October 06 2017

Seven Best Practices for Designing & Optimizing Landing Pages

landing page tipsLanding pages are essential to driving conversion with digital marketing campaigns. However, MarketingSherpa found that the top reason businesses aren’t using landing pages is because their marketing department doesn't understand how to set them up or optimize them properly. To help you get started designing your landing page template, here are seven key components to successful landing pages and tips for optimizing them.

1. Answer Your Prospect’s Question, “What’s in it for me?”

Before you start writing or designing your campaign landing page, put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and figure out what’s in it for them if they complete the desired action. Your headline, subheadline, bullet points and body copy should all work together to entice visitors to convert. Focus this copy on how this will improve the life of your prospect. For banks or credit unions, a competitive rate may be the main selling point, and an easy online loan application can be another. Supporting copy may communicate how this can help them save them money, time and hassle. 

A modern design trend to consider is using iconography to extol a brand’s benefits. Combine that with the adage that people think in threes, and you could design in a graphical band that shows the three main benefits of your promotion, illustrated with icons. The result is an engaging way to complement the list of the features and benefits of a product or service, while drawing users into your landing page.

2. Remove Distractions

One of the tried and true practices of a high performing landing page is to eliminate anything that may distract the user away from the page. This includes removing the site navigation from your landing page templates. You want to avoid a user clicking off your page to increase your chances of them converting. Instead, link your logo to your full website. 

3. Promote an Offer

Every high performing landing page needs a great offer. If you’re not offering anything special, then you may have a tough time getting people to convert on the spot. Make sure that your landing page promotion is clear and concise, and is reinforced in the headline, body text and call to action.

4. Reduce Forms Fields for Better Conversion  

If your marketing objective is to collect leads or information, you’re going to need an integrated contact form on your landing page. Forms can be used to gather contact information while also triggering a marketing automation process to begin based on that action. Fueling your marketing automation funnel, forms can be used to gate content, like registering to receive an eBook, or used to personalize content on your website by obtaining more information about your consumers. Keep your forms simple and only ask for the information that you truly need to increase the likelihood of people filling them out. Unbounce reported that one company found that when they reduced the amount of form fields from 11 to 4, they saw a 120% increase in conversion. 

5. Match your Message from the Ad to Landing Page

Another key factor in a successful campaign landing page is matching the content of your ad to the copy within your landing page. If you’re running a paid search campaign, this will increase your quality score, which helps reduce the amount you pay per click. Google, and other advertising partners like Facebook and Instagram, want their users to have a good experience, and prefer to show ads for site visitors who don’t instantly bounce right off the page. That’s why message match is important – because you need to deliver on what you promised in the ad. To keep your messaging simple and effective, include a bulleted list of offer descriptors.

6. Include A Strong Call to Action

One of the most essential elements of your landing page is your call to action (CTA). This should take the form of a prominent button or visual equivalent, and persuade users to convert. One tip for creating a powerful CTA is to name the benefit of taking the action. For example, if you’re asking people to download an eBook for auto shoppers, instead of writing, “Download” as your CTA, you may want to get more creative and write, “Get Free Auto-Buying Tips.” It also doesn’t hurt to repeat the call to action in sentence form at the end of your body copy with a hyperlink to the same conversion point as your CTA button.

Many marketers believe that having your call to action above the fold of a landing page is the best way to go. However, Marketing Experiments did an A/B test and found that when they moved their CTA button below the fold, they had a 20% increase in conversions. They also suggest weighting your CTA buttons differently, and found a 64% increase in conversions when they made one bolder than the other. If you have the ability to conduct your own A/B test (available through many CMS providers like Kentico, and other software), then you may want to try out a few of your own theories to see what performs better to continuously improve your lead quality and conversion rates.

7. Include Social Proof

When social media first came on the scene, many brands understood the importance of this digital form of word of mouth.  Now that social media is more mainstream, many forget the importance of the concept that people trust people more than they trust a company. That’s why it’s smart to work in some testimonials or case studies, whatever makes most sense for your industry, into your landing page template. This can help sell people that aren’t completely ready to convert by showing off some glowing reviews from credible people. 

Captivate, Convince and Convert

Landing pages are essential to successful digital marketing campaigns. If you are looking to redesign your website, make sure to include a landing page template to the scope of your project. A landing page template can also be added to an existing site design. Let’s start a conversation about landing pages and help you increase conversions. 

  • Content
  • Copywriting
  • Landing Pages & Microsites
  • Paid Advertising
  • Social Media
  • Website

posted by
Dawn Melesko
Dawn Melesko

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide.
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