7 Tips for Designing Landing Pages that Convert
How many times have you heard that landing pages are crucial for your online strategy? Do you understand the value that a highly optimized landing page can bring to your online and offline business?
A landing page is different from a website and a homepage. Your website and homepage (in particular) have to serve many needs and users. A landing page is a standalone web page where the user “lands” after clicking an ad, a promotion, or a link in a search results page.
Landing pages lead customers to a specific product or service, and they exist for serving a single and highly-focused purpose.
There are many ways in which you can improve your landing page and attract the right visitors. Listed below are 7 ways to improve conversions for your landing pages and reduce your bounce rate.
The design of your landing page is the first impression that your product or service will make, and according to ConversionXL, first impressions are 94% design related. UXmag pointed that we only have 50 milliseconds (0.05 secs) before users have made their first judgments on our products.
Ted Barnes, Creative Director at 42connect, highlights the two considerations that someone needs to keep in mind when building a landing page:
Do I understand the purpose of this page and what I’m supposed to do in less than a second?
Users expect the page to look like a page they already know from every other website (e.g., product pages look like product pages, contact forms look like contact forms). Keep it simple, don’t over do it trying to be original. In most cases, you should go with the flow of the market and stick with what’s working for others.
If the user can quickly put what’s in front of them into an existing mental bucket, they can decide what to do with it faster. A design that considers the user experience will make people stay longer, generating a higher chance of conversion.
2. PERSUASIVE COPY
Persuasive copy is one of the most important tools you can use to favor your unique value proposition and convince your prospects that you are the best option for them.
Remember that your copy should ease the complexity and help the potential customer understand what you want them to do, why, and how they should do it.
Keep in mind that users do not read long copy*, they skim the page looking for their next action. Your copy should facilitate that mental process and ensure that users are getting the key takeaways quickly.
*Long copy is sometimes necessary, and that’s totally fine. Just make sure that it’s scannable using good headlines and bullet points to highlight the most important elements such as your product or services benefits.
If you want to do it yourself, a great way to start is focusing on these 5 questions:
- Who? Try to put yourself in the mind of your buyer and understand their frustrations and struggles.
- What action? Your landing page must have one purpose. What do you want the reader to do next?
- Why should they care? Don’t focus on the product or service, focus on how that product or service can benefit their life.
- Why you? Remember “you sell on emotion, but you justify on logic.” Give valid arguments on why they should trust you.
- What could stop them? Try to think of the questions that may pop into your prospect’s mind and provide the answers to facilitate their experience and buying journey.
You might feel tempted to introduce associated content to impress your prospects, but this is a mistake if you are trying to get them to take one specific action.
You should laser focus your copy, design, and efforts towards that single purpose. If you add more services and/or products, the user will most likely get distracted, perform a new search, and ultimately leave your page.
4. VALUE PROPOSITION
Having a unique, outstanding value proposition is what will get you conversions. There are millions of value props out there that don’t work because people are bombarded with them every day.
Think of your ideal customer and how the value proposition will make their life better.
People aren’t sold on a pdf or a free template, they want you to add value to their lives. You should aim to understand your clients pain points and clearly tell them how you are going to solve them with your products or services.
Explain clearly why what you are offering is better, and how it will help the potential buyer. Remember it’s about them, their lives, their concerns and problems, not yours.
Why would anyone give you their email? You need to offer something that’s worth the prospect’s time and effort.
Examples of good value propositions are free shipping, a discount, a free course/webinar, a unique experience, a free trial. All of those benefits directly affect consumer behavior.
Landing pages have two possible goals: selling visitors on an offer or generating leads.
Lead generation landing pages are used to collect information such as name or email address on a sign up form. In this case, you should include a description together with a form explaining to the prospect what they’re going to get in return for submitting their information. For example, “Sign-up to get a copy of our free e-book that will be emailed to you within minutes” “Sign-up and get 20% off your first order”
Forms can be tricky. You don’t want to overwhelm your potential customer with an excessive amount of required fields, but you do want to collect the necessary information to learn and identify qualified leads.
Takeaway: Reduce your form fields to the absolutely necessary. The goal of a form is just to start a conversation, so do you really need anything other than name and contact info?
6. TEST, TEST, TEST!
Todd Jirecek, Digital Marketing Manager at 42connect, explains that one of the biggest problems when building a landing page is the assumption that we know what our prospects will like and want to see. “You can never be 100% certain that your ideas will be appealing to your prospects, that’s why testing is so crucial.”
You should test your headlines, the different options on the page, the call to action, and the images you use. Try to make variations on the design, the text, and even the medium of the offer.
You can learn what works better by comparing engagement on both versions. An example of engagement in this case would be the number of sign-ups that you got on each variation.
You shouldn’t assume what customers or prospects are thinking or what catches their attention. Let them guide you and understand your potential customers by the testing of different versions.
There are several tools that you can use to test and optimize your landing page. A good place to start could be Crazy Egg, Unbounce or Optimizely.
7. SOCIAL PROOF
Think of the last time you went to a concert or theatre. Why did you stand up and start clapping at the end of the show? Most likely, because everyone else was doing it.
That is, in a nutshell, how social proof works. People are influenced by other people’s behavior, and many times we find ourselves doing certain things because someone else endorsed that behavior before.
Same thing happens with products and services. If your friend recommends a certain brand, you will probably pick that one next time you are hesitating in the supermarket.
If your dad recommends a specific dentist, you will most likely call that dentist when you need one.
On a marketing level, If you can show your potential customers that other people have already used what you offer and that they liked it, that is a great incentive for them to trust you.
Testimonials, prominent client logos, expert’s approval, positive reviews; all of these are proof that you are a legitimate business and will help prospects make their decision.
Landing pages are important because they are specifically designed to increase your conversion rate. Remember: one page, one purpose. One specific audience, one conversion goal. Simplify the structure of your landing page so the user understands immediately what you want them to do.
Optimize your online marketing campaign by following the steps above, never stop testing, and drop us a line if you need any help!