When running a promotion on social media or through a newsletter, you’ll invariably include a link to your website. Whether this link takes a user is your landing page. Some businesses simply use their homepage, but this is a mistake.
An advertisement or banner piqued a user’s curiosity. You promised a particular offer or service that interested them. A homepage discusses everything that you can provide. That’s like offering somebody a snack and then attempting to upsell them on a three-course meal.
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By designing a landing page, you will drill down into the wants and needs of a customer and retain their attention. Done right, this increases sales, enhances SEO, boosts page ranking and shows a customer that you can deliver what they are looking for.
A poorly thought-out landing page, however, will have the reverse effect. A bad landing page will suffer significant bounce rates and damage your reputation with visitors. This guide will help you devise the perfect landing page for your needs.
How to design a landing page
- Confirm your intentions
A good landing page will see great results. The question is, however, what do you want these results to be?
- Draw up a customer profile
This means thinking like a customer and building your landing page around their preferences.
- Utilise software
Using specialist landing page software will save time and create superior results by utilising a drag-and-click approach to design.
- Consider the visual design
While persuasive language is important, never underestimate the importance of design, layout and imagery.
- Write compelling copy
Once you have mastered the design of your landing page, it’s time to populate it with copy.
- Provide a CTA
Finally, your landing page needs a clear and unmistakable call to action.
Why use a landing page?
Like any element of online business, designing the ideal landing page is akin to walking a tightrope. There is a lot to consider, and one false move could send your traffic plummeting to the hard ground below.
If a homepage is the blueprint of your website, a landing page is the reception room. A landing page is the first impression that a potential new customer will have of your business. As the old adage goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. You need to ensure that it’s a good one.
A landing page has three core purposes:
- Improving SEO ranking – Google AdWords loves landing pages. By using appropriate keywords in yours, you can attract hitherto untapped levels of traffic. This will impress The Big G’s many and varied algorithms and rocket you to page 1 of relevant searches
- Promoting products and sales – many advertising campaigns are built around one particular offering. This could be a seasonal discount or the solution to a specialist consumer pain point. A landing page will reassure customers that you can meet their needs without any background noise
- Speeding up the sales funnel – a landing page should display a CTA loudly and proudly without being too pushy. A well-designed landing page will encourage customers to proceed straight to checkout or to sign up for a mailing list
This makes a well-designed and executed landing page critical. Once you have perfected this, you can relax and let your website do the work for you. Landing pages are designed to increase conversions and sales by expanding upon the morsel of information that an advert provides. Essentially, a good landing page means that you can attract customers and generate sales without lifting a finger.
How to design the perfect landing page
Now that we have established that landing pages are important, we need to ensure that yours meets the needs of your business. This is achieved by meeting the needs of your customers.
Designing and creating the ideal landing page is a six-step process. Do not try to run before you can walk. By being patient and tackling the creation of the landing page in chunks, you stand a greater chance of seeing results.
1. Confirm your intentions
As we have said time and again, a good landing page will see great results. The question is, however, what do you want these results to be? Until you have answered this, there is no point in going any further with the design of your landing page.
Two primary purposes of landing pages are increasing conversions or capturing data for a future sales push. Of course, there’s nothing to say that you cannot target both outcomes simultaneously. However, dividing your focus potentially means halving your success. Customers followed your link for a reason, after all.
To stand the best chance of success with your landing page, take a bespoke approach. Decide which style of landing page is most suitable, and tailor it accordingly.
Landing pages designed for sale conversions
For many businesses, the bread and butter aim of a landing page is to convert to sales. As we touched upon previously, landing pages can help focus on this.
If you’re looking to convert sales to a particular product or service through your landing page, discuss that and nothing else. This is not the time to discuss the many and varied additional offerings that you can provide, or upsell to a bigger, better package.
Your advertisement of Product X attracted attention, so channel your energies into selling Product X. Products Y and Z can wait for a different campaign.
Landing pages designed for data collation
Not all landing pages need to include a hard sell. You may be looking to build your mailing list or learn if people are interested in a future product.
To achieve this, you’ll need to encourage users to sign up. People are unlikely to wilfully provide personal data with nothing in return, though. With this in mind, use a landing page to making signing up worth a visitor’s while.
Offer a free e-book, a discount code on a future purchase or a white paper on a subject that they’ll find interesting. The catch? The user needs to provide their email address so you can send this out to them. You now have their information, and they are less likely to kick themselves for handing it over.
2. Draw up a customer profile
Once you have decided what you wish to achieve with your landing page, consider how you will go about accomplishing this goal. This means thinking like a customer and building your landing page around their preferences.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach here. No two customers are identical, and every user has different desires. This means that you should undertake some A-B testing for your landing page. Draw up at least two options, and test which are seeing the best results.
To make this a worthwhile endeavour, you’ll need to apply some key differences to your approach in your landing page and CTA. Some examples of how you could mix things up include:
- Landing Page A – warm and empathetic copy, with plenty of detail and a raft of endearing images
- Landing Page B – short, punchy copy and a modern, minimalist design that suggests that time of the essence
This is also an opportunity to encourage communication. Include a, “contact us” button on your landing page. This will keep users engaged with your site, and the interaction will bolster your SEO performance. It also provides a second chance to convert if a wavering customer needs a little more persuasion with a personal touch.
3. Utilise software
Your next step will be to invest in the appropriate tools to give your landing page the best possible chance of success. Using specialist landing page software will save time and create superior results by utilising a drag-and-click approach to design.
Here are five of the finest landing page creation tools out there.
Have a play with each of these and decide which you feel most comfortable with. Once you are confident that you know your way around the software, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and really start the landing page creation process.
4. Consider the visual design
It’s a common belief that copy is king when converting curious users into loyal customers. While persuasive language is certainly important, never underestimate the importance of design, layout and imagery.
Some people will just scan your landing page rather than take the time to read it, and the human brain processes visual stimulus up to 60,000 times faster than it can read and digest text. Use the psychology of branding to put yourself one step ahead before the user even starts reading the copy.
Your landing page should prominently feature a, “hero shot” that draws the eye. This is one, very significant image above your headline. This image must be built around three core properties:
- Size. The image should be large enough to capture attention without being overpowering
- Relevance. Don’t lose sight of why people have ended up on our landing page
- Quality. Use the highest-res picture possible – this is not the time for grainy or watermarked images
In addition to images, think about the general layout of your landing page. It needs to be detailed enough to make it worth visiting, but not so busy that the user grows overwhelmed and bounces. This is why using specialist software is so helpful. It will enable you to strike the perfect balance between pictures and prose.
5. Write compelling copy
Once you have mastered the design of your landing page, it’s time to populate it with copy. This is arguably the most challenging element of all, so do not hesitate to seek professional help if necessary. A high-quality copywriter will produce text that generates amazing results.
Perfect copy for a landing page can be complex. It needs to be persuasive without being pushy. It needs to suggest that the offer is time-sensitive without feeling desperate. It needs to answer questions without raising any new ones.
Above all, the copy of your landing page needs to convince the user that they made the right decision visiting you. To achieve this, your landing page should be broken down into five segments of microcopy.
A headline is an accompaniment to the hero shot on your landing page. This needs to be short, sharp and attention-grabbing. Think of it as the mission statement of your business. Many landing pages live or die according to the quality of their headline.
This is the nuts and bolts of your copy. Be as detailed as possible here, but don’t get into the weeds. Use this opportunity to explain why the product is ideal for a user’s needs in plain English. Stick to a few sentences, but ensure that every word counts.
Before the final step of encouraging people to purchase or sign up, earn their trust. Include some five-star reviews or short testimonials from happy customers.
Call to action
You’ll need a CTA to bring your landing page home and make it clear what the user’s next action must be. We’ll discuss this in more detail in point 6.
As intimated back in point 2, interaction can be hugely beneficial to a landing page. Insert a footer that enables a user to get in touch with you if they need more information. This is also an opportunity to promote your social media feeds. Somebody that found you via Instagram may wish to follow you on Twitter, and vice versa.
6. Provide a CTA
Finally, your landing page needs a clear and unmistakable call to action. The important thing to remember is that this should be a final step of the chain. Users ended up on your landing page because they were interested in your offering and wanted more information. Provide this, then convert. Do not make users visit yet another page for even more data.
If you followed our advice in sections 4 and 5, you are already on the brink of a potential sale. Your CTA is the final push that a user needs to take the plunge. Keep the user’s attention with images, explain why they need to act now with copy, and then display a prominent call to action to finalise the process.
As we mentioned before, don’t be pushy with this. By the same token though, don’t be too meek. There’s nothing wrong with a little ballast. Don’t just say, “Click Here to Buy Now.” Use language like, “Yes, I Want to Resolve This Problem – Let’s Do This!“
This will help a customer feel like they are being treated like a human being, not just another number on a spreadsheet. This kind of microcopy will show an understanding and empathy to a user’s needs. It suggests that you are just as keen to resolve their issue as they are to find a solution.
As you’ll see, there is plenty to consider when tackling a landing page. If you need further advice or assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Creative.ONL. Our team of experts are ready and waiting to help you build the perfect landing page – and to reap the rewards of your efforts with enhanced conversions.