10 Best Practices For Creating An Effective Landing Page
In the last couple of years, it doesn't matter where you land when you dive in deeper looking for information about inbound marketing, online marketing, ad campaigns, conversions, boosting sales and so on, you end up hearing the same magic two words: landing pages. And this for a good reason.
Landing Pages are not a complex marketing topic. But it’s not an easy one either. In fact, I think it’s the most important thing you would need if you want to create a successful online advertising campaign. A landing page is the ultimate result of what people see when they click your online ad. You may create landing pages for multiple goals, from selling a product or service, enrolling to an webinar, or subscribe to a newsletter. Regardless of its objective, an effective landing page may incredibly boost your conversion rate or it can destroy your whole campaign and make you lose money.
Which is the anatomy of an effective landing page?
There is a lot of information out there about the best practices for creating a great landing page: from layout, length, form, the position of CTA, image you should use, the number of CTAs on the same page, the presence or the lack of navigation, testing, and the list can continue.
But in this post, you’ll see the most important best practices that I consider as defining for the anatomy of a great landing page and which will transform your approach to landing pages optimization.
That said, let’s move onto the best 10 landing pages best practices and examples. Enjoy!
1. Reduce your Attention Ratio
Oli Gardner from Unbounce defines Attention Ratio as the ratio between the number of things you can do on a given page to the number of things you want people to do.
To have the most efficiency, your landing page should have an attention ration of 1:1. In simple words, you should remove from there any features that might distract visitors, such as navigation, other buttons, links or additional offers. Include in your landing page just the elements that will make people do what you want them to do.
Now, let’s take a look to a couple of real life landing pages examples. Here is a dedicated IMPACT’S landing page for the free guide about generating more leads from blog. The only link that leaves the page is “Generate More Conversion” button. All the other distracting elements were removed. This is the perfect example for 1:1 attention ratio. One goal, a sole focus, one action to take.
On the other side, we have Chase’s landing page. It’s cluttered and some specific pages, such as the sign in for existing customers, signing up for the new ones, learning about different credit card offers have irrelevant calls to action. In fact, the page includes 14 links. So, it’s the example for 14:1 ratio.
Which of them do you think has a better conversion?
2. Use interactive, intuitive, intelligent forms
Maybe you wouldn’t think so, but getting the right form for your landing page is not so easy. And still is one of the most important reasons for which many landing pages fail. How many information should you ask? How long should it be? Should you use a simple form or a complex one? It’s better to have a standard one or an interactive form?
For getting the right answer, first, you should know the goal of your landing page. Second, it’s crucial to find the right balance between requesting enough information from the users to qualify them as a valid lead or prospect and their right of not handing over their identity.
I will not insist on the general features of a landing page form. You may find a lot of information about best practices for creating effective landing page forms. Yet, I’d recommend you consider using a more intuitive and interactive one.
For example, you could use a tool like Leadformly, that incorporates templates and form design best practices for creating high converting lead capture forms and embed it with your landing page.
3. Balance the optimization for motivation and for ability
The Fogg Behavior Model shows that there are three elements that must converge at the same moment for a specific behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. When at least one of these three elements is missing, the behavior does not occur.
A trigger can be anything – an alarm that sounds, a text message, an announcement that a sale is ending, a call to action and so on. As the trigger interfere when we are both motivated and able to perform the behavior, let’s focus a bit on motivation and ability. According to this behavior model, there are two ways to influence the likelihood of someone to take a specific action. You may increase someone’s motivation to do that action or you may simplify, making easier for her to act.
Most landing pages' advices are focused on improving the design for making it more “digestible” and easier for viewers to take the action. But motivation is just as important, even if you might think that once they arrive on your landing page, the visitors will act how you want. So, increasing the motivation, balancing it perfectly with the ability and using the right trigger, you will boost your landing page conversion.
For example, let’s take a look on Booking.com.
As people visit Booking.com looking for accommodations, they have optimized the pages for a strong emotional response. The usage of multiple cognitive biases, such as urgency, scarcity and social proof, raises the motivation for booking an accommodation on their website.
4. What’s in it for me?
People don’t care about your company or about your products and services. They care about the benefits they can get by taking a specific action. Therefore, focusing on your visitors rather than your company is a powerful technique, and you’ll see it in all the high converting landing pages.
The simplest and easiest way to accomplish this is by using the word “You” in your marketing copy, as people are hard-wired to pay attention to things that are about them. Also, you should highlight the benefits people will get as result of completing the landing page form.
5. Write call to values instead of call to actions
Every landing page must have a call to action (a button telling the user to do something; for example, “Get started”). Although clear and simple, this kind of call to actions don’t have a clear value proposition.
A better approach is to write a call to value – a call to action that has attached a value proposition. For example, if you run an inbound marketing company, a good call to value might be “Start to learn how to increase your conversion rate” or “Read 2017 Social Media Industry Report”. These are not only more specific, but they also reinforce the landing page copy, giving the user a reason for taking this action.
6. The right picture is worth more than 1000 words
The old saying “A picture speaks more than 1000 words” is also true for landing pages. For an image to have a strong impact, it should perfectly complement the text message and convey a complex or hard to explain concept in simple terms.
For example, the image from Hotjar homepage is probably one of the most copied designs of 2016 SaaS industry, and for a good reason. Although it is extremely simple, the story it says is so powerful that it doesn’t need additional explanations.
7. Anticipate every objection, before the users even think of them
One of the first things every salesperson learn is to tackle the objections that could appear during the sales process, even before the client might think about it. Your landing page is also a form of selling, even if the goal is to sign up for joining a webinar, download a report, download a demo, etc.
So, why wouldn’t you spend some time trying to anticipate every possible objection you would have if you were a visitor of the landing page. While there are some common objections like those listed below, you will certainly have other unique objections, specific to your offer.
Some of the common objections:
What if the product doesn’t fit my needs? Is there a refund policy?
What payment methods are accepted?
When do I receive the product?
How much does it cost? Is there any discount if I buy it using this landing page?
Is this product trustworthy? Who else uses it?
In addition, providing a live chat is an opportunity for visitors to reach you with specific questions. Monitor them and add your responses to these questions in a FAQ section on your landing page.
8. Combine more types of social proof
Social proof is one of the most effective ways to improve the credibility and trustworthiness of your offer.
When people land on your landing page, they don't know if your product or service is good for them or not. But if they see other people who have consumed the product (or service) speaking positively about it, they are more likely to think positively about it, too -- and are therefore more likely to fill out the form and convert to a lead.
So, including social proof such as quotes from customers, the number of product users, influencer endorsements, ratings, and so on is one of the most effective ways to improve the credibility and trustworthiness of your offer.
9. Create multiple versions of your landing page to increase relevancy
If people visit your landing page, it’s likely they represent different segments of your target.
For instance, your US visitors may behave differently to your France or Japan visitors. Similarly, visitors with high budgets will not have the same behavior and motivation as those with less money.
As people have different needs, motivations and behavior patterns, instead of offering the same experience to all your viewers, you could tailor your landing page for making it more relevant. You could make a geo-based personalization, using, for example, WordPress plugins that allow you to custom your content by country.
Or if you want to tailor your content using some other criteria such as industry, budget, age, your customer specific need or perception, and so on, you could do this using for example tools like Leadformly. You will get interactive forms that will redirect your visitors to different versions of your landing page, based on how your visitors answer to the questions included in the form.
10. Pay attention to grammar and spelling
A study by Global Lingo shows that grammatical errors affect content marketing both at reader’s and SEO level. Poor grammar may have as result the loss of credibility, UX, and search rankings.
59% if visitors claimed they will not do business with companies that have obvious grammatical or spelling mistakes on their website or marketing material.
It’s not much to say here – just check and double check your copy to be sure that it is mistake-free. Even so, there might be one or two hiding from you. Fortunately, you also have resources that can assist you. You may ask a trusted colleague to proofread your copy; his fresh set of eyes will point out the mistakes you miss.
Also, you can use these helpful free tools:
Grammarly – a tool that checks grammar and spelling instantly on the files from your computer, social networks, Gmail, WordPress and any online resource you are writing on. You may download it and install on your computer or you may use the Chrome Extension for writing online.
Hemingway App - an online and desktop tool that checks the content’s readability and highlights any words, phrases, or sentences that are hard to read and should be edited or removed
Landing pages work or don’t work for many reasons, but they are effective when they speak directly to your audience. When properly designed, they can convince your readers to click the call-to-action button and enter your marketing funnel. Therefore, before designing a landing page, you should set a clear goal and follow the best practices for doing this.