A good landing page is the best way to boost your company’s conversion rate. It does this by directing your visitors’ attention to the exact option you are looking to promote. Unlike full websites, which are often intricate multi-page sites, a landing page is a one-page site that says exactly what it needs to say and nothing more.
The benefit with a direct one-page message is that fewer visitors get lost along the way. When you send visitors to your site from online ads it makes sense for them to land right on the offer that the ads are promoting. Unfortunately, many websites are not built to contain a company’s latest offer on its front page. This means new visitors are more likely to bounce off the site and look elsewhere.
A good landing page drives down bounce rates. If you drive down your site’s bounce rate you are going to see your cost per click and cost per customer rates fall dramatically. Let’s get into the why’s and how’s of a good landing page and provide you with the knowledge you need to design the perfect one-pager for your business.
#1. Establish The Goal of the Page
If the goal of your landing page is to sell the offer you are promoting in your ads then that is what you need to do. If your ad promotes a new yearly subscription offer, that offer needs to be front and center on your landing page. The goal is to have people sign up for the offer, so make that as easy as possible.
It is a good idea to set yourself conversion targets to see how your page is performing. If a page is not performing to the levels you had hoped you can try tweaking it. Usually, it is a case of simplifying the sign-up process or making your offer more explicit. Which brings us to our next step…
#2. Create a Clear Call-to-Action
Call to action buttons should be strategically placed throughout your landing page. This simple request to “Sign-up Now”, or “Get your Free Subscription” is the real reason you have driven traffic to this page. It is the action you want every visitor to take; the offer you are promoting.
One key thing to note here is that the offer on your landing page needs to accurately correspond with the offer on your google or facebook ad. Any noticeable discrepancies between these two elements in your flow will result in some form of penalty and possibly a complete shutdown of your ads.
It is a good idea to have at least two CTA’s on a page and position them where they are easy to see and easy to click. Being creative is a good idea as long as it does not affect the clarity of the message. You could use a different font or bring in a design element to draw the eye to the CTA and make people want to click there.
#3. Keep it Simple Part I: Landing Page Layout
Remember, the whole reason you are designing a landing page is that you need something simple and effective. If you get too caught up in how it looks and feels, and what information it carries, you are missing the point. This is a simple one-page site that brings people to a very specific offer, you do not need to make it too complicated. Over-complication is dangerous because it can confuse the visitor and lead to the dreaded bounce.
Clean and obvious design with simplistic navigation and nothing superfluous is what you should be aiming for. Try and make a landing page so straightforward that the visitor literally cannot do anything but click the CTA. This is about driving up conversions based on your offer, not about showing off your technical skill. If you are a proud designer then worry not, a clean and simple design is just as worthy as an overblown website with a thousand features.
#4. Keep it Simple Part II: Landing Page Copy
Take what we have just said about the page layout and do the same with your copy: keep it simple. Copywriters often wax lyrical and drive up word count with complicated verbiage that isn’t necessary. A landing page is really not the place for this. On the one hand, you want to stick to the point, on the other, you are trying not to distract the visitor in any way. All this points to simple copy being the way forward.
You have your call to action, and several benefits to remind the visitor exactly why this is a great idea, that’s it. Try to think of your copy as supporting that call to action at all times. Sometimes you will write a line that sounds very good, the trouble is, that line does not help people click the CTA. When editing your copy keep that in mind, if it isn’t supporting the CTA in a very obvious way then it needs to go. On a one-pager, you just don’t have the time, space, or need for extra fluff.
#5. Keep it Simple Part III: Landing Page Forms
A landing page is not the place to be extracting customer details. There is always a time and a place for knowing your customer and finding out useful contact information for future offers, a landing page isn’t that time or place. Stick to the game plan and get people to click that CTA. One way you can do this is by keeping your forms as short as possible.
It has been proven that forms that ask for more details tend to lose customers. Get the details you need and nothing more, if you don’t need a telephone number or date of birth to complete the conversion don’t ask for it. It’s a catch 22, although these details can be useful in the future, there might not be a future if you try and take too many details on a first visit. Name and email address is the way to go, this simplified form is the proven method for getting the conversions and CTA clicks you are after.
#6. Keep it Simple Part IV: Design Elements
How can you use design elements to support your CTA, and drive conversion? As with the copy, page layout, and forms, this is about simplicity and efficiency. Use your design skills to promote the CTA, don’t use the landing page as an excuse to show your design skills. Getting your header right and placing your CTA in an easy to find location above the fold are some obvious steps to take.
Otherwise, you might want to make use of trust symbols and alluring imagery but keep in mind that simplicity is the way forward. A good piece of advice is to be minimalistic with the images and make use of larger fonts. This helps to direct the reader’s eye towards the CTA. If you can keep close to the look and feel of the company’s main website and email you should do this because familiarity goes a long way to make the visitor feel comfortable on the page.
#7. Test Your Page Out
So far we have laid down some foundational principles for making a good landing page. However, these are just the rules and there are always exceptions to the rules. Some elements of our template might not be quite right for your particular landing page. Perhaps you need more complex copy, or maybe you really do have to get as many details as possible from your sign up process. This is fine, as long as it increases the conversion rate on your page, then it is the right thing to do.
A/B testing is a reliable way to measure the effectiveness of your landing page. You can test everything from CTA’s and headings to button location and word count. If you suspect something is dragging down your conversion rate put it to the test and make the necessary adjustments. Rules are there to be broken.
#8. Make Your Page Mobile Friendly
Almost 35% of all web activity takes place on mobile devices. What does that mean? It means your landing page needs to be mobile-friendly or you risk alienating 35% of your visitors. Some studies have even shown a conversion rate is twice as good on mobile-friendly sites than the alternative.
Take the time and effort to have a landing page that works great for all mobile devices. This means simple and smooth site navigation, rapid loading times, and very fast and obvious CTA’s. If you keep to the principles of simplicity that we have been advising then this should be a simple task. A simple landing page with efficient use of design is easily converted or adapted for mobile use.
#9. Optimize Your Landing Page
Optimizing your landing page is a task that is never really complete. The reason is that very subtle changes to your page can result in unexpectedly high boosts in conversion rates.
Adjustments such as changing a headline or adding a new image can help to improve your SEO rate. You could also try changing the size of the CTA button, or using a different font. The main thing is to stay vigilant and keep working on your SEO performance.
Landing pages are your opportunity to convert clicks into customers and make the most out of all your advertising expenditure. Keeping things simple is the way to go but this can’t be done at the expense of relevant information. You have to strike a balance between minimalism and accuracy to keep your visitors well informed and feeling secure.
Once you have designed a page, don’t leave it to rot, keep checking on its progress, put it through testing, and tweak its optimization. Before long you will hit upon the formula that makes the most out of your page, offer, and advertising budget.