Landing Page Best Practices: 12 Tips to Drive Conversions
In online marketing, landing pages are a powerful medium for efficiently generating leads and closing deals. Unlike a regular website, which usually promotes a brand or service as a whole, landing pages highlight one specific product or feature in order to catalyze a signup or purchase.
By emphasizing one key issue - whether it’s a new product, a free trial, or an upcoming webinar or contest - a landing page helps you guide your audience toward fulfilling your most important marketing goals.
In this post, we will take a look at the features that make landing pages so valuable and how you can use them in your own campaigns. We recommend that you browse these landing page best practices side-by-side this landing page builder so that you can start implementing the techniques yourself.
Landing page best practices
01. Define your goal
As a business, you have multiple goals - to get more signups, obtain newsletter or email subscriptions, generate interest in webinars, e-books, or other marketing materials, and, ultimately, sell your products or services.
Eventually, you may decide that you want to incorporate landing pages into your marketing strategy. But what is a landing page? This type of website has only one goal, and it needs to be tightly focused on that objective in order to get visitors to convert. Identifying this goal is one of the most important landing page best practices, since it will give you a strong understanding of the types of landing pages you’ll need to create.
If you’re unsure of your goals, here are some of the most common:
Getting people to buy a product or service
Getting visitors to leave their email address (a practice known as capturing leads)
Getting people to sign up for an event
Once you know what your goal is, keep your focus narrow. Like any good piece of content, you don’t want to include tangential messages on your landing page that stray away from the main point. As you’ll see below, this is the guiding principle that shapes the copy and design of a good landing page.
02. Include powerful CTAs
Once you determine the goal of your landing page, write a clear and enticing call-to-action. This is a piece of microcopy - typically, just 1-3 words - that commands readers to click.
Your CTA should directly tie into your goal. If you’re aiming to get people to purchase, opt for a CTA like “Buy Now.” If you want visitors to download your e-book in exchange for their email address, pick a CTA like “Download My E-Book.” As you can see, CTAs are short and to-the-point; stick to actionable verbs, and skip the fancy adjectives and fluff.
Visually, your CTA also needs to look like a CTA. If people are interested in your offer, they’re not going to want to spend time figuring out how to get it. Make your CTA button visible right away by giving it a recognizable shape, making it clear that it’s something users should click on to take action.
Likewise, make your CTA button a color that contrasts from the rest of the page. This draws from an important principle known as the Von Restorff effect, which posits that items which stand out are more memorable. By making your CTA button a color that stands out, you ensure that it’s not only conspicuous, but also endures in the visitor’s mind.
03. Design with direction
One of the characteristics of a great landing page is that it will naturally guide the visitors’ attention in the order and direction that you want them to go. To achieve this, your landing page design should use visual indicators that draw the eye downward. These may include direct pointers like arrows, but they can also include subtle cues like images or animations that compel people to keep reading.
In addition, format your landing pages using F or Z patterns, which represent the natural way people’s eyes tend to move from one point to the next. You can take advantage of these patterns to create visual hierarchy in your landing pages and to strategically place your most important points.
When people’s eyes meet textually dense pages, they naturally tend to scan them using an F pattern. This involves reading in a horizontal movement across the upper part of the page, and then moving slightly down to read in a second horizontal movement. Finally, they skim the content on the left side of the page, forming the F’s vertical stem.
The Z pattern, on the other hand, is a common reading pattern when a page is less dense and more loosely constructed. As you can see in the image below, this involves scanning the page in a zigzag pattern that resembles the letter Z.
If you’re not sure how to build your design from scratch, these landing page templates are a valuable starting point. By taking the visual patterns mentioned above into account, you can direct your visitors straight to the CTA.
04. Stay above the fold
Another landing page best practice is to place the most important content above the fold - the part of the web page that’s visible on the screen before a user starts scrolling down.
This is some of the most important real estate on a landing page, since it’s the first thing your visitors will see. Place your CTA, as well as your most persuasive copy and compelling images, in this space. That said, don’t cram in too much here - you’ll want it to be visually appealing and easily readable.
Also, keep in mind that some visitors will scroll down. Anticipate these instances by including the CTA in multiple places on the page - toward the top, middle and bottom - to ensure they never lose sight of it.
Curious about how to format your page strategically? Take a look at these landing page examples for ideas.
05. Avoid exit points
Because your landing page needs to focus on a single goal, you should avoid any elements that might cause people to stray from it. In other words, don’t give visitors the chance to wander off.
Resist the temptation to link to your homepage from your landing page, or to include your site’s navigation bar. Likewise, don’t promote other products or link to additional pieces of content if they’re not conducive to this one specific goal.
If you’re unsure whether to include a link or not, it’s better to err on the safe side and link just to your CTA. That way, your reader has two choices - to either click the CTA or exit the page altogether.
06. Write strong copy
Text goes hand-in-hand with visuals when it comes to creating a powerful landing page. Landing pages are meant to be skimmable - readers typically don’t want to linger for more than a few seconds - so you don’t have space for in-depth copy. For that reason, each word you choose is important and has value.
Avoid long, descriptive paragraphs, and instead get straight to the point. While some landing pages are intended to be long-form and do require more extensive copy, you’ll most often benefit from keeping it short. Aim for plenty of white space, with standalone phrases and bulleted lists rather than long chunks of text.
07. Emphasize the benefits
When you create a landing page, you’re asking your visitors to do something for you, whether it’s buying, subscribing or registering. But are you explaining what they’ll get in return?
Your landing page needs to make it very clear that your visitors - and not your company - are the ones who will benefit from this offer. Rather than touting the qualities of your product or service, highlight the ways it’ll improve the lives of those who buy or sign up. Think less along the lines of “This product is great because…” and more along the lines of “You’ll benefit from this product because….”
If you’re unsure of how to start, a good practice is to make a list of your offering’s main qualities and advantages. Then, next to each point, write specifically how this advantage will serve your customers. That deeper level of analysis - one that ties into your customer’s experiences and pain points - is a crucial element in both the headline and body text of your landing page.
08. Take advantage of social proof
Social proof is the psychological phenomenon in which people copy the behavior of others. As a marketing or sales professional, you can take advantage of this human habit as you design your landing pages.
Show visitors that because others have enjoyed your product or service, they will probably enjoy it, too. On your landing page, include written testimonials from satisfied customers, using their names, as well as their job titles or even a headshot, to confirm the authenticity of their review. You'll see an example of how to effectively integrate a testimonial in the landing page below.
Alternatively, depending on the style and format of your landing page, you might opt to include a photo or video testimonial that shows customers using your product.
Similarly, if your clients consist of well-known companies or brands, include their logos on your landing page to bolster your authority. If people see that successful brands are using your product, then they’ll be tempted to follow their lead. This phenomenon - known as the principle of authority - is another powerful element of marketing psychology.
Whichever route you choose, make sure to get your clients’ permission before including their information on your marketing assets.
09. Optimize for search
You’re probably already thinking about all the ways you’ll promote your landing page, from email blasts to social media posts. But it’s important to remember to optimize your landing page for search engines, too.
Whether you’re doing paid ads on Google or organic SEO, you’ll need to target keywords within your landing pages - just as you do with your website copy and blog content. That will increase the chances that someone finds your landing page when they search for your targeted phrase.
Keyword research tools like Ubersuggest or Ahrefs can help you find these crucial phrases. Most of these tools not only show you the organic search traffic these terms get per month, but they also display the average cost per click that advertisers are paying for these keywords in search ads.
10. Make it mobile-friendly
These days, about half of internet traffic comes from tablets or mobile devices. That means you need to create a landing page that looks just as good on a mobile device as it does on a laptop or desktop.
Keep in mind that mobile screens are smaller, and that the scrolling experience is different from that of a computer. You don’t want any images to get cut off, and you certainly wouldn’t want to unintentionally hide your CTA. Just like on a computer, the CTA should be visible above the fold. Before you go live with your landing page, try browsing it from your phone to double check that nothing gets cut off.
If you’re building a landing page on Wix, the page will automatically adjust to fit the mobile screen.
11. A/B test your copy and design
In addition to implementing the landing page best practices above, there’s another way to ensure your page’s success: A/B testing.
This involves creating two similar but slightly different landing pages - the A page and the B page - and testing them to see which performs better among your target audience. The landing page that generates the most conversions will be crowned the winner.
There are a few different variables you can test - the color or placement of your CTA, the wording of the headline, the background color, and so on. Just be careful not to have too much variation between the pages; ideally, you should be able to pinpoint the reason for the success of one page over the other so that you can use that information for future landing page designs.
12. Use a landing page template
When there are so many different landing page best practices to consider, the most efficient option for getting started is to use a landing page template. These are designed by professionals with conversions in mind, so you can rest assured they’ll be effective in driving sales and capturing leads. Most importantly, these templates are also fully customizable, so you can tweak the images, copy and design to fit your brand.
If you’re eager to get started, try this landing page builder. This is a quick solution that will help you design free landing pages tailored to your needs.
By Rebecca Strehlow
Marketing Expert and Blogger