Landing Page Basics You Can't Afford to Overlook

Posted at Feb 1, 2019 1:36:00 PM by THAT Agency | Share

Top converting landing pages take work. They aren't the result of a magic formula, but there are many best practices that can make this work much more efficient. Landing page creation relies on iteration. Your first concept may be a good one, but if it misses a few crucial steps, it may still fall flat in practice. Here are nine areas that may need improvement.

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1. Pride

Be honest with yourself when a landing page isn't working as well as it should. Before addressing any technical or design elements, consider your pride, as pride is often the downfall of most landing pages. Don't be too resistant to changing something. If the numbers are mediocre, that tells you all you need to know.

Your landing page may be a work of art, but even the best artists and advertisers take criticism and accept that something can be improved. Optimization will change over time, too, so pages that are effective one year may begin to look outdated or need some evolution in order to keep those numbers up.

2. Call to Action

Use a clear call to action that uses participatory language. “Engage my future” is more active and compelling than “What's my future?” Telling visitors to “Get a quote” phrases the conversion as a benefit. “See a quote” phrases this noncommittally.

Use active language to frame your conversion options. Don't stretch this too far. You don't want visitors to “run to a quote” because that doesn't make sense. Words like “engage,” “create,” “begin,” “continue,” are all suitable and simple because they're active verbs that lend control to the visitor.

3. Clarity

Don't be afraid of length in landing page creation. You'll need to edit your rough material down, but edit for clarity of information first and for evolution of your story second...and then for length. You're telling a story about your brand. A compelling story may be longer.

What you need to know is what the best length is for the story you're able to tell. Do make your ad copy efficient. Don't edit down necessary information just because you're afraid it's extra – unless you have evidence that it's decreasing your conversion rate.

4. Understanding of Visitor Needs

Listen to readers and visitors. Too much information at once can overwhelm, but just as easily, too little information can underwhelm. The sweet spot will vary by brand and by the niche you're targeting. If others read it and tell you it's confusing or its energy flags, treat those critiques as real. If they tell you it needs more detail, that's just as real. 

If one customer, client, reader, visitor, or employee has a concern, log it away. It doesn't mean you have a problem, but if you hear the concern repeated, then you do.

5. Options

Have you ever visited a landing page and felt overwhelmed at the options? You don't want that. Make the options you want visitors to click on clear and obvious. Don't try to be clever about doing something in an unexpected way. If there's too much visual clutter surrounding the option, or the option is in a place that visitors wouldn't expect, they'll subconsciously ignore that area of the screen.

Top converting landing pages keep information for options concise. You can give them more detail after they select the conversion option, as they seek to confirm. Overwhelming them before they click through makes them view that conversion option as having too many qualifications. They'll set it aside and may simply close out instead of following through.

6. Visual Cues

Don't overlook how you visually direct visitors toward different parts of your page. You can do this obviously, with arrows. Or you can do it more subtly, with the images you use looking or guiding with their eyes and hands toward the conversion point.

7.  Goals

What is your conversion goal? Are there five different goals for your landing page? Then the design will make visitors feel conflicted about which path they should follow. They'll be going five different directions at once.

An effective landing page should have one goal for conversion. Additional options can be nestled further in after visitors have actively engaged, but choose one goal to be the priority for your landing page. Top converting landing pages follow this goal as a priority and make the conversion choice that leads to this goal obvious.

8. Social Proof

When others trust someone, you're more inclined to trust them as well. Use reviews, testimonials, client logos, number of subscribers, certifications, and badges, whichever is appropriate to your brand and strategy. Seeing that others trust you makes visitors – especially those who arrive for a first look – that much more willing to linger and choose a conversion option.

9. Trust

Don't design as if you're trying to trick anyone into a conversion option. People have never been as well-versed in advertising as they are now. Landing pages use a common “visual grammar” of advertising that takes advantage of shortcuts to convey information and instill trust. Visitors understand these shortcuts. To a large extent, advertising today is about the audience choosing to participate in being advertised to.

Get too tricky or clever without making it clear why something is different, and visitors will assume it is untrustworthy. They will close that window down before reading one more word. You can do anything different you want, and break any guideline you want, as long as it's very clear to visitors why you're doing it that way.

Visitors have to be on board with breaking that “visual grammar” alongside you. They have to want to participate in doing it. If they don't, your conversion rate will plummet. If they do, that rate can soar. Your visitors must come first in every choice, especially when taking any kind of design risk.

Landing pages are critical components of your website and your overall digital marketing strategy. Don’t overlook the basics: they are the keys to realizing the results you need.

In search of a shortcut to landing page creation? Outsource your web design to THAT Agency. Contact us today to learn more!

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