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Marketing

9 Tips for Designing the Perfect Landing Page

by
Rachel Rockwell
on
Oct 10, 2019

So, you’re building a new landing page. That’s great! Landing pages are prime opportunities for converting your site’s visitors into business leads.

To get those conversions, you want your landing page’s design to provide a smooth user experience for visitors. To get that smooth user experience, you’ll want to keep these nine tips in mind when designing your next landing page.

1. Plan your layout

Per Hubspot, a good landing page has five elements: a headline, a relevant image, a brief description, a form to capture visitor information and a call to action. If you have those, you’re already off to a great start.

This Slack landing page has all the essential elements: 1. Headline 2. Relevant image 3. Brief description 4. Form to capture visitor info 5. Call to action button

2. Be concise

Easier said than done, I know, but it’s vital for the user experience. Per Cision, a 2018 Microsoft study found that a human’s average attention span is a mere eight seconds. To beat the clock, Hubspot suggests testing landing pages with a blink test. Visitors should be able to grasp your main idea in less than five seconds, or the time it takes to blink. If not, go back to the drawing board and focus on succinct messaging.

3. Stay above the fold

Always keep the most important information and a call to action at the top of the page. In doing this, you ensure that no matter where the fold ends up, visitors get the vital snapshot they need to take action.

This Shopify landing page has the most essential information at the top; no scrolling necessary to take action.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t go below the fold. If you were to scroll down the landing page, you’d find key details about Shopify’s platform. The point of the above-the-fold information is to grab visitors’ attention so they’ll keep scrolling. For this reason, Neil Patel suggests including below-the-fold calls to action at regular intervals, as this can only help with conversion. (Notice how Shopify has another “Start free trial” button at the very bottom of the page.)

4. Value your visuals

When it comes to images,all landing pages need ‘em, as people tend to process images quicker than copy.The images should capture attention and explain as much as possible in the simplest way. Make sure at least one lives above the fold, but take advantage of any below-the-fold real estate to better showcase your product or service through imagery.

5. Cater to streams of traffic

Consider how you’ll share your landing page with audiences. Will it be via email or social media or even Google ads? If the answer is more than once, it’s worth creating individual landing pages for each platform, as this can help when tracking a campaign’s results. Should you decide to go the per-platform route, try to keep the landing pages’ styles similar to the source. If your Instagram ad featured a specific headline and image, include those exact elements on the Instagram campaign’s landing page. If you tried an all-new art direction in an email, the corresponding landing page should represent this.

No matter what, make sure your brand’s look and voice drive the overall style of your campaigns and landing pages. It’s okay to experiment, but you don’t want to confuse your visitors and potential leads.

6. Limit exit opportunities

This one is pretty straightforward: don’t include any unnecessary links on the page, and try to remove your site’s navigation bar. You want visitors focused solely on filling out your form and generating a conversion.

Less is more when it comes to links, and Guideline knows that.

7. Encourage an exchange

Yes, removing exit opportunities can keep your visitors focused, but enticing them with something extra will all but guarantee a conversion. In exchange for a visitor’s email address, offer a discount, exclusive product details, notifications as soon as your product becomes available or a free trial. The options are endless, but just make sure the offering relates to your product or service.

Pro-tip: Keep your visitor info form short. Only ask for first name, last name and an email address. Anything more can discourage sign-ups.

In exchange for only your name and email address, The Newspaper Manager will share its exclusive features that make the software a success.

8. Effect action

Finally, we’ve reached the most important part of your landing page!

A call to action, or CTA, is the button your visitors click to submit their personal information. In addition to standing out visually, the button’s copy must be succinct—I’m talking a maximum of five words—and alluring.

The general consensus is to give your CTA an eye-catching color in addition to testing different shapes, sizes, fonts and copy.

Merrill Lynch really went for it with the red CTA buttons, but hey, they’re effective.

Speaking of copy, you’ve probably seen “Get started” or “Shop now” or “Save 20%” or “Unlock your free trial” in emails or on buttons before. That’s because these phrases meet WordStream’s killer call-to-action criteria, employing strong command verbs, numbers and words that provoke emotion and a reason for audiences to take advantage of the action.

9. Testing 1, 2, 3

Now that your page has all the essentials elements, it’s time to A/B test your headline, copy, images and CTA. Use your findings to constantly make adjustments and reach your optimal conversion rate. Don’t test two different elements at once, though, as you won’t know which change led to positive results.

A/B testing can be done manually, although some CRMs have this capability built-in and some CMSs enable extensions that’ll do the trick (WordPress, Wix).

While not directly related to A/B testing, it’s important to note other optimizations you should prioritize, like optimizing your copy for search engines and decreasing your page’s load time. Hubspot reports that just a second’s delay in load time can negatively impact conversions. To evaluate your page, check out Google’s handy-dandy Page Speed Insights tool.

Time to stick the landing (page)

Once you’ve gone through your checklist, it’s time to sit back and see the results.

This all seems like a lot to keep in mind, but the marketing ROI from landing pages makes it all worth it. Plus, resources like Hubspot, Unbounce and Mirabel’s Marketing Manager exist to support you in this endeavor. Good luck, and go get those conversions!

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