Of the many options for generating sales and leads online, few are more widely used—or more widely misunderstood—than the landing page.
While many companies have turned the landing page into an art form that drives vast numbers of sales and leads each week, others flounder, putting massive effort into something that doesn’t provide any return on investment.
So, how do you ensure that your landing page actually generates results for your company? The following are five features you must use if hoping to drive conversions via your landing page:
1) Strong Headlines
Writing a headline for a landing page is quite different from writing one for a magazine ad.
Why? Well, you’re no longer trying to grab a Web user’s attention—your previous ad or email already convinced them to click through to your site. Now that they’re where you want them, plain and simple, you need to tell them why they’ll benefit from your product or service.
For many businesses, an effective headline option is to simply state in a few words what their service does. No fancy jargon. No witty jokes. Just a direct, clear statement of what their service is about, and how it will ultimately benefit the consumer.
The easier you make it for landing page visitors to understand what you have to offer, the more likely they are to stick around to learn more.
2) Strong, Well-Placed CTA Buttons
The entire purpose of your landing page is to generate leads and sales, and much like any other piece of marketing, a strong call to action (CTA) is essential for generating clicks.
Your CTA should communicate clearly what it is that you want your customers to do:
- “Sign Up.”
- “Learn More.”
- “Start Your Free Trial.”
Succinct pieces of text that tell your customers exactly what to do (or how to claim your offer) are your best bet for landing page success.
Of course, there’s more to a good CTA than the text.
The placement, color and design of your CTA button can play a huge difference in whether or not it generates clicks. In general, however, successful landing pages feature multiple CTA buttons, both at the top of the page and in various locations below the fold.
These CTA buttons should stand out from the rest of the landing page, thanks to their color and design—in other words, they should look like a button.
When this is combined with short, persuasive text, you are sure to get more clicks.
3) Above-the-Fold Optimization
While your landing page may feature persuasive swaths of in-depth information about your product or service below the fold, the fact of the matter is that if your landing page visitors aren’t intrigued by what they first see when they open your page, they won’t scroll down to see the rest of your content.
Because of this, optimizing your above-the-fold content is essential if you wish to get results from your landing page. As valuable as the items you include on the rest of your page might be, make sure that only the most essential information is included above the fold.
Your explanatory headline, clear CTA and some short, supporting information need to be presented in a clear, compelling manner. Only then will your visitors keep reading.
4) High-Quality Images
Visuals can be a particularly tricky element of landing page design.
Should you use photos? Maybe illustrations? While the answer may vary depending on your target audience, one thing is certain: you should only use high-quality images on your landing page.
Our eyes are naturally drawn to photos and illustrations, often before reading a headline or looking at any other content on a page. If your image selection includes cheesy stock photos or poorly-rendered illustrations, you could find users clicking away before they even discover what you’re trying to sell.
A high-quality image should not only look great—it should also be relevant to your message.
For example, don’t just use a stock photo of someone smiling at their smartphone. Show your product or service in action with compelling usage photos or well-designed graphics.
However, keep in mind that with images, sometimes less is more.
Too much visual action can prove distracting and keep site visitors from finding your CTA. Regardless of whether you find photos or illustrations to be best for your audience, make sure to leave plenty of white space on your page to make it easier for customers to quickly absorb your content and find your CTA.
5) The Psychology of Color Schemes
Countless studies have been conducted regarding the psychology of color schemes and how various colors provoke different emotions in viewers.
While color selection is certainly important for your landing page, it’s even more important to consider how your overall scheme affects the user experience.
As with other elements of landing page design, your color scheme should ultimately draw your visitors’ attention to your CTA. Resist the urge to highlight additional navigation items, as this could potentially distract visitors from the most important parts of your site.
In general, muted, neutral color schemes for the majority of your landing page are best, as this keeps things from becoming visually overwhelming, while simultaneously making CTA buttons and other important elements pop out more when given splashes of color.
While these best practices can certainly increase the effectiveness of a landing page, the truth of the matter is that there is no one-size-fits-all formula for landing page success.
Many landing pages undergo extensive A/B testing, even after applying the above attributes, before seeing an increase in sales and leads. That said, as you adhere to these principles, you’ll soon find your landing page working for you—not the other way around.