The digital age has taught everyone the importance of making a great first online impression. Just like meeting people face-to-face, your online appearance, tone and mannerisms can significantly influence how potential clients, investors or employees perceive you or your company.
What is a landing page?
In a world that’s become increasingly digital, almost every business/ blogger or community project has a website meant to attract or direct interested eyes to their cause/ product. Your website’s landing page is the first look/ impression a visitor gets of your overall business before exploring the site further.
Factors to be considered before designing a landing page
Landing page design
Designing a landing page is all about creating an exciting site page for your target audience and site visitors. The landing page should encourage people to move from casual visitors to subscribers or customers of the business; it should move them to increase their interaction time with your brand. A landing page is considered effective if it prominently displays information about your brand, product/ service and company information. On this page, relevant offers and call-to-action (CTAs) are also displayed.
As mentioned earlier, the world has become increasingly digital, making people consume digital content on their laptops and on their mobile phones. Your landing page must have a responsive web design which is a function that allows it to be viewed perfectly on any device, i.e. desktop, laptop, or smartphone.
Because of the fact that people search for online content on different devices from widely different locations, a responsive design enhances your website visitors’ experience as they browse through your content. While it is considered extremely important to have your entire website responsive, it is doubly important to design a landing page that is responsive.
The goal of your landing page
The core objective of a landing page is to encourage conversions on your site. Therefore while designing your landing page, you must ask yourself what type of conversion you hope to achieve. It would help if you were clear about the purpose of the landing page and the entire site in general;
- Building awareness for your brand. This would involve developing an emailing list and growing relationships with your site visitors via the content published on your website.
- Lead generation. This primarily comprises of capturing the contact information of prospects interested in your product or service offering. The ultimate goal is to generate leads your sales team can later follow up on.
- This pushes quick purchase of your products or services by showcasing what’s on sale, product/ service benefits, and any offers that might be available.
Things to consider when designing a landing page
The process of designing a landing page has been made a lot easier with the provision of free software tools such as Wix, Squarespace, Site123, Leadpages, Unbounce and others. However, even with this added assistance, there are still some key factors that one must pay close attention to when designing a landing page.
The layout of your landing page is just as important as the content on your landing page. It would help plan your layout to avoid clutter or confusion that might affect your site visitors’ experience of your website. Your layout plan can include the following;
- A headline
- A brief description of your offering
- Relevant imagery
- A lead-capture form
- A call-to-action
Landing page copy
The copy/ content on your landing page must be concise and yet, at the same time, catchy. For instance, when it comes to your headline and description, focus on succinct messaging that can still spell out your service/ product to your target audience. Studies have shown that the average attention span of your site visitors is only eight seconds; you must make sure your copy is catchy enough to speak to your audience.
Prioritize above-the-fold positioning
Your landing page should always maintain the most relevant information and call-to-action at the top of the page. By following this simple principle, you ensure that no matter where the fold or bottom of your window browser ends, visitors will still get an accurate snapshot of what you’re offering and where they can take action. However, this shouldn’t be taken to mean that you can’t have content below the fold; the idea is to draw visitors in and entice them to spend as much time as possible engaging with your site.
Pay attention to your visuals.
You have only eight seconds to capture and whet your site visitor’s appetite, which is why you must be keen to maintain exciting visuals. Using images in your banner or header image and incorporating images as opposed to text where applicable will be sure to make your site more visually appealing to your visitor.
You might even take this a step further by embedding a video on your page to support your other visual cues. Videos are a great way to demonstrate complex offers like software or explain product usage in further detail.
Regardless of the visual direction you choose to go, it’s oftentimes advised that your visuals should sit above the fold to better grab and sustain attention.
Create campaign-specific landing pages
It’s important to consider how your landing page will get in front of your target audience’s faces; monthly newsletters, social media posts, and Google Ads are just a few of the possible alternatives you could consider. A worthy consideration might be to create individual landing pages for different marketing channels to speak directly to each cluster of unique visitors. This will also have the added advantage of allowing you to track which sources were successful and relevant to your target audience.
If you should decide to follow the per-traffic source route, keep the landing page design similar to the source. For instance, if you create an Instagram Ad featuring a catchy headline and image, use those exact design elements on the Instagram campaign’s landing page.
Reduce distractions and exit opportunities
One of the highly recommended practices for landing page design includes limiting exit opportunities as much as possible. This can be done by removing your website’s navigation bar, don’t include any internal or external links, and don’t mention related offers. Your landing page should drive the visitors’ attention to your lead-capture form and generate conversion.
It’s also recommended that social sharing buttons are placed below the fold. These make it possible for your content to be shared easily across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.
Conversely, many marketers take it a step further and recommend excluding them entirely in order to limit exit opportunities. To make the right decision, you might consider running an A/B test between different landing pages to see if adding social sharing buttons has a justifiable ROI.
Create an enticing offer to drive conversion
Although removing exit opportunities might keep website visitors focused, you must still entice them with something extra to encourage conversion. You might offer discounts, free ebooks, or even a free product/ service trial. The main rule of thumb to be followed is that whatever offer you select is relevant to your product/ service offering.
Once you’ve convinced your visitors your offer is worth their time, don’t immediately dissuade them from converting with an exhaustively long lead-capture form.
Your form should be short, requiring only basic information like names, addresses, and contact information. A little more information might be necessary, depending on the purpose behind your landing page.
Create a call-to-action that moves
Your call-to-action should do precisely what it’s supposed to do; move your visitors to take some desired action like subscribe, buy, share and others. When crafting the button’s copy, use words that drive and inspire your visitors to take action while creating a sense of urgency. The use of strong command verbs, numbers and phrases can provoke emotion and get your visitor to behave as you want them to.
The font must be easy to read and consistent with other fonts used on the page when it comes to CTA design. However, it should be slightly bigger than the other copy on your page.
Research has proven that buttons with rounded corners are more clickable than those with sharp corners, but in general, the size of the button matters more than the shape of the button. Your CTA should be large enough to be easily identifiable but not too large that it overwhelms your page and your visitor.
According to colour theory in marketing, it is advised that your CTA should fall between what makes a powerful impact and what mirrors your brand. For instance, contrasting colours are thought to be more actionable, especially orange and green.
A/B test to maximize conversion opportunities
Having built a landing page with all the essential elements, you must now A/B text the copy, visuals, design and CTA. Take the time to review each page’s performance metrics separately to know what might need to be adjusted or changed.
Other optimizations to consider include search engine optimization, which includes elements such as decreasing your page loading time, especially on mobile. Even the slightest delay in load time can lead to failed conversions. Evaluate your landing page by checking Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
With this basic information, you are well on your way to creating a powerful landing page that achieves whatever goals you set out at the very start of the process.