An effective advertising campaign is incomplete without a great landing page. But knowing what works and what doesn’t across companies, across industries, and across platforms is difficult. How do you know where to start?
Although options for the information, the design, and the call to action (CTA) you offer will always differ depending on your goal, there are some musts when it comes to creating your next landing page you should always keep in mind.
Let’s take a look at our top tips and some best practices, starting with the basics.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a page on your website that an online visitor lands on after clicking an ad or marketing campaign. These are usually standalone pages distinct from your main website that have been designed for a single, focused objective. Visitors usually end up on landing pages after clicking a search ad, a social media ad, a YouTube ad, or an email link.
Landing pages generally have one of three objectives:
- To get people to purchase a product or sign up for a particular service or event.
- To collect information so you can remarket to these visitors in the future.
- To introduce your visitors to the product or service you’re trying to sell.
No matter what your goal is, the information you need is usually captured through a lead form.
You can customize these forms to capture whatever specific information you need, including name, email address, phone number, company name, company size, job title, and more. Just remember: the simpler you make the form, the more likely people are to fill it out. Focus on capturing just the information you need to continue guiding the visitor down the buyer’s journey.
According to Venture Harbor, there’s no optimal form length; conversions depend on a wide number of factors. Just be sure to test and see what length works best for you.
Now you know your landing page should be focused on a specific objective, but what does that mean in a more practical sense?
It means this page is designed to limit what the user can click on, read, or otherwise engage with. Since you’re trying to elicit a very specific action, the design of your landing page should make it clear and easy for your user to complete this action.
But you do also want to provide enough information to actually convince the user to convert.
Take a look at the page above.
It’s a landing page from popular ecommerce website builder Shopify. The CTA is simple and the information provided is relatively bare bones, but you still get the gist of what Shopify offers. They also add a few nods of social proof, increasing their credibility and (hopefully) impressing their visitors.
Now look at the longer Shopify homepage below. This is an entirely different page, with much more information, lots of navigational links, tons of graphics and beautiful imagery, and more. This homepage is a catch-all. There’s no directed course of action here; the goal for users is relatively unclear, other than providing a home base that’s meant to guide you wherever you want to go.
In a nutshell, here the main differences you should keep in mind:
- Your landing page should have a short scroll.
- Your landing page should immediately offer a value proposition.
- Your landing page should have a form for you to collect user information.
- Your landing page should be beautiful, but graphically limited, drawing attention to your contact form and nothing else.
- Your landing page should not include navigational links, headers, or footers.
- Your homepage doesn’t have to follow any of these rules – it can be short or long, include a form or not, be heavily graphic or not, simultaneously draw attention to a variety of areas, and include navigation and footer links.
Now that you know what separates a landing page from your main website, what elements should you absolutely focus on including as you build yours out?
5 Key Elements Your Landing Pages Need
1. Keep it bright, beautiful, and bold.
That’s why it’s important to keep things:
Bright – Bright, highly saturated colors are more attention grabbing, especially when the background is more muted.
Beautiful – Keep the limited visuals beautiful. An aesthetically pleasing landing page will leave your visitors in a better, happier mood, which makes them more likely to buy.
Bold – With limited space, you want your text, form, and CTAs to be bold. Play with text sizing, visuals that draw the eyes, like arrows, and things like shadows and color to highlight your most important elements.
2. Maintain page simplicity.
Create a clean page with obvious, natural navigation – but not navigation links. A viewer’s eyes should be drawn naturally down the page or to the side, wherever your form or primary contact fields are. Provide necessary and convincing information, but nothing extra. The fewer the distractions, the better!
That also means getting rid of any in-body links, not making any of your images clickable, and not using any menus or drop-downs.
3. Collect the right information.
As an online marketer, you want to collect as much data as you can. But, remember: when asking for information, less is more. We talked a bit about the “right” number of fields, but what information is actually the most important? What information should you prioritize collecting?
The answer here, like the answer before, is the same: it depends. If your landing page is attracting first-time visitors who have never heard of you, you’ll want to stick to the easiest possible ask, which is a simple email address field. This bit of information feels less intrusive to users and allows you to maintain communication with them long-term.
On the other hand, what if your ad is retargeting users who have already interacted with you? Maybe you already have their basic information, like name and email, or maybe you’re trying to gather more personalized information to accurately segment them. If that’s the case, think about what information would most benefit you. Maybe their company size? How much money they spend on a particular area of their business? Maybe even what their greatest struggle is?
Make sure your form fields make sense and are optimized for the most conversions possible.
4. Offer something valuable.
How likely someone is to fill out your contact form also depends on what you’re offering them. That means whatever your value proposition is, it better be enticing.
Whatever you’re offering, make sure it’s clear and direct. Give your users a reason to get excited about giving you their information. Make your content worth it, whether it’s an eBook, an event, a free consultation, more information, or something more tangible, like a free product or discount.
5. Use video – but test its effectiveness first!
Full disclosure – we’re a video company so we’re obviously big fans of using video everywhere you can. But we’re also aware that video can be distracting on something that should be as clear and direct as a landing page.
Still, the popularity of video only continues to grow and more users expect useful information to be presented via video than via text alone. So, what does that mean for your landing page in the long run?
It means testing is crucial if you want to gauge how different types of media can help optimize the effectiveness of your landing page.
Take a look at what this legal company did on their landing page above. The video is automatically playing with a clear “Talk to an Expert” CTA right in the center.
On the other hand, major advertiser Outbrain went a different route, embedding a video CTA in a much more subtle way on their landing page:
The effect video can have on your landing page can be huge – both in a positive or negative way. But the key is to test and see how it ends up performing for you. How you embed video can also affect your results – giant, autoplaying video might be distracting for your users, but a small video embedded halfway down the page might give invested visitors the information they’re looking for, convincing them to convert.
If you haven’t launched a landing page yet, you’re late to the game. They’re essential when running any ad campaign and crucial for boosting brand awareness and association.
But launching them the right way is more important than launching them at all. So make sure you’ve got a solid landing page strategy before you get started. Focus on design, content, your contact form, and your value proposition, and you’ll have a killer landing page that’ll boost your conversions and maximize your ROI.
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