Vu’s checklist for creating the perfect landing page
By Dominic Cooper On January 5, 2016 - Branding & Graphic Design, Ecommerce Website, Startup website
When it comes to lead generation, the most powerful tool at your website’s disposal is the landing page. Although these single pages may seem simple at a quick glance, crafting the perfect landing page is an art. On average a good landing page should be delivering a conversion rate of around 2%, however studies show that businesses which have really honed their landing pages enjoy conversion rates of over 10%.
Below are the steps you need to take in order to make a landing page and maximise conversions, focusing on the key areas of design, content, and SEO.
Make sure it’s responsive
With the majority of web browsing occurring on mobile devices it’s essential that your landing page is responsive. This doesn’t mean you have to have two separate landings pages for desktop and mobile, just that your landing page is designed to shrink dynamically when viewed on smaller screens.
If your landing page isn’t responsive then people viewing your page on a mobile device will be having a bad time, and with mobile overtaking desktop internet usage, an unresponsive landing page will kill your conversion rate.
Learn to love blank space
When it comes to design, blank space is a good thing if used correctly, so resist the temptation to fill every part of your landing page with content. Too much information will confuse the reader and make them lose focus on what their mission is – clicking the big button.
Assume your visitors are lazy
Everything on your landing page should be tailored to convert visitors into customers in as little time as possible. This means making everything easy for them and assuming that all your visitors are lazy. Minimise the information you need from them for a successful conversion and add radio buttons to reduce the amount of typing required. Add visual signposts like arrows or line of sight cues that direct visitors to exactly where they need to go.
Buttons and forms above the fold
Another way you can make life easier for your future conversions is to put buttons and forms above the fold, eliminating the need for them to scroll down the page and hunt for what they need to do next.
Make sure your brand is consistent
When people click through to your site, whether from an advert or an email campaign, it’s important that whatever they’re clicking looks like it belongs to the site they’re going to be landing on. It helps to remind them where they’ve come from, where they’re going, and what they’ve come to do.
Create hero images
Create strong images to sprinkle throughout your website that will show off your product or picture your businesses doing what they do best. Avoid using stock imagery and if necessary, hire a professional photographer to shoot eye-catching images.
Don’t distract your visitors with navigation
When you’ve taken all the trouble to attract visitors to a particular landing page, it’s important that you do everything in your power to get them to stay there. This includes not including any navigation that will distract them and encourage them to wander off.
Find a template that works and stick to it
Once your landing page has been setup, tested, and refined, you can reuse it as a template for the next one. If you have a landing page that works there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when creating another one, just add new copy, new pictures, and a new call to action.
Determine your goal
Each landing page should have only one goal, with all the content focused on convincing visitors to act on your call to action. Add more than one goal and your text will become confusing and the effect of your landing page diluted.
Whether long or short keep text readable
If what you’re offering is high value and high risk, then your potential customer will want enough information to make them sure they’re making the right decision. If you’re just offering someone something for free to get them to sign up to your newsletter then you might want to consider shorter copy. Whichever style you decide on make sure the copy is readable, broken up into digestible paragraphs, and features clear titles and subheadings to help the reader find what they’re looking for.
Keep your content consistent
Just like the consistency of your branding when it comes to design, it’s important that your copy is consistent as well. The advert text and landing page text should compliment each other, and don’t be afraid to repeat copy from the landing page in the ad.
Describe the benefits not the features
When crafting your copy make sure you describe the benefits of your product and not just the features. Paint a picture in your visitor’s mind of how using your product or service will have a positive impact on their lives.
Craft your calls to action
All the content on your landing page will build to the call to action, the one statement that will make or break your conversion rate. Spend time crafting your call to action – make it clear, concise, and obvious that the visitor will receive some kind of benefit for filling in your form.
Indicate why you should be trusted
Trust indicators are a guaranteed way of increasing conversions and range from the testimonials of happy customers to embedded star ratings. Customer logos work well as a form of proof to how awesome the service you offer is, so don’t be shy and tell your visitors about the people you’ve worked with especially if they’re also trusted brands.
Use long-tail keywords
If your landing page is part of a pay-per-click (PPC) strategy optimise it for long-tail keywords – three to four word phrases related to what you’re selling. These longer keywords will ensure you rank higher for more specific search terms, increasing the chance that the searcher will find what they’re looking for at your site, and are cheaper than the head keywords that most people usually go for.
Fine Tune Your Title Tag
Make sure you create a title tag that’s relevant to your page, telling your visitor (and Google) exactly what your page in less than 65 characters. The title tag is the first port of call for any bots visiting your page and will help them to understand your page and rank it better in Google’s search results.
Keep your meta description simple
With the meta description tag you have a chance further elaborate on what your page is all about, and cram in some more of the keywords that the search bots love. Effective descriptions should be around 155 characters long, 160 max.
Utilise your url
If your url is an ugly jumble of unreadable characters then it’s time to create one that’s more user and search engine-friendly. Neat urls are easier to remember if people who see your link don’t want to click it immediately, and can also be keyword optimised to have a positive effect on search results.
Optimise your headline
Firstly your main headline should snugly wrapped up in a <h1> tag (and it should be the only headline that’s wrapped in a <h1> tag on that page). Secondly it should be an enticing headline which would ideally include one of your main keywords, though not look like it’s had a keyword shoe-horned into it.
Don’t forget the alt tags
So you’ve sorted out your images, which is great for users, but if you’re not using alt tags then the bots crawling your site won’t know what the pictures are of or how to index them. Although it’s only a matter of time before they can see, bots are currently blind and need some help to know what images are of. Give a bot a helping hand and add some alt tags to your images.