Now that you know the importance of landing pages and how they can help to boost your bottom line, the next question is: How do you optimise your landing pages so they do everything they promise to do?
In this chapter, let’s go through all the landing page design essentials and show you best practices for each.
The Key Components
Let’s dissect a landing page together to learn about the various elements every landing page should have, from the headline to the submit button.
1) No Navigation
Once visitors land on your page, you don’t want them to leave until they hand over that information and receive your offer. For that reason, it’s important to keep your navigation options to a minimum. Hide top and side navigation bars from the site so that nothing distracts them from completing the form
These visitors landed on your site for a reason: to receive the offer your promoted. You’re actually doing them a favor by removing the distractions of links to other pages until they’re able to receive your offer – and you’re doing yourself a favor by reducing your landing page’s bounce rate.
2) Clear, Concise Headline and Subheading
The headline is the first thing visitors will see when they land on your page. Whether they stay and engage or navigate away could depend entirely on what your headline says. That’s why it’s critical that you have a clear and concise headline. It should state your offer as clearly as possible. Tell visitors what kind of ebook or workshop or demo they’re signing up for, how much the discount is for, or what product you’re launching. The more information you provide in the headline, the more likely you’ll convert interested prospects.
Here are a few examples of clear, concise headlines:
- “Sign up for your free account”
- “Work Smarter with Evernote: Online Workshop”
- “Get our tips straight to your inbox and become a better manager.”
A subheading under your main headline can provide more information about the benefits of your offer. This also serves as your landing page’s value proposition: What does this offer bring to your buyers that they can’t get anywhere else? What makes it valuable to your visitor? You can’t fit all of that information into a headline, so fortunately, you get a second chance.
Here are a few examples of headlines with great subheaders:
- “The Conversion Collection: Generate Even More Leads From Your Blog”
- “Money Matters: Your Guide for Financial Security”
- “Get a Free Strategic Analysis of Your SEO & Content Marketing”
- “Watch a demo of HubSpot’s software: See how you can increase your company’s revenue with our all-in-one marketing platform.”
- “Learn the science behind the art of winemaking: Fill out this form and we’ll enroll you in a free sample lesson on sparkling wine”
3) Value Statements
While your headline and a subheader should give visitors a pretty great idea of the value of your offer, for some visitors, those alone won’t be enough to motivate them to fill in their contact information on a form. A few sentences or bullet points that clearly state what the offer includes and why it’s valuable could make all the difference here.
In a brief and clear list, anticipate and answer any questions visitors might have about the offer. What does your visitor stand to gain from the offer? Will they learn more about your services? Does your offer teach them various ways to use your product? Can they save money or receive a free trial?
Be sure that you break up large blocks of text and use bullet points to draw eyes to the most important takeaways.
4) Relevant Image
In addition to creating a great offer and writing a great headline and value statements, compelling imagery will help you grab your visitors’ attention. After all, a picture says a thousand words. Of course, that image should be relevant and match the offer so that buyers aren’t confused by the final asset.
A great image for your offer might be the cover image of your ebook, a screenshot of the webinar or video, or a graphic design stating the discount or sale available. This gives landing page visitors something visual to match the text they read. That image will stick with them longer than any of the copy.
5) Lead Capture Form
The lead capture form is without a doubt the most crucial element of your landing page.
Your form is how your visitors will supply information in exchange for your offer. Without this form, you cannot collect the necessary data that helps you market to potential buyers.
Naturally as marketers or salespeople, we want to ask for lots of information from visitors. Visitors, on the other hand, want to spend as little time as possible filling out the landing page to get access to the offer they’re trying to get. That means the number of fields on a landing page is a balancing act between user experience and business needs.
The length of your form also inevitably leads to a tradeoff between the quantity and quality of the leads you generate. A shorter form usually means more people will be willing to fill it out, so you’ll generate more leads. But the quality of the leads will be higher when visitors are willing to fill out more forms fields and provide you with more information about themselves and what they’re looking for. Therefore, shorter forms usually result in more leads, and longer forms will result in fewer, but higher quality leads.
It all boils down to your goals: If your priority is more leads regardless of quality, then minimize the number of form fields. If your priority is more high quality leads, then ask for the specific information that your sales reps need to qualify your leads.
Remember the progressive profiling we talked about in Chapter 2? If you have marketing software that lets you adjust your forms’ questions and length based on whether a visitor has already completed a form of yours in the past (like HubSpot’s does), you’ll be able to progressively collect valuable new information while keeping your forms short and easy to complete.
So a first-time visitor might see this form:
But a returning visitor might see this form:
If you want to learn more about progressive profiling, read this HubSpot blog post.
Any time you request contact information from a visitor to your website, you should provide an explanation about how you plan to use email addresses and phone numbers. It’s just the right thing to do. After all, it’s not at all unheard of for unscrupulous companies to sell people’s information to the highest bidder.
Of course, before you promise that you won’t sell their email addresses, make sure your company actually won’t. You need to be able to keep your promises to earn a reputation for credibility among your customers and potential customers.
7) Compelling Button Copy
The copy on your button is what what motivates and directs your visitors to take a desired action on your landing page. That’s why a word like “submit” is a bad idea. Not only is it too vague, but no one wants to “submit” to anything. You need to be more specific than that.
Instead, tell buyers exactly what they’re getting when they click that button. Use specific words like “Download Now” or “Download Your Ebook” for an ebook or white paper; something like “Access Your Coupon” for a discount offer; and “Sign Up For Free” for newsletters or free trials.
8) Social Proof
You can tell visitors as much as you’d like how good your offer is, but the truth is, it’s more compelling for them to hear about it from someone else. This is where social proof comes in.
Social proof is the positive influence created when a person finds out that others are doing something. If site visitors see that people who have consumed the offer are speaking positively about it, they are more likely to think positively about it, too, and therefore might be more likely to fill out the form and convert to a lead.
Social proof can take the form of:
- Customer testimonials: short quotes from happy customers
- Case studies
- Embedded social media posts
- Number of downloads, users, and so on
Using social proof on your landing pages can be a powerful addition to your marketing strategy. Read this blog post to learn more about how to add social proof to your landing pages.
Your Landing Page Checklist
Now that you’ve mastered the anatomy of a landing page, here’s a landing page checklist you can run through every time you build a new landing page.
- Does your landing page pass the blink test? In other words, will someone know what the offer is, why you’re offering it, and why it’s valuable after only 3-5 seconds?
- Do you have an attention-grabbing headline?
- Do you have a relevant and compelling image?
- Is the copy clear and concise? Does it explain what the offer is and why it’s beneficial?
- Have you removed potential friction and distractions from the page, like external navigation?
- Did you add social proof?