Creating a landing page is never as easy as it seems. Usually Landing Pages is a very painful and continuous process of testing, repeating and testing again, tweaking left, right and center. If you are charged with the responsibility of pushing your company’s landing page creation, design, optimization and testing, you should already have noticed that there is just too much headache before everything clicks. When you are facing your boss and they tell you that the conversion rates are slim, low and everything negative… when it’s your career on the line because possible leads don’t seem to be converting, you understand that you have everything to fight for at that point.
Creating this landing pages guide for the best practices, design tips and optimization ideas is the closest we could come to helping you figure things out and turn those conversion rates around.
Best practices for creating the best landing pages
- The universal rules don’t work for landing pages because this is something that like a cog, doesn’t fit into every wheel. You have to customize your own and there are several things that work or won’t work, sometimes something as simple as a full stop instead of an exclamation mark could make a huge difference while other times a simple tweak of words in a sentence will propel your conversions to limitless possibilities.
Including an image on your landing page adds more visual appeal to the piece and even further does the work of paraphrasing to the visitors what your product is all about and why they should take your call-to-action seriously.
- Make your landing page from scratch since the ready-made ones are usually missing something, unchangeable or just shoddy. Despite the fact that creating your own from scratch might be a little expensive, it works better and gives you freedom to tweak as you please or as deems fit.
- Remove any sort of distractions and unnecessary navigation on the page to allow the visitors to focus on the main message of the landing page.
- When asking for personal information like email addresses it is important to assure the visitors that their email addresses will not be shared or used to send spam messages. Assurances like this also apply to phone numbers, addresses and any other personal information you might seek from your customers. Privacy statements in the current world of hacks and NSA spies will go a long way in making sure you get your conversions on the up.
Your call-to-action has to be moving enough to make the visitors click on it. If it won’t move them or compel them to do something then your conversions are going to be on the downside trend.
- Decreasing the number of questions you ask on your landing page will go a long way in making people not to bail out. Too many questions or requirements when filling a form just scares people away. A better way would be to have fewer requirements and allow the visitors to proceed to the next page without bailing out on you.
The branding of your landing page has to be similar to that of your company and website to make it easier for the visitors to recognize your brand faster. When they can quickly relate the landing page to something they know it will help in building your page’s credibility and getting better conversions.
- Don’t oversell. Overselling your product is just a disaster waiting to happen. People like honesty and that involves stating on your landing page what you are offering and why they should use you or your service. Attempts to overstate yourself or your product will work negatively in the long run since people will obviously tell others how much you promised yet how little you delivered. Just say it as it is. Nothing less, nothing more.
Design Tips for the best landing pages
a). Get straight to the point
There is nothing as time wasting as reading a whole lot of paragraphs when the point was so easy to see and could have been said in one short sentence or illustrated using a string of one, two or three illustrations. People who come to your landing page directly off Google or maybe through your Pay-per-click (PPC) campaign don’t have the time to read through all that blabber. They are looking for something and they know why they want it so any attempts at wasting their time will see them bounce off the page in a matter of seconds.
b). Colors should play the pull effect
There is a reasons colors exist. When used wisely they could sky-rocket your conversions. Using welcoming, warming or exciting colors works better than using dull or repulsive colors. For dull colors like blue, it’s easy to put some contrast into the page by adding an exciting color like Orange or Red in the mix. The secret to your color fiasco is to always stick to white and other two contrasting or complementary colors. As a designer, this has always been my color tip. However, if you want to do more color experiments, getting someone who knows how to mix up colors will help you get the one that works. Most of the time, as I mentioned in the best practices above, it is usually better to stick to the colors of your brand.
c). Place your logo
The logo is a very powerful aspect of any modern business. It helps in assuring your visitors that they are indeed at the right place. Stamping your logo on your landing page is as good as it comes to gaining cred on the internet. To be very honest, I personally would be very skeptical entering my personal information or purchasing something online from a landing page that lacks a logo on it. Again, this is a matter of letting the brand do the talking. While you don’t need to make a statement with your logo, just let it be somewhere strategic on the landing page however small it may be.
d). Bullet Points are critical
Instead of explaining what you’re offering in long paragraphs, use bullet points. When people are searching for things online they don’t read everything you write. Usually, they just skim through the page to see if it’s the right fit. At that rate then, using bullet points with short statements that are straight to the point will land you more customers than the opposite.
e). Above the fold
People don’t usually scroll through landing pages, if the information they want is not above the fold they will probably not bother to scroll further to find it unless there is a very good reason for them to do so. As a rule of thumb, keep all your bullet points, stats, call-to-action (CTA), and information above the fold such that they don’t have or need to scroll. However, if they must scroll, give them a good reason for that and they may just do it.
f). Appeal in 5 seconds or forever remain silent
There is a very disturbing fact about people. First impression. If the landing page doesn’t catch the eye of your visitors in the first 5 seconds consider those leads gone. That is why you have to test every possible appealing page to find the one that converts most visits. That will probably be the most appealing one.
The fastest way to gain credibility and trust on leads that haven’t used you before is to openly display your contact information which includes your email address, customer support contacts, social media proof, telephone and cell phone numbers among other things. When a customer knows that they can just call, tweet or email you in case of any problems with your service and get quick feedback and support, they are more likely to become converting visitors on that landing page.
Optimization ideas to get more conversions
i). Clear headlines
Headlines that are huge and clear are usually very inviting. Most times when I walk along the street and I pass by a newspaper joint, the thin line between me buying a paper or just not stopping at all is usually very dependent on the big headlines. Those make me stop and read on, then buy the paper. Same story goes for a landing page, huge headlines help in grabbing the attention of the visitor at which point they will read more about the offer then choose what to do next.
ii). Let the experience be consistent
From the pay-per-click ad to the landing page to the website if necessary, the experience needs to be great, elegant and consistent across the divide. Consistency shows discipline and if you are disciplined people will know that they can trust you with their money.
iii). Let everything on your page support your core value proposition
Everything from your written copy, stats, and landing page design should support your core value proposition. The best way to find out is to test, or sometimes just letting the page stay and look at it after a day or two usually works. Read and repeat until you find that there is nothing placed on your landing page that doesn’t fit there.
iv). Enable sharing
One of the best ways to let your landing page market itself hence gaining more visitors is by including sharing buttons on the page. Allowing people to share your page to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. will lead to more shares of your landing page to their friends and that will get you more views. While most of those views may not convert, some may get you very solid leads.
v). Ask only for the information you need
Don’t take your visitors through too many forms. Mostly, what you need online from your customers is usually their first and last names and an email address. If these aren’t enough for you be careful how much information you are asking your customers to provide because they will leave if it’s too much personal information they are giving away.
If there is more space on the page to throw in a testimonial or two, do it. Testimonials from other customers who have used your product are a good way to attract new customers who might be yearning for the same experience. Don’t invent fake testimonials and put images from image sharing sites. If you don’t have customers yet there are other things you can put there instead of adding fake customer testimonials.
In our next article we shall do a review of some of the best landing page creation services available where we shall look at LeadPages and Unbounce among other available services and platforms. Meanwhile checkout our previous article on the best landing page examples to implement on your online store.
Do you have anything to add to this article? Let us know in the comments section below.