12 Tips to Designing Effective Landing Pages
Landing pages have been receiving a lot of flack in the web design industry as of late, and for good reason. Too many companies are creating landing pages for the wrong reasons. A effective well designed landing page should be used as a gateway to your website from a specific source, like a Pay-Per-Click advertisement, banner ad campaign, eblasts or a page that follows a call-to-action button from a web page or serve as the homepage.
The purpose of a landing page or destination page, is to provide a visitor with highly specific content and should result in the visitor completing a clearly defined task. Whether it’s signing up for a membership, booking a service or purchasing a product, a well-designed landing page can help you boost conversion rates on your company website. For that reason, destination pages are very important elements of a great website and must be part of a business’s digital marketing strategy.
Things to Consider When Building an Effective Landing Page
You should consider two major factors when integrating a landing page into your website design plan. These include the source and specificity of the traffic being driven to the page, and the nature of the product or service that is being sold.
As mentioned above, a destination web page is most successful when used in partnership with a very specific traffic source. If you send highly specified traffic to your homepage that usually covers different products or service offerings, chances are good these potential customers will become distracted or confused. They could have trouble finding your offer, or they might see something else of interest and click away before completing the action that you were intending.
Here are 12 tips for building a great landing page:
1. Compose Clear and Concise Headline Offering and Subheading
Make the purpose of your landing page clear in both the offer that leads to the page and on the page itself. Your headline is the first thing the website visitor will read, it needs to be to be well- written, concise and must clearly communicate what your web page is offering. The supporting subheading can also further explain the offering. Here are some ideas you can follow:
- Provide features and benefits
- Outline a problem, then provide a solution
- Use a question instead of a statement
2. Keep your Page Content Clear and Legible
Great landing web pages should only focus on one specific product or service offering. Some say to keep the content short however from an SEO standpoint, the landing page should have between 500-1000 words of text for it to be optimized if you want it to rank organically. In the above the fold area, we recommend getting to the point quickly and clearly with a great graphic or video. Then provide the other content in easy-to-read chunks to help convert that visitor as they scroll.
3. Use Graphical Imagery to Promote the Offering
Always include eye catching graphics, videos, icons and/or photos to showcase what the visitor will experience if they use your product or services, on your website landing page design. People don’t read every word of content on a website, but they will skim the headings and look at the imagery and if this appeals to them, they will continue to read the rest of the content. Visual graphics and videos help break up the chunks of text so its easier to read and remember. Videos help clarify your offer and can motivate a visitor to act.
4. Provide Social Proof for Credibility
Social proof refers to any attestation from clients that have used your product or service offering and got value from it. The most popular form of social proof includes client reviews, testimonials, and product reviews. Other creative ways to show evidence of your product or service offering could include adding logos of brands you’ve worked with, case studies, photo galleries, social shares, number of downloads, statistics, etc. Social proofs will enhance the credibility of your offering and will improve conversion.
Make sure to include reviews to your landing page.
5. Include a Call to Action
The most important element for an effective website landing page is having a call to action (CTA) that encourages conversion. A CTA is a section on the website that has a strong headline, short sentence and a button with an action verb that guides the website visitor to take a desired action. The call to action must stand out. Design the CTA to have bold colours that contrasts with the other elements on that website page. Make sure to be clear about what you want the website visitor to do, the button should spell it out, such as “Buy Now”, “Get a Quote”, “Download”, or “Learn More”.
6. Short Forms – Less is Better
Collecting customer data when someone visits a website is a good marketing practice, but not when it comes to effective landing page design. Less is more. If the call to action is to complete an online form, keep it short and sweet, only ask for the essentials. If you ask for too much information, the less chances the visitor will complete the form. If the purpose of the landing page is to make an online purchase but the site visitor must register for a new account, then there’s a very small likelihood the sale will be made. Consider allowing people to shop online without having to setup an account.
7. Remove Distracting Navigation
The main goal of all landing pages is to generate leads. Consider not including any competing links and navigation to other web pages so the main attraction is your call to action. You want the visitor’s undivided attention so you can guide them where you’d like them to go, such as to a lead form, or to make a purchase. Landing pages are designed for conversion, so no distractions please.
8. The Landing Page Offer Must Match the Ad Offer
Make sure your headline offer is in line with whatever offer the visitors clicked on to hit that landing page. The message on the external content’s call to action should match the message in the headline on your that destination page. This will make the page much more effective. Those repeated key phrases will reassure your website visitors that they are in the right place. Need help judging the effectiveness of your page? Check your analytics – a poorly performing page will have a high bounce rate. So, make sure to match the visitor’s needs closely and you will reap the benefits of conversion and generated leads or sales.
9. Ensure the Landing Page is Responsive
As mentioned in many of our other web design articles, always make sure your website and its landing pages are fully responsive, so they are tablet and mobile friendly. More than half of website traffic comes from mobile devices so make sure the user experience should be the same regardless of the device the visitors are using. The landing page content and call to action must be visible on all devices and different screen sizes to ensure every visitor has the opportunity to convert.
10. Search Engine Optimization
You might be directing visitors to your destination web page via search engine marketing ads, social posts or eblasts, but your page could also be found via search engine keyword searches. For this to happen, your website and any of the landing pages must be search engine friendly. To optimize your web pages for search engines you must ensure the web page loads quickly so avoid inserting large files and bulky images, too much animation and always use clean code on the website.
Page load time affects visitor reactions, as well as search engine rankings. The content on your landing pages and digital ads must also include keywords so that when someone searches for those keywords or phrases, they can find your website destination page on Google or Bing.
11. Always Say Thank You
Once a person does the desired action such as complete an online form or make a purchase, make sure the next step is a thank you page. The landing page thank you page could include a nice thank you message to show your appreciation for their time and business, along with an offering, such as the online purchase receipt, a product download or white paper.
12. Don’t Forget to Test
The best landing page design is the one that converts the most customers. It’s important that you constantly test every page that you publish on your website to ensure that it is working properly and providing users with the right information. One of the best ways to test the landing page design is to create two different copies of the same offer and analyze how each performs with users. The page that produces the most conversions is the most effective and should be used for your campaign. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, so don’t be afraid to tweak and test new versions of your destination web page designs.
At ZOO Media Group, we are passionate about helping businesses create strong brands and amazing custom websites and landing pages that generate leads and revenue. Our creative writers, web designers and skilled website developers have the technical expertise and eye for design to make your website destination pages effective and engaging sales tools. For help developing your next website project, contact ZOO Media Group at 519.474.9774.