Article

Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon 20 March 2017

How To Create Landing Pages That Convert

Effective landing pages are often standalone web pages written with one specific goal in mind. This goal is usually conversions or getting readers to take a certain action. Knowing what action you want readers to take is helpful for turning them into customers. This article will explain the six essentials of creating a landing page that converts.

A landing page is any page on a website where you direct visitors to encourage a conversation and make a conversion. Don't mistake landing pages with sales pages. There doesn't need to be any sales language on a page for it to be a landing page. 

Effective landing pages are often standalone web pages written with one specific goal in mind. This goal is usually conversions or getting readers to take a certain action. Knowing what action you want readers to take is helpful for turning them into customers. This article will explain the six essentials of creating a landing page that converts.

1. Give the Visitors Only One Option

It's tempting to provide multiple options to anyone visiting your landing page because you don't want to miss out on sales or opportunities for new subscribers. However, landing pages are more effective when you only give one option to your readers. This decreases how much a person needs to think before making a decision. 

If your intent for the landing page is to gain new email subscribers, then design the page with that goal in mind. There should be a form on the page asking people to exchange their email addresses for a free download or whatever incentive you use for earning new email subscribers. In general, you should only ask for their first name and email address. The less information you ask for, the more likely it is someone will subscribe.

Lyft's Become a Driver landing page is a good example of giving only one option. 

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Immediately upon landing on their page, you know what their end goal is: to sign up as a Lyft driver. They make it clear through the sign up form to the right of the page. And again at the bottom of the page, they have a noticeable CTA button "Become a Driver". They are remaining consistent in leading people to sign up as drivers. You will notice that they're asking for more than a person's name and email address. This is because of the nature of their offer. They are hiring people as drivers, so for legal reasons, they need to know more information.

2. Clear and Distinctive CTA Button

A landing page needs a clear, distinctive call-to-action button, so that readers understand what you want them to do next. Examples of CTAs include "shop now", "sign me up", "become a driver", and "get my free e-book now". They are actionable, clear, and brief. The call to action shouldn't be more than five words long. Including words like "now" and "today" instills a sense of urgency in readers. It's a good tactic to use but not necessary. Some audiences don't respond well to urgency words, so keep that in mind as you craft your CTAs.

Every element on the landing page should direct readers to your CTA, and the call to action button should stand out. Leave a lot of empty space around your CTA to help make it noticeable. Visual cues, such as arrows and images of people pointing or looking, are additional ways to direct people to the call to action. The most common CTA colors are green, orange, and blue, but you can use any color as long as it doesn't blend in with the background color. 

3. Persuasive Headline

Copywriters agree that the headline is one of the most important parts of your landing page because it's what determines whether or not a person reads the content. If a headline doesn't capture an individual's attention, they will scroll by it. 

Create a headline in which the readers can't resist clicking on to find out the answer and you'll have a chance at landing a conversion. A good headline captures interest, clearly expresses the value of your offer, and uses clear, simple language. Keep your headlines short as well. They shouldn't go beyond 10 or 20 words.

An example of a persuasive headline can be found on Neil Patel's landing page. 

Image2.png

The headline is short, clear, and expresses what value you'll receive. It provides a specific number and uses "bold" formatting to emphasize key points. The CTA is also so distinctive that it doesn't even matter it is slightly longer than the usual recommendation. 

4. Provide Value to Your Visitors

A landing page should communicate the value that readers will get if they follow through on your call to action. Consumers want to know how a product or service, even a free download, will benefit them. 

They care more about the benefits than the technical aspects and features. Consumers subconsciously ask themselves "What's in it for me?" as they shop or read content online. 

You should make them an offer that's valuable and hard to resist. An offer is what you give readers in exchange for following through on your CTA. Offers include coupons, discounts, free trials, free downloads, etc.

Be wary of making your landing page too overwhelming. Instead of listing all of the features and benefits of your product or service you can think about, choose the 2-5 most important things as seen from the target audience's perspective. Then, interweave those benefits within your copy. 

Twitter's landing page for advertising communicates value effectively. 

Image3.png

The content is short and to-the-point. At the bottom of the page, they highlight the three biggest benefits of their service: reaching potential customers, gaining more followers, and measuring results in real time. 

5. Clean Visuals

Clean visuals are characterized by sufficient white space on the page, content focused on the primary goal, and simplistic design

If your landing page has excessive images and graphics, embedded widgets, or sliders, then these unnecessary elements need to be removed. Maintain empty space on the page to make it easier for visitors to read and stay focused. Filling every open spot with something is overwhelming. The clearer and simpler a landing page is, the more likely a visitor will convert.

A great example of using clean visuals is HubSpot's landing page. 

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There is nothing more on the page apart from a simple image, an effective headline, and a distinctive CTA button. Less is truly more when it comes to designing your landing page. 

6. Social Proof

The final component of an excellent landing page is social proof. It is a known fact that humans tend to assign higher value to things that others have approved so make sure to include customer testimonials, a counter that tracks number of purchases, or a list of client logos. These are all ways of showing social proof. 

When readers see social proof on your landing page, they view your company as more authentic. You can view a great example of using social proof on CurrencyFair's landing page. 

Image5.png

It features prominent logos, an excellent rating from TrustPilot, a positive review from an important magazine, and even specific numbers that show off their expertise and experience. 

Final Thoughts 

Landing pages that convert well have a clear and distinctive call to action, only provide one option to their readers, have a persuasive headline, provide real value to future customers, display social proof, and maintain clean visuals. 

There are also many metrics you can use to determine the effectiveness of your landing page. Some of these metrics are conversion rate, form abandonment rate, and time on page rate.

If you want to improve your landing page, then use A/B testing, also known as split testing. A/B testing involves creating two versions of your landing page that are almost entirely the same but have one specific difference you want to test. For instance, you could A/B test which headline converts more by creating one page with headline A and the other with headline B. Half of your visitors will see version A and the other half will see version B.

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