It is always a good time to invest in digital marketing practices, especially right now. It’s no surprise that in times of social distancing and working from home, people are spending more time on their phones. With that, comes more digital purchasing decisions. Landing pages can drastically help improve your conversions and create better visitor experiences when coming to your site. We asked our design team here at VSG to sit down and explore some best practices for designing an effective landing page. Before we get there, what is a landing page, and why are they important?
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a page on your website that is typically accessible only from outside of your site. Generally, landing pages are used in social media or advertising campaigns to drive people to take a specific action on a specific page. Some examples of this are:
- a page with a form field on it
- a discount page for people who clicked on an ad
- a limited-time item/deal
There are several benefits to using landing pages. One of them is the ability to create and takedown landing pages very easily without harming your website. Because they are not part of the main navigation, adding or deleting a landing page has no obvious or direct impacts to the site.
Another benefit of landing pages is the ability to track traffic more easily. Like we said earlier, landing pages are typically only used temporarily and have a few ways to get to it. If you had the exact URL, you could type it in the search bar to get to it. Other than that, they are only accessible via links designated by you. The limited number of sources makes tracking the success and traffic of your campaign very easy to understand and create a strategy around.
Hopefully, that helps you better understand what a landing page is. Now, let’s get back to how our designers recommend designing an LP.
Less is More
The purpose of a landing page is to drive conversions, meaning a purchase on your site, a form filled out to completion, someone watching 95% of your video, etc. Any action on that page beyond just visiting it. We have the power to guide visitors to take specific actions on a page by designing it properly. Don’t include distracting elements or redundant information in your design. You will only clutter up your page and make it confusing for the visitor, resulting in a lower conversion rate and higher bounce rate… Which is bad.
Good Landing Page Design
Bad Landing Page Design
Have a Clear CTA
Like we mentioned above, a good landing page design has the power to guide people to take action where we want. By having a clear call-to-action (CTA) we are able to monitor and track our analytics, and can also improve our visitor behavior. When creating a CTA, make sure to put it above the fold. “The fold is a term used by web designers and Internet marketers to describe a web browser window’s bottom border. “Above the fold” refers to web content that is visible above the border when a page first loads. “Below the fold” refers to the portion of the page that requires scrolling to see.” You don’t want your site visitors to have to scroll all the way through the page to engage with a CTA. Oftentimes, we see a CTA like “Sign up for our newsletter” above the fold, and then again at the bottom. This allows the reader to engage with the CTA without having to scroll all the way back up to the top of the page. Scrolling doesn’t seem like that much work, but it makes a difference!
Below is a great example of the 2 previous points, by making your page simple and having a clear CTA, you can easily direct people exactly where you want them, in this case, to be informed about the Free IT courses.
Images Should be Relevant + Optimized
We have all seen it… websites with photos that serve no purpose and don’t match the content of the webpage. Don’t be those people. Make sure all of the content goes together nicely with a cohesive look and messaging. Sometimes, this might require a little photoshop magic, but it’s worth it. Trust us.
Also, make sure you tailor your images to your target audience. Whether you have a broad audience or a very specific one, there are things you can do to best present your brand to the right people. When running ads with different audiences, you can create content and use images that speak better to the different audiences, so make sure to try that as well! More data for testing!
One more thing… check your file size and dimensions. An image with the right dimensions will fit and scale properly on all devices, but an image with a large file size will slow down your site’s load time. The dev team loves it when we give them a large file to build into a web project… not.
Buttons Should be Obvious
Have you ever seen those unsubscribe buttons that are almost exactly the same color as the background? Yeah, us too…
Unfortunately, some people do that with buttons that they want people to click on. This oftentimes leaves people confused and unsure of what to do because it isn’t obvious. Buttons typically lead to the desired action and you want to make it as obvious as possible. Use contrasting colors to make your buttons pop off the background.
Keep Forms Simple
Noticing a theme? Designing a landing page is all about simplicity. When creating a form, make sure you only include the information that is NEEDED. When signing up for a free consultation, people don’t want to have to fill out a drop-down that tells you how they hear about you or what their street address is. Just ask for a first name and email! You will see more forms filled out the shorter and easier they are to complete.
Do Some A/B Testing
When building landing pages that will be active for an extended period of time, make sure you create a duplicate, adjust/change a few things, and run some tests to see which page performs better. Some examples of things you can change are your headings, CTAs, images, colors, or button placement. Mix it up, track, and adjust. (p.s. do this with your ads too! – Sincerely, The Digital Team)
Most people are using their phones to access the internet now. The shift to mobile has been VERY recent, so most people in the design and dev industries will need to change their mindset to always include a mobile-optimized version of a site. Create a responsive layout and room for screen shrinkage. Having a mobile-first mindset will help you simplify your content too! Small screens mean less room for words and other things that can clutter your site. Stick with simple and informative landing pages.
There are several things you can do to make effective landing pages. Bottom line: make them simple and easy to understand. Remember, your goal is to guide your visitors to do a single action.
If you like what you read or are looking to get some more guidance on your landing page builds, reach out! We would love to connect and share a virtual coffee!