These days, a strong web presence is extremely important. From social media to pay-per-click advertising, marketers have plenty of tools at their disposal to get the most out of the massive digital audiences that can be found online.
But at the end of the day, each of these marketing methods generally have the same goal—to drive customer traffic to your website.
And if your landing pages are not well-equipped to convert potential customers into actual sales and leads, your other digital marketing efforts won’t do you a whole lot of good.
So, what do you need to do to craft a landing page that actually converts?
The four key strategies outlined below can help you craft a landing page that not only keeps people on your site, but converts them into leads and customers as well.
1. Start with a simple design
One of the most common pitfalls landing pages face is a failure to use a simple design and layout. Unbounce sums this up succinctly, noting: “A landing page has one job—to give people what they were promised in the ad that got them there…distractions are a major killer of conversions.”
Whether a landing page includes extensive menus and navigation bars or distracting graphics and animations, including too much can ultimately keep site visitors away from the reason they clicked on your ad in the first place.
By eliminating unnecessary menu options and allowing your design to focus on the action you want potential customers to take, you’ll be much less likely to lose potential leads to other distracting elements.
2. Add a clear call-to-action
Even with a simple design, visitors to your landing page aren’t likely to convert if you don’t include a clear, direct call-to-action. As Kissmetrics notes, simplicity is once again the key element to an effective call-to-action.
You may have multiple marketing goals you wish to achieve (start your free trial, join our email list, etc), but by focusing on only one action, it becomes that much easier to generate leads and sales.
The best calls-to-action are visually distinct—think along the lines of a large, clickable button with an arrow pointing at it, or a huge headline, followed by a short block of text and (once again) a large button.
It may seem like overkill, but digital audiences have a notoriously short attention span. If the call to action isn’t immediately apparent, they’ll soon click away.
3. Refine your copy
Of course, even when the call-to-action stands out visually, your potential leads could still click away if your landing page copy isn’t up to snuff.
And when you’ve already invested your marketing dollars in writing a convincing ad to get visitors to click to your landing page, it pays to spend a little extra time fine-tuning your copy until it’s just right.
Landing page copy needs to be direct and to the point, while also convincing visitors of the value of your free trial/software demo/email list/etc.
HubSpot notes that landing page headlines should generally match the call-to-action featured in your ad—they don’t need to be funny or witty in an effort to engage customers. A clear CTA-related headline confirms to site visitors that they’re at the right place.
And while you may be tempted to include paragraphs upon paragraphs of in-depth features and benefits, don’t.
Instead, describe your offer in a succinct format that illustrates the value of your offer, without overwhelming users with meaningless jargon or flowery language. Remember to tailor your copy to the specific personas you’re trying to reach!
4. Make your forms easy-to-use
Ah yes, forms. We can’t talk about landing pages without one of the most common elements, forms. Whether it’s a checkout form that is needed to complete a transaction, a survey form, or just a simple email capture form to help you build your list, forms play a larger role in many landing page projects.
First and foremost, there’s a back-and-forth debate over how much information you should request in landing page forms.
Many conversion optimization experts advocate reducing the number of fields to a bare minimum, yet testing by Optimizely found that adding more fields that are targeted to a particular audience can dramatically improve the number of quality leads.
The truth of the matter is that the best type of form to use depends on the type of leads you are collecting. For example, if you’re encouraging landing page visitors to sign up for a free trial of your software, a simple name and email input form may be all you really need.
Remember, you can always request more info later. This is known as progressive profiling.
For other calls-to-action, such as those where site visitors would request a quote for a loan or other service, Johnathan Dane from KlientBoost recommends using a two-step form.
The first step includes a few targeted questions–such as “What is your desired loan amount?”–before taking visitors to the second stage, where they enter their contact info.
This helps visitors feel more comfortable completing the entire form and sharing their information. And it works like a charm in many cases!
So, there you have it. An easy-to-remember formula for building better landing pages.
While adhering to these principles of sound landing page design is a must, one of your best bets for creating an effective, conversion-friendly landing page is continually testing different elements of your site.
Don’t be afraid to adapt your visual elements or copy in an effort to determine which methods work best at converting your unique audience.
As you continue to fine-tune your landing pages based on the principles outlined above, you’ll be sure to achieve better results for the long term.