Landing pages aim to create conversion. But what makes a landing page a good, conversion-optimized one? Let’s have a look at what a landing page is and what elements it should contain to give you ideas how to optimize yours.
Definition of landing page
A landing page is a single web page with a certain purpose, usually to get leads. This can be achieved by having the landing page visitor fill out a form with their contact information. Sometimes, in exchange for something of value, like a digital guidebook or a free consultation. Other landing pages directly aim at selling a paid product or service to the visitor.
The main characteristic of a landing page compared to other web pages (like the “Contact” page you’d normally find on every website) is to assemble all the information needed for the user to perform that certain task. Thus, everything that might distract the user from e.g. filling out that form, is being removed from that page. This can be the navigation, outgoing links and anything else that might disturb the user from converting.
What makes a good landing page?
Where ever you look for “landing page best practices”, you’ll find people generally agree on what elements to include on a landing page. Details, e.g., how long the form should be or what formula to follow when copywriting, vary among the sources though. Let’s have a look at what most experts agree on and what my own Thinking Aloud Tests of a landing page have shown.
1. Attention-grabbing headline
The headline and sub-headline of the page need to grab the visitor’s attention right away. The visitor needs to understand at first glance, what this page is about and what they will get out of it.
Your landing page’s sub-headline can either already include your USP – tell users what makes your offer special -, or serve as a first Call To Action (CTA). Either way, your headline and sub-headline should be focused and on-point.
2. Supporting image
Also above-the-fold, in the very first part of the page that your visitor sees, you want to include an image or illustration, that supports your offer. Pick one that shows:
- either how your visitor will feel after purchasing your solution
- or what your solution is (e.g., display the entry screen of your application).
If you decide to display people, make sure they represent your target audience. Also, the person should look or point at where you want your visitors to be looking at.
It is important that you guide your visitors through your landing page. Tell them what to do, where to go next and where to click. For that, make sure to include a good amount of Calls to Action and buttons leading towards the next step (e.g. your conversion form).
The first button can already be displayed above-the-fold, so your visitor sees the next step right away.
Your button copy should include an actionable verb and be as precise as possible. Here are some suggestions for your CTAs or buttons by Unbounce:
- get free proposal / audit / trial
- get free marketing plan
- start my pricing calculation
Aim at combining the objections or objectives your visitors have into a CTA that promises an answer. Also, make sure your CTAs match the visitor’s intent: People with low intent to convert might just want to gather some information first and are not ready to buy yet – other than high-intent visitors.
4. Simple lead form
Don’t overwhelm your visitor with asking too many details from them in your lead form. But here’s where landing page experts argue differently: Only ask from the visitor what you really need, is what experts from HubSpot and VWO say. This is definitely true for landing pages that offer any freebie to download or free consultation.
When dealing with sales landing pages, Klientboost suggests though to first ask details from the visitor that are simple to answer and let the user remain anonymous for now: What are your goals? What do you need help with? In a next step of their so-called breadcrumb lead form, sales questions can get more precise and lastly result into the most precious details a user can be asked for: their contact information.
5. Elements of trust
Let your visitors know that you understand your business. How? By adding trust elements and social proof to your landing page.
You can always tell facts about yourself that show your expertise: “Dealing with [your topic] since 1999”, “We can look back at 25 years of doing [your topic]”. This supports that page visitors trust you. Even more so, if you add social proof. Here are some examples as stated by Marconomy:
- Customer feedback: Display how your customers evaluated your offer.
- Testimonials: Quote what your customers said after buying your offer.
- Expert statement: Quote someone from your industry that has been talking well about your product.
- Labels or certificates that you gained from institutions.
- Data: Show how many clients you have, how many sales you already generated etc.
This is by far not a complete list of what makes a landing page successful. But these are some of the first steps you can take in order to optimize your landing page for conversion.