Creating a good landing page in the world of marketers is like finding the Holy Grail. Is there anything more important than getting new leads, preferably in wholesale quantities? But if the creation of a perfect landing page and form was as simple as it seemed, a recipe for a good design would have been made long ago and A/B tests would not be needed anymore.
The whole matter is rather complicated and users, sadly, are not so eager to share their contact data. Despite these problems, landing pages are still one of the best tools for obtaining leads. Research shows that 71% of marketers consider them to be among the most effective tools.
The quest for the perfect landing page is full of adventure so stick close to me and be ready to jump!
Let the journey begin – what is a landing page exactly?
Landing pages are not your regular full-version websites. They have just one key goal: to encourage visitors to take a very specific action. This requires impactful and carefully considered design and content. A well-prepared landing page clearly presents your company’s offer, arouses visitor interest and – most importantly – convinces them to share information about themselves. Remember that landing pages differ significantly from your home page. As Peep Laja puts it:
“You should never drive traffic from your promotional campaigns – whatever they are – onto your website’s home page. Home pages are usually cluttered with information, there are many possible actions a visitor can take, and the most important one might be missed.”
You can create landing pages for many different purposes. Take a look at these examples:
- As a sales page
- As a coming soon page
TIP: It’s a good idea to create a few landing pages for one company – each one for a different product, campaign, promotion, etc.
Marketer Jones and the Temple of Must-Have Elements
As I mentioned before, there is no one simple rule for creating landing pages that convert well.
However, there are some primary elements that should be included in every landing page. You’ll find them below with specific descriptions:
1. Header bar
The is the section located at the top of the page containing links to other parts of the landing page. Try to make it simple and spacious. Don’t put too many links here – it will look crowded and hard to navigate. It’s also a good idea to add a little graphic element – your logo:
Note that both companies added additional call to action buttons in the header section, making it easy for visitors to do what you want them to!
2. Headings (headlines)
A headline is the first thing the visitor sees after entering your page – and you know what they say about how many chances you get to make a first impression. The perfect heading copy should emphasize what the offer is all about. When writing it, remember to apply these tips:
- Write it clearly. Avoid too many metaphors and keep it as short as possible.
- Make it relevant to the offer that got them there. Don’t make your visitors bounce off the page by focusing on something else. If they’re looking for an e-book, for example, make the landing page all about the e-book.
- Be empathetic. Focus on the benefits users can get, show that you can solve their problem, etc.
- Implement some psychological tricks. Use numbers, trigger words, arouse curiosity or add a pinch of humor. I shared a few tips and examples in one of my previous blog posts about email subject lines.
- Support your heading by using a subheader, which will provide some extra information on your offer. It’s an important part of your landing page, especially if the prepared website is long. It will make your landing page easier to read and scan.
Don't be afraid to go bold with the header – make it eye-grabbing and vibrant.
Another way to get attention is to animate the heading, like Piktochart did.
3. Graphic elements
Graphic elements are an extremely important part of any landing page since they attract the attention of visitors. Visuals used should refer directly to the product, fit aesthetically into the entire landing page and be of high quality.
Also, remember the rules associated with brand building – make sure that each page is consistent with the design of other company materials.
The fewer fields the visitor has to fill out, the better. Decide what information you need and ask only the key questions that will let you obtain it.
TIP: Check how the form looks on the mobile version of the website, because it might require additional shortening there (small screen = additional restrictions).
Another idea to make it easier for clients to fill out forms is the inclusion of ready-made drop-down lists or checkboxes instead of fields that they would have to fill in manually.
If you decide to make a longer landing page, it's a good idea either to use a sticky form (it moves along as the user scrolls the page) or put multiple CTAs in different places on your page. Speaking of CTAs...
5. CTA button
Let’s start with the obvious and point out that visitors must notice your CTA and clearly understand what will happen after clicking on it. In order to achieve this, avoid jargon and use a practical language along with active verbs (such as download, buy or subscribe).
Make sure that your CTA is clear and action-oriented. Emphasize it by using contrasting colors and large buttons.
Another good idea is to put an additional assurance note above the CTA (if needed). You can emphasize, for example, that users do not have to pay for an e-book – the word “free” is one of those marketing magic words that work in most cases.
See the differences between a perfect CTA and an average one below:
TIP: Arrows and graphics inside the CTA are helpful – they grab attention and make it easier for readers to notice where to click.
Marketer Jones and Raiders of the Lost Additional Elements
The landing page elements discussed above are not the only ones that you can implement on your site. They are essential components of your Above the Fold section, the part of the website which is visible without the need to scroll.
Below you will find a short description of additional items that will help your site to convert even better:
1. Main copy
Body copy is the meat of the offer. When writing, focus on the customers – their problems, needs, and the benefits they’ll get from your product. Step out of the “we are awesome” box and try the language of benefits.
2. Items inspiring trust
Show that your product or service is worth the customer’s attention and money. To do this, you can use things like:
- Social proof
- Partner logo
There is nothing better than credibility indicators, such as testimonials. Let the visitor see how others, operating in the same business, have achieved success as a result of cooperation with your company.
3. Videos, images and more
There’s a reason we have the expression of a picture being worth a thousand words.
A properly chosen graphic or video can easily engage your customers and in less than no time show exactly what your company can give them. Let’s discuss it with an example:
Plated is a food company. Specifically, they provide recipes and ingredients that let you cook your own meals.
On their “cover page” you can see delicious food and a few icons emphasizing key points of their offer – a diversified menu, flexibility and customer happiness. This is also where they add some social proof and an invitation to become a part of the community that evaluates recipes.
Let's take a short look at another part of their landing page:
Remember that all of the elements (video materials, graphics) should be of good quality. Use them with care - do not overload the page and ensure consistency of subsequent elements (colors, style, etc.).
TIP: Speaking of colors - try to match them and the feelings that they evoke to the needs of your target group. Take a look at this cheat sheet prepared by CoSchedule:
Marketer Jones and the Kingdom of Latest Design Trends
When creating a landing page, it is worth familiarizing yourself with market trends. Of course, we do not encourage you to implement all of them at once (more than the minimum is too much, and it has nothing to do with transparency and minimalism).
Let's take a look at what will be popular in design in 2019:
1. Gradient backgrounds using two tones of one color
By using this kind of design, you can easily draw the attention of visitors. See how Whimsical did it.
2. White space
This allows you to maintain a visual hierarchy and emphasize key elements, like CTA buttons. Don’t be afraid to skim your content if necessary.
3. Zig-zag layout
Using this style, you make it easier for your clients to have a quick look through the page. Everything is clearly visible and easy to scan.
Below you can see an example by Teambit showing the use of white space and a zig-zag layout:
Marketer Jones and the Last Tips Crusade
Encourage the visitor to do more than just scroll and click the CTA button. Let them work and give them a real impact on the data obtained. How? Try adding some sliders to your landing page.
2. Be creative
Do you think that everything possible has already been implemented in the digital marketing business, especially when it comes to landing pages? Do you find lists and check boxes to be too obvious? See how Skoda escaped this monotony of readymade solutions with their test drive landing page:
The car manufacturer decided to make life easier for customers and instead of looking for a specific model on the drop-down list or entering car name manually in a dedicated field, the visitor has to click on the selected car photo.
3. Add some social sharing
Social sharing forms allow your visitors to look at your products from a completely different angle. They take up little space, improve visitor engagement and show them more content.
Already implemented everything you wanted, created your content and added high quality, relevant graphics? Well, you’re still not finished. Joseph Conrad once wrote that only those who do nothing make no mistakes, and this applies to landing pages, too. Save yourself unnecessary (and costly) mistakes and test your page:
- Using simple A/B tests. When choosing this option, you’ll test two elements against each other (for example two photos, two headlines or two CTA buttons in different colors). Once you choose the winning version you can test it against another element etc.;
- Using multivariate tests allows you to test few elements at the same time.
TIP: After testing, spend a few more minutes on checking something else – landing page loading time (you can do it using the Google PageSpeed tool). Even the best-designed website will not be profitable if it loads for too long, and by “too long” I mean literally seconds.
5. Remember to optimize for mobile
More and more people enter websites using their mobile phones. It is important to check what your landing page looks on those devices, whether forms work, call to action buttons are visible, and the graphics display properly.
TIP: You may need to reduce the number of form fields for the mobile version, depending on the length of the form on your site. As you can see, we limited our form to the most necessary fields so that it doesn’t discourage visitors from filling it all out.
Engaging content that speaks the language of benefits? Checked. Responsive web design? Checked. Transparent site composition? Checked. Clear CTA? Checked. A simple lead capture form? Checked.
Now you are ready to collect leads! All you have to do now is publish your landing page and wait for customer data to start rolling in. While your contact base is growing, you’ll find out more and more about the strong and weak points of your landing page and you’ll will be able to polish it to perfection.