12 Tips to Create Effective Landing Pages
Landing pages have been a hit since long. Whether a new product is launched or a specific service or product needs to be in focus, a landing page always brings in the right set of traffic.
Unfortunately a landing page is often confused with the homepage of a website. This can happen with a business owner who is totally naive about the design industry or even with a designer who is completely new in the field or doesn’t have enough knowledge about the industry.
To clear all the smog away and to hone the knowledge of both newbie designers and clients, we have listed 12 golden guidelines which, when properly applied, are bound to bring in conversion, given that the related marketing and SEO work are done properly.
Before that, it is important to be clear about what exactly landing pages are.
Landing pages are used specifically for marketing purposes. A website maybe only informational or maybe an eCommerce one. But landing pages are stand-alone pages, created with a specific purpose, like the promotion of a particular product or service, collecting information of prospective customers, SEO etc.
Landing pages are of two kinds:
- Click-through: these are meant to persuade visitors to click-through to another (landing) page.
- Lead: these are meant to capture data from users, like name, email, phone number etc.
The kind of landing page to be designed depends on the purpose of the page. These will become clear as we delve into the tips. Here we go!
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#01. Remove the main navigation
The internet is bombarded with “proofs” stating that the average human attention span has shrunk down to 8 seconds*. A few contradicting theories state that our attention span is evolving but in a selective manner^. Our brain chooses what to focus on and what to ignore.
For example, we can binge watch our favourite series for hours and hours but feel exhausted after only a few hours (or sometimes after a few minutes) of study or work.
So, the golden rule of a landing page is to shut all exits except from the inevitable exit on the browser. The only CTA on a landing page should lead to the conversion section. This can be a form or a link to the product page.
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#02. Include all critical elements
How would we know which elements are “critical”? To execute this step, first we need to understand the following:
- What is the purpose of the landing page?
- Who is it for?
- What are we offering?
- Why would visitors want to take action on the page?
- What action do we want the visitor to take?
Once our objectives are well-defined, it becomes easy to pave the way to implement them. For these, we need certain information and call to actions on the page. Here are the essential ones:
- A headline and (optional) sub-headline
- Brief description clearly emphasizing the offer
- Supporting image
- Form to capture visitor’s information
- Supporting elements like testimonials or badges (optional)
- Offer to lure visitors and capture their information (optional)
Now, although including incentives is optional, I would strongly suggest using at least one — one that people would find hard to refuse.
If you’re a well-established brand which people love, then maybe you won’t need much of an incentive but for those who are trying hard to set a strong foot in the market, at least one incentive becomes essential. This can be in the form of discounts, freebies (useful ones), lucky draw, and anything else that might attract your target audience. Be creative and know your customers very well!
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#03. Match the headline with the CTA
A very important question surrounding the birth of a landing page is:
Put in another way, from where will people land on your page?
The portkey to a landing page can be in different forms. It can be a Google ad or any other ad on multiple digital platforms, it can be a Google search result, it can be a link from a third party website or it can be a link on a page on your own website.
No matter what the source is, one thing that must be ensured is that the text on the ad or the link (the portkeys) conveys the same message as the heading on your landing page.
The idea is that when people click on an ad or a link, and are taken to a new page, they expect to find details about what they just read. Finding something new or something which does not offer what was promised will only disappoint them. They would want to leave your page.
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#04. Less is More
It is as simple as:
A landing page must contain only what is necessary. Redundant texts, images and too many call to actions only turn the whole place into a mess. When we are looking at too many different things, we get confused and fail to understand what to focus on.
Our goal is to guide the visitor to the offer first, empathise with him/her, take him/her to the CTA, and finally convince the visitor to take action.
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05. Emphasise the offer’s value
Highlight the value of the offer.
But keep your message short and crisp.
There would be hundreds of similar offers or maybe even better ones from your competitors. You must present yours in a way that people cannot refuse. One possible way might be including statistics on how your product or service can improve their work or lifestyle.
For example, you may say how product xyz can increase productivity by, say, 50%!
Give them a compelling incentive.
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06. Remember the F-shape
Human minds have a typical habit of looking at everything from the left. Be it a piece of text or a video, our focus tends to be the most on the left hand side of the frame, then at the top and then at the centre. The rest of the areas follow afterwards.
So, when at the first fold of your landing page, a visitor’s mind will start scanning it from the left. Unless you have something really really appealing on the right, s/he won’t look at it until the mind is done evaluating the left side.
So, it would be best to place your CTA on the left hand side of the page.
Well, there are always exceptions! The good news is that it’s not hard to manipulate the human mind, and tell it, “Hey, all the important stuff is on the right. So, shift your focus there.”
Using some light graphics on the left and a strong contrasting colour for the CTA on the right will divert the attention of the visitor towards the CTA.
Some of the biggest names including Microsoft, Uber, Lyft, Moz, Paypal, LinkedIn and Hubspot have produced successful landing pages which have CTA’s to the right.
So, as long as you can lure the mind to clicking the CTA, everything works!
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07. Encourage social sharing
Social media is the most effective way to spread the word. So, whenever you get the chance, encourage people to share your offer. If they love it, they would surely want to tell others about it (unless they are selfish and want to keep it all for themselves).
One thing which I like very much is the feature where you simply select any text, and a small icon for Twitter appears, enabling you to share your selection on the platform.
This screenshot is from InVision. See how they use multiple ways to enable sharing.
This text-selection procedure is primarily used for blogs. Although it may not be always applicable for landing pages, if you think your message has one or more important lines that can lure people in, go ahead!
Sharing via emails is still a popular option. So, do not miss it.
One more thing. While on desktops, please try to avoid that three-point share icon. Let the work be done in the minimum possible number of clicks.
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08. Only ask for information you really need
One thing on the web that always makes people cringe is sharing personal information. I’m one of them. While sharing my email ID, I’m always worried that I might be bombarded with emails with sales pitches, and in case any website requests my phone number, with a small red asterix beside it, I tend to run away!
But it is the duty of a landing page to collect information. That’s how one can connect with potential customers.
So, it is important that we request as little information as is utterly needed. For example, if you are selling digital services, then in order to get in touch, you won’t need more than the email ID and the query message from the site visitor. The person’s name can be optional.
If you need to contact the customer over a phone call, then requesting only the name and phone number will suffice.
More fields means more work to do, more information to share. Sounds scary, doesn’t it?
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09. Switch the CTA text from “Submit” to something more relevant
The word “submit” reminds me of submitting my answer sheets during an exam, submitting the college application form while standing in a long queue, submitting my resume hoping that the interview panel will give me a job.…well, all butterflies-in-the-stomach experiences.
No one likes to “submit”. It sounds like you are telling the site visitor that if s/he does not provide her/his information then you won’t consider her/him. “Submit” is not friendly. It’s slightly dominating.
Some examples may be “Yes, I’m in”, “Download your xyz”, “Send me your best deal” etc.
Think how you would like to be communicated with. Get creative with words. Microcopy plays an essential role in landing pages. Use it smartly.
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10. Reduce anxiety with proof elements
So, you have offered your best deal on your page, you have composed the most convincing message and have put up the perfect form. But how can people trust all these? How would they know that you and your offer are genuine?
This is where proof of trust becomes necessary.
Include genuine testimonials from your clients. It would be good to include the client’s name and the business name. This authenticates the testimonial.
If the form on your page requires sensitive information, use badges and certificates of trust.
Customer logos can help you to convince people that you have already worked with different brands and they can trust you.
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11. Make the form appear shorter
Filling up a form is monotonous. Filling up a long form is even more monotonous.
While we recommend having as small a form as possible, in case your page requires needs to collect lots of information, then try to avoid a vertically long form.
Split it into two columns. This will make the form appear shorter. You can also try aligning the titles to left to save space, i.e., put field title and input box side-by-side.
Now, what is better than a two-column form?
A form with smart fields!
Using smart fields means having fewer input boxes on the screen at a time, thus making the form look simple and easy to fill..
A bonus tip:
Include something like,
Even if you write “60 seconds”, it doesn’t sound like much of a time. The site visitor will be convinced that the form is indeed easy and quick to fill.
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12. Create more landing pages to generate more leads
If you have more than one offer to sell, create a landing page for each offer. Never try stuffing all your offers into one page. This only creates more confusion.
When you use different landing pages for your offers, you are targeting each sector of your audience separately.
It’s simple. The more content, the more offers, the more opportunities for leads.
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One important thing to remember:
Never stop at one formula for landing pages.
You never know what’s best for your audience. Keep experimenting. It will just get better with time.
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Got a landing page to build but not sure where to begin? We can help.