Before we talk about how to improve your landing page, let's talk about what a landing page is.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is any web page a visitor… well… lands.  It may be the first page a user sees after clicking an ad, typing a specific URL, or even from Google. The main purpose of this page is to quickly inform and capture potential leads on your site.

Let's get some basic questions out of the way:

Why a landing page and not your homepage? 
Well, landing pages often target a specific service, product, or brand.

Do you really need separate pages for each service or product?
Maybe not, but think about it this way- if you're in the market to buy a high-rise condo, which page is going to catch your interest more, a real estate listings homepage or a landing page dedicated to high-rise listings?

So do I need different landing pages for each service I offer?
It depends on how big the demand is for each, but generally speaking, the more targetted a page is, the better.  Hubspot reported that 48% of marketers craft new landing pages for every campaign.

The 6 basic rules for effective landing pages

1.  You must have a “Killer Headline”

A good headline will do 2 things:

Explain what the user is doing on this page.

On some level, we all have attention issues and trying to remember how you got to this page or what link you just clicked can be frustrating.  Tell users what you do.

I'm not talking about an elevator pitch.  I mean sum up in just a few words what you do.

Pique their interest

Not only should you explain what you do, but why they should pick you.  What's the added benefit to the user?

In a nutshell, as a user I want to know why I clicked on this page and why I should go any further.

We Design and Develop

2.  Offer something worth their time

If you're going to get a user a to give up their information, you had better give them something worthwhile in return.  

No one's going to give up their name, phone number, and astrological sign for your dank cat memes.  Those are available freely everywhere on the internet.

Instead you should try to offer something of real value to them.  Not only will they not try to find you and TP your house for that glorious 1 page e-book you gave them, but it may convince them to actually become your customer.

3.  Take advantage on trust signals

Alright, so your users have made it this far down your page, which is a good sign.  It means they like what they've seen so far, but they're probably still skeptical.

Showing off brands you've worked with, what previous clients have said about, and accreditations from different organizations all go a very long way in providing proof that you're capable of what you say.

It's easy to talk about how great you are, but social proof means a lot more to your customers.

4.  Keep forms as short as possible

People don't like giving out information.  Whether that stems from concern over privacy or if it's just tedious, we all HATE IT.

Ever caught yourself filling out a form, smiling to yourself, saying "Oh yay, another field!"  Me neither.

Below is an example of a bad form.  Why do you need so much information?  Having those extra fields may mean that you're losing up to 50% of your visitors that don't want to deal with the headache.

 

There are exceptions to this, of course.  If you have too many leads and need to pre-qualify your leads better, those fields may provide extra insight and save time on users that aren't your customer.

If you really need that extra information, another great option is to make your forms feel less like forms.  This makes boring forms just a little less boring.

5.  Tailor content to your audience

Different types of people need different types of information.  If you haven't already, you should map out your target audience and buyer personas so you can better understand your customer.

The type of language used for a 20 year old female and a 60 year old retiree are vastly different and require entirely different copy.  On top of that, these groups may respond differently to images, social proof, statistics, or even colors used on your landing page.

6.  Understand visual hierarchy

People are visual and a block of text isn't going to impress anyone.  Likewise, this mess isn't going to get you any conversions.

Where am I supposed to click on this page??

Something we often end up reminding our clients of is this- if everything on your page is a call to action (CTA) then nothing is. 

In order for a CTA to work, it needs to stand out relative to the other content.  When building a landing page, many people are too afraid of white space.  They're able to recognize it looks good on other sites, but suddenly on their own it's not okay.

Maybe this is because they feel like they're not getting their money's worth with every inch of space?  Or maybe it's really their first time examining a website this closely.

Either way, white space increases legibility, creates better visual hierarchy, generally increases conversion, and IMO looks far better.

Setting landing page goals and metrics

In order to understand how your landing page is performing, you need to track information your visitors.  Without doing this, there's little point in this whole process.

Google Analytics is a great place to start.  Aside from basic page tracking, you can add event tracking to items like link clicks or form submissions to better understand how your page is performing.

Going with a good CRM like Hubspot or Mautic will also let you track forms and ties in well with other tracking.

The verdict

There's not an exact science to creating great landing pages and they certainly don't come around overnight.  The best landing pages are continually tested and tweaked, but starting from these fundamentals will give you a head start on the competition.

Focusing on great landing pages will pull in more leads for your business and ultimately more customers.

Have questions about your landing page?  Leave us a comment below!