You need to have an effective, persuasive, and high-converting landing page to achieve your goal, whether that is to get people to sign up for your email list, download your brochure, take your quiz or buy your product. A landing page is a powerful tool in your online success.
But creating landing pages that convert aren’t set in stone. There are no silver bullets, hard and fast rules for them. Often, a marketer needs to figure out the best way to present a landing page, and even test it out several times, before making the landing page a final one.
However, there are a few good guidelines on designing a landing page that converts – from coming up with a catchy headline, to writing an enticing copy to a crafting a persuasive call-to-action. If you value your landing pages and want to maximize their potential for conversion and improve your bottom line, then you need to know the best practices for landing pages that convert.
What is a landing page?
Before we head over to the anatomy and characteristics of a high converting landing page, it is essential first to define what it is a landing page and what purpose does it serve.
A landing page is an individual page or a standalone page where the conversion happens. The landing page typically offers a value proposition. When a user accepts the offer, the landing page captures his information through a lead capture form or an opt-in form.
You can think of a landing page as your business’ lead magnet. It is the very first point of contact where you try to talk to your potential customers and convert them into willing buyers. In short, this is the place where you open and close the deal.
Coming across a landing page usually goes like this: you click on an ad, and it leads you to a single page where it tries to sell you something, or offer you something of value, such as a free e-book. When you opt-in on the offer, you provide some details in exchange, typically, in the form of your email address. Most people create landing pages this way, but with different variations.
What makes a landing page a unique page and separate from your website pages is that it is that only page designed with the purpose of converting. You wouldn’t see any other pages inside so that the user only has two choices: sign up or get out. There are also no distractions, and the user’s sole focus is towards the offer or value proposition presented on the landing page.
How does a landing page work?
When a person comes to your landing page and feels compelled to take on the offer, an exchange takes place. For that person to access whatever it is that you’re offering, he needs to input his email address. Then when the marketer receives the person’s email address, he will deliver the offer to the user. The person believes that the offer is important and maybe the solution to his need or problem. Meanwhile, the marketer makes use of the person’s email for future marketing campaigns.
And then conversion happens. That person is converted from a mere visitor into a lead, and through the process of lead nurturing, you can further cater to your marketing campaigns so that your lead moves through your sales funnel, ultimately converting him into a paying customer.
A high converting landing page has this one thing to offer, and from the marketer’s point of view, that offer must be something very enticing that a user can’t refuse it. An effective and successful landing page prompts a user to complete a specific action.
Why do you need a landing page?
If you already have a website that does all the talking of what your business is all about, then why do you still need to have a landing page?
Well, a website is loaded with numerous information. You may have a page for sales displaying your products, another one for a blog, and then yet another one for an ‘about’ page. The user is bombarded with too much information. There’s so much distraction. If you wanted him to sign up for your newsletter, he might find himself scrolling through the blog posts and end up not signing up at all.
If you know how to create high converting landing pages, you get that user to do what you want him to do. You free him up from any noise and distraction so that his sole focus for that specific moment is whether or not to take up on your offer.
Here are the specific benefits of a landing page:
Those who aren’t fully aware of the landing pages’ potential to convert typically send their users to the website homepage, social media accounts, or email address. However, nothing converts better and quicker than well-crafted and specifically designed landing pages. Building landing pages that convert make your users do what you want them to do, so they don’t end up mindlessly scrolling through the homepage, trying to figure things out. On a landing page, the goal is very specific, making it easier to measure and nurture leads.
Provide you with data
How do you know old your users are, what their gender is, what their email addresses are, and what their problems are? Landing pages capture this type of data and more, so you can refine your strategies accordingly. Landing pages are very focused and targeted, and if a user opts into your offer, it’s because he believes you have something he needs. That user is inching his way into your sales funnel, and what better way to provide your customers with what they need than knowing exactly what they need? A landing page can generate such vital data for your business more than any other marketing tool there is.
It increases brand awareness
If you’re facing stiff competition in the business, you need to make sure that more and more people are becoming more aware of you and your brand. A landing page is another destination that further reinforces, establishes, and spreads brand awareness.
When you’re building a landing page that converts, you need to keep your brand in mind. It should carry the same elements as with your website so that when people end up on your landing page, they know that it’s about your business. Remember, most people are only confident doing transactions with a brand or business they already know. A well-designed landing page that reflects your business persona is another excellent opportunity to spread brand awareness.
Refine your marketing offers
Are you at a loss as to what you’re doing wrong? If you have high social media engagement, you have an effective SEO strategy in place, and people recognize your brand, then what is not working? Why aren’t people converting? Maybe because you have no or poor landing page.
When you create a new landing page, you also create a new set of data to capture, and with the metrics from your data, you’re able to uncover what works and what doesn’t. If you know where you’re good and bad at, you also have the opportunity to optimize your marketing offers so that it is easier to convert your visitors.
Expand your business’ email list
Having an extensive email list is an essential arsenal in digital marketing, but most people wouldn’t willingly give out their emails without knowing what’s in it for them. There needs to be some sort of an offer or value that a person feels so enticed about that he hands you his email address without apprehension.
A landing page lets you do this. Instead of asking around for people’s emails, you just need to create an effective landing page and think of an irresistible offer. When you get them to your page, they’ll typically have to hand in some personal details, such as name, email, and phone address to access your offer.
In many cases, landing pages also come with an opt-in form wherein that person consents you to send them newsletters, promotions, and other digital content right into his inbox. All of these give you the opportunity for lead generation and conversion.
How do you make a landing page that converts?
Now that you know what a landing page is and why it is important, it is now time to understand the characteristics of a landing page that converts. According to Neil Patel, a landing page that converts need to have the following characteristics:
C = Clear Call to Action
O = Offer
N = Narrow Focus
V = VIA: Very Important Attributes
E = Effective Headline
R = Resolution-Savvy Layout
T = Tidy Visuals
S = Social Proof
Neil Patel pretty much summed up what an effective landing page is with these abbreviations, but there’s so much more that goes beyond that. And the best place to start learning what makes a high converting landing page is by inspecting its elements one by one.
Elements of a High Converting Landing Page
A Persuasive Headline
The headline is where everything begins. It is your users’ first point of contact on the landing page. You need to create a convincing, killer headline so that the user is urged to read beyond, and not press the exit button.
If you create a compelling headline, it is easier to urge users to continue their journey on your landing page. They’re likely to read the copy, watch the video, and then click your CTA button. But if it’s an even more powerful headline, your user would rush to sign-up in the opt-in form. Either way, you want to create a compelling headline that holds people’s interest.
But what makes a fantastic headline?
First, the headline should be short and sweet. Try to write no more than 20 words for your headline. Don’t beat around the bush. The headline should readily capture the entire message of your landing page.
Second, it must address your audience’s pain points. It must be able to empathize with your audience’s problem.
Your headline should also readily inform what your brand or service is all about. People nowadays have a very short attention span, and if you can’t keep people interested in your headline for five seconds or less, then your headline is probably not as compelling as you thought. Your headline should tell your audience who you are, what you and what’s in it for them straight away.
Images are essential in designing a landing page that converts. Not only do images support the headline, but they also create visual focus and convey emotions. The human brain is believed to process imagery 60,000 times quicker than text, so pairing a powerful image with a compelling headline is a great way to convert!
You can’t afford to be complacent when it comes to selecting the right image for your landing page. The image should communicate what your brand believes in, your business culture and values. If your brand is well known for its humorous persona, then it doesn’t make sense to use an image that appears too stiff or serious.
Here are the top considerations when looking and choosing for images to use on your landing page:
- It is essential to use professional, high-quality images for your landing page. Poor images project a poor impression on your brand and may make the audience question your brand’s credibility.
- Use appealing, attractive images. Enticing images quickly capture your audience’s attention, pique interest, and urge your audience to act on your value proposition.
- Pick relevant images. Your image should connect with the rest of the elements of your landing page. It should make sense why such an image was there. Using a relevant image creates a smoother flow of ideas and allows for better user experience.
Clear offer/value proposition
If there’s a core element in a landing page, it would be the offer or your value proposition. This element answers the audience’s question: “what’s in it for me?” Your audience needs to know what they’ll get in return for opting into your offer, and that should be communicated clearly and effectively on the landing page.
Put it this way: your offer, value proposition, or unique selling proposition is what sets you apart from the competition. There may be other companies that operate in the same niche or industry, but what is it that you have to offer that your competition doesn’t or can’t? The answer to that question is your value proposition.
Creating a winning value proposition needs some creativity. It needs to address the potential objections (even before the audience could object) and must state clearly the benefits of opting into your offer. In some cases, the offer is already stated in the headline and sub-headline of the landing page. But if you need more space to explain what your offer is all about, then have a dedicated section for that.
Keep these things in mind when writing a value proposition:
- State the relevance of your offer – your audience should know how they can benefit from your offer. It should readily address your audience’s pain points.
- Unique offer – you should tell your audience why your offer is better than your competitors.
- Clarity – it should be clear to the audience what you’re offering. They shouldn’t have to guess what’s in it for them.
Because the value proposition holds so much weight and significance on your landing page, it pays to spend some time carefully putting it into words that your audience will grasp and understand clearly and quickly. They should be able to picture themselves on how using your product or service will help with their problems.
Write a Compelling Body Copy
Writing the body copy of the landing page can be the trickiest part to do because it is where you try to reinforce your promise on your headlines. The goal of writing the body copy should be to hook your audience up on the landing page until they get down to the call-to-action.
You’ll have to be good at copywriting and marketing to come up with a landing page that converts. But apart from that, you have to remember a couple of things as well, such as:
- Keeping the sentences at an optimal length. Your copy should neither be too short that it lacks information, or too long that it gets dull and boring. Use your sound judgment when determining the best length of your sentences. Just make sure to get your message across.
- Highlight the benefits. Your audience must understand the benefits of your value proposition. They may not care right away that you are brand XYZ or company ABC, as long as you promise to solve their problems. The benefits should come first.
- Keep it simple. Avoid making your copy sound complicated. People don’t want to waste time trying to figure out what you meant to say, so say what you mean right away. In most cases, landing page copy that’s written in simple ways are those that convert the most.
- Keep the human in mind. Don’t make your copy sound robotic. Your customers are humans, and it is them who you write for. Keep your sentences short and straightforward, and choice of words basic. But don’t skimp on the emotions. Choose words that powerfully convey the emotion of your copy.
Include Social Proof
So, you’ve made claims and promises on your landing page, what would it take for your audience to believe that those statements are correct and valid? Social proof.
Social proof validates your claims. Having social proof on your landing page tells your audience others have found your products/services beneficial and helpful to their problems. With such validity, you’re able to strengthen your value proposition and make your landing page overall compelling.
It’s a given that you believe in your offer with all your heart, but it takes some social proof to convince people, so your copy doesn’t come off as self-serving.
Where should social proof come from?
- Testimonials from past and current customers. If customers have left positive feedback on your products/services, make sure to include them on your landing page. You don’t have to include the entire testimonial, but you can handpick one or two sentences that sum up the benefits of your offer to them.
- Features from publications. Mentions from high-profile publications will make your claims sound more compelling and valid.
- Endorsements from influencers. Have an influence review your value proposition by offering it for free. Influencers often have a considerable following, and it’s easier for people to trust your offer if it’s been endorsed by someone respected in your industry.
- Affiliations and organizations. If you’re a member of a regulated organization such as the Better Business Bureau, display your badge on the landing page. It tells people that you’re an established business.
Call to action (CTA)
The call to action or CTA is what you want your audience to act on. Your CTA may be to get the audience to subscribe to your newsletter, sign up in your email list, try your product for free, join a free webinar, download your whitepaper or brochure, and so on. Different businesses have different landing pages, and their CTAs may vary accordingly.
The CTA button is typically placed at the end of the copy. It was created to guide the reader about what he should do next. The CTA must make the reader act on your offer. By placing the CTA at the bottom of the page, you are warming up the reader on what your offer is all about and how he might benefit from it. The CTA is also typically isolated from the rest of the landing page’s elements so that the reader knows that it’s a button and he should click on it.
It’s essential to design a CTA that converts. To help you achieve that goal, keep these tips in mind when creating the landing page’s CTA:
- Make it distinct. The reader’s eyes must hover to the CTA button right away. The CTA must not blend in with the rest of the copy; it has to stand out. Consider using contrasting colors on your CTA button to make sure it captures the reader’s attention instantly.
- Use action-oriented words. Given that most people have a short attention span, your landing page must tell your audience quickly what you want them to do, and a compelling CTA helps you do just that. Action-oriented words tell your audience what they need to do next, so keep things simple and straightforward, such as “Download Now” “Join Free Webinar” or “Sign Up Now”
- Give the CTA button more white space. Don’t cramp all the other elements of the landing page near the CTA button. Giving the button a lot of white space naturally draws the reader’s attention towards it quickly.
What Makes A High Converting Landing Page: The Best Practices
Now that you know the elements of and how to make a high converting landing page, now you have to learn about the important best practices for landing pages that convert.
Include visual indicators
The best converting landing pages use cues that direct the eyes to where you want them to see. For instance, you can use arrows to guide the eyes towards the CTA button or use images where the person’s eyes are looking towards the CTA button. These cues bring your readers’ attention towards the CTA button so they know what they’re expected to do.
It should stand alone
The landing page shouldn’t have any other linked pages, navigation menu or additional CTA buttons. You have one focus here, and adding other links or pages divert readers’ attention away from that goal. Make sure that there’s no other way to go to and from the landing page so that the reader could decide between opting in or not.
Employ the scarcity technique
Make your readers realize that they will miss out a lot if they don’t take into your offer. Consider adding phrases like “limited time only” so that your audience feels the urgency to opt-in.
If you don’t get the landing page right on the first try, then make some tweaks then test it out again. What makes a landing page convert well needs some trial and error.
Sometimes, a change of color or font can make all the difference, but other times, you need to improve the headline, re-design the CTA button or even modify the layout. Testing is important in analyzing what works and what doesn’t on your landing page.
Top converting landing pages require work and study. It’s quite a try-and-error, but once you get it right, you’ll see to start conversions improving and your business growing.