Best Practices for Creating a Landing Page that Converts
First impressions matter, and the front page of your website will shape the way many visitors view your brand. It needs to tell prospective customers everything they need to know about your business and to grab their attention before something else does.
Fortunately, crafting a solid landing page isn’t a mystical process. Just a few specific guidelines will put you on the right track:
This principle is one of the most important because it applies to every aspect of your landing page, from the headline to the imagery to the overall design. Every piece of copy you add is an opportunity for potential customers to be distracted from the most important element of your site: the call to action. Not only does a deluge of information make it harder for customers to find whatever they are actually looking for, it is also overwhelming and visually unappealing.
Visual minimalism is just as important as informational minimalism. Stick with a simple, complementary color scheme. Things that you want to highlight should contrast with your background. Think about the tone of your design and about any unintentional connotations it may communicate. If you are not especially design-savvy, be sure to consult someone who is.
No matter how fast, aesthetically pleasing or well-promoted your website is, you won’t drive conversions unless you can convince readers that whatever product or service you are offering can benefit them in some way. What are you going to solve or improve for them in exchange for their contact information or attention? How will you convince them that it’s a fair value exchange? Some excellent persuasive tools at your disposal include eye-catching statistics and small quotes from customer testimonials.
Your headline, or most prominently displayed text, serves two functions: to inform and to entice. This isn’t the place for a full-blown pitch. If you try to cram in everything someone could possibly want to know about your brand, you’ll clutter the page and overwhelm your visitors. Instead, give them a small taste that encapsulates your brand and makes them want to keep reading.
Avoid being vague or ambiguous — it should be very clear what you are offering. If you attempt to be too clever or complex, the reader may not immediately understand it, and chances are they won’t bother waiting around to figure it out.
If you want to drive conversions, you have to make it clear what you want people to do — the call to action (CTA) — and give them a good reason to do it. Sometimes this means making a purchase, but often it’s an intermediary step, like joining a mailing list or signing up for a free trial.
People are already reluctant to surrender their information and attention, so don’t give them any additional reasons to ignore you. Keep your CTA short and simple — avoid anything that might confuse or distract from the action you want them to take. Most importantly, tell them why. Show what you can do to help them or their company, or what they will miss if they don’t sign up.
Both the design and the copy of your CTA should be attention-grabbing. The CTA button itself should feature a large font and a color that contrasts with the colors of the webpage. One of our favorite examples of an effective call to action comes from Airbnb:
The copy is short and clearly communicates the action you should take: “Find out what you could earn.” Because it calculates your potential yearly income based on your specific location, the earnings feel more tangible, realistic and difficult to dismiss. The eye-catching red button contrasts nicely with the mostly green background.
Images communicate with an immediacy and clarity that words cannot. Just as your text headline informs and entices, the photo you center on your page should both represent your brand and please the eye. It’s possible to do this with a stock photo, though personalized images tend to be more unique and successful. Either way, you must be intentional about the image you choose. Your landing page photo should never be “filler.”
Consider choosing a high-quality photo of your specific product, service or business at work. Not only is this directly informative, but it also demonstrates respectful customer engagement. Another option is a more general, but still powerful image related to your brand’s field of work. People are always more likely to engage with something that inspires them and that taps into universal human themes like connection, empowerment and motivation.
Remember, consumer attention is fickle. Even if your site manages to pique their interest, any obstacle might be enough to make them give up and instead go with a competitor who is easier to reach. It needs to be ridiculously easy for them to contact you.
Contact forms are a simple way to remain easily accessible. You might also provide small buttons linking to your social media accounts, or even your phone number and email address.
No landing page, regardless of the time and care you put into designing it, will ever be perfect. You can optimize yours, however, using simple A/B testing. Experiment with variations in your copy, headline and design elements, and track how each version performs. Does your audience respond better to black or grey text? Do you see more engagement with a prominent contact form or with a “contact us” email link? The most successful version should become your default — until, of course, a better one comes along. You can never afford to be complacent when it comes to attracting potential customers.
A landing page is the face of your brand — your first and sometimes only chance to tell people why they should care about what you have to offer. By minimizing distractions, clearly communicating your brand’s value through both text and images, and guiding visitors through the next steps you want them to take, you can craft a solid landing page that consistently generates leads.