How to Design a Well-Performing Landing Page
You have 50 milliseconds to impress your site visitors or they will leave. It’s as simple as that! Don’t forget that your website isn’t only competing with other websites for viewer attention but just about any other distraction you could think of: TikTok, friends, fresh air, maybe? –– Ok not that last one, obviously, but you get the point. In an age where people are used to getting what they’re looking for instantly, retention is no easy task.
After you understand why your business needs a top of the line website, then you need to learn about optimizing your landing pages.
There’s an entire science developed behind landing page functionality designed explicitly for performance. You’re in luck, because today (or whatever day you happen to be reading this), we’ll be sharing some of the industry secrets on how to design a well-performing landing page that retains viewers.
And because we love listicles so much, we made it in the form of an easy-to-read list (to retain your attention––see what we did there?)
1: A Catchy Headline and Subheadline
Yeah, sounds obvious until you actually write one down. But studies show us that people tend to scan for keywords when faced with a block of text to read in order to quickly find what they’re looking for, or move on. So what better method is there to instantly grab attention than with a big visible headline telling them what they want to read. It’s like a giant “YEP YOU’VE FOUND THE PLACE” for their eyes to land on.
The headline needs to have the right keywords in it and be catchy. Whatever doesn’t fit the headline could always find its way into the subheading below.
2: Unique Design
Just like the previous point, this one sounds obvious as well––until you actually implement it. See, “unique” is a relative term these days. Landing pages are usually limited by their function: they need to be straight to the point, beautiful, functional, and offer something to the visitors. So there’s only so much you can do in those circumstances to make your well-performing landing page unique enough to retain viewers. Ultimately, most other landing pages go for a variation of the same formula, so we end up with a lot of the same sites over and over.
So, rather than going for templates, what you should be concentrating on is authenticity. The landing page needs to reflect your brand and that needs to show in the design.
3: Branded Content
So think of this as a spillover from the previous point: be original. This means, avoid stock photos, text, templates and so on. You need to create engaging branding. This requires consistency in your brand communications. A user should be able to immediately figure out what you’re about as soon as they land on your landing page.
4: Micro Interactions
The designer and development team should always pay attention to the little details that make human interactions more enjoyable: small gifts, gestures and so on. But how do you transmit those intentions on a landing page, you ask? We got you covered. It’s called “Micro-interactions”.
Microinteractions are trigger-feedback pairs where the trigger can be any user action or alteration to a system’s state. The feedback is a narrowly targeted response to said trigger which is communicated through small, highly contextual (usually in visual form) changes to the user interface.
In plain English: design your site with little pleasantries or easter eggs that pop up whenever your viewers click through the path you’ve set out for them
5: Well-placed Call to Actions (CTAs)
A call to action (CTA) is often one of the last things web designers think about, but is ironically the most important part of the site: in fact, it’s the entire reason people visit the site in the first place! They gotta do something: signup for a newsletter, purchase an item, request a demo whatever it is. So obviously, the key here is to provide captivating and clickable CTA buttons to encourage visitors to engage with your site. A good way to do this is by placing CTAs both at the top and bottom of your page to make it as easy as possible for viewers to engage with––no need to scroll back up when you decide you want to click. Another way to do it is with a floating CTA button that’s always visible to the site visitor. Extra points if your CTA button changes colour or features animations to entertain visitors, as this will most certainly boost overall impressions of your brands.
Of course, it’s worth ensuring that the CTA message corresponds with the message in your headline because––again––consistency. Eliminate any confusion by ensuring that text reflects what you’ve promised in the CTA and vice versa.
Oh and also––avoid adding a catch to your CTA (e.g. no free trial). That can be perceived as dishonest, and you might lose potential audiences.
6: Search Engine Optimization
Ah yes, the dreaded SEO. But it’s more than just beating the search engine algorithm. There are real good reasons why you’d want to optimise your site. Let’s briefly go over some of these reasons shall we?
Accessibility: Around 1 billion people around the world live with some sort of disability, that’s 1/7th of the planet's population. Do you really want to exclude 1/7th of your potential client base just because this or that potential design flaw discourages them from clicking through your landing page? Some disabilities make consuming specific content harder and may require these people to use assistive technologies in their everyday life. The trick is to integrate accessibility principles into the core of your web design philosophy. Good colour contrast ensures that colour blind people don’t miss your CTAs. Web usability (Read “user-friendliness”) means that content is easily accessible to anyone regardless of their online behaviour.
Usability: It all depends on many factors. For instance, making it easy to contact through the website. Providing errors of the forms in "real-time", (the site should immediately tell the viewer that the information typed contains an error as they type).
Performance: The most important issue is the load time. Should load fast. Light, good technology, good programming system. Cashing system, CSS minified, images next-generation WebP format - everything optimized.
Mobile-first: So obviously, accessibility is hinged on the idea that most people now access landing pages from mobile devices. So plan accordingly.
Well, that should be it for designing well-performing landing pages that will retain your users and help them find the information they want––and thus keep coming back.
Until next time!