A landing page is a simplified version of a web page, usually used for a specific purpose outside of your business’ everyday functions.
For example, landing pages are often created as virtual information spaces for people responding to things like adverts, eBook downloads, newsletter sign-ups, and other services. You can also use landing pages to collect user information, because the more you know about your readers, the more personalised your emails can be.
Landing pages work well for:
Thanking people who sign up for your mailing list
New product adverts
Downloadable eBooks and whitepapers
Subscription forms for newsletters or events
Research shows that companies using 40+ landing pages get 12 times more leads than those with five or less.
The Planning Stage
Before you make your landing page, ask yourself:
If you should you use a landing page
You wouldn’t be reading this blog post if you weren’t interested in using a landing page. But, should you be using one for your specific purpose? Part of your planning must be deciding whether a landing page does what you need it to do.
What the goal of your landing page is
Have a clear goal in mind so you can design your landing page in line with it. If you don’t, your readers won’t have a clear understanding of what they’re supposed to do.
What your competitors are doing right
Research other landing pages in your industry. Take note of the ones that you find effective and keep these in mind when planning your landing page.
What your target audience looks like
Have a good understanding of who your audience is and what their needs are. Keep this in mind when designing your landing page, so you can keep the tone right for the people you want to speak to.
Once you’ve answered these questions and planned your landing page, you’re ready to start designing it.
These are some of the best practices in landing-page design. Let them guide you.
Collect & Design Using Subscriber Data.
If all your subscribers are in Durban, it won’t be worth their while sending them something Johannesburg-related. If their interests are broad, use dynamic content (web content that changes according to the user’s data, demographics, preferences, interests, or behaviour) to display specific sections of your landing page to different segments of your email database. This’ll save you time, because you’ll only need to create different sections of content on one landing page rather than entirely unique landing pages for each audience.
Continue the Conversation Between Channels.
You hooked them with your initial message – your landing page must continue the same conversation. For instance, if you link to your home page from an email about a product on offer, your readers will be confused. But, if you link to a landing page created specifically for the offer, they’ll know why they’re there and what you want them to do.
Have a Single, Clear & Focused Message.
Every part of your landing page must match your core message, or your reader may get confused about what you’re offering. Remember, landing pages aren’t websites – they’re targeted and specific to a specific goal.
Include One Strong Call-to-Action (CTA).
You’re trying to get your readers to do something – make sure they know exactly what it is. Sticking to one clear CTA gets maximum impact and ensures subscribers are clear on what the next step is. Other CTA tips include:
Making your CTA big and positioning it above the fold, so subscribers don’t have to scroll to see it.
Directing attention to the CTA using photos, videos, or even just the format of the text (a V-shaped, centred paragraph can look like an arrow pointing to a button CTA).
Use Testimonials from Previous Clients.
Sharing how others have benefitted from your products and services encourages trust.
Optimise your Page Copy for the Internet.
People don’t read everything you write on the internet. Eye-tracking studies show that they scan content in a kind of F-shape. So, where it makes sense, format your copy with:
Short sentences and paragraphs
Lots of white space (visual breathing room, free of images and text)
Bold key words
Optimise Your Landing Page for Mobile.
With smart phones dominating more of the market, mobile-responsive landing pages are essential. Especially if your subscribers click to your landing page from a mobile channel, like SMS.
Create a Page for Each Traffic Source.
Create separate landing pages for social, email, and PPC, so you can measure the results and optimise the pages for each audience. Read more here.
Segment your Offers by Subscriber Interests.
You’ll get much better results if you share offers that people are interested in. Try directing people in certain regions to location-relevant news, or women to women’s retail sales. The more subscriber data you have for the emails that direct them there and the more targeted your social media campaigns, or the more targeted your landing pages can be.
A/B Test your Headline, Body Copy & CTA.
An A/B test directs readers to one of two different versions of your landing page to test which one performs best. This helps you to optimise your landing page, squeezing as many conversions out of your audience as possible.
Try Different Lengths of Subscription Forms.
See what works best for your readers and the offer you’re promoting. Generally, forms on landing pages have 11 fields. But research shows that reducing this to four fields can increase conversion by up to 120%.
Reducing forms on landing pages to four fields can increase conversion by up to 120%.
Now that you know the foundations of landing-page creation, go to part 2 of this series. In it, we cover what the elements of a good landing page are and some examples of impactful landing page design.