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What Makes A Good Landing Page

12 July 2016

What Makes A Good Landing Page? A landing page is a page on your website written to explain what you have to offer and help turn visitors into a lead, or buyer. Unlike other pages on your site landing pages are written specifically for conversion purposes, and almost always relate to a campaign for a particular product or offering.

Landing pages are difficult to master, and when they aren’t done well they send visitors running for the back button. Since, a lot of landing page traffic is paid, this can be a costly investment if your page is not set up correctly.

Luckily though, all good landing pages have several elements in common. By mimicking successful pages you can maximize your results on a new or existing campaign, and minimize losses.

Let’s talk about how to build your landing page.

Headline

The headline is the sentence or title that people immediately see when they visit your site. Here’s a screenshot of one:

What makes a good landing page
The headline is the most important element to your landing page. People will decide whether or not to stay on your page based on this statement- write it carefully.

Although it seems like a simple statement a lot of thought should go into your headline. This statement must:

  • grab the visitor’s attention
  • keep them interested
  • provide a benefit
  • explain what you are offering

For a landing page you’ll probably be offering some kind of special offer, so a sentence like the following fits:

  • Start saving time on Adwords reports today!
  • Get more productivity out of your employees with our free guide.
  • Kill tantrums before they start, we guarantee your parenting success.

I urge you to write out several options for a headline (you can type them out, too) and share them with your team. Gather feedback to narrow your options. Once you have a few headlines to work with, you can test them against each other. Here’s a great post about formulas you can use for your headlines.

Beware!!!

The most common mistake I see with a headline is; it tells people what you want them to know, instead of speaking to their needs and wants.

As owners and creators we are very proud of what we have to offer and can’t wait to tell people. It’s tempting to throw a headline up that encapsulates what you want people to know about your offer, for instance:

You want to tell people: Save $100 Off Our Best Package
What you should say instead: Get All Of Your Design Needs Met & Save $100 Today

Do you see the difference? How one of these would encourage more interest than others? This is what you want your headline to do, help them find a solution to their problem (getting your designs finished).

Subhead

Immediately after your headline, there is a sentence to offer a further explanation of the headline.

Here are a few headlines and supporting sub-headlines:

  • Start saving time on Adwords reports today! – Use our new pay per click report automation software.
  • Get more productivity out of your employees with our free guide. – You’ll save thousands a year on salaries.
  • Kill tantrums before they start, we guarantee it. – Become a better parent, overnight.

Once you’ve created your headline, think about what else your visitor wants to hear to convert. What support can you give that provides a bit more information, and will further interest visitors in your offer?

This would be another option to discuss with your team. For further reading check out this post by Smart Blogger on The Ultimate Guide to Writing Subheads. In this post they detail four ingredients to awesome subheads.

Design

The headline really is the most important feature of your landing page, once you have this perfected it’s time to move on. How your page looks will greatly affect your success. If it looks too old, unprofessional or messy, people won’t feel that you take business with them seriously.

You’ll need:

Imagery- this can be the entire background of the page, or just a small section, but it offers people a view of how happy they’ll be when they’ve taken your offer.

Theme- choose colors, fonts and sizes that sync well together. You want a professional theme that looks clean and modern. A designer should be able to help you choose a theme that matches the rest of your website and brand.

Call To Action

Next you’ll need a call to action (CTA). This makes it easy for your visitors to know what to do on your page. The call to action is usually a colored button that stands out and calls attention to itself. It is the thing that needs to be clicked to move your visitor to the next step— a conversion.

Your CTA should go beyond generic phrases like:

  • Sign up
  • Click here
  • Download
  • Join now

It should include a specific ask and benefit, such as:

  • Start saving money now!
  • Get your 10% off coupon!
  • Join our community today!

ON CONTRASTING BUTTON COLORS

Best practices for landing pages suggest using contrasting colors for your CTA buttons. The thought is; you’ll attract more attention to a contrasting colored button than one that blends in.

Of course though, this is subjective, it all really depends on your audience. The best thing you can do is start with one color and test another to see if it increases conversions.

You’ll also have to test the text of your CTA.

To help you get started, green, red and orange are some of the most common colors used for CTAs. Here is an article that should help in writing CTAs that get clicks. 16 CTA Formulas That Make People Want to Click.

Form

If the point of your landing page is to collect leads, you’ll need a form. This is where you’ll want to start small and test adding new fields. With forms, in many cases, the more fields you have, the less likely someone is to fill them out.

A name and email is standard, after that, people may get annoyed and leave. But, if you are using the lead to sell something, you might need their phone number, company information, etc. You’ll want to watch your conversions to see how many fields you can list without losing leads.

Above the Fold

A common discussion in marketing about landing pages is about whether certain elements of the page need to be above the fold. This refers to the portion of the webpage that is seen without any scrolling needed.

There are several case studies that suggest you do not need to put everything (the items listed throughout this article) above the fold, while there are thousands of others who suggest above the fold is better.

Clearly, there is no ‘right’ answer. But for the sake of best practices, I suggest the items listed here go above the fold. To get you started, choose a landing page template that supports the headline, subhead, some imagery, the form (if one is being used), and the CTA, being seen without the need to scroll. Later on, you can test to see what works best for your offer.

Other Considerations

While focusing on building a good landing page is a great way to collect leads and conversions, what you are really trying to do is share a solution visitors will want to buy.

To do this, you need to understand their mindset. Think about their needs and wants, and the problems you solve for them. Consider what they expect, what beliefs they have about their problem, and what they consider possible before making promises that seem far fetched and unbelievable.

You’ll also want to think about how they’ll feel when they come to your landing page through referring links. Do the ads match what they see on your website? Does the flow make sense for them?

When you take these often overlooked, points of view into consideration, you can match your visitor’s mindset and offer realistic and timely solutions they are willing to try.

Conclusion

While all of these features of a landing page are important for success, the most important thing you can do is test these things to see what works best. You’ll find that your particular industry, customer and offer will have a large affect on what works, so put in the time, use a template to start and test, test, test.