Landing pages play a central role in any marketing strategy, helping brands to convert website visitors into leads. Essentially they provide THE gateway to conversion, particularly for potential customers that don’t know your products or services.
That means they must be carefully optimized to maximize your conversion rates, and bring people into your sales funnel. In this article, we’ll look at the best practice and how you can use experimentation and personalization to increase effectiveness, all illustrated with examples.
1 The landing page: a key resource for converting your leads
The landing page is where visitors arrive on your website after clicking on a sponsored link (via a search engine or AdWord) or a marketing campaign CTA (such as in an email, social media or blog article). They fit between the top of your marketing funnel and your ultimate goal of conversion.
This could mean it promotes a particular product, service or offer by creating your merchandise with the aim of converting your visitors into leads. This could be by providing a white paper or giving access to a demo, for example (lead generation landing pages) or directly offering the chance to sign up for a service (clickthrough landing pages).
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF A LANDING PAGE?
The landing page is the first touch point for inbound visitors who don’t necessarily know your brand but are looking for a product or service you provide.
That means your goal to effectively and clearly communicate your value proposition so that visitors immediately understand why they’ve landed there. By showing the relevance of what you offer, and optimizing your page, you’ll increase conversion rates and lower the cost of sales.
Note: Don’t confuse the landing page and the homepage, which is the default page visitors arrive on after running a generic search on a search engine. The goal of the landing page is to draw the visitor’s attention to a given offer at a given time, whereas the homepage has to broadly introduce your brand and the services you provide. That’s why a landing page needs to have fewer links that can distract or lose your traffic than your homepage, as we’ll discuss later on.
2 Why should you optimize your landing pages?
Landing page optimization is a crucial element of your marketing strategy and tactics, delivering benefits at multiple levels:
KNOW YOUR VISITORS
A landing page enables you to collect information about your visitors which you can use to boost engagement and increase conversions.
On a first visit, for example, you can ask for a visitor’s name and email address, and then collect more information when they return (such as job title, company, or telephone number). You can even adjust your landing page based on the information you already have: simply pre-populate the fields for which you already have information and then include additional, more specific ones.
All the information collected via landing pages enables you to grow your leads and to then segment your target audience more accurately.
BOOST YOUR WEBSITE SEO
Every landing page you create is indexed on your website and gives you the opportunity to move up in organic searches, through improved search engine optimization (SEO) - provided that your page has been optimized effectively. Visitors who find your landing page via search engines should be more likely to convert, since they are already looking for what you have to offer. That’s why your value proposition is key, as we’ll discuss later on.
And don't forget to build backlinks to increase the domain authority of your website - it will help you rank better.
GENERATE MORE QUALIFIED LEADS
Landing pages are specially created to convert your visitors into leads and thus helping achieve your marketing campaign objectives.
The more dedicated landing pages you have on your website for each available offer, the more your conversion rate should increase.
This is because if each landing page is optimized for a type of visitor (segment) or for a particular product or offer, then the arriving visitors are more likely to be interested in what you are providing, and are consequently more likely to become qualified leads. Essentially you can boost conversions by delivering what visitors are looking for, whether that is a product or service - and reduce abandonment rates by exactly meeting their needs.
3 Targeting the visitors on your landing page
Landing pages are powerful conversion tools, as long as they target the right person at the right time. Visitor segmentation helps you achieve this. Analyzing your website traffic will help you ask the right questions to guide you in landing page design and copywriting:
- Who are my visitors?
- What do they want?
- Where have they come from, how have they arrived on my website?
- What devices are they using? (mobile, desktop, tablet…)
- How are they behaving on my website? (time spent, number of pages viewed…)
All this information gives you the start point you need to build your landing page, which can then be personalized according to the type of visitors you are targeting with your offer.
PERSONALIZE YOUR LANDING PAGE BASED ON VISITORS’ INTERESTS
There’s nothing worse than an overly-generic landing page that doesn’t meet a visitor’s needs and interests. You must therefore tailor your landing pages to ensure they deliver on their expectations through personalization.
Personalization enables you to display a different page for each visitor segment or even each visitor, thanks to AI-powered predictive algorithms.
Use behavioral data to aid personalization, for example look at:
- the source of the traffic: a visitor who clicks on a link on social media will not have the same expectations as one who lands on your website after entering a keyword in a search engine.
- the journey of the visitors on your website: by identifying their interests you can adapt your landing page and align it as closely as possible with your visitors’ expectations, as this example shows.
The landing page shown on a first visit. It explains the blog’s concept and let’s you register to receive travel stories.
Here, this personalized landing page is shown to visitors whose browsing on the website indicates a particular interest in the sea and coastal locations.
ADJUST YOUR LANDING PAGE BASED ON THE DEVICE USED
Visitors don’t all have the same browsing habits: some visit your website from their mobile devices, while others use their computer or tablet.
There are many elements that can disrupt the browsing experience on mobiles or tablets, especially if you use overlays (such as popups, pop-ins or sliders) or if your form isn’t optimized. That’s why your need to ensure your landing pages are readable and attractive on all devices to increase conversions across all types of traffic.
Top tip: You can insert elements specifically for mobile users, such as calls-to-action (CTAs) allowing them to contact your sales team via the phone in a single click.
PERSONALIZE CONTENT BASED ON VISITOR BEHAVIOR
You can use all the information you have on your visitors to optimize your landing pages: the better you know and understand the desires and behaviors of web users, the more you’ll be able to give them what they are looking for.
For example, like Airbnb, you can use your visitors’ geolocation to serve up landing pages that are directly related to their context.
4 Ten elements to optimize on your landing page
The n°1 goal of your landing page is to communicate your value proposition to web users.
“The value proposition is one of the most important elements on your landing page - if not the most important,” says Talia Wolf, founder and Chief Optimizer at consultancy GetUplift. “It’s the one thing that makes people say they are going to choose you over your competition. But creating and communicating it is one of the biggest challenges that people struggle with. The secret to a value proposition that makes people stop on your page is that you make it about them, their results and their value.”
Learn more about creating your landing page value proposition by watching Talia’s video, part of her landing page optimization course.
That’s why a visitor should be able to understand your page at a glance. They should immediately be able to tell how your offering solves their need and how to access it, but also what makes you different from your competitors and why they should choose you. Building on your value proposition, here are a few tips to help you create a landing page that converts.
A LANDING PAGE HEADING THAT CLEARLY EXPLAINS WHAT YOU OFFER
The heading of your landing page is the first element that your visitors will see. So, it has to be catchy. And, more importantly, it has to clearly and quickly let web users know what you’re offering to them.
But a landing page needs to be direct - it isn’t the place to present your aims or your brand. The heading must focus on your visitors’ interests. It’s best to use very descriptive, actionable headlines, such as “Download our new ebook now” or “Access our premium offer here” or, like Hubspot, “Schedule a Demo of HubSpot’s Marketing Software”
CONCISE AND EFFECTIVE CONTENT
Landing page content must enable visitors to understand the benefits to them of what you offer.
Keep the text on this page to a minimum, but ensure that all the information users need is clearly outlined and visible, by anticipating the questions they could ask. Make sure it fits with the link or campaign that has brought the visitor there - keep your promises in your content.
- Use short and concise paragraphs, bulleted lists to structure your copy, and make sure the text is easy to read (size, font, spacing).
- Establish a dialog with visitors and address them directly to grab their attention.
The text on this page must also be optimized for search engines with your keywords appearing in the headings and body copy.
VISUALS THAT ILLUSTRATE THE LANDING PAGE OFFER
Visual elements help visitors to quickly understand the meaning of your offer. Inserting the right hero images, icons or videos makes your landing page more attractive and understandable. But be careful - it’s pointless to insert a visual that doesn’t add anything and doesn’t help your visitors to understand your offer. In fact, it may confuse them and cause them to leave.
- Use an image of the product by itself or in a relevant setting
- Insert icons to illustrate the benefits your product or service provides
- Use explanatory or introductory videos, or video testimonials
A FORM TO COLLECT INFORMATION
The form is one of the most important elements on your landing page, since it allows you to gather information about your visitors. If your form isn’t optimized, the consumer is likely to immediately leave your landing page even if they’re interested in the product or the service.
- Only ask for essential information and keep the number of fields to a minimum.
- Help visitors fill in fields by giving them dropdowns with answers to select from, autofill, or the ability to use data from their social media profile. Confirm and correct the responses in real time.
- Go for an understated and uncluttered design that gradually guides the visitor towards the CTA.
A CTA TO CONVERT
The CTA is the end point on your landing page: it’s by clicking on this that visitors submit their details and access your offer. The visitor must be immediately drawn to the CTA to continue to the next stage.
- Clearly state your offer in the CTA button copy: “Download my ebook” or “Sign up to the offer” rather than “Download” or “Sign up”
- Use contrasting button colors and negative space to make your CTA stand out. This helps to create a visual hierarchy on your landing page.
A LANDING PAGE WITH NO DISTRACTIONS
When visitors arrive on your landing page, the goal is to minimize distractions so that they can focus on filling out the form.
Ensure your page design minimizes the number of links visible on your landing page, as these distractions provide ways for visitors to leave. Visitors should be able to find all the information they need on your landing page, so there is no reason for them to look at other content when browsing.
The goal is therefore to minimize potential exits from the page by removing as many links as you can (menus, navigation bar, etc.). Do keep a link that redirects to your home page, such as by clicking on your brand logo. Go for an attention ratio that is as close as possible to 1:1.
TESTIMONIALS TO CONVERT VISITORS
If you want your visitors to trust you, you must provide reassurance. Consumers are more likely to do something if others have already done it: this endorsement (social proof) is an immensely powerful lever.
So, it’s essential to show visitors that other people have already taken the same action as them and are happy with their decision. Reassuring them in this way encourages them to take action.
- Display the number of people who have already signed up for the offer (if the number is high enough to convince other visitors).
- Highlight customer reviews by using quotes received directly from customers or pulled from social media.
- Display the logos of brands that are already clients (B2B)
- Show the results existing clients have achieved
REASSURE VISITORS THAT THEIR DATA IS SAFE
Ensuring their personal data is protected is a key concern for consumers today. That means you need to constantly reassure them that their browsing experience is safe, especially when they’re about to hand over their personal data. With this in mind, you should insert elements that prove web users can trust you.
- Reassure visitors about your general terms and conditions - particularly if the aim of the landing page is to sell a product or a service.
- Add endorsements and logos from trusted third parties.
ENSURE THE LANDING PAGE IS VISIBLE WITHOUT SCROLLING
The elements on your landing page should be visible without having to scroll, making it as easy as possible for visitors. So place your most important elements above the fold. You can, of course, add “bonus” elements below this.
When the landing page extends past the fold, it’s preferable to insert a second call-to-action on the lower part of the page in case your visitor scrolls down, or have a constantly visible CTA.
After visitors have clicked on the CTA on your landing page, you can redirect them to a thank-you page that explains what you’ve delivered to them and provides a link to the downloaded resource or additional items for them to consider.
5 A/B test your landing pages!
As with all the elements of your website, constant experimentation and A/B testing is best practice to ensure your landing page best meets the needs of all your visitors. Testing enables you to identify both your challenges and your successes. For a full introduction to A/B testing read our comprehensive guide here.
While you can test all the elements on your landing page (heading, visual, form, CTA, etc.), your goal should be to test the elements that are specifically causing you problems and reducing the effectiveness of your landing page. And as you don’t want to unnecessarily send traffic to variations that are not performing well, look for a testing tool that can automatically route your visitors to the variations that are delivering best results through dynamic traffic allocation.
To identify the obstacles encountered by visitors, analyze these areas:
- Where did the visitors click on the page?
- How many of them filled in the form?
- How long did they stay on your website?
- How many visitors were converted into leads?
Demonstrating this online bank Hello bank! ran a test on its landing page to determine which version converted the most visitors. Three elements were added to the original version(variation A): a background visual, a triple incentive to encourage visitors to sign up, and a progress bar showing the stage they’re at in the sign-up process The elements were then placed differently on five variations.
The tests revealed that the landing page which worked best was variation B with a 9.97% increase in requests for information made and a 22.91% increase in accounts opened. Even though at first glance nothing seemed to distinguish variations B, C, D et E the A/B test clearly revealed the most effective version based on visitor behavior. When in doubt, A/B test!
Given the vital importance of landing pages to turning visitors into leads, brands need to focus on continually optimizing and personalizing them for each and every consumer that visits them. That means following the best practice above and ensuring you constantly test and improve the experience to guarantee effectiveness, engagement and sales.