A Guide to Improving Landing Pages
Your offering is clear. Your site is live. Your PR and ad campaigns are in full swing. You’re actively monitoring sales and subscriptions. But you’re not seeing the results you were hoping to see, and conversions are not growing fast enough.
Have you thought of optimizing your site’s key pages in order to increase retention and achieve a healthier conversion rate?
For example, when a visitor clicks one of your ads, are they directed to a page that was built as an extension of that particular ad? That’s the idea behind landing pages. You probably already have some on your site. But are you sure they’re as impactful as they could be?
In the following post, we’ll try to help you master the delicate art of landing page creation, by answering three key questions:
- When should you build a landing page?
- What is a working landing page strategy?
- How do you guarantee the success of your landing pages?
Let’s get started!
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page (or destination page) is a web page that is intended to be part of a marketing or ad campaign.
Its purpose is to encourage visitors who click on the link to convert.
It tends to be fairly simple and pragmatic.
Why the no-frills approach? Because the objective here is simply to grab your visitor’s attention and encourage them to take a course of action.
It’s different from traditional pages (think FAQ, About, Homepage in some cases) in that it is specially conceived for paid traffic. (Google Adwords, Facebook Ads…)
Nonetheless, it can still appear in the organic results generated by search engines, even if it is first and foremost commercial.
Why Do You Need Landing Pages?
We won’t keep you waiting any longer. The main objective of launching a landing page is to maximize conversions. While your homepage may be built around the needs and expectations of your largest audience, you can afford to focus your landing pages around a single message.
You might want to build a landing page to:
- Promote a service or product,
- Showcase a time-limited offer (sales, Black Friday, etc),
- ‘Reward’ visitors (white papers, coupons, etc.) to obtain qualified contacts,
Here is an illustration comparing a homepage and an example of a traditional landing page with a form.
A landing page is part of a wider communications and marketing campaign designed to maximize its reach and impact.
It’s probably wise to start by analyzing the pages you currently have live.
Landing pages are often associated with search engine or social media advertising campaigns, PR campaigns or events. Their impact often goes hand in hand with a simple design and clear messaging.
By communicating a major piece of information in a relevant format, they minimize the risk of distraction often associated with traditional web pages and encourage a more focused consumption. It is therefore crucial to that your landing pages echo the messaging of the campaigns they are tied to.
Further reading: The Call to Action: 5 Tips to Increase Your Conversion Rate
Your landing pages should not be an afterthought
You now know what a landing page is and it’s important for you to have them on your site. But there are still some things you need to know before you can launch the perfect landing page!
So before you put in a request to your marketing and UX teams, make sure to analyze your visitors’ behavior and understand their unique customer journeys on your site.
Five Things To Consider When Building A Landing Page
1. What is the offering?
The very first step is to make sure you have a concrete offering for your visitors, whether that’s a product or service, a white paper or a discount.
The offer needs to be relevant to the needs of your client, wherever they are in the sales funnel. For example, if a customer is in the early stage of the buying phase, you may want to give them information about the various options available to them.
You may also want to wait until your visitor is further down the funnel to promote the actual products or services.
2. What is my objective?
Once you’re clear about what it is you’re offering, it’s time to figure out what the objective of your landing page is going to be. This objective will help you set conversion targets, which in turn will allow for efficient monitoring.
There could be several objectives:
- Buying a product
- Subscribing to a newsletter
- Downloading resources
- Booking a spot at a conference
3. Who are my competitors?
At this stage, you may want to make sure you have a pretty clear idea of the types of campaigns your competitors are already running. This might seem obvious but the whole point of good practices is they’re tried and tested!
So, find out who your competitors are, determine the key to their success and see how you can leverage similar strategies to increase your own conversions.
4. What are your targets?
Knowing your prospects and customers is not optional. The better you understand your visitors, their needs, habits and expectations, the better equipped you will be to respond to these needs in a relevant and impactful way.
This behavioral “mapping” will allow you to find the right words, to choose the best visuals and to create the most appropriate experience for your visitors’ segments.
At Contentsquare, we call this deeper understanding of customers the Mindset approach.
Read more about mindset.
5. Where is my target audience coming from?
Where your visitors come from should not be taken lightly. In fact, this factor can even help guide the messaging and design of your landing page.
Indeed, your visitors’ browsing patterns and mindset may vary depending on the acquisition source — whether that’s Google, a Facebook page, an Instagram story or their Twitter feed.
Another obvious reality: the more landing pages you have, the higher the chance of generating leads, since each page can be customized for a specific audience. If this sounds like a lot of work, start with one page per campaign, and then try to add pages for specific segments.
11 Key Elements to Include in Your Landing Page in 2019
You now have everything you need to create a landing page that answers your visitors’ needs.
But wait, there’s more.
We’ve quizzed our UX-perts in London, New-York, Paris and Tel Aviv to get their top tips on the subject of landing pages, and put together a list of 11 must-haves that will help you save time and increase opportunities for conversion.
Let’s jump in.
1. A winning header and subheader
While all the copy on your landing page is important, there’s an awful lot riding on the header and subheader.
One way to keep visitors engaged is to be clear and to the point. You should be able to capture their attention and share the key product or service message in one sentence (no more than a dozen words).
The header and subheader must of course echo the messaging of whatever link your visitors clicked on. Airbnb gets straight to the point with its “Earn money as an Airbnb host” landing page.
2. Be clear about the value you add
Does your product have standout qualities? Can it solve several problems?
You should enumerate those succinctly, in bullet points perhaps. Add icons for a visual representation of this added value.
Amazon, for example, clearly lists the benefits of its Prime membership for potential members.
3. Make sure your CTA is visible
“Without a clear Call to Action, you can kiss conversions goodbye.” – Contentsquare’s UX Team.
We won’t go on and on about the perfect CTA here because we already did that in another blog post. 🙂
But if we had to summarize:
- Visibility: make use of contrasting colors and be sure to locate your main CTA above the fold. Secondary CTAs should be smaller in size and further on down the page.
- Clarity: this might seem obvious but your CTA should look like… a CTA.
- Impact: the copy on your button should make visitors want to click.
Spotify is good at distinguishing between its main CTA (free trial) and its secondary CTA (Google Home Mini)
4. Keep it simple
Here’s a piece of advice that never gets old.
The search bar, menu, copy, forms — remember, every added in-page element could be a potential source of distraction.
So be ready to kill your darlings, on the one hand, and showcase key elements, on the other.
Hired: a form with 3 fields and 3 arguments to sign up — couldn’t be more to the point!
5. Carefully curate your landing page visuals
Because an image is worth a thousand words, be picky when it comes to images. Try and stick to a simple and clean design, and don’t be afraid of empty space.
At the same time, don’t forget to optimize images so they don’t negatively affect the performance of your landing page.
Teambit’s landing page is the perfect example of how you can create a “fun” landing page without necessarily promoting an inherently “fun” product or service.
6. Feature video content on your landing pages
If you had to choose between reading a paragraph with several sentences or watching a very short video, what would you pick?
It’s likely that, like most consumers, you’d opt for the second.
In 2019, video remains one of the most powerful, highest-converting marketing medium out there. Hubspot uses video to contextualize its product or service and to highlight what problems it can solve.
7. Responsive design
Unless you’re working in a very niche industry, it’s to be expected that visitors will connect to your site via a variety of devices.
Desktop, mobile, tablet — be sure to anticipate the various devices your visitors may be browsing on and make sure your CTA and header are visible without the need to scroll.
8. Peer reviews
It’s no secret that consumers are often swayed by peer reviews.
Make sure to feature testimonials and leverage social proof to reassure visitors who are not familiar with your product or services, or are perhaps hesitant to convert.
You can include:
- customer reviews
- the number of clients
- list of noteworthy clients
Instapage proudly displays its top client logos above the fold.
9. Transparency over price
Consumers respond well to clear pricing. If you can, try to clearly display your costs or to direct prospects to an understandable rates table. And why not offer a free trial?
Shopify’s landing page is simple and has a clear CTA to signup for a free trial.
10. What about SEO
A beautiful landing page is great. A landing page that comes up in search results is even better.
Make sure your content is SEO friendly and be mindful of what your potential audience is searching for. Be sure to optimize:
- Image descriptors
Unbounce is a good example of a brand utilizing SEO to drive traffic to its landing page.
11. Remember to say Thank You
You did it. Your visitor subscribed to your newsletter or completed a purchase. But it’s not over yet.
Don’t forget to always follow up with a “thank you” page after a user makes a conversion — any type of conversion. It’s the opportunity to reassure your customer about their choice and to once again, point out the value.
Use this page to guide your visitor towards the next steps — you could, for example, direct them to useful resources such as blogs, reports, etc.
The Thank You page is also a good opportunity for you to ask consumers to share their experience on social media.
Test, test, test!
While this guide is intended to give you some basic tools and advice to build the strongest possible landing page, it’s important to remember that there are as many approaches to landing page-building as there are businesses… and customers.
Just like your homepage and your product pages, your landing pages need to be carefully tested to surface any missed opportunity.
Here at Contentsquare, we help brands maximize the impact they’re getting from testing by adding a critical layer of customer behavior understanding to their experiments through A/B testing.
Interested in finding out how you can improve the performance of your landing pages?
We’ll be more than happy to show you how we can help your team deliver the perfect Customer Experience (CX) for every customer, every time. 🙂