Running social media campaigns or PPC ads is a good way of bringing people to your site. Having effective landing pages is a critical part of achieving success or wasting money. Getting prospects to a page is the first step. Getting them to convert is the next. We’ve tested hundreds of landing pages and we’ve found there are nine factors that can spell success.
Top 10 Best Practices for Landing Pages
The following is meant to be a quick guide for creating an effective landing page. It’s a high-level view; in future articles, I’ll examine each in depth. Let’s look at what drives conversions:
- Have a clean design – The design of your landing page should be streamlined. Make it clear where the user should start reading and what they should do next. Keeping the page uncluttered and simplistic will make it easier for them to determine what their next action should be.
- Remember what your user wants – You’ve created an expectation with your ad. The ad generated interest and your prospect is looking for more information. Your goal, of course, is to get them to convert… enter information via a form, call you, visit another page, etc. Use language that focuses on their needs, not your benefits. Here’s an example: you offer a premium mobile app for food tracking. Unlike most of your competitors, you offer a free, no-strings-attached 14-day trial where no credit card information is required. Rather than say “we offer a free 14-day trial” try “You can try our premium mobile app for free. No credit card is required and there are no strings attached. Get started now!” As you craft the landing page copy, think like your customer. What’s most important? Then put that info at the top before the fold.
- Use Tools to Track – To assume is to make an “ASS of ME and U”. You probably know your customers well and can make some conclusions about how they’ll react to your landing pages, but you should back these ideas up with data. Using tools like Hotjar will help you look at user behaviour and enable you to draw conclusions based on data. Not assumptions.
- Keep the copy simple – Don’t try and wow anyone with how intelligent or technical you are with jargon. Like the design, keeping things as streamlined as possible is important. You want to create an urgency, but do this with straightforward language. You don’t want to confuse a user and have them quit because they struggled to understand what you were saying. Use of headings and bullets will also make it easier for your visitor to scan the page.
- Ask for as little information as you can on forms – Work out what information you really need from your users. An email and name are probably the minimums you should ask for. For every additional field on a form, it creates more hurdles for your audience. Unnecessary required fields reduce the number of people who submit it. Of course, you’ll need to work out the balance between quality and quantity of leads. This is a perfect opportunity for A/B testing.
- Have a strong and prominent CTA – Remember to create a compelling call to action. Don’t just assume that because someone has arrived on your landing page, they’re going to convert. If they’ve come from PPC or social ads, they might not fully understand why they’re there. Use your CTA to pull them in.
- Don’t forget visuals – Keeping the page simple is important, but don’t totally neglect the visual aspects of your landing page. Adding images, or photos can help break up a page and make it look more attractive. There are ways to display reviews or customer testimonials so they visually pop on a page.
- Optimize for mobile – In 2016 we probably don’t need to say too much about this. But, if you’re not optimized for mobile, you’re going to have a hard time.
- Remove navigation/ Or don’t? – This is a contentious point. If you’re using your landing pages for Google AdWords, or other PPC campaigns, removing navigation links can seriously damage your landing pages quality. However, having links that distract a user from your CTA is not conducive to conversions. Our advice: if you’re doing AdWords keep the navigation as it’s a best practice. Prospects may want more information before taking the next step. If you delete the navigation, now the visitor has to actively hunt around which is very frustrating.
- Test, Measure & Re-Test – I touched upon A/B testing in #4. If you have a winning landing page that’s got great conversion numbers, make it better by doing controlled A/B Tests. We like to create A/B testing plans to determine what landing page components are working well. For example, you can test:
- Headlines & subheads
- CTA buttons – the text as well as the color
- Landing Page Copy and bullets
- Visuals – placement, photos vs. graphics
- Testimonials – placement, excerpts
As we discussed earlier, use tools to track how your users are using your new landing page. Use all the data you have to make improvements where you can.
How are you landing pages performing? Can they use a little tweak? Do you think you need more conversions?