Effective landing pages are the unsung hero of the marketing campaign.
Yet, many companies barely give them a second thought, often making the critical mistake of sending ad traffic to a general home page.
In this article, I’ll go over my simple method for structuring high converting landing pages, every time.
What You’ll Learn:
- Why it’s important to get landing pages right
- How to develop goal-oriented landing pages
- The elements that make a high converting page:
- How images and videos affect landing pages
- The importance of social proof
- Keep important information above the fold
- How page load speed affects landing pages
Studies have shown that the average website conversion rate is already pretty low—we’re talking between 1% and 3%, depending on industry, audience, and offer. Compare that to the best-performing sites, which according to data from Smart Insights, convert at up to 27.4%.
Which is wild, if you think about it; if you’ve already invested the time, energy, and marketing dollars to attract an audience, why not go the extra mile and make sure those efforts don’t go to waste?
Clearly, those top performers are in on some kind of secret, right?
In this article, I’d like to share my simple method for creating high-converting landing pages. And—I’ll say this outright—that my “one” method is keeping all components from headline to copy, images, and CTAs aligned with one clear goal.
Why It’s So Important to Get Landing Pages Right
Long story short, landing pages make or break a campaign.
More specifically, there’s a reason that people click on your ads. Failing to deliver on the promise made before the click means you’re dropping the ball when it comes to making a great first impression.
A well-designed, high converting landing page is a distraction-free zone that allows you to focus on a specific offer, not the company as a whole.
For marketers, the landing page is an opportunity to learn more about your audience and capture the contact details needed to promote offers to a target segment.
For prospective customers, landing pages cut through the noise and present an efficient pathway toward making a purchase.
I recommend checking out a past post we ran discussing conversion rate optimization. In it, we’ll cover some best practices for making sure you know your customer personas so you can give them what they want as they work their way down the sales funnel.
High Converting Landing Pages Start With Goals
Landing pages that convert are well-designed, informative, and get straight to the point. They load quickly, and they present one clear offer to a targeted audience.
Basically, you want to tell people who you are, what you do, and why they need to take action.
Keep reading to learn exactly what needs to come together to make sure you get your landing page strategy just right.
As mentioned, many companies still wrongfully guide traffic toward homepages. The reason this is a big mistake is because homepages are designed to be a general starting point that functions as a gateway to pages with more detailed information.
The problem is, if you’re running an awareness campaign, you’re trying to capture the interest of a new audience.
So, you don’t want to throw them into the general front page area with no sense of where to go—instead, the goal is presenting one offer at a time that matches with the behavior, interests, demographics, or other pieces of data you’ve collected on your target audience.
Have One Goal Per Landing Page
Each landing page should have its own goal, which makes it easier to keep the language crisp, clear, and conversion-minded. It also makes it easier to track your performance and get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.
In this example from Zoho Books, you can see that the main goal is getting visitors to sign up for a trial and “explore the features.” Sure, each feature gets a couple of lines of copy, but they all point back this idea of signing up for the two-week trial.
It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t necessarily need to connect every campaign to a sale. Microconversions, such as watching a video, viewing a product,
The Bones of a High Converting Landing Page
So we’ve gone over the “why” behind the landing page—now, we’ll get to the point and discuss what goes into a great landing page.
As with any piece of content, you’re going to want to consider the goal, the audience, and how formatting comes into play.
Some elements are specific to the landing page, making them a little different than your average blog post or the product page.
A Compelling Headline
After the click, your headline will be the first thing visitors notice about your landing page.
As such, you’ll want to make sure that you craft a headline that both makes users want to keep reading and clearly describes your product or service.
If your headline falls flat, chances are readers won’t scan the rest of the page, much less take the next step toward converting.
Your headline should:
- Let visitors know exactly what you are offering
- Persuade users to keep reading
- Suggests empathy — your visitors have a problem and you’re the one who can solve it.
Beyond those core components, there are a few ways to approach this. You could start with a question or a “how to” lead-in, emphasizing your role as a problem solver.
You can use humor or cut to the chase and highlight a benefit. Later’s landing page gets right down to business leading with “#1 Marketing Platform for Instagram.”
Use Subheads That Inspire Interest
Below the headline, you’ll want to add headers that bring a bit more context into the fold. In the Later example, the subheadlines tell you why they’re the #1 Instagram platform.
If your reader takes the bait and decides to stick around, they’ll look for more contextual clues by scanning the rest of the page. They’ll think, “oh, wow, I can really save time by prescheduling my Instagram content.”
Clarify Your Value Proposition in the Copy
So, while your headline and subheadings should hook your reader in, they likely won’t be enough to compel them to take the next step and register for that webinar, book that live demo, or sign up for your mailing list. And that’s fine.
Your landing page copy should explain, in simple terms, the core value of your offer.
Break up large blocks of text with plenty of white space, bullet points, and numbered lists. We recommend keeping things as brief as possible (like this example from Zendesk), but some types of products/services demand a bit more explanation/education.
Will your product teach your audience something? Help them defeat one of their biggest pain points?
Look at this example from Moz. Clearly, there’s a lot to review before making a decision about this product, but the copy highlights several ways that their solution helps users boost SEO rankings, drive traffic, and increase conversions.
They’ve also managed to include a whole lineup of features, but still keep the copy short and to the point.
For example, if you promise more information, how will that ebook/price sheet/calendar invite be delivered?
And, High Converting Landing Pages Present a Powerful CTA
CTAs, or calls-to-action, should be large, visible, and most importantly, compel the user to take the next step.
To inspire users to take that next step, you’ll want to make sure that you use simple language that lets them know precisely what you want them to do.
Additionally, you want your CTA to stand out. Choose a contrasting color that pops out from the plain text. There are a million marketing 101 blog posts covering how CTA colors impact conversions.
Color psychology aside, you should choose something that matches with the rest of your branding. Take to your style guide to find out what accent color you’re using in other marketing materials.
We should also mention that the typical website user has been conditioned to expect that the CTA is a button. This isn’t the place to buck convention, so stick with what works here.
For more on how to craft click-worthy CTAs, you can check out a few of our favorite examples.
A High Converting Landing Page Needs to Capture Information
Perhaps most importantly, your landing page should help you capture information. Traditionally, that capture came in the form of well, a form.
Today, you’ll have the option to use a form, or you can go the conversational marketing route and use a chatbot to capture and qualify leads.
Alternatively, you can use pop-ups to quickly capture the attention of existing visitors, so you can deliver the real value at a second location.
Content Should Match Ad Source
It doesn’t matter if a visitor lands on your landing page form a PPC ad, a Facebook post, or via email. The landing page copy must align with whatever piece of content the visitor clicked on. Otherwise, you risk confusion, or worse, frustration.
If you’re running a multi-touch campaign, you’ll be promoting your landing pages through a variety of channels such as Facebook ads, Instagram Stories, Google Ads, Google Shopping, retargeting, email marketing, and more.
This means that you’ll be creating several landing pages so that the messaging in that initial offer matches up with the groups you’re targeting and the tone and intent that makes sense by each channel.
Include Images that Show Off Your Offerings
Enough with the “telling,” landing pages must also feature relevant imagery that both speaks to your visitors’ emotions and gives them an idea of what they can expect to receive if they act on your offer.
The images you use on your landing page better not be stock photos selected to take up space. Instead, images must represent the offer you’re promoting in your ad, your web copy, and your call-to-action.
You might landing page images to do the following:
- Show your product in action
- Include your brand’s story
- Direct the eye toward a CTA or a lead capture form
- Introduce your team to your visitors
- Give viewers a sense of how your product or service can help them solve a problem.
Take this example from H. Bloom. They effectively use images to show how their product – custom-made flower arrangements – can add to and brighten a room. Showing that effect in action, rather than simply saying it, makes a huge difference here.
Or, Use Video Instead
In a study by eyeviewdigital, researchers found that adding video to a landing page can increase your conversion rate by up to 80%.
Videos can increase the amount of time people spend on your page, which may give them more time to let your offer really start to sink in.
There are plenty of statistics citing the decreasing human attention span, love of storytelling, and preference for visual content. So, it’s a no-brainer as far as generating interest is concerned.
Additionally, video is a great way to quickly communicate a lot of information—combining both the showing and the telling into one engaging package.
We should mention that a high-converting video landing page should include the following:
- A visible CTA–Mention the CTA in the video, but also include a clickable button that’s visible throughout the video, so the visitor can move on to the next step at any moment.
- Directional cues–whether visual, verbal, or both, you’ll want to make sure to point your visitors toward completing your landing page goal.
Include Social Proof on a High Converting Landing Page
When your job is to sell items online, be it clothing, software, or office supplies, you have to convince your audience that they can trust you.
A Nielsen survey found that 70% of respondents say that they trust the opinions of other customers post online. Compare that to the 40% who said that they trusted PPC ads delivered through their search engine.
If you’re advertising on Google, make sure you sign up for Google Customer Reviews, Google My Business, as well as the Merchant Center or Local Service ads, if those platforms apply to your business.
This way, as you begin to collect positive reviews, new customers will see these before they even click through to your landing page.
On the landing page itself, you can feature video testimonials, written reviews, or pull quotes from happy customers.
Including these on your landing page will help users feel justified in their decision to do business with you, or even provide that tipping point that convinces them to convert.
Remember, generally speaking, no one wants to be the first to pull the trigger. They want to know that others have done it before them, and are happy to have done so.
Here’s an example of how Pipedrive uses pull quotes to demonstrate value on their landing pages:
Important Information Belongs Above the Fold on a High Converting Landing Page
With both desktop and mobile landing pages, you’ll want to make sure that you place all tap targets above the fold.
When I say “above the fold,” I’m referring to the section of a website that’s visible without scrolling. That means you need to fit your CTA – and the intriguing lead-up text – in that space to ensure readers won’t miss it.
We’ve mentioned this in our piece, the 7-Second Homepage test, but the same principles hold true for landing pages.
No one wants to waste their time pinching and scrolling around just so they can get that eBook delivered to their inbox. When designing landing pages for mobile, you’ll want to make sure that you “front-load” the most important details.
Don’t Forget About Speed
We’ve all been hearing that dreaded 3-second statistic for year. You know the one: “if your site takes longer than three seconds to load, over half of your audience will leave.”
In 2019, we need to be thinking even faster.
Google is now penalizing landing pages (and all pages, really) for slow load times.
Oddly enough, only one in three marketers has actually run a speed test to determine whether their load times hurt conversions.
Luckily, it’s super easy to check out your landing page speeds. And Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a great place to start.
What’s nice about Google’s tool is they make recommendations and give you the quick rundown on which factors are dragging down your pages—be it uncompressed images or an unwillingness to let go of Flash.
Additionally, you’ll want to test mobile landing page speeds.
You can do this by running your landing pages through TestMySite, another Google offering. Again, they’ll give you a list of recommendations that will boost load times.
Wrapping Up How to Structure High Converting Landing Pages
The main takeaway I’ll leave you with is this: all landing pages must work toward a single goal. If you have multiple goals that means, you need multiple landing pages—each with a headline, imagery, copy, and a killer call-to-action—that underscores that goal.
Just make sure that all visitors whether they’re coming from a Facebook Messenger ad, a YouTube video, or a Google Shopping campaign finds what they are looking for.
Otherwise, they’ll find what they need somewhere else.