How to Design a Landing Page that Converts

A landing page is the first thing potential customers see, so all elements on the page – as well as the copy – must be designed with conversion in mind.  

A well-designed landing page can help you drive conversions and generate more subscribers. If it’s not designed properly, you can expect a high bounce rate, as potential customers are quick to make judgements about what pages are worth their time.  

In this article, I’ll explain how to maximise the potential of your page to convert visitors into subscribers or paying customers.  

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is a web page that’s separate from your main site and is created in order to generate leads or sales. Landing pages are often used within a broader digital marketing campaign, such as a paid advertising campaign, or email marketing. 

Businesses often use landing pages to advertise special offers, introduce a new product or service, for event registration (i.e., webinars), or to encourage visitors to subscribe to an email list. You can direct different segments to different landing pages that use language and appeals that are relevant for that specific audience.  

Elements of a High-Converting Landing Page

Layout and Visuals

The layout and design of your landing page can make or break your conversion rates. You want to make sure your page design is eye-catching and appealing, but also easy to navigate. Using a clean, professional looking design that’s free of clutter is the first step. Also make sure your fonts are easy to read and avoid using multiple different fonts on one page; stick to one or two, as you would when designing any web page. 

Engaging visuals draw visitors in. It’s common practice to have a striking banner at the top of the page, that contains a curiosity-inspiring heading that makes users want to scroll further.  

Visuals can be used in a variety of other ways, from providing additional information about the product or service, to showcasing benefits and features, or simply providing a more creative approach to copywriting. As always, steer clear of overdoing it, as this will overcrowd the page and confuse the reader.

Memorable and successful landing pages get visitors to perform a specific action, like entering contact information, signing up for a newsletter, and so on. Well-designed CTAs needs to be placed strategically; visitors should not have to scroll and search for them. It’s common practice to include two CTA buttons – one right at the top of the page, ensuring it is visible without the user having to scroll; the second one will be at the end of the page, after the body of the copy. Some landing pages may contain more than two CTAs, such as those with longer copy or multiple sections.   

The design of the CTA button is also important. Using a colour that contrasts the background makes it stand out. Also make sure the CTA button font is also clearly readable.  

Keeping these design principles in mind when you design landing pages will help to drive conversions.  

Headlines 

A clear and concise headline is perhaps the most important part of the page. It’s the first thing your customers see, and it sets the tone for the rest of the page. A compelling headline, along with an attention-grabbing subheading, can quickly draw in potential customers, encourage them to stay on the page, and lead them towards action.   

There are specific types of headlines that stand out as having more impact than others. Among the best ones are the “how to” type formula, headlines including odd numbers (written in numerical form and not words), and shorter headlines between five and nine words.  

Subheadings 

Essentially, a subheading expands on the promise made in the headline. As it underlines the header, the subheading serves to elaborate on the main idea and add depth and interest for the reader, leading them into the body copy. It still needs to be concise and clear, but it can include more words. 

Copy 

If your landing page is designed to generate sales, the main body of the copy is your opportunity to really sell your product or service. This is where you explain its features and benefits and the advantages your business offers compared to others. You don’t have to name your competitors and in many cases, you’ll want to avoid doing that – however, you can highlight what your business offers that others don’t.   

If your landing page is going to be used to capture email addresses, your copy should clearly and concisely explain why the reader will benefit from subscribing to your list. An added incentive to complete the CTA can generate additional interest. For example, you might offer a discount in exchange for signing up for a mailing list. 

The best landing pages contain copy that is direct, relevant and compelling, and should begin with a hook. A hook is exactly what it sounds like; a concept or idea that grabs attention.  

There are copywriting frameworks you can leverage in order to get results, such as the AIDA framework. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.  

Social Proof

The copy can also incorporate a “social proof” element, in the form of testimonials, case studies, and statistics. This can help boost your credibility and make potential customers feel more comfortable with their purchase. 

Testimonials are reviews from previous clients and can be written or in video form. They are an excellent way to add credibility and inspire trust in your visitors. They also help you to overcome objections, especially if they address specific problems or challenges your customers are facing and explain how your product or service solved those issues. In fact, reviews have shown to generate 62% more revenue per site visitor, so include them wherever relevant.   

Authority

To differentiate your business from the competition, you may want to include a short section highlighting why customers should do business with you. This section is especially important for higher ticket items, and when the customer is not likely to have heard of you before. It should briefly mention your expertise and credentials (if relevant).   

This section can be included whether or not you have a personal brand. For example, a business may want to mention that they are the leading provider of a certain service and that they have been serving clients for more than 20 years. They may also want to mention any industry awards they have received.  

Focus

Your landing page does not have to look like the rest of your site.  In fact removing the main navigation, blog promotions and anything else that is a distraction from the action you want the user to take is essential.  The focus of the page should be entirely on converting that user down that single journey.  So drive the message home, ensure the design is clean and use a completely new template that keeps them on that page with only one choice – to convert. 

Create a Sense of Urgency

As a potential customer progresses through your page, they need to feel a sense of urgency. This can be created through the language you use, as well as the structure of the text. You can create anticipation and build momentum by using short sentences in appropriate sections. Avoid long paragraphs and use one-line paragraphs for emphasis.  

Other ways to create urgency involve the offer itself. This can include time-sensitive offers expressed as “ending soon”, or you could mention limited inventory or a limited number of spots on a special offer or course. If you’re looking to get subscribers, you could offer a discount code to the first 100 people to sign up. You can also use pre-CTA text really ramp up the urgency (see below).  

Call To Action Copy

The text on your CTA button should be something simple and direct such as “Buy Now” or “Subscribe Now”. It’s common to use a strong verb followed by “now”, and you’ll want to keep it brief – three words at the most.  

To enhance the sense of urgency, use pre-CTA text – a final sentence positioned directly before the CTA button that reminds the reader why they must take your desired action.  

Testing

Testing is essential and it’s important not to overlook it. It can be time-consuming and is not the most fun part of creating a sales funnel, but it’s necessary if you want to really get the best results. 

A/B testing (a.k.a. split testing) is the process of changing one element on your page and testing the performance of both versions. For example, you may want to test which headline is most effective, so you may launch two versions of your landing page to see which performs best.  

Based on the results of the tests, you can decide on the final version of the page. You may also want to test more than two variations. 

Relying on existing research can be tempting, but through A/B testing, it’s possible to learn far more about your visitors than was previously known and leverage this knowledge to drive future growth. For example, it may give you a head start when you design landing pages in future, as you’ll have some insight into what your target market responds to best. 

Wrapping Up

A well-designed landing page will draw visitors in and increase conversion rates. Make sure you use a clean design that is not cluttered with excessive visuals, that you use a maximum of two different fonts, and that the copy is attention-grabbing.  

Start with a powerful headline that will draw your target market in, and a subheading that expands on its promise. Begin the body copy with hook that reels visitors in further and keeps them reading. Depending on the goal of your landing page, you’ll want to include different sections but regardless, make sure you follow the general principles of writing compelling copy, such as building momentum and a sense of urgency leading up to the call to action.   

Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of testing when creating a landing page. While there are general rules about what customers will respond well to – you never know. For example, I said above that short headlines are effective, which is true in many cases. However, some research has indicated that headlines greater than 14 words can lead to more conversions. Marketing is a science, which means you should continually test and avoid making assumptions.  

If you need assistance with your digital marketing campaign or overall strategy, feel free to get in touch – my team and I would be delighted to help. 

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