“Landing pages are the new direct marketing, and everyone with a website is a direct marketer.” ~Seth Godin
Landing pages are meant to convert traffic based on an intended action. This action could be subscribing to an email list or a free trial, purchasing a product, or requesting information. In a nutshell, landing pages are designed for a specific purpose, that is to convert a visitor to complete an action. The optimization of landing pages is a widely discussed topic in internet marketing. Marketers continue to tweak their pages in hopes of increased conversions. What are the best practices for designing an effective landing page? I will cover some of them here and then we will look at specific examples in further detail.
Keep it simple
A landing page is designed for visitors to complete a single action. If you clutter the page with too many calls to action, you will confuse the visitor.
Avoid excess content
Users will not read through copy. They will simply skim headlines. Avoid excess clutter. Oft times, less is more with landing pages. Clear, concise calls to action and a good amount of white-space can be very effective at drawing the eye to the intended action. Clean and simple is the name of the game.
The use of appropriate colors can greatly enhance your conversion rates. Colors create an emotional response while drawing the eye to a specific location. Use a pop of color for your “call to action” buttons. They should jump off the page. For an in-depth look at color in web design, check out this informative article: Color Theory for Designers
Testimonials will convey to the visitor that your product is worth buying. Be careful not to overdo the testimonials. One or two should suffice. If possible, brands and logos work best, either alone or accompanied by a review. People are skeptical. If you post a testimonial by a “Beth Smith”, they might think it was your trusted aunt helping you out. Establish authenticity with your testimonials in any way you can. Videos will work as well.
From start to finish, your sales funnel should be relevant and consistent. If you are sending people to a landing page via an advertisement, the landing page should speak the same message as your ad and include similar colors and fonts. If you are advertising a free 7 day trial, this information should be listed on your landing page. If the messaging is even the slightest bit inconsistent, you will lose potential leads.
A landing page should undergo A/B testing. With this type of testing, you measure response rates based on different versions of a control. For example, your first landing page will act as your control. You would then test one variable at a time (e.g. a different banner, button, image, etc.) by changing an element and seeing how your audience responds. Successful testing will give you the optimal landing page for your target audience.
Above the fold
“Above the fold” of a web page simply refers to the area a visitor views without scrolling down. Your landing page should include the most important information as well as the “call to action” button above the fold. People should never have to scroll down to view the “meat” of the landing page. Below are 5 examples of great landing page designs:
1. GMAC Mortgage
In this example, GMAC Mortgage is using the color “blue” well, which is normally associated with trust and financial institutions. There is a lot of white-space and the “call to action” buttons are in a color that draws the eye to them since the orange is a good contrast to the blue and white. The “call to action” buttons are strategically placed on the top and bottom of the page and the benefits are highlighted as well.
2. Strawberry Jam
I wanted to highlight the simple design of this landing page. The arrow points to the email entry field and the top of the page highlights the logos of clients who use the service. Though most of the information is above the fold, if you scroll down, the page explains what it is about. The page is very creative and extremely well-thought out.
This landing page is simplistic and highly effective. The headline captures your attention and appeals to the audience. The word “used goods” is highlighted for a reason, while “Craigslist” and “Ebay” are underlined for a purpose as well. It sets a precedent and leaves you hanging until you enter your email address. As an avid Craigslist seller, I was compelled to enter my email address after seeing this page.
4. Debt Free 123
This landing page is a great example of what a strong image can convey. People who are looking for debt solutions are most likely frustrated and depressed and have children to parent. This landing page is appealing to a specific demographic and portraying the emotions of a happy family to lead visitors to its intended action. The logo is also very effective and the headline grabs interest. The green arrow on top of the entries section draws the eye to the right place. The eye is immediately drawn to the green and red colors due to the strategic muted background colors. Tip: Know your demographic and who you are targeting. Use this information to aid you in choosing the right images, colors, etc.
5. Hooked on Phonics
This landing page is my favorite of the five. The colors are very strategic and there are many effective elements. It includes a guarantee which makes visitors feel safe as well as a customer satisfaction seal (seals emit a feeling of trust). It also targets the audience with the image and includes a video which is another effective tool to keep people on the page. Videos can explain the benefits of a product or service in a more visual, interactive format. There is also a visual representation of what you will expect to receive when you fill out the form. Every element on this page has a purpose. What methods have you used to optimize your landing pages? Do you like any of these landing pages? Do not hesitate to contact us.