Landing pages are probably the most underrated type of web page out there but it’s importance is crucial in online marketing. Purpose? Present the customer with a specific and direct promotion or offer in order to achieve a conversion goal (occurs when a customer completes an offer/purpose) of a business campaign.
So why are landing pages underrated? The reason is simple. I don’t want to speculate that most companies don’t give the right importance to their landing pages, but that might be it. Result? A poor, boring and totally wrong landing page design which can’t captivate users. To be honest looking for inspiring and really good examples for this article was the toughest part of my week. I looked at more than 100 landing pages ending up with just 15. You will probably do a quick search and find dozens of templates, so why just 15? First free tip: avoid the use of templates on your own landing pages, I’ve actually found 3 distinct landing page deals with the same layout and that’s not good for a marketing campaign. If a company doesn’t give the right importance to their platform of promotion why would they give it to their product?
The purpose of this article is to give you some insights and help you build a decent landing page. Below I’ve listed some tips plus 15 stunning and hand-picked examples that are currently implemented to inspire your day.
Headline/Call To Action
Similar to any other webpage, the headline and Call To Action are two of the most important elements of your landing page. A clean and simple headline describing what the offer is about is halfway to a possible conversion goal. Your headline and Call To Action need to stand out from the rest of the page, so give it a reasonable white-space (space between elements) balance.
Tip: Don’t write too much because visitors don’t read, they scan and you will probably have 3-4 seconds to tell them what they can get with your offer.
There are a couple of aspects you should plan carefully when it comes to clients and testimonials. If you have the chance to display a “Clients who use our product” section then do it. Listing brands/logos of your clients will be much more effective than having a statement of your uncle saying that your product is the best in the market. The reason is because visitors will have the chance to spot a brand they recognize which will increase the trustworthy of your landing page. Nevertheless, if you can’t display a list of brands, you should have one or two testimonials but no more than that. Again, visitors have no desire or time to read your customers recommendations. Finally, don’t use pretty photos taken from istockphoto next to testimonials unless you have a real description of the person.
Tip: Display your client brand when possible. If not, show your visitors 1-2 testimonials or even a video.
Color is everything, specially in landing pages. Why? Colors are used to create emotional responses meaning that you can take advantage of a color to make your visitors look at something or make them feel good about an element of your page. Each color has a meaning and Tina Zennand wrote a fantastic article about this subject - Colors in Web Design: Choosing a right combination for your Website
Tip: Use a color that suits your offer and use a different color for your headline/Call-To-Action.
One major problem I’m used to see on landing pages is a lack of design and message consistency. If you have more than one page, then every page should follow the same design and structure. Doing the opposite will confuse your visitors and confusion is an exit ticket from your page. However, you will have an even bigger problem by confusing the user with distinct messages. When I click an ad with something like “Get a free invitation – today only” I really don’t expect to see a “Grab an invitation for $10 – this week only” when I reach the landing page offer.
Tip: Keep your landing page trustworthy and avoid confusion.
Avoid design clutter
You have a great headline and Call To Action, you’ve chosen the right color combination, you finally have some consistency but… when visitors reach your landing page they really don’t know where to look because you have text, graphics and photos everywhere. They just leave your page and you lost a sale. The key is to have a clean and simple design, decide your content priorities and make it easy for your visitors to reach their goal.
Tip: White-space is your friend.
A/B Testing tools
A/B Testing is a method with the purpose of testing more than one version of an element. Imagine you have a landing page in dark and bright versions and you are unsure about which one to use. With A/B Testing you will basically determine which version is most successful by splitting your traffic between both versions.
“A/B testing, split testing or bucket testing is a method of marketing testing by which a baseline control sample is compared to a variety of single-variable test samples in order to improve response rates. A classic direct mail tactic, this method has been recently adopted within the interactive space to test tactics such as banner ads, emails and landing pages.”
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular A/B testing tools.
Visual Website Optimizer is an easy to use A/B testing tool featuring point-and-click test designer and WYSIWYG editor for creating variations. In addition to being dead simple split testing software for marketers, it also dramatically shortens time to go live with your A/B tests because of the innovative “tag-less” integration (not to mention it reduces your dependency on IT and web development department for uploading code snippets again and again).
Simple, fast, and powerful. Optimizely is a dramatically easier way for you to improve your website through A/B testing. Absolutely no coding required. A one time copy-and-paste is all you need to run tests.
SiteSpect provides the world’s only non-intrusive web optimization solution, enabling marketers to perform rapid A/B testing, multivariate testing, targeting and personalization, mobile content optimization as well as web performance optimization across all of your sites and landing pages … all without having to implement page tags or change your site in any way.
Website Optimizer is an easy-to-use tool for testing site content that delivers actionable results. Below are just three of the many benefits that testing brings.