How to Create a Landing Page that Converts

Key Elements to a Strong Landing Page
  • Introduction

    Our clients often ask “How do we improve conversions?”. Some might respond: add a button here, or change the text there, or shift this content around. While some of these changes might help, oftentimes, the real improvements come from being able to address your customers’ concerns before they voice them.

    Quick note: landing pages can mean either the page where a visitor first lands on your website, or for marketing purposes, it can also mean a page that was created for a campaign and may be separate from the main website. The following is our approach to the latter, creating landing pages for marketing purposes.

  • Step 1: Start by defining a goal

    It seems like an obvious thing to do, but before you can start designing the landing page, you must set a specific goal for this page, and ideally it should be limited to 1 goal (no more than 2!). This reduces distractions for your customers, who nowadays have very small attention spans and many reasons to leave your page.

    Some questions you’ll want to figure out at this point are:

    • Is this page primarily for lead generation? Is it for brand awareness? Is it to sell a specific product? Or to introduce a group of products?
    • How long will this page be up?
  • Step 2: Identify your audience

    Once you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to determine your audience. This is important because you want to identify the context of where your audience is coming from so you can properly address their concerns in a relevant way. Some of the questions you’ll want answers to are:

    • Are they new customers who have never seen your product or brand?
    • Are they returning visitors who have purchased or not purchased?
    • Where will they be coming from? What platform? What device?
  • Step 3: Understand the limitations of your platform

    This step is often overlooked earlier in the process. It’s important to decide what platform your landing page will live on because understanding the limitations and the options of each platform will give you the ability to design around each limitation, while still addressing customers’ needs. There are numerous options you can go with, but ultimately what you decide depends largely on your developer resources, how long the page will be up, whether you require the ability to sell products, how mobile-friendly this page needs to be, etc.

  • Step 4: Outline your page content

    Once you have an understanding of what the purpose of your page is, start outlining the content like you would an essay. The general rule of thumb is: the lower the content is on the page, the less traffic it will receive. This is why it’s important to keep the most impactful information at the top of the page. The best way to go about it is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and understand their concerns in order of priority. Generally, you’d need to answer the following questions:

  • 4-1. What is your product? (Or rather, what problem does your service or product solve for me?)

  • Raise Me explains that they offer micro-scholarships (solution) to help students finance college tuition (problem).
  • 4-2. Why is your product special? (Why should I care about your product/offering?)

  • byHumankind’s homepage leverages straightforward imagery and copy to explain what makes their product unique.
  • 4-3. Who else is using your product/service? (How can I trust what you’re offering is legitimate?)

    Tia leverages testimonials to lend credibility to their brand.
  • 4-4. What can I expect when using your product? What does that look like?

  • Monument includes a "how it works" section with imagery suggesting what their app usage looks like.
  • Step 5: Design your landing page

    Once you have a rough idea of what your landing page content entails, then it’s finally time to start designing your page. How to design your page depends a lot on context, but here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

  • 5-1. Avoid complexity

    Keep your customer interactions simple. Unless you’re selling very high-end products, avoid using non-standard button interactions, text layouts, scrolling behavior, etc. Also make sure that there’s no doubt about what the next steps on this page are. Design one clear path for customers to reach your goal.

  • I like to envision designing your landing page a bit like the way the floor plan is laid out in an Ikea store — there’s only one path that takes you through a guided experience towards checkout. Image: IKEA
  • 5-2. Keep your copy short

    Keep your paragraphs and sections that are near the top of the page to 1–3 sentences long. Even though it can be hard to condense everything you want to say in such a short amount of text, any more and customers will be less likely to read any of it. For information that requires more text, you can add an FAQ section on your page.

  • Ritual does a really great job at using short, straightforward copy to explain a potentially jargon-heavy topic, while providing references to learn more if customers are interested. The breakdown of their content is nicely done.
  • 5-3. Keep your copy and design consistent across channels

    Make sure your brand elements, from buttons to fonts to colors, and to certain wordings you use and don’t use, stay consistent within all channels, whether it’s emails, packaging and ads. Not only does this help build your brand, it also makes it easier for your customers to identify where they are at and how to navigate your page.

  • When we matched the copy on the landing page to the ads that customers clicked through for Sustain, we saw over 100% increase in conversions.
  • 5-4. Include testimonials and press

    Testimonials and press are two very key sections on your page that add legitimacy to your product/service, especially when it comes to selling online. Adding testimonials to a page can increase your conversions by more than 20%. They also generally perform well across multiple channels.

  • 5-5. Select imagery that helps customers visualize themselves with your product/service

    Because customers aren’t able to see the product/service in person, it’s important you help them envision themselves with your product. Some key imagery you’ll want to include:

    • Images of the product itself
    • Lifestyle images of people using your product. We performed tests to see which would perform better: a photo of a person using the product or a photo of the product alone. Having a person on the page performed much better.
  • Maiden Home includes photos of someone using their product in their home to help customers envision the couch in their own space.
    • User-generated content — images your customers took of themselves using the product. These photos don’t necessarily have to be studio-quality images. In fact, the more authentic these images are to the user, the better.
  • Looma shows photos of their sheets from their customers.
  • 5-6. Make sure pages are designed with mobile in mind

    This one goes without saying, but it’s good to remember that most of the traffic that goes to landing pages comes from mobile ads these days. This is why you want to make sure that your landing page is mobile friendly so you can make a good first impression.

  • Step 6: Building your landing page

    There are a lot of services out there today that will let you create landing pages for marketing purposes without needing to learn how to code. These services do come with limitations, however for most purposes they work well enough. Here are a few key tips you’ll want to keep in mind when you build your page:

  • 6-1. Make sure to fill out all the ALT text on your images.

    Not only is this good for SEO, it’s also good for users with accessibility issues. There are some great articles out there that offer good tips for writing effective ALT text, but the rule of thumb is to make sure your ALT text describes what the image is conveying.

  • 6-2. Make sure you choose a URL that is user-friendly

    Oftentimes the URL is something that doesn’t get a lot of thought put into it, but it's much better to choose a URL that is short, but descriptive of what your page is offering. This will also help with SEO.

  • 6-3. Make sure users can interact with your page quickly

    While having a quick page load speed is important, it’s actually a lot more impactful to optimize for Time to Interactive — make sure that users can quickly interact with your page even if the page may not necessarily be done loading.

  • 6-4. Set up tracking

    Make sure your page has Google Analytics installed, as well as all the pixels needed for tracking ad performance. If possible, set up a heatmap tool like Hotjar, Lucky Orange or Full Story to understand how your customers are behaving on this page.

  • Step 7: Iterate!

    Once you launch your landing page, let it run for a good amount of time to gather performance data. You’ll then be able to review performance and see what learnings you can gain from your audience. Then it’s time to iterate on your current page to see how you can keep improving it! The truth is, a great performing landing page is the result of constant iterations and learnings.

  • Monument was able to improve the performance of their landing page through routine iterations.

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