have to scroll to act on your offer). It’s also a good idea to optimize images so that they’re compressed for faster loading speeds. Even taking 1 extra second to load a page can decrease conversion rates by a significant amount.
No matter what your goal is, whether you’re looking to increase sign-ups or downloads from your target users, every effective landing page needs these elements to yield better results. These are just a few of the important items to keep in mind as you go about designing the perfect page to help you towards your conversion goals.
Designing highly effective landing pages is one of the many things we do quite well. If you need someone who understands the ins and outs of not just designing and testing landing pages, but using them to increase your bottom line as part of a holistic marketing strategy, let’s chat.