• 10 Principles of Successful Landing Pages

    Landing Page [lan-ding peyj] noun – 1. In online marketing a landing page, sometimes known as a “lead capture page” or a “lander”, is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result or an online advertisement. (Wikipedia)

    By definition, landing pages are any page a visitor lands on, from the homepage of a website, to a page created for a specific purpose, after they click on a link to the landing page.

    But , in the art and science of their development, landing pages are where the rubber hits the road for customer conversions. They are either a step or the ultimate destination in a conversion funnel. Such an important role means they are constantly evolving in response to new evidence of better performance.

    From the proven pillars that support every great landing page, to newer concepts that continue to take conversion rates into unprecedented territory, the following elements are important to the success of your landing pages:

    1. Have a Goal – Simple and clearly defined goals give you direction for every element and the overall development process for your landing page. Without a clear conversion goal, your landing page is at high risk of appearing aimless and disorganized, which will limit its potential to convert visitors.

    Answer the question “what do I want visitors to do after they land on this page?” and direct every element of your landing page’s design and content to supporting that goal.

    2. Reassure Your Visitors – And start doing so with the headline. As the single most important piece of written content on your landing page, your headline plays two crucial roles:

    a. Confirms the visitor is in the right spot. When a first-time visitor clicks on a link to a landing page, she experiences some level of uncertainty; about whether the link works and whether the page has what she seeks and expects. The more uncertainty a landing page generates, the less chance it has of converting a visitor. It’s why you need to reassure the visitor that they are indeed where they expected to be and one the first and best place to do so is in your headline.
    b. Keeps the visitor on the page. After confirming to the visitor that she is indeed where she wanted to be, your headline also needs to make her want to stay – at least long enough to continue reading.

    Your headline must reinforce or extend the thought started by the link on which your visitor clicked. It’s ultimate goal, however, is to get the visitor to remain on the page and continue reading.
    Landing Page ads
    Headlines: Two PPC Ads. The top one leads to LP01.
    The bottom one leads to LP02.

    Landing Page 01

    LP01

    Which headline confirms that visitors are in the right place
    and keeps them on the page?

    lANDING pAGE 02

    LP02

    3. Keep Your Promise – A visitor doesn’t click on your link arbitrarily. She does so because she sees the promise of a value that she does not see in the other options presented to her. Convey and/or reinforce that value as soon as possible on your landing page.

    4. Paint a Picture – Visitors eyes are drawn to images on a landing page. Make them count by using high quality images that clearly present your product, highlight its unique value proposition or illustrates one or more of its benefits

    5. Treat People Like People – Your landing page is your online sales person and any knowledgeable sales person will tell you that an integral part of the process is to ask for the sale. Make your landing page calls-to-action clear, compelling and above the fold.

    And make CTAs more human. Just like your sales person would not tell a customer to “submit” when asking to complete a sale, neither should your landing page. Instead, make your CTAs more human by highlighting the benefit the customer will get by clicking the button.

    6. Encourage Sharing – Speaking of sales people, the best ones you have are your customers. The more they share your content, the better your results will be. Make it easy for visitors to share.

    3M Results
    LP05

    Modcloth puts sharing above all else – except the headline.

    7. A Landing Page for Every Purpose & Occasion – Landing pages give online businesses the opportunity to hone and customize their messages for any criteria that will remove more uncertainties and improve conversion rates.

    From tuning messages to suit the source of your landing page traffic – are all the visitors to this page coming from Facebook? – to customizing it for different geo-targets, the more specifically you talk to each visitor, the stronger the bond each one will have to your message.

    8. Keep it Simple & Deliberate – From design to content, make it easy for the visitor to consume every element of your landing page. It means allowing each element to exist without having to compete with each other for attention. It also means that everything on your page must have a purpose, every word must be warranted and they all must work together towards achieving the goal.

    Perhaps most importantly, do not complicate the process of becoming a customer. Only ask for the information you absolutely need to complete the goal of your page. Ask for it only once – if you asked for info to open an account, don’t ask for the same information again to place an order.

    stop CRO frustrations

    9. Build Trust – Like it or not, most of your potential customers do not trust your message, which makes trust-building an integral part of your page design. Guarantees build trust because they remove the uncertainty and risk that buyers feel. If and when you ask for customer information, make sure you outline what you will do with the data and how you intend to protect it.

    LP04

    Zappos surrounds their ‘Checkout’ CTA with trust symbols and elements

    10. test, Test, TEST – We said earlier that landing page development continues to evolve and it does so best when you test different elements to see what works better. Testing is the vehicle that helps you constantly improve results. Every element, from your headline to your call-to-action can be tested for a number of criteria, each one offering the promise of higher conversion rates.

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2 thoughts on “10 Principles of Successful Landing Pages”

  1. Appath says:

    Thats very helpful, Stephen. You should also include the need to go minimalistic on landing page design, the need for a conversion centric design, the matching of the ads ( or other campaign copy) to the messages on landing pages, the copy, and the graphics used.

  2. Ash – Your points are all good and hopefully we at least touched on some of them in the post – but they all deserve their own post!

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