Landing pages are critical to the success of an online marketing campaign. Whether you are driving traffic via search engines (people get to you by searching for relevant business keywords) or through social platforms like Facebook, the landing page is your main conversion point. Landing Pages can also be considered the foundation of your relationship with your potential customers and the first place where you can determine them to take action, so you’ll need to give it your best.
What Is a Landing Page and Why Is It so Critical?
If you search online, you’ll find many different definitions of a landing page.
We are defining a landing page as a web page designed specifically for conversion. Landing pages are usually created for a marketing campaign.
Here are some other names for a landing page that you may be familiar with :
- Capture page
- Lead magnet page
- Squeeze page
- Splash page
Landing Page vs. Web Page
You may be wondering how a landing page is different from other website pages. Aren’t all the pages on your website landing pages? The answer would be no.
The purpose of a landing page is usually singular: its main goal is to drive visitors to take a specific action. Whether it be downloading an eBook, providing information in a capture form, signing up for a preview call, or making a purchase.
In contrast, most web pages are informational and directional in design. For example, your homepage likely has many links pointing to different pages on the website.
On the other hand, landing pages are built to lead to a specific action, hence the higher conversion rate.
Important Elements of a Landing Page for Best Practices
When designing a new landing page, there are some elements that are essential to its success. Here are just a few.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
The unique selling proposition is the differentiator between you and your competitors. It’s the reason why a visitor should choose you and your product over anyone else. This is important to a landing page as it is designed specifically for conversion; a USP needs to be communicated clearly on the landing page so that visitors understand why they should take action and why they should take it now.
Headlines were a critical part of marketing and copywriting well before internet marketing became a thing.
Headlines are usually the first thing visitors will see on your landing page, so they should be designed to capture attention and to intrigue enough that visitors want to continue reading.
Visuals, Colors, and Layout
Words aren’t the only thing important on a landing page: visuals, colors, and layout will all impact its conversion rate.
While a headline may be the first thing a visitor notices, images and colors provide the emotion of the page. So even before a user reads a headline, the visuals on the page have already communicated a feeling.
Because a landing page is focused on a single CTA (call-to-action), it’s important to keep the layout as simple as possible so that information can be absorbed quickly, and the visitor understands and is easily able to take the desired action.
CTA and Offer Details
The call-to-action (CTA) must be clear and easy to understand. A landing page with multiple CTAs can be confusing and have lower conversion rates.
Here are some tips for a strong call-to-action:
- Use your layout, colors, and visuals as cues to lead visitors to the CTA. For example, use an image of a person looking towards your CTA.
- Use a CTA at the top and bottom of the landing page. Having a CTA at the top of a page is referred to as “above the fold”, which dates back to print advertising. While users don’t fold webpages, they do scroll, so you want the CTA to be visible immediately without scrolling. If a visitor is engaged and scrolls to the bottom of the page, you don’t want them to have to scroll back up to take action.
- Use clear language when describing your call-to-action and make sure the phrases are consistent with the action you want them to take.
Page speed is something that most marketers don’t think about for landing pages. However, page speed is really important for user experience. If your landing page takes more than a couple of seconds to load, users are more likely to bounce it.
Google has a wonderful tool called PageSpeed Insights that gives you information about what is impacting the speed of your pages and also tells you how to optimize them.
If you use PageSpeed Insights and you find that your landing pages are still loading slowly, you may need to upgrade your hosting.
If your landing pages are running on shared hosting, consider upgrading to the scalable resources of VPS hosting.
There are different ways and multiple tools to track behavior on a landing page. Google Analytics will provide information on the number of users, sessions, bounce rate, session duration, and conversions.
Google Tag Manager allows you to tag certain elements on a page. For instance, you may want to track someone clicking on a specific link.
Heat maps are another way to track user behavior and are great at visually displaying what parts of the page are receiving the most attention. Look into analytics tools in order to better understand what changes you need to make to your landing page.
Tips for Creating an Effective Landing Page
Building an effective landing page might require some effort, but we’ve got you covered with some additional tips. Take these into account and build a successful landing page for your online business.
The Big Idea
We’ve talked a lot about landing pages and the importance of having a singular focus. This doesn’t just apply to your CTA, it also applies to the main message of the page. What this essentially means is that instead of trying to communicate all the wonderful things your product or service can do, choose just one. Uber is great at focusing on one thing: creating income on your own time. There are a lot of different messages Uber could use to attract new drivers, but they focus on one big idea.
The landing page is a critical component of the conversion process, but one of the things to consider is the messaging the user sees before arriving on the landing page. Make sure that the message appearing at the top of your landing page is consistent with the ad or email that brought visitors to it.
If your ad is asking users to click through to the page to download an eBook and, upon arriving on the landing page, you ask for a phone number, this will create confusion. So, keep your messaging consistent and make sure there is continuity through the campaign.
The term “social proof” popularized by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence, is a concept wherein people are influenced by other people’s actions. Landing pages typically display forms of social proof like testimonials, case studies, so make sure you add these to your page.
Testing Landing Pages
Almost each of the critical elements mentioned above can be split tested and, as long as you always keep in mind your KPI’s, testing these critical elements over the life of the campaign will almost always improve ROI.
Examples of High Converting Landing Pages
It’s not easy to create highly converting landing pages, especially when you don’t have a lot of experience. To make things easier, we’ve rounded up a few examples for you. Check at what they did right, and apply it to your own landing pages.
This is a great example of communicating concisely a lot of information. Shopify is using all of the critical elements of a landing page but manages to keep the page clean and simple.
Things that stand out on the page include:
- Clear CTA: Start your free 14-day trial;
- Simple but compelling headline: Create Your Store Today with Shopify;
- Strong use of social proof: The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, 150,000 stores run Shopify.
Groupon built its business on great offers and strong landing pages. The Groupon homepage welcomes all visitors with a pop-up acting as the landing page. What works on the landing page:
- The offer is location-specific (based on the visitor’s location)
- One clear CTA, which is asking for an email address
- Compelling headline: Save up to 70% on 1000s of awesome Phoenix deals
This is a good example of a great landing page: with one glance, visitors know what’s on offer, what needs the product will solve, and what to do next: need extra cash, but already on a tight schedule? Define your own schedule and drive on your own time to earn the amount of cash you need.
What stands out about the page:
- Good use of imagery. Uber uses a photo to show the action the person will be doing in the future.
- CTA is above the fold and the contrasting color of the button is used to draw attention.
- The layout is simple and helps communicate the big idea, which is to earn money on your own terms.
Landing Pages Drive Conversions
Landing pages can make the difference between a successful campaign and one that fails. Always remember to keep things simple, focus on one big idea, and have a single CTA. At the end of the day, by following best practices and A/B testing your landing pages, you’ll start seeing your LP drive more and more conversions!