How to create the perfect landing page design.

Created on
April 26, 2019
Graphic Design

Designing the perfect landing page first requires a good understanding of the purpose of a landing page. The answer to this may seem obvious, but let’s see if we can come up with a more nuanced explanation.

Yes, the purpose of a landing page is for your target audience to land on it. However, this begs the question, “How did they land on it in the first place?” Therein, lies the key to building a perfect landing page.

When you build a web site, you generally have multiple goals for that web site, and you measure the success of your web site based on whether or not it helps you attain the goals you have set for its performance. There are many metrics you can use to quantify your web site’s performance, and your web site is comprised of many different types of web pages, which have various purposes, and serve various audiences, but since we are talking about landing pages, lets focus on that specific type of page.  

A landing page has a reason for being. That can be getting leads, getting sales, providing helpful information as the beginning of a sales funnel, educating your audience about various topics, etc. Whatever the purpose of your landing page, it needs to be found by your target audience somehow. That’s how they “land” on your page.

Some landing pages get their traffic from business cards, flyers, or other printed marketing collateral. Others are meant to capture traffic from other marketing campaigns, such as radio, TV, or billboards. Most landing pages, however, are meant to capture traffic from search engines, and are therefore built to rank for specific keyword phrases.

No matter how a landing page receives web site traffic, it must be effective in capturing your audience’s attention, holding it long enough for you to educate them about what you want them to do next, and finally, it needs to be persuasive enough to cause your target audience to take action (generally a lead, or a sale, but it could be other types of actions as well).

So, how should you approach your landing page design in in such a way that it will generate the kind of results you need from it?

Well, that depends on what kind of landing page it is. Does it come in the beginning of your sales funnel, which means that it might be more text-heavy and meant for research? Or is it towards the end of your sales funnel, which means that it must be more persuasive rather than purely informative?

For now, let’s take a look at a more sales-oriented landing page. Presumably, they landed on an earlier research-heavy page on your web site, and are now transitioning into a buying mentality. So, the job of this page is to inform them of your products/services, and convince them to take action.

Clean and Straightforward

By far the most common mistake made on sales landing pages is creating a text-heavy design. Your sales landing page is not the place to go into detail about your products, your company history, or anything else that strays from the main goal of getting your visitor to take action. Instead, here you must use short, clear sentences written in a persuasive style, and pair them with catchy, yet informative graphics that support the text content. The graphics will grab the visitor’s attention first, and the text will give them further insight. Right below the text, there is normally a call-to-action (CTA) in the form of a button, which if worded correctly will help convince your visitors to take the actions you wish them to take.

Media and Testimonials

Squeezing all you’ve got to say in a single paragraph is probably not the best approach, so you may want to consider adding an explainer video, or a CTA which will lead them to additional information. Testimonials are also a wonderful way to add credibility to your web site. If you can create video testimonials that would be even better. Show your visitors links to reviews web sites to demonstrate how your clients feel about you, or send them to your BBB page to help them reach the conclusion that you are a trustworthy provider.

Create a Logical Flow

In creating the various sections of your landing page, try to step into the shoes of your prospective customers. Think how you would feel landing on an unknown vendor’s web site. What questions do you have? Which ones are the most important, and which ones are secondary and tertiary? Remember, your visitors probably got to you from a search engine by typing a search query. They used certain keywords to find your page, and they need immediate verification that they landed on a relevant search result. You only have seconds to keep your visitors from bouncing off your landing page, so it is key to place the most important content at the very top. Answer their most pressing questions first (probably the keyword phrase they typed in the search engine). Show them that you have relevant information, and guide them down the page in a logical progression that gradually answers all of their questions, and convinces them to get in touch with you.

The Six Must-Haves for Landing Page Design

Here are some guiding principles that hold true for most good landing pages.

  1. Good user-experience - A good landing page has to feel good to a visitor. It needs to load quickly, be mobile-friendly, look attractive, be clear, provide relevant information, and provide useful links. If the landing page is slow, doesn’t look good on mobile devices, is confusing, is irrelevant, or has no links to get further information on outstanding questions, it is very likely that your visitors will leave the page.
  2. Good branding - If visitors (especially return clients, or visitors who came via a referral) cannot clearly identify your brand due to missing or inconsistent branding elements (such as no logo, unfamiliar variation of your logo, different slogan, unfamiliar URL, etc), they can become very disconcerted. Since you only have seconds to win their trust, all the visuals on your landing page need to be tied into your brand, using familiar styles, fonts, and colors reflect your company’s brand.
  3. Good copywriting - It may sound silly to mention that your landing page must have good copywriting, but what most people think is good copy (good spelling and grammar) is usually far from being good text copy. Good copy usually costs an arm and a leg, because it is written in a very specific way that is designed to unconsciously drive visitors to take action on your web site. There is a reason why great copywriters make 6-figure incomes, and that is because their writing gets measurable results. It can take years to master the craft of sales copywriting, so if you want your web pages to convert into sales, then you need to invest in professional copywriting.
  4. Well-defined audience - Every landing page needs to clearly identify its target audience. Many people have a tendency to regard and treat all traffic equally, but the truth of the matter is that there are many different audiences coming to your web site for different reasons, and you need to clearly identify them in order to serve them in the best possible way. One example might be grouping all of your customers into one category, and thinking that they are all the same. They are not. You must be aware of your customer segmentation, so that you can communicate with each of them in the most effective way. They don’t all think the same. They don’t all want the same things. You have to be very clear about how your customers differ from one another, and understand which group(s) of customers will be landing on your landing page, and what they hope to accomplish on that landing page.
  5. Your competitive edge - Part of getting your prospective customers to take action on your landing page has to do with why they are visiting your web site. What made them want to look at your web site, as opposed to all the other web sites they could have chosen to visit? What is it about your offerings that makes you special, and how can you convey that to your visitors to showcase your strengths in the market as compared with your competitors? What sales points can you list next to each one of your offerings to help them understand what you can do for them? You really have to be clear on your Unique Selling Proposal (USP) in order to effectively communicate it to your clientele in a meaningful way.
  6. Perform A/B testing - You may have heard about A/B testing. It’s just a fancy way of saying you need to measure the effectiveness of your landing page design, and try to improve it over time. One way you can do that is by creating two designs (lets call them Design A, and Design B), and comparing their performance against one another using analytics data (from Google Analytics, for example). Try moving your CTA’s around (or modifying the button text), or changing the order of your landing page sections, or use different copy, or adding a video, etc. See what happens every time you make a change, and learn from it. Eventually, you will reach a layout that clearly outperforms other layouts, and that’s the one to which you should send the bulk of your traffic. Don’t get complacent, however. Keep testing. It’s an ongoing process.

Try some of these ideas on your next landing page design project, and let us know how this worked for you. Hopefully, this helps you build more effective landing pages, or at least gives you some insight into what thought-processes have helped us design effective landing pages for our clients in the past.

Whatever the case may be, you always have to keep testing and learning from your experiences. The Web keeps changing, search engines adapt, competitors modify their approach, technology evolves… nothing stays still, so you never have all the answers. The most important thing is to keep searching for answers.

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