Website Design April 14th, 2021
Landing page optimization is one of the best ways to improve your marketing campaigns: it can increase conversions, improve the performance of your paid media ads (PPC), bring in more leads, and increase the ROI for your bottom line.
When they are optimized using best practices and aligned with the viewer’s intent, landing pages can help you learn more about your target audience and their preferences. With this clearer image of your audience you can then sharpen your overall marketing strategy to make it more effective.
While the goal of every marketer is to improve conversions and generate leads, optimizing a landing page that actually converts can be difficult. This detailed guide covers best practices and examples for landing page optimization to attract more prospects and convert them into customers.
Sitting at the top of your inbound marketing funnel, a landing page is a web page that brings in visitors interested in your product or service and encourages them to take the desired action. From a marketer’s viewpoint, it is a standalone page where the traffic lands when they arrive at your website, including your blog or homepage. The sole purpose of a landing page is to lead visitors to a specific product, service, or offer and encourage them to take the desired action.
Here are 5 types of landing pages commonly used by businesses:
As a marketer, you already know that your visitors aren’t going to convert unless you show them the value. A click-through landing page does exactly that, and doesn’t overwhelm the visitor with ‘Buy Now’ buttons. The whole idea of this landing page design is to help visitors understand the benefits and features of your product or service, and encourage them to try it for themselves.
By the time the users click on the CTA button, they are educated and primed to decide whether to opt for a free trial or not. Clicking on the CTA button usually takes them to another page that has all the pricing details and payment information required for beginning the trial.
This landing page highlights the benefits and features of various pricing plans along with a CTA for a free trial.
Lead capture landing pages seek to capture information (including name, email address, job title, business name and industry) from potential customers. The information fields vary depending on the goals you are trying to achieve with the landing page.
It’s worth mentioning here that you shouldn’t include a long form on this landing page if it is acting as your top-funnel source of leads. On the contrary, you may ask for more information once they have shown interest in your products or services. This type of landing page’s primary focus is to create a bank of prospects for the sales team to work on.
This lead capture landing page by Digital Marketer asks visitors interested in downloading the lead magnet for their basic information in the form of four fields.
For SaaS tools, products and enterprise companies, the goal behind running paid ads as a part of social media management is to generate leads. As it takes several interactions with a brand to convert leads into paying customers, social media ads may not lead directly to sales.
You are leaving a lot of money on the table if you are not sending customers who click on your paid ads on social media to the right landing page.
Let’s take the example of this ad from Airtable:
Upon clicking on the ad, you are directed to the lead capture page.
As you can see, this page strategically asks for only one thing: my email address. Furthermore, the live demo shows rather than tells how Airtable is different and valuable.
Long-form sales landing pages address every single question that your potential visitors may have. Forget brevity, you need to communicate every little detail on such landing pages so that potential visitors can move along the funnel faster. These details may include frequently asked questions, benefits, and more.
Typically used at the bottom of the funnel, sales pages are longer than other landing pages as they require more information to persuade visitors to buy the product. They work great when your product or service is either more expensive or complicated.
This long-form sales page mentions all the details that someone looking to sign up for the course would want to know. With this type of landing page, consider answering every question your customers could have, the barriers they face, and the benefits of purchasing your product: the goal for this page is to close business.
This is not your typical landing page through which you can generate leads. As the name suggests, this type of landing page is for those who want to unsubscribe from your newsletter updates. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage it to win customers back. With unsubscribe landing pages, you can allow subscribers to manage preferences and reconsider their decision.
This cleverly designed unsubscribe landing page by Bonobos gives the customer a chance to customize their email preferences. The image featuring their clothing acts as one last chance for customers to see what they would miss by opting out of email communications.
The key here is to optimize the landing page based on the type of offer you promote and where the user is in the buying funnel. When users arrive at the right type of landing page, you have higher chances of converting.
Before optimizing a landing page, you should be aware of the different elements that need your attention. Some of the key elements include headlines, copy, imagery, CTA, contact information, social proof, and colour contrast. These on-page elements, when done correctly, can help you achieve business goals and lead to increases in revenue.
The Landing Page Optimization Checklist:
In reality, the process of improving website conversion rates begins when you start designing the page and lasts long after the page is live. At the beginning of your landing page optimization journey, consider analyzing the following 7 most important on-page elements.
What do you do when you meet a prospect for the first time in person? You try to build a rapport. Headings and subheadings establish a connection with prospects, and even though we live in a video and image-focused world, text still matters. People read what you write, and if it is relevant it will resonate with your audience.
You can start by thinking about the customer’s specific objective and turn that into a headline and subheading. Sales automation software Mailshake does it well.
After reading the headline, visitors scroll down to learn more about your offerings. Clear, concise, and to-the-point copy on your landing page makes it easier for the visitor to understand what you are offering.
This table offers some useful tips for creating clear copy:
eCommerce website builder Shift4Shop has excellent landing page copy with tables, customer logos, themes, features, and integrations highlighted in a clutter-free way.
Even when including images on a landing page it’s important to get rid of visual clutter. You want visitors to your landing page to focus on the most important prize – your call to action.
Check out this example from omnichannel communication platform Paldesk. This landing page has a minimal design that speaks volumes without many words.
Without a clear direction on what to do next, your prospects may drop out during the customer journey. Enabling your visitors to overcome decision fatigue, CTAs play a key role in helping them understand the next steps.
Creating compelling and impactful CTAs is key to increasing your click-through rate and boosting conversion. Ideally, your CTA should come with action-packed words and create a sense of urgency.
Let’s take the example of a company focusing on accounting and bookkeeping, LessAccouting.
Notice how their CTA includes the more active phrase, “Try It Free,” instead of a cold and plain “Submit” CTA.
A trick to writing a friendly, warm and accessible CTA is using the “I want to ..” strategy: your CTA should complete the sentence that begins with “I want to…”
You simply can’t deny the power of social proof. With the majority of people trusting reviews from people more than influencers and the brand’s marketing, you can try including social proof in multiple formats, ranging from testimonials to infographics, reviews, and logos of companies and customers who have engaged with your brand.
When using social proof it is important to note the user persona you are using it for. For example, if your landing page is targeting enterprise businesses, you may want to showcase testimonials from similar clients to establish your credibility with that audience.
You can create remote video testimonials to engage buyers and remove friction in the sales process. While written testimonials, reviews, and quotes are great opportunities to dive into statistics and detail, with a video visitors can hear the subject’s voice and understand the true impact of purchasing the advertised product or service.
Furthermore, every time a customer shares a review, you could leverage the benefits of digital rewards, which include improving brand awareness, increasing brand recall and affinity, and encouraging sales. A digital gift card from Xoxoday Plum has a catalog of 20,000+ options ranging from experiences, activities, perks, and discounts which you can use to incentivize customers to share authentic reviews about their experience with your brand or product.
Chances are, your web visitors have additional questions regarding your offerings. So, it’s important that you are there to support their queries when they are evaluating options. You can do this by providing contact information on your landing page in the form of live chat, a phone number, an email address, or using a contact form. Technology and SaaS companies also include links to their help centers.
In short, customers should be able to find your contact information, frequently asked questions, and tutorials easily.
The best landing pages make great use of color contrast in a way that makes it so you can’t ignore the CTA. For example, the “Join Now” button on this Starbucks Rewards page is the same color as the star’s color on the left side logo. The CTA is pronounced and clear because the textured black background makes the headline and CTA stand out. Additionally, they have used negative space between the logo and the remaining elements.
Landing page conversion optimization is akin to building a product: you won’t have the perfect prototype from the first day, and you might have to create hundreds of prototypes before arriving at the final product.
Similarly, your landing page should appeal to your audience, meet their expectations, and compel them to take action.
Here are 6 tips to optimize your landing pages for conversions.
You may think this is a no-brainer conversion optimization tip, but you would be amazed how many advertisers fail to notice the disconnect between what the ad promises and the landing page delivers.
Let’s take the example of this ad by Air Canada:
Upon clicking, the accompanying landing page looks like this:
This landing page matches the ad perfectly in terms of visual continuity and offers a predictable experience for users. Keeping the messaging consistent is a simple and quick way to double your B2B sales conversions. In fact, this trick works equally great for B2C businesses.
The length of the form on your landing page can make or break your conversion rate optimization campaign. The optimal number of fields in a form is a topic of debate among marketers, but the basic question really revolves around what is too much, and what isn’t enough. Well, the length of a form depends on your goal. When you want more leads you should keep the number of fields to a minimum. On the contrary, it is wise to use more fields when you are looking for qualified leads. In short, the role of A/B testing in improving conversion rate is to understand which of the two variants leads to maximum conversions.
The truth is, mobile ads are effective because they appeal to many customers’ desires to buy something immediately. This means your mobile landing page and its forms must be easy to fill when accessed by users.
By making the visitor’s journey as easy as possible, you give prospective customers what they want. Granted, this form may not give you all the information about the user. But this best practice for landing page optimization, in return, is likely to make them convert.
A landing page’s copy and its design considerations are equality important to the success of the landing page. Using the customer’s voice is the best way to create an engaging landing page.
How often have you come across landing pages and marketing material filled with buzzwords and terminologies straight out of training manuals? Probably quite often! Particularly in the case of enterprise businesses, many think the more indecipherable the language, the better. In reality, speaking to customers in the language they understand is much more effective and leads to higher conversion rates.
This example from accounting software FreshBooks shows how a landing page can be crafted with a prospect’s needs and wants in mind:
This landing page emphasizes its selling point by showcasing how the product can benefit customers, and not how many clients the company has.
Once you understand how to use your customer’s voice in your copy, it’s time to add in some power words to really take your landing page to the next level. This combination creates a compelling and irresistible message by appealing to your prospects’ emotions.
Here is a list of 401 power words (from Sumo) that can help you create an epic landing page:
As per a report by Ascend2, 41% of marketers agree that video content is most effective at building relationships with potential customers to generate leads that actually convert. A great reason to include a video on your landing page is when you’re trying to convey a complex idea without confusing your visitors with reams of text.
Video is a powerful format to reinforce your messaging and branding. Furthermore, videos offer a unique opportunity to make your products and services entertaining, a considerable challenge for text-only landing pages.
For their team collaboration feature, SproutSocial uses a on the landing page for product demonstrations. The screenshots and brief clips of the software in the video show the visitors what they will get upon requesting a free trial.
Landing page optimization should be a crucial part of all businesses’ lead generation strategies. The above blueprint will help you figure out what works for your prospects and leads, and you will find it easier to convert them into sales. Good luck!