March 22, 2017

How to create a landing page that converts

Published: 22 March 2017 

If you’re wanting to see results on your website, you’re going to need a good landing page. After all, you don’t want people to just land on your homepage, you want them to take an action. If visitors don’t take that action, you’re not going to end up with any conversions.

No matter what action you’re wanting people to make on your website, there are some common elements that everyone needs on their landing page to increase conversions.

1. A clear call to action

The only way you’re going to get conversions on your website is if you have made your call to action clear. After all, if you haven’t made the call to action completely clear, people simply aren’t going to do it. It doesn’t matter what your call to action is, whether it be sign up to an email list, contact the store, complete the shopping purchase. All that matters is the call to action is clear and obvious to the site’s visitors.

To make sure your call to action is clear, make sure you don’t bombard viewers with other requests. This can be too distracting and make people want to leave the website.

There are a few ways to make sure your call to action will be seen:

  • Don’t keep people guessing - make the call to action button obvious and clear.
  • If you have multiple call to actions, make sure you make the buttons for those smaller than your main call to action.
  • Draw attention to the call to action by using visual aids such as arrows pointing to the button.

Always make sure it’s easy for the visitors to undertake the call to action. Study your own website and look at all the elements. Is it obvious what action you should be taking? If it’s not obvious to you, it’s not going to be to your visitors either.

Netflix is an example of a website that has a clear call to action. Best of all, the call to action is to join free for a month, rather than directing new customers to pay right away:

2. Headlines and subheadlines

Often it’s the content on your landing page that will make visitors stay. It’s what lets the visitors know what the page is about, and whether it’s relevant to what they’re looking for. So it’s important to make sure you get your headlines and subheadlines right.

Your headlines need to be short, to the point, and be able to grab the reader’s attention. It needs to describe what your product or service is about. If it’s not doing this, then re-evaluate your headline.

Your subheadline should complement the headline. It works to help make people stay on the website by being persuasive. This can be longer and more descriptive than the headline. Both the headline and subheading should leave no questions about what your business does. If this still isn’t clear, the visitor isn’t going to stay on your website.

3. Images

You want your website to be aesthetically pleasing. If your website is just a wall of text, or overcrowded with too many images and links, it won’t be user friendly or encourage people to complete the call of action.

When you’re going to use images, make sure they are:

  • Relevant: include photos of the product or service you’re selling. People don’t need to see photographs that aren’t relevant to your products, service, or brand.
  • High quality: you don’t want your photographs to be out of focus, pixelated or not on the right position on the landing page.
  • Large: consider using one image across your whole background, or a large proportion of the background to give your website a smooth and professional look. Look at Apple’s website as an example of a website that includes relevant, high quality and large photographs on its landing page:

4. Design 

Consider the overall design of your landing page. There are a few things you need to do to make sure your website is designed well:

  • Make sure your headlines are in large enough font to be eye catching, and it’s still easy to read the rest of the font on the landing page.   
  • It is mobile user friendly. Check if the mobile version of your website looks the same, and it’s just as easy for people to navigate. If the buttons are too small to press or the page is covered with annoying ads, potential customers are going to leave your site.
  • Use bullet points. If you’re looking for an easy way to describe the benefits of your product or service, bullet points are a good thing to consider. It also cuts down on the big walls of text on your website.
  • Including videos on your landing page can increase conversions by 80%. Just make sure your videos aren’t too big, and consider whether you want it to autoplay or not.
  • Flow: make sure there’s some form of logical flow to your landing page. Are items in some order? Have your heading and subheadings first, followed by benefits, any necessary testimonials, and a call to action.    

5. What's in it for me?

That’s what customers want to know when they visit any website - what’s in it for me? This is what’s known as a unique value proposition. It’s a way to let customers know what you have to offer them, what benefit they get and why they should buy from you.

An example of a poor unique value proposition comes from Grand Canyon University:

This value proposition does not clearly explain why people should choose Grand Canyon University over any other university. Where is the benefit to the customer? The landing page also places too much emphasis on the form to fill out, rather than redirecting customers to a new page to fill out the form.

What a value proposition isn’t is long-winded jargon. People need to understand exactly what you’re communicating. Clearly list all the benefits of your product or service to help people decide whether to continue on your website or not.

6. Social proof    

Our everyday decisions are often influenced by the actions of those around us. You’re more likely to do something if someone else is doing it too. Social proof is an important factor for business owners. If you’re able to show that people have used your product or service, you’ll be more likely to gain new customers.  

You can include social proof on your website by including trustworthy testimonials. If you’re going to use testimonials, make sure you pick people who are relevant to your target audience. If you can, include a photograph, as this will make the testimonial seem more real and trustworthy. Make sure your testimonials give some specifics - what exactly was done, what was the results. Using numbers and data in your testimonials is even better.

Freshdesk has a page dedicated to testimonials, with the logos of customers included, and written testimonials from many happy customers:

Other forms of social proof include press mentions or usage statistics. Businesses often quote how many people have signed up, or have downloaded their service. Having some form of social proof on your landing page will show other people have used your service, found value in it, and that you can deliver results. It will make people be far more likely to complete your call to action and become a conversion.

Every website is different and has varying aims when it comes to what makes a conversion. The most important factor is to make sure your call to action is clear, otherwise you won’t see any conversions.

Ben Maden

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