Landing Page Best Practices
A landing page is a stand-alone web page that visitors arrive at or “land” on, usually via hyperlink on another web page, in an email message or in search results. Landing pages are most often designed either to introduce a product or service and entice the visitor to click-through to learn more, or to capture contact information for future marketing initiatives (lead generation). Landing pages can be highly effective tools for focusing visitor attention and encouraging visitors to take the next step toward becoming a customer or client.
It’s all about conversion…
“Conversion” is the act of converting a website visitor into a lead, potential customer, or new client: clicking through to learn more about a particular product or service; submitting a form that includes their contact information; following a social networking account, etc. Conversion is priority #1 for any landing page, and conversion can be encouraged by considering the following three elements during design and development of your landing page:
- Intuitive design & a positive user experience
- Concise & compelling copy
- A clear & tempting call-to-action (CTA)
The following are some best practices for each.
Intuitive design & a positive user experience
The design, user-friendliness and overall user experience (UX) of your landing page will have a huge impact on conversion rates and overall success.
Design the landing page to be logical and intuitive — There should be zero room for confusion or misinterpretation. Through design flow and guidance, visitors should know immediately and exactly how to take the next step.
Create a positive user experience — Make sure the page loads quickly, be sure it’s mobile-friendly, provide content that’s accessible to users with disabilities. Make the experience easy and pleasant to encourage conversion.
Use contrasting colours — Contrasting colours for text, imagery and buttons vs. background will make them easier to notice, read, interpret and act on. Don’t put red text on a blue background, or a light grey button on a white background. Use contrasting and complementary colours to make your message obvious.
Exclude navigation and menus — Keep your website’s branding in terms of style and colour scheme, but exclude the main navigation and menu items. The only way off of your landing page should be conversion. Of course visitors can click the ‘back’ button, but if your landing page is enticing enough, visitors will be more likely to convert before moving on.
Consider incorporating video — Video can be compelling and it can deliver messaging sometimes more quickly than written copy. Plus, video on landing pages has been shown to improve conversion rates. Just be sure your video is professional, short, and mobile-friendly.
Use A/B testing — Create a few design mock-ups of your landing page, get a focus group together, then test them out. A pool of potential customers/clients might provide you with the best possible feedback.
Show contact information — Consider publishing your contact information – your address and phone number and email address – on the landing page. This may inspire confidence and reassure potential customers that your business is real, local, and willing to interact on a human level.
Consider your traffic source and user type — Keep in mind where you expect the web traffic to be coming from, and design for your target audience. For example, your landing page design (colours, font, photography, graphics, etc.) might be different for a project management software trial vs. a new online dating platform.
Concise & compelling copy
The copy you use on your landing page is equally as important as the design when it comes to conversion. The language and tone you use will greatly influence potential customers and clients.
Use a large-font, straightforward headline — Be sure that visitors understand instantaneously what message you’re communicating. While design usually has an unconscious effect on conversion, your copy is what resonates and makes a meaningful impression. A big-font, straightforward headline will communicate your offering quickly and encourage visitors to keep reading and convert.
Write concise copy — Craft your web copy for the visitor, not for the company. Messaging can become cloudy when you’re trying to appease internal stakeholders. Keep the potential customers and clients in mind, and communicate with them. Tell them exactly what they need to know and understand to make informed choices. Use bullet points to encourage reading.
Avoid jargon at all costs — Nobody likes it, nobody reads it, and it makes a negative impression on potential customers and clients. All copy on your landing page needs to be informative and meaningful.
Consider sharing testimonials — Sharing existing customer/client testimonials can add a level of authenticity to your landing page, especially if you have permission to share the names of the people and companies that have provided them.
A clear & tempting call-to-action (CTA)
Your call-to-action (CTA) is going to be brief, but crafting it still requires a good deal of thought. It’ll be your last opportunity to encourage conversion. The words and colours and graphics that you use will depend on your business and your offering. Just be sure it’s attractive, clear and tempting.
Provide clear instructions — Tell visitors exactly what they need to do and why they need to do it. For example, if you’re using a button to encourage click-through: START YOUR FREE TRIAL; WATCH THE DEMO; DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE E-BOOK. If you’re trying to encourage a visitor to fill out and submit an online form: SUBMIT THIS FORM TO START YOUR FREE TRIAL; SUBMIT THE FORM BELOW AND WE’LL CONTACT YOU WITHIN 24 HOURS.
Make the CTA attractively obvious — If your landing page is designed to encourage click-through, use a big button with concise, compelling copy and contrasted, complementary colours. (Apparently red buttons attract more attention and get more clicks, and the old “red means stop, green means go” theory is completely wrong).
Try to keep your CTA above “the fold” — Web users can be fickle, and keeping your CTA above the fold (visible without scrolling down) will encourage conversion. Of course this is a difficult stipulation given the wide variety of mobile devices and their screen sizes, but it’s still a best practice considering your average desktop/laptop resolution. Make it as easy as possible for your visitors to convert.
Keep your forms as short as possible — If your landing page is designed for lead generation, make your form as short as possible. Longer, more detailed forms can certainly help you qualify serious leads, but try to strike a balance. Understand that the longer the form is, the less likely visitors will complete and submit it. Only ask for necessary, relevant information.
Create compelling landing pages that grow your business
Landing pages can be awesome tools for generating leads and attracting new customers and clients. They can be more effective than your homepage because they focus attention and prioritize conversion. Design your landing page to be intuitive and offer an exceptional user experience. Use concise and compelling copy, with zero jargon. And make your call-to-action clear and tempting. Then watch your analytics and learn what works and what doesn’t work for your target audience.
We at Starshot create awesome landing pages for our clients on a daily basis. Contact us to get started.