We've known for a while now that landing pages play a critical role in the online customer acquisition process. Everywhere a marketer turns, there seems to be a new article about the importance of landing pages and how yours can be optimized for success. But with the vast bank of recommendations out there, how are we to know what really works (and converts) on a landing page?
In order to centralize our thoughts about landing pages and what makes them effective, I thought it would be interesting to gather and share some information from around the web regarding the best practices. I'm a lover of list making (sometimes I create lists of things I've already done, just for the satisfaction of crossing them off), so I've decided to compile a list of some of the pivotal concepts in successful landing page creation below.
These guidelines come from industry leading sources including Unbounce and Hubspot, and also a little bit from the skills I've acquired while creating landing pages for a multitude of offerings for clients:
If you were to ask me whether I'm and English or Math person, I wouldn't have to think for 1+1 seconds before proclaiming my love of words and detesting of algebra. But even an arithmetically challenged individual like myself is hardwired to respond to numbers as facts, especially when it comes to decision making. When creating the copy for a landing page, take care to include hard data to appeal to the basic human response to simple numbers.
Number inclusion could be written into your page as a list teaser "Explore 9 Ways to Optimize Your Joomla Site for Speed" or as an experience "Increase Leads by 300% with the Complete Guide to Inbound Marketing", but should always be legitimate. Don't throw in a fake statistic to grab attention, earn it with a real one.
The entire purpose of a landing page is to direct the user to a customized area, created to cater to the specific topic they clicked on (via paid advertisement, call to action, etc). As such, the landing page should speak in humanized language which draws them into the page, rather than generic dialogue. Including variations on "You" and "Your" is a great way to ensure the viewer feels connected to the message, and finds it relevant to their life and needs.
Keep it simple
By simple, I mean really simple. Embracing brevity is often a difficult concept to master in landing page creation, because we want to inform the prospect of our wonderful offering and how it will make their life better right off the bat. Contrary to what we might assume, it's actually a lot harder to get a message across in brevity than complexity.
If you Google "Five Second Rule", you'll find just as many articles referencing landing pages and websites as warnings to not eat food after it's fallen on the floor. In landing page design, conventional wisdom dictates that we are limited to the first five seconds of each pageview to capture our audience's attention, inform them of our offering, and convince them to stay. This simply cannot be done if your landing page is packed with multiple offerings, several ways to act, and visual clutter.
Make it a point to get to the point
I couldn't help myself there. But seriously, in order to create a landing page that actually converts, it's crucial that you determine exactly what you want the viewer to do on the page. Then, build the rest of the page's communication around inspiring that action.
Be intentional in color selection
In the same way that you'd think twice before eating a blue banana, your audience is likely to be psychologically unsure of an offering for a "Relaxing spa experience complete with soothing massage" if it's communicated through neon red and yellow aesthetics. Color plays a major role in how we perceive the world around us, and should be thoroughly evaluated when determining landing page design.
If you've never designed a landing page before, these tips should be a great starting point. On the contrary, if you're seasoned in the landing page department, which other techniques have you found to be reliable?
It's worth noting that although the guidelines above are tried-and-true, some companies have found unexpected success when testing unorthodox landing pages. I'm always interested in hearing more about how businesses are optimizing their communication strategy to meet the needs of their clients, and would love to get your feedback in the comments below!