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Creating Landing Pages That Convert

Mon, Mar 19th 2012 11:45 am

The goal of most websites is to make a "sale" - either by convincing a visitor to make a purchase or by selling them on the mission of an organization and converting them into a brand evangelist of sorts. This change from a potential customer to customer or advocate is described as a conversion.

Developing great landing pages is crucial for creating conversions and requires thoughtful planning and optimization to create a superior customer experience. The easier your website is to use, the greater your conversion success will be.

Here are the top seven tips for designing an effective landing page.

1. Have a Clear Call to Action

When running an online marketing campaign, the end goal is to convert visitors into customers. By driving prospective customers to focused landing pages with clear calls to action, you increase the chance that they will take action, which is the first step towards conversion.

Dedicate each landing page to one specific offer. You can create separate landing pages for other marketing campaigns or promotions. Set the offer copy and corresponding call to action apart from the rest of the page to make it stand out. Use white space or different design techniques to make it clear where the visitor needs to place their focus and spell out exactly what will happen when they submit a form or click on the desired link.

2. Manage Expectations

Visitors to your website came there for a reason, which means some level of expectation was set before they even landed on your page. This could have been due to a keyword search, pay-per-click ad, a third-party blog posting, or a comparison-shopping engine.

Regardless, you should understand the context from which your visitor arrived to ensure the content of your landing page aligns with their expectations.

3. Keep It Simple

The idea here is to minimize distractions. While you want to emphasize your offer, you should stay true to your website's design and resist the urge to use many different bold graphic elements. Remove extraneous images and interactive-media content unless it directly supports your conversion goal and is necessary to convey important information. 

As for copy, edit your text down to simple headlines and short bullet lists (multiple studies have shown that less content on a landing page leads to higher conversion rates) and cut out any self-promoting marketing speak. All other important information can be linked to in the footer or on supporting pages.

4. Use Images Sparingly

Images can provide a visual representation of the product or service as long as:

  • It's a reasonable size. If an image is too large, the headline loses its impact and you risk pushing other content below the fold. 
  • It's not overly complex. Multiple versions of the same item in different colors is unnecessary. 
  • It has a minimum resolution of 72 dpi and is sized correctly. A pixilated image will reduce the perceived quality of the page while a large image file will slow the page load. 
  • There's a caption. After headlines, captions are the next most read pieces of text.

5. Show Brand Validation

People want to feel an affinity for your product or service. By featuring logos of recognizable client brands (with their permission) and media sources that have covered or mentioned your company, your brand gains credibility.

You can also reduce anxiety for your visitors by displaying safe shopping seals and other indicators of your trustworthiness. The logos of trade associations, acceptable payment methods, and money-back guarantee seals all reinforce the idea that transactions with your website are safe and secure.

6. Enable Sharing

Social sharing not only has the potential to drive traffic to your landing page, it also serves as a stamp of approval by others highlighting the value of your offer.

The most effective social sharing is easy, so be sure to include popular social media share buttons above the fold and in the sign up process. You may even choose to enable social-login to make it easier for visitors to accept your offer and take action, however you should always provide an alternative option if you go this route.

7. See What Works

There are many elements of a landing page that can be tested such as buttons, form submissions, number and length of bullet points, approaches to copy, etc. The key to ongoing improvement is establishing a habit of testing and tweaking whether through A/B methods or analyzing your site's metrics.

Developing targeted landing pages for your website can be a great way to increase traffic and drive conversions. For more information on custom landing pages and how we can measure their effectiveness, contact an Account Manager at 716.829.7373 or visit 360psg.com