Landing pages may be a science and they’re certainly an art, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be as easy as 1-2-3. By following a few best-practices, you can optimize your landing pages to convert better than they ever have before (you’re tracking that, right?). Let’s break it down in one quick n’ dirty guide.
- Employ the Quick Wins (because some things don’t need a paragraph to explain them):
Your mantra: One page, one purpose.
Place form here:Right side of the page, above the fold if it’s an easy sell, below the fold if you have to explain it.
Make sharing easy: If you want people to share your offer on Social Media, reduce anxiety by telling them they can customize their message.
Increase E-book Downloads Instantly: Just tell users how long it will take them to actually read the thing.
Halt Ad Bounce Rates: If your landing page bounce rate from online ads is high, check your messaging. Nine times out of ten, messages and images on ads don’t match their landing pages, which is a huge conversion-killer!
- Understand the Philosophy of the Landing Page:
The first rule of landing page design is: Never start a marketing campaign without a landing page! I’d repeat it, but it’s long, so just read it one more time, write it down, and hand it to your tattoo artist along with your right arm.
The second rule of landing page design is has to do with what we call the “Attention Ratio.” Attention ratio is the ratio of all the things you could do on a given page to the number of things you should be doing. And that ratio should be 1:1. Ie. One page, one purpose, one action, no distractions. Follow this rule and conversion rates will rise.
The third rule of landing page design is: Be very, exhaustively clear. People get confused rather easily when presented with a form, so be sure to tell them what the form is, what the form will do once filled out, and how they will benefit from filling out the form. Be explicit. And, bonus points for putting all of this information succinctly on the form itself.
The fourth rule of landing page design is: Know who’s using it and what their expectations are. The landing page you create for your grandmother (who uses Facebook and email like a pro) versus the landing page you create for your sister (who schools you when it comes to phone apps and internet memes) are very different pages. What are the expectations of your target audience?
- Understand the Philosophy of the Form:
I adhere to Form First Design, which essentially means that your form should act like a miniature landing page, communicating what it’s for and why users should care. You can use a framework similar to an old-fashioned news story: What, Why, Where, When, and How. Your form should now look something like this:
- Headline: What is your offer?
- SubHead: Why should the user care?
- Benefits bullet points
- Form fields: To be described adequately so users know what they’re supposed to do
- TA: Describe what’s going to happen next
- Social Proof: Testimonial quote
You might wonder how many fields your form should have, and that is up for debate. Would you like lots of conversions, or only high quality conversions? The longer and more detailed the form, the higher quality those leads are likely to be. Look at a typical HubSpot form, for example. Those puppies are long. Why? Because they only want to send high-quality leads to their sales reps.
Yes, you can and should do A/B testing to optimize your landing pages. Yes, there are many other tweaks you can employ to really give them that final polish. But most people aren’t even mastering the basics. Now you have no excuses. Don’t be one of them!