Landing pages are a great way to increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, whether via email blasts, search engine marketing, social media channels, or more. Since every company, campaign, offer, and target audience is different, there is no one magic formula for the perfect landing page. However, there are certain design and marketing fundamentals that every landing page can benefit from. Here are 11 best practices for landing pages that can guide you toward getting the best results.
1. One page, one goal.
One of the biggest benefits of landing pages is that they increase conversions by facilitating a specific action by a user. As a result, it is a best practice to make sure your landing pages are designed around a single offer and single action as much as possible. The action you want visitors to take should facilitate one marketing goal, and the steps for completing that action should be as clear and convenient as possible. Extra links, multiple calls to action, more than one offer, and social media sharing buttons can be distracting, and may detract from the goal your campaign is trying to accomplish.
2. Make it customer-focused.
While the value of your product or service will help influence a buyer’s decision, it is ultimately the benefit it has to them that they are most interested in. Make sure the specific benefits that users will experience as a result of your offer are loud and clear on your landing page—their problem that your product or service will solve, their difficulty that you will eliminate, or their desire that you will meet.
3. Balance features with benefits.
Speaking of benefits, it is a landing page best practice to make sure benefits are balanced with features. Without features, people will not know how they will receive benefits. Without benefits, a customer will not realize the importance of the features. A good landing page employs the right mix of “what” (benefits) and “how” (features).
4. Be concise.
As landing pages are designed to facilitate a particular behavior, it is essential for the content on the landing page to be concise. Users shouldn’t have to fish through information to understand the offer, its benefits, and how to obtain it. In fact, they won’t. The more fishing they have to do, the more you are distracting them away from the action you want them to take. Get users who have landed on your page to stay—and act—on your page by answering the most pressing questions up front, and providing the necessary information in the most efficient way possible.
5. Be persuasive, not pushy.
Persuasive content will help facilitate the behavior your landing page is centered around. However, keep in mind that the goal of persuasive content is to encourage users to move through the steps to the call to action because they have decided to, not because they were forced or tricked into it. Persuasive content uses the right balance of information, instruction, and urgency to help users feel comfortable and confident in moving forward.
6. Design for skimming.
When users land on your landing page, before they decide to take the action you want them to take, they must first decide whether to stay on the page. Is it worth their time? Skimming doesn’t necessarily mean that people aren’t reading your content. Skimming allows them to make a quick assessment of the page to see whether they should stay or leave.
If your landing page is skimmable (such as with headlines and bullet points) and the information extracted from a skim is effective (concise and persuasive), users may either go back and read the details, or may even be ready to take action!
7. Use simple, everyday language.
Your landing page should not include fancy industry words or jargon, but rather the terms an average person might use when searching for your product or service. Not only does this help your landing page get found via online search, it allows the page to better resonate with users. Yes, you want to be an expert in your field, but you can show your expertise in other ways, such as in your blog. When it comes to landing pages, being able to relate with customers and speak their language is far more important than showing your expertise.
8. Make it responsive.
People check their email, monitor social channels, and perform searches from devices other than just their desktop computers. As a result, it is a best practice to make sure your landing page is responsive. This means that it renders properly on all devices so that users can get the same information and perform the same actions, such as filling out a form, no matter where or how they ended up on your landing page. With the amount of tablet and mobile usage today, a non responsive landing page can cost a business several conversions.
9. Make sure the landing page matches the source.
It is a landing page best practice to ensure that the look, feel, and content of your landing page matches that of the source that links to it. This helps to create a positive user experience for the searcher. If someone clicks on a link from an ad, banner, or email and the page they land on looks completely different, they are likely to assume they are in the wrong place and leave. Also, for search engine marketing campaigns, the more closely a landing page copy matches the ad copy, the higher its relevancy score will be.
10. Use lots of landing pages.
The one page, one goal approach will result in a lot of landing pages. This is not a bad thing! It is a best practice to have a separate landing page not only for each marketing campaign, but each channel being used to promote that campaign. For example, the landing page someone arrives at after clicking on a pay-per-click ad will be different from that which they land on after clicking a Facebook ad, even if they both promote the same offer. This allows you to cater each landing page to the users on each channel, as well as to identify which channels are yielding the most success.
You may also want to use different landing pages for different buyer personas, and even for each social media network. For example, a person coming in from a link in a Twitter post is likely to be in a different mindset than someone coming in from a LinkedIn post.
11. Use tracking.
Tracked links and conversion tracking for SEM campaigns enable you obtain individual metrics for each landing page so that you can measure campaign success and identify which channels and even page elements perform the highest. To utilize conversion tracking for your landing pages, you will need a unique URL for every landing page or a link tracking tool or dashboard.
Effective landing pages will vary for each business, and take time, testing, and trial and error to achieve. These best practices for landing pages will help in making the most of that time, as you hone in on the right design for your business, that yields the most success for marketing campaigns.