As you browse the internet, moving from site to site, you see lots of landing pages. But not all landing pages are equal. Some pull you in and grab your attention, others create a feeling of “meh,” and some are so terrible that you immediately hit the back button. How effective a landing page is depends on many factors. One of the most significant factors is how well the landing page aligned with your wants and needs. Maybe you were interested in a product, but you find the content to be irrelevant when you get to the landing page. Perhaps the content doesn’t answer your questions, or it doesn’t show off the best features of the product, and you’re left confused and wanting more.
When this happens to you as a web user, it’s mildly annoying, but when it happens to your potential customers, you lose potential sales. The way to create an effective landing page is to design it around your customers’ wants and apply other winning tactics to make it shine. That’s what we’re going to be discussing in this landing page guide today.
Let’s start with the basics. A landing page is a standalone web page created specifically for marketing campaigns. A landing page can be the page your customers “land” on when clicking an ad from Google, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. It can also be the page they are taken to after clicking a Call-to-Action (CTA) button somewhere else on your website.
Landing pages are focused on a specific goal. They should be designed to encourage users to take action. Typically, the goal of a landing page is to get customers to convert. Here are the most common goals of landing pages:
These goals fall into four categories: lead generation, ecommerce, marketing, branding.
Businesses that increase the number of landing pages they have from 10 to 15 see a 55% increase in leads (HubSpot)
Companies with 31 to 40 landing pages get seven times more leads than companies with one to five landing pages.
Put simply, having more landing pages is better than having only a few. Why? Because you can have multiple landing pages that address several different goals. By doing this, you can capture a broader range of potential customers while still focusing on their personal wants and aiming for a specific goal. Many businesses make the mistake of only having one or a few landing pages. If we consider the four categories from the last section, a company with one landing page might aim at lead generation, marketing, and ecommerce. The issue with this strategy is that you’re forcing users to view content they might find irrelevant to their wants. Maybe they just want to buy your product, but your landing page pushes them to watch educational videos or entertainment-focused articles. They might become frustrated and bounce back.
The average conversion rate for landing pages is 9.7% (Unbounce)
Ideally, it would help if you were aiming for this number or higher. If your conversation rate is far below this benchmark, it likely means your landing page isn’t aligned with your customers’ wants. It’s missing the mark somewhere, and you need to find out where and address it.
86% of the top landing pages are mobile-optimized
If your landing pages aren’t mobile-optimized, then they should be. Today, more people use mobile than desktop to browse the internet, and you’re failing your customers by not giving them the best experience.
52% of marketers reuse landing pages for new campaigns
If creating 10-40 landing pages sounds like a lot of work, then don’t fear. While it is a time-consuming endeavor, you can reuse your landing pages for campaigns in the future. You might have to tweak the landing page to align with your new campaign, but you can keep much of the content. This is also a great idea if you have landing pages that perform very well (high conversion rates).
48% of landing pages contain more than one offer
While your landing page should be focused on one goal, it’s perfectly fine to include more than one offer. For example, you might have two price plans available for your SaaS business, a monthly and a discounted yearly plan. You might also sell two products that are similar but are targeted towards two different market segments. You can sell to both of these customer segments on one landing page.
It’s critical that you nail your value proposition immediately on your landing page. It should be crystal clear what you’re offering to the customer, and your value proposition should take center stage.
For example, the Shopify landing page for their free trial has the headline “Sell Online With Shopify”. It’s clear, it’s concise, and you know exactly what you can do from reading it.
On the UBER sign-up landing page, it has the headline “Sign Up to Ride”. Again, you know exactly what the purpose of the page is. Below the headline is a form you can fill in to sign up for the service. It’s immaculate and focused; there’s nowhere else for you to look or navigate to.
Your CTA, whether it’s asking people to sign up, give up their contact details, start a free trial, or download a white paper, must be strong. It should be placed prominently on the page so that users’ eyes are drawn to it, and they know exactly what they need to do. For many customers, by the time they reach your landing page, they’ve already made a decision. They simply want to plug in their details and move on with their day, so make it easy for them! Please don’t make your users scroll to find your CTA; it should be unmissable.
This is all about keeping your users focused on the task in front of them. If you overwhelm your customers with too many details about your product or service, their attention will wane. They’ll become bored, and when we’re bored, we’re open to distractions. If a bored user gets a notification on their phone, they’ll choose responding to that notification over responding to your CTA.
Staying focused is something that so many businesses struggle with on their landing pages. We have a tendency to want to cover all bases by including as much information as possible. We think, “well, if the customer knows this, they’ll be more likely to sign-up”, so we include. Then we do that for a bunch more things that pop into our minds. The logic makes sense, but in reality, this strategy actually has the opposite effect than intended. Remember, a landing page isn’t your homepage. It’s not your website. It’s a specific, goal-oriented page designed around a CTA. All of your energy should go into making that CTA as attractive as possible, which means you have to stay focused on the CTA.
The visual of your landing page must be compelling. Focus on one image with a clean background. The image should convey what your product does as simply as possible. For example, Shopify’s image is of a simple apparel webpage with no text. It has a photo of someone wearing clothes and individual pictures of the clothes below. The purpose of this image is to say, “you can design a website to sell clothes”. Presumably, people selling apparel make up the bulk of Shopify’s customer base, so they wanted to communicate this.
Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon based on normative influence. Put simply, people like to conform so they can be similar to and liked by others. If many thousands of people like and use your product, this will likely sway more people into using your product. A few factors play into why social proof works. Firstly, there’s trust in numbers. If we get a recommendation from a product from only one person, we have to trust this person for it to influence us.
This is precisely why you’re more likely to buy products recommended by your friends and family – what they lack in absolute numbers they make up for in credibility. But when we’re thinking of buying a product not recommended by friends and family, we will be more confident in buying if we learn that a lot of people like that product. Secondly, conformity takes hold. We want to be like others, want to be normal, and not to be considered out of the ordinary for our behavior. By including social proof on your landing page, you’re essentially giving your customers a free ticket to join a thriving community. On the Shopify landing page, just below the value proposition (“Sell online with Shopify”), it says, “Trusted by over 1,000,000 businesses worldwide” – That’s social proof.
For your landing page, there are several pages you can communicate your social proof:
Landing pages are an excellent opportunity to conduct some A/B testing. A/B testing is where you launch two versions of something to test how people respond to each one. For example, 50% of people who click on your ad will get landing page A, and 50% will get landing page B. You could design it, so everyone who clicks on the ad through Instagram gets one page, and everyone who clicks through Facebook gets another page. Pages A and B typically have mostly the same content but with one element changed. For example, you might want to test if a red background works better than a blue background, or you might want to test two different headlines. It’s vital to one change one or a few elements between pages A and B; otherwise, you lose sight of what is driving the conversions.
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