Without a doubt, you want your landing page to be effective—which means you’re constantly on the hunt for some landing page best practices you can implement to inspire your visitors to take action.
You aren’t alone. After all, if you’re going to take the time to create landing pages for your various campaigns (which, spoiler alert: you should be!), you want them to be effective at marketing your product and increasing conversions.
With that in mind, let’s dig into everything you need to know to make the most of your own landing pages.
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Landing Pages: The Masters of Conversion
First, let’s get this important reminder out of the way: Your website homepage and your landing pages aren’t created equal.
“Your homepage is a hub,” explains Andy Nguyen in a blog post for Kissmetrics,
It’s a jump off point to the rest of your site’s content. A landing page is a destination. It’s where you want visitors to end up.
This is why landing pages are typically where conversions happen. Your visitors aren’t overwhelmed with the navigation and numerous different calls to action that are stuffed into your website’s homepage.
Instead, a landing page gives them only the information they need and drives them to a specific action.
As Oli Gardner explains in an enlightening blog post for Moz, your advertisement does the job of capturing your audience’s attention. But, once visitors click through and arrive at your landing page? It’s the duty of your landing page to maintain and then focus their precious attention.
It’s for this very reason that landing pages are for more effective at converting customers than your generic homepage.
In fact, data from MarketingSherpa—which surveyed 2,673 marketers—shows that 43% of respondents rank landing pages as very effective.
Another 49% rank them as somewhat effective. That only leaves a measly 8% who claim landing pages aren’t effective at all.
But, when it comes to those people who claim that landing pages simply aren’t worth the effort, there’s likely one big thing that they fail to realize: The simple act of having a landing page won’t accomplish much.
In order to see the most bang for your buck (and your time), your landing page needs to be appropriately optimized.
Why Landing Page Optimization Matters
Optimized? What on earth does that mean?
Put simply, optimizing your landing page involves tweaking and tailoring it in a way that makes it the most appealing for your visitors.
Optimizing a landing page ensures that you achieve the highest possible conversion rate from the visitors who arrive at that landing page,
-explains Optimizely’s Optimization Glossary,-
Landing page optimization can help you lower your customer acquisitions costs, acquire more customers, and maximize the value of your ad spend.
In other words, it means making sure that your landing page is easy to look at, simple to read, and explicitly states exactly what action should be taken next.
But, beyond that, you might be eager for more specifics. What is a good landing page? What do you need to know to create one for yourself?
Fortunately, the rest of this post will dive into some landing page optimization best practices that you can put to work for your own business.
Best Practices: How to Make the Most of Your Landing Page
Just the simple act of figuring out what your landing page should include can seem like you’re quickly swept up in an avalanche of information.
B2B landing page best practices, SEM landing page best practices, PPC landing page best practices—the lists and categories go on and on, which makes it tough to zone in on the pieces of information that are actually relevant to you.
So, for the sake of clarity, we’re going to zoom out our lens and focus on some best practices for landing pages in general.
Ready? Let’s get started.
1. Don’t neglect the importance your copy.
When you close your eyes and think about your landing page, it’s tempting to only think about design and overall user experience.
- What colors should you use?
- Where should your call to action be placed?
However, it’s important that you remember that in order to get your visitors to take action, they’re going to need to read. This means that your actual landing page content deserves some special attention.
First things first, you’ll want to focus on one of the most crucial elements: The headline you use on your landing page.
As advertising expert, David Ogilvy, said in his now-famous quote,
On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
So, what do you need to know to write a powerful headline? Focus on the benefit. Explain what the value is for your visitors, and you’re far more likely to have them hooked.
Moving on to the rest of the copy you include on your landing page, it’s important to keep things clear and concise.
As Taboola’s infographic explains, 400-600 words of copy should be enough to get your point across without overwhelming your visitors. B2B content can be slightly longer.
When it comes to the flow of information, Bill Widmer recommends using the inverted pyramid model in his post for Conversion Sciences. As Widmer explains, that looks like this:
And, finally, don’t forget to carefully proofread your landing page copy. Nothing will send a visitor running faster than a glaring typo.
2. Pay close attention to your formatting.
Think about the best practices you already know for creating a blog post.
You know that you should use things like subheads, images, and bulleted lists to break up any big walls of text. You want enough white space so that the post isn’t totally disorienting to look at.
These same concepts apply to your landing page.
The easier it is for your visitors to digest, the more likely they are to make it through and actually take the action you’re directing them to.
Great formatting makes your landing page easier to skim—and you know most of your visitors are only going to skim—making the most important points immediately apparent,
-says Bill Widmer in that same post for Conversion Sciences.
So, before ever hitting publish on that page, have a few different people take a look.
- Do they understand what the page is pushing them toward?
- Do the have any complaints about the appearance?
- What would make it more appealing to them?
Taking the time to evaluate the formatting and appearance of your page can make a huge difference. For example, Basecamp witnessed a 14% increase in their own conversions when they completely overhauled their homepage.
3. Remember your overall branding and messaging.
As much as you want to channel your time, energy, and attention into implementing all of those landing page design tips, you don’t want your landing page to be a drastic departure from the rest of your branding and messaging.
“Your landing pages are an extension of your overall brand,” shares Peep Laja in a post for ConversionXL,
Sometimes, they’re the very first point of contact with your brand. It has to match the look and feel of your main site.
If your landing page looks completely different from the other branding you’ve already put out there, it will serve to only confuse your visitors and make them wonder if they’re actually in the right place.
When working on your landing page design, refer to your brand’s own style guide (if you have one!) to ensure that you stay consistent with things like:
- Voice and Personality
Making the effort to keep things consistent will make your landing page and your overall brand that much stronger.
4. Don’t cram everything above the fold.
Heeding any age-old landing page advice will force you into thinking that you need to cram that precious real estate that lives above the fold (in other words, the place where people need to start scrolling) full with everything that’s important.
However, that might not be true.
In fact, studies show that the highest level of engagement occurs directly at or right before the fold.
And, since many visitors have the tendency to start scrolling before the page has fully loaded, many miss the information that’s placed directly at the top of the page.
So, don’t be tricked into thinking that your CTAs (more on those in a minute!) or anything else of importance needs to occur way at the beginning of your landing page.
Instead, it’s better to play around with the placement of those different elements and figure out where they see the most engagement. It could differ depending on your audience and your own unique landing page.
5. Carefully consider your CTAs.
We’ve briefly mentioned calls to action (CTAs) a few times—and, for good reason. They’re a key ingredient of any successful landing page.
But, just the mention of CTAs can lead to a lot of questions.
- How many should you include?
- Where on your landing page should they be placed?
- What sort of language should you use to make them as impactful as possible?
Again, all of this could vary based on your unique goals and needs. However, there are a few general best practices to keep in mind.
First and foremost, you shouldn’t be afraid to utilize multiple CTA callouts on your landing page—particularly if your landing page is longer.
Placing a CTA near the top, one near the fold, and one at the bottom can increase your chances of conversions. But, here’s the caveat: They need to all be directed toward the same goal.
For example, you wouldn’t want one CTA to download your ebook, another to follow you on Instagram, and another to sign up for your email list.
They should all have the same objective. Remember, multiple CTAs can be effective—provided they don’t ask too much of your visitor.
In order to ensure that your CTA grabs attention, it’s also smart to use contrasting colors so that they stand out.
Companies often make the mistake of using a consistent color pattern throughout their landing page. This causes all of the various elements to blend together, and your CTA to be lost in the background,
-explains Claire Grayston in a blog post for Wishpond.
Finally, you don’t want your CTA copy to be passive or wishy-washy. Use strong, active language to encourage users to take action. Examples of impactful CTA language include:
- Get the free ebook
- Register for the webinar now
- Start my free trial
Those are all much stronger than something more general like, “Sign up here.”
6. Use social proof.
Even once you get visitors to your landing page, getting them to actually take action is still a huge hurdle.
Something that can be a great benefit to you?
Using social proof within the copy of your landing page.
For starters, what exactly is “social proof?”
In a marketing context, it is evidence that other people have purchased and found value in a product or service offered by a business,
-explains Shawn Gannon in a post for Cardinal Path.
When 88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as they do a personal recommendation from a friend, it helps to have words from happy customers on your site. It establishes more trust and gives you far more credibility.
So, whether you want to include a brief video message of a satisfied client discussing your service or you’ll highlight a few pull quotes from people who rave about your product, don’t neglect to go beyond just the sales messages and incorporate your customer opinions as well.
7. Be willing to test and adapt.
All of these tips, strategies, and best practices can help you create a landing page that will impress your customers and increase your conversions.
However, there’s one more important thing to remember: With your landing page, nothing is set in stone.
You have room to adjust, adapt, and experiment to land on a method that works best for you.
If you think your CTA would perform better elsewhere on the page, try moving it. If you think a different headline would resonate more with your audience, try swapping it out and doing some A/B tests.
If you think you need more active copy, rewrite some sections.
Feel free to tweak things as you see fit. But, when doing so, make sure to also track your results.
Doing so will help you land on a winning recipe that you can put into play for your future landing pages. Good luck!