e-Commerce, e-mail, e-this, e-that. Business is online. Design is online. Everything is online. You might be the best at what you do, whether you provide a service or a product. But if your current landing page can’t get a paying customer to trade their contact information and/or money for your product or service, it may be time to test out some new strategies and approaches.
Having solid, high-performing landing pages is crucial when it comes to Conversion Rate Optimization. Though there is no single way to design a landing page, there are certain principles and elements that have been proven to raise conversion rates. Different pages require different sets of elements.
It will take some tinkering and testing to determine what makes the largest impact for you and your business, but there are several essential elements to keep in mind when it comes to creating a high-converting landing page.
Before we get into the elements that make up a great landing page, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to re-examine exactly what our end goals our as we create and market new landing pages.
Landing pages are designed to be the first page a visitor sees. You can drive visitors to these pages through paid marketing, social media marketing, emails, and by obtaining organic traffic through search engine optimization.
Keeping the fact that most of the people who visit your landing page will be coming across your business/offer for the first time in mind, it’s crucial to treat this “first impression” with the utmost care and planning. Smart companies consider landing pages to be the most important pages on their site, and you should too.
With a carefully constructed landing page, you can convince targeted visitors to:
- Opt-in to your mailing list in exchange for valuable lead magnets valuable lead magnets
- Connect on social media for future communication
- Sign up for free trials & demos
- Request more information about the offer
- Make purchases
Always remember that your website’s homepage is very rarely a great landing page, unless it’s been designed to act as such. Homepages are often designed to provide general information about your business and provide options so visitors can browse around and learn more.
A well-designed landing page is designed to solicit a transaction. A transaction, in this case, doesn’t necessarily mean making a purchase. First and foremost, any page a person visits on the internet requires an investment of their time. Time is a precious commodity, so be sure not to waste theirs and get straight to the point. A good rule of thumb: once a visitor has landed on your page, you have less than 7 seconds to capture their attention and convince them to keep reading.
Even if you can convince a visitor to spend time on your page and consider your offer, it doesn’t mean much if you can convert them in some way. You need to convince them to give you their personal information, which is where having the following crucial elements present on your landing pages come into play.
#1: Clearly Define Your Purpose
Congratulations! You have managed to get your customer to click through to your page. Now what? Well, the first thing your customer needs to see is your purpose. What is the point of your landing page? What has it set out to accomplish? What do you provide to your customer in exchange for their name & email, and any other valuable information they are willing to give you? There can be no question about this—your purpose must almost literally jump out of the screen. Perhaps you are going to provide a 5% discount for signing up. Maybe you send your potential customer a free eBook, video course, or cheat sheet.
Whatever your purpose might be, ensure it is loud and clear. You should limit one specific landing page to having one (and only one) purpose, and put all of your effort into making everything on that landing page about that one purpose/offer.
#2: Communicate Your Purpose with an Attention-Grabbing Headline
Now that you know what your purpose is, craft that purpose into something tailored for your customers. There are a variety of ways to write compelling headlines, so be sure to test out a few variants (or many variants, ideally) to see which ones convert the best. Having a powerful, clear headline can help improve conversion rates, and it can also reduce the time your visitors are spending on the landing page. The longer they spend on a page, the less likely they are to hand over their information. So keep things short, sweet & to the point. The quicker you can get them to convert, the better.
#3. Make Realistic Claims
Is what you’re offering truly life-changing? Odds are, it’s not… so don’t pretend like it is. Outline exactly what your offer can do using realistic language, and don’t make outlandish claims that your product/service/company can’t live up to.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make emotional appeals to your prospects. You should, but make sure that you can deliver on what you’re promising.
Saying “you’re going to lose more weight that you’ve ever dreamed possible while sitting on the couch and enjoying potato chips day in & day out” is a pretty outlandish claim that would require some serious voodoo to achieve.
Instead, consider something more realistic, like, “Following the information in our step-by-step weight-loss guide and adhering to our delicious, nutritious food planning menu will help make shedding excess pounds easier and more enjoyable that you might have thought possible. We’ve put together easy, actionable daily plans that only take 20 minutes to execute, and a full range of delicious meals that you can enjoy while you experience weight loss.”
People are tired of being lied to, so lay out exactly what you’re offering (features) and why these features will help your prospects achieve their goals (benefits).
#4: Have a Clear Call To Action (CTA)
What do you want your customers to do? Shop now? Get their free eBook? Call you? If you can get your visitor to click that CTA, you’ve gotten over the largest hump. Clicking that CTA means that you have done enough to get your visitor to say, “Hey, I like what I saw and I am willing to give you a shot.” Make it count.
#5. Provide Proof & Build Trust
Has your company received any awards or certifications? If so, be sure to highlight them on your landing page. Use badges and seals whenever possible, especially near your calls-to-action (near the opt-in form, purchase button, etc.).
How long have you been providing this particular offer? If it’s a new offering, but you’ve been in business for a while, let people know. Using copy that highlights the fact that you’ve been serving people for X years can really help convince new visitors that your product/service/lead magnet is worth trying out.
If you’ve been collecting testimonials, make room on your landing page to highlight some of the better ones. Showcase the top few to show that others have benefited from what you’re providing with either this particular offer, or that others have benefited from working with your business overall.
If you’re in a market where people have been burned in the past, it’s a good idea to address this fact and explain why what you’re offering is different. For example, if you’ve built a landing page centered around a weight-loss course, many people who visit may be skeptical because they’ve tried other options in the past without much success. Acknowledge this fact, and explain why your offering is different and how it will help them when other attempts may have failed.
#6: Offer a Guarantee
A guarantee doesn’t have to be about money. You can offer a free demo. Or a 100% no spam guarantee. Whatever it might be, your guarantee just needs to ensure something in order to persuade your visitor that he or she has nothing to lose in clicking or engaging in your CTA. Experiment with a few of these. Depending on your product and your financials, you may only be able to offer a 5% discount or free shipping on the first order. Try out a few and keep track of your analytics to see which ones your customers are responding to the most. And yes, you may use more than one. A 30-day 100% money back guarantee sounds great, but will you sell my email? A spam-free guarantee in exchange for an email would also be nice in this example. Just make sure you don’t overload your customers with guarantees. For more on guarantees, be sure to check out my post about The Art of the Guarantee.
#7: Create a Sense of Urgency
Creating a sense of urgency has been a time-tested tactic to convert people from tire-kickers into action-takers. However, this tactic has been used & abused to death, so it’s important to utilize urgency only when it’s honest & makes sense.
A good example of urgency could be “Spring Special: Get $30 Off a 2-Month Tanning Membership at XYZ Tans – Offer Expires June 21, 2017 (The First Day of Summer).” A bad example would be claiming you only have 300 copies of a digital ebook available in stock… everyone knows that there’s no physical limit to the number of copies you can have… so in that case a limited time offer (“only valid for the next week”) would be a better approach.
#8: Provide Contact Information
What is the first question that you have in mind when you visit a new site that is asking for something of you? You wonder about the legitimacy of it, of course. Your visitors are thinking the same thing. It is for this reason that you must have contact information on your landing page. It does not have to be screaming at your customers. It can be in a smaller font, off to the corner. Just make sure it’s visible somewhere on the page. The most common contact details include:
- Live Chat
All of the above are key elements in creating a high-converting page. And though your design will vary, implementing said principles are critical. Think about the industry that you are in. Look at what your competitors are doing.
There’s no true “right” or “wrong” way to create your landing pages, so it’s important to be continually testing to find what works best for converting your visitors. Utilizing the above elements in your tests will help you achieve higher conversion rates so you can convert more visitors into leads and sales.