As you browse and maneuver around the internet, you visit landing pages all the time.
A landing page can be the designated page you’re taken to when you click on an ad. It can also be the page that follows a call-to-action button or serve as the homepage of a website.
Regardless of how you “land” on a landing page, its purpose is to encourage you to convert to a lead or customer.
For that reason, landing pages are uniquely powerful components of a business’s digital marketing strategy.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a website page with a specific purpose — the objective of a landing page is to convert visitors into leads. While there are many types of landing pages the intent the same — get more leads.
Landing pages contain lead forms that ask visitors for their contact information in exchange for something of value, otherwise known as an offer.
Now, think about how protective you are of your personal information. What would make a person want to give up their contact information over the internet?
Well, that’s where landing page best practices come in. A targeted, well-crafted landing page with a solid format and sound copy will get almost anyone to submit their information.
First, why do you need a landing page?
Why would you create a special page just for people to fill out a form? Why not just use your homepage or about page? Great questions.
After reading this article, you’ll likely be able to answer those questions yourself, but the short answer is this: A landing page eliminates distractions by removing navigation, competing links, and alternate options so you capture your visitor’s undivided attention.
And complete attention means you can guide your visitor where you’d like them to go, i.e., to your lead form. In sum, landing pages are specifically designed to create conversions.
Now that you understand their importance, let’s cover landing page best practices to make sure your pages are set up to convert.
Landing Page Best Practices
- Craft a benefit-focused headline.
- Choose an image that illustrates the offer.
- Write compelling copy.
- Include the lead form above the fold.
- Add a clear and standout call-to-action.
- Give away a relevant offer.
- Only ask for what you need.
- Remove all navigation.
- Make your page responsive.
- Optimize for search.
- Remember to use a thank you page.
Was that a lot? We’ll break down these landing page best practices below.
1. Craft a benefit-focused headline
For every 10 people that visit your landing page, at least seven of them will bounce off the page.
To keep that number low, your visitors need to know (and understand) what’s in it for them within seconds of arriving.
Your headline is the first thing they’ll read, and it should clearly and concisely communicate the value of your landing page and offer.
2. Choose an image that illustrates the offer
Yes, an image is mandatory, and it should represent your target audience. The purpose of your image is to convey a feeling — it should illustrate how your visitor will feel once they receive your offer.
Certain images may work better than others, so you should always split test your options.
3. Write compelling copy
Don’t spend all that time crafting the perfect headline and finding your ideal image to fall flat when it comes to the words that will actually sell your call-to-action.
Your copy needs to be clear, concise and should guide your visitor to the action you want them to complete.
Compelling copy also speaks directly to the visitor by using “you” and “your” to make them feel engaged. We’ll go more in-depth on copy tips below.
4. Include the lead form above the fold.
Your lead form needs to be readily accessible should your prospect want to convert right away — you definitely don’t want them searching and scanning your landing page to find your offer.
“Above the fold” just means that visitors don’t have to scroll to get to the form — that it’s in view as soon as someone hits the page.
This could be a form or an anchor link to the form. Even better: Design your form to scroll with the user as they move down the page.
5. Add a clear and standout call-to-action
The call-to-action (CTA) is arguably the most important element on your landing page — it’s one of many elements that encourage conversion.
The CTA button needs to stand out, meaning you should use a color that contrasts with other elements on the page.
Be clear about what you want visitors to do, that is, use an action verb that spells it out for them, like “submit”, “download”, or “get it now”.
Think of your landing page as a part of your lead’s journey to your ultimate offer — your product or service, that is.
Your offer is the thing you give in exchange for your lead’s personal information. Not only should it be compelling enough for your visitor to provide their contact info, but it should also be relevant to your business. Say you sell horseshoes.
Your offer might be something like “10 Simple Ways to Size Your Horse’s Hooves,” because, ultimately, you’re going to ask that lead to buy your horseshoes.
You wouldn’t hook them with an offer about organic farming because that puts them on a completely different path.
7. Only ask for what you need
You want to gather as much information as possible about your lead, but how much you ask for depends on several factors: how well acquainted they are with you, where they are in their buyer’s journey, and how much they trust you.
Ask for as little info as you need in your lead form to create a low barrier to entry. A name and an email are more than sufficient to nurture a new lead.
8. Remove all navigation
Your landing page has one objective and one objective only: to convert visitors into leads. Any competing links — including internal links to other pages on your website — will distract from that goal.
Remove any other links on your page to draw all of your visitors’ attention to your call-to-action.
9. Make your page responsive
Just like every other page on your website, your landing pages need to be responsive to accommodate every viewing experience.
The last thing you need is for your form to fall out of view on mobile devices. Give your visitors every possible opportunity to convert, no matter how they’re viewing your page.
10. Optimize for search
Sure, you’ll be driving visitors to your landing page through email blasts, social posts and other marketing methods, but your page should also be optimized with target keywords for your paid campaigns and organic search.
When someone searches for your key phrase, they should find your landing page. Similarly, when you target a keyword with paid ads, those words should exist on your landing page.
11. Remember to use a thank you page
A thank you page is where you send leads once they’ve completed your form. Now, you could just show a thank you message on the same page or ditch the thank you altogether, but there are many reasons why that’s not the best option.
A thank you page serves three important purposes:
- It delivers the offer that you promised (usually in the form of an instant download)
- It gives you an opportunity to interest your new lead in additional relevant content
- It serves as a chance to thank them for their interest, which goes a long way in promoting them to a customer down the line.