In the purest sense, a landing page is any web page that a visitor can arrive at or “land” on. However, when discussing landing pages within the realm of marketing and advertising, it’s more common to refer to a landing page as being a standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective. The main objective of a landing page is to limits the options available to your customers and convert them to leads, that means creating effective landing pages isn’t the same as crafting a successful website or email newsletter. There are certain guidelines you should adhere to in order to maximize your page’s success.
So, what’s a high converting landing page? And what are the essentials of a high converting landing page? This article will show you 9 must-have elements in a landing page that you can’t afford to miss in 2017.
1. A killer headline
A headline is where everything begins - interest, attention, and understanding. It is the first thing your visitors see when he lands on the page. Make a great first impression with your headline and the visitor stays, make a bad one and they bounce. It’s as simple as that. The famous advertising revolutionary, David Ogilvy, knew that headlines are the most important element of your copy. His famous quote is as follows:
What Mr. Ogilvy is saying is that you should spend extra time and thought considering your headlines. Let’s not forget the importance of having a headline at all.
So, what types of headline make the greatest impression? How do they look like?
There are many factors to consider when writing an effective headline. But, regardless of whether your landing page is promoting a free trial for your SaaS, or a discount coupon for your nail salon, the headline will only be effective if it possesses the following characteristics:
Value-centric: Making your headline value-centric means that the central message of the headline points at the benefits that the readers will get. Be straightforward and upfront about the main content and the viewer will take attention to it. That means you let them take the action you want to lead them down your funnel.
For example, you can compare the attraction between 2 these headlines “Get 20% Off Your Purchase from Fun Store.” vs “Sign Up Today for Newsletter.”
It is obviously seen that the first headline is more value-centric than the other. So A headline should never be ambiguous, vague, or beat around the bush with metaphors.
- Be Compelling: We’ve all seen headlines that say something like “About Us” and that’s it. While that may describe accurately what the page is about, it’s not very compelling.
- Empathy: If you want your readers to be impressed, you need to let them know the problem that they will overcome. Headlines demonstrate benefits of the product and reassure visitors that their problem can be solved.
- Persuasive Sub-headline: If the headline makes the user look, then the subheadline should make them stay. A subhead is part of the one-two punch of a landing page’s power. It is positioned directly underneath the main headline.
Headlines shouldn't come as an afterthought to you, so don’t leave them until last. Remember, they are your only chance at making a good first impression on future customers.
2. Action Block / CTA Above The Fold
Your CTA is the action you want your website visitor to take. It doesn't matter if your landing page objective is increasing sales, generating email leads or developing customer relationships, we all want more conversions!
Your CTAs should follow these characteristic if you want it to increase the clicks rate:
Contrast: Why should we care about contrast?
The higher the contrast between elements on the page and the CTA, the more attention is directed toward the button. That means your CTA color, size, effect,... must be enough to show the clickability. The more attention, the better likelihood of that visitor clicking the button. Otherwise, your visitors will be likely to bounce because they are not “motivated” to click or they are trying to search your CTA because of the zero contrast.
- Supporting Information: A short statement supports or clarifies the CTA purpose of the button can make the CTA Text shorter (smaller in size than the main button and placed beside the button).
- Create a Sense of Urgency: Nothing gets people going more than urgency. Anything that makes your users think that there is a limited amount of time to complete the action will make the CTA more effective. For example, “Shop Now While Supplies Last,” or “Get 50% off Today!” are both great ways of expressing how urgent it is that the users act.
- Pointing: Pointing to your call-to-action is a great way to make it stand out, and guide your prospects attention to where you want them to click. Finally, if all of these tips for drawing attention to your CTA weren’t enough we get to the last tip – actually point to the button itself!
- Above The Fold: In most cases placing the CTA above the fold works wonders for your campaigns. This placement immediately draws your visitors’ attention to your CTA which is always good for conversions. For example, if your app is a software, above the fold should include a headline, a minimal copy, a graphic (probably how your app is used) and a CTA button.
All changes that you make to your call to actions should be closely observed and tested. You don’t want to just change things and hope for the best. You want to change things and know if the new button is better than the old one or not.
We all know that images are a powerful medium of expression, after all, they’re worth a thousand words! Well-chosen and thoughtfully placed pictures on your landing pages can help you enjoy more conversion success.
Images that are relevant to your marketing message can provoke an emotional buying response from your landing page visitors. Keeping this rule in mind, try, if possible, to show a landing page image of someone enjoying the benefits, even the lifestyle, your product offers. It really pays off to find an image that people can relate to.
Let’s take a look at the different characteristics of Effective Landing Page Images:
- Direct People’s Attention: Sometimes you want to direct people’s attention to the most important part of your landing page, such as your online form. Instead of relying exclusively on color, positioning, and arrows pointing them in the direction you want them to look, why don’t you try images of people looking in the direction of the element? The effect? It makes you feel like they’re expecting you to click on the quote button. This is a subliminal clue to the page’s intentions at its best!
- Right Color: Many images are designed exclusively to emphasize or accentuate a section of a landing page.
- Demonstrate Contrast: The brain pays more attention to things that are in contrast to other things in the environment or to things that are in contrast to what came before. So you can use it to get your customer attention to your product.
- Use Images to Build Trust: One of the biggest barriers to online sales is the issue of trust. Shoppers don’t get the benefit of walking into a physical store to see if you’re a legitimate company.
Avoid cheesy stock photos: Usability tests by Jakob Nielsen show that people always pay a lot of attention to images. When it comes to people, real people get a lot of attention while stock photo people are largely ignored. Hence – don’t use cheesy stock photos. No handshakes in suits, no happy multicultural teams, no headset hotties, no women laughing with salad. Most phones have decent cameras today, most any random picture you take yourself will be better.
4. Landing Page Video
Video landing pages are landing pages with embedded video to help illustrate the value of the product or service on offer. Aside from looking great (if handled correctly and produced to a high standard), video landing pages have several benefits that their traditional counterparts just can’t match.
It’s not a secret anymore that great landing page videos can increase conversions by 80%. In fact, 76% of businesses who use video in their campaigns believe it provides good ROI.
Among other things, including videos on your landing pages increases the time visitors spend on your page. Plus, videos can:
- Explain product features
- Narrate your brand story
- Featured customer testimonials
- Display visual case studies
So, how is a great landing page video? Let’s check out a few different characteristics to help inspire you.
- Keep the video short: Visitors to your landing page simply want quick answers. Try to convey the benefits of your website, product, service, or idea within 45-90 seconds. Ask for only one action from the visitor, and be absolutely clear about the action you want them to take.
- High-quality video: You have only a few seconds to capture your visitors. If your video doesn’t look like it’s high quality, neither will your product.
- Designing: Design around the experience and attract the eyes. Keep the page simple by removing your sidebars, headers, and anything else that could clutter and pull focus away from your goal.
- Including CTA: Landing page videos should convince your visitors to perform a specific action and fulfill your conversion goal. You should always, then, include a call-to-action at the end of your video.
And much more…
Landing page videos provide you with the unique opportunity to add a physical element to the online world and they enable you to add your voice to an otherwise silent page. Ultimately, this combination creates a story-like experience that can help persuade visitors to convert on your offer.
5. Limit Choices
When it comes to conversion rate optimization and landing pages, the casual cliché “less is more” really rings true. Fewer distractions, fewer links, less “leaks” and ultimately less choice equals higher conversion rates, more leads and more money in the bank.
Whenever possible, limit the options available to the user. In some cases, it’s fine to provide an array of choices. Too many choices can lead your visitor to bounce.
6. Something About Pain
Wait. “Something about”? Isn’t that pretty vague? This point is intentionally vague, because the idea of “pain” can be anywhere. Humans are wired to avoid pain. Every product or service can help to alleviate pain in some way. If you can cause the user to think about their pain, they will subconsciously seek relief from that pain, and thereby be more likely to convert.
7. Urgency and Scarcity
When you give visitors a time constraint on their offer they’ll start feeling the pressure to act now. Time constraints (real or implied) will encourage visitors to make quick decisions to avoid missing out on your offer.
Using urgency on your landing page: When you use a specific time it adds pressure to the person by forcing them to make the decision now or lose out forever (they don’t know whether you’ll have this offer again).
Some examples of ways you can use real urgency on your landing page:
- “This offer ends on September 21st at 9 am EST”
- “Only 3 hours left to claim your spot, get in before it’s too late”
- “Don’t miss out, only 1 hour left to register”
Adding a countdown timer allows visitors to see - in real time - the exact amount of time they have left to complete your offer. The closer this clock gets to zero the greater the sense of urgency they’ll feel.
Countdown timers have been known to increase conversions by up to 147%.
Scarcity, in economics, is defined as “limitations—insufficient resources, goods, or abilities to achieve the desired ends.”
This is how the definition combines on your landing pages: When you convince your visitors that your offer has limitations (either in time or quantity), the fear of missing out urges them to click on the call-to-action button. You can use verbiage like “limited time only,” countdown timers, pricing deadline dates, early bird registration dates, and other scarcity triggers to encourage viewers to take quick advantage of your offer.
8. Trustworthy Testimonials
What would a landing page be without testimonials? Visitors won’t trust your product if no one recommends it.
So, you need customer testimonials on your landing page to win their trust. There are many methods to feature testimonials, or customer reviews, on your landing page.
Because everything on your landing page gets optimized, your landing page testimonials need to be treated the same way. All you need to do is the following.
- Right Location: Deciding where your landing page testimonials go on your landing page is just as important as the whole above or below the fold CTA button debate. The position is key on your landing page and that goes for all your landing page elements.
- Descriptive: Very short landing page testimonial won’t persuade your potential customer. You need to empower your testimonials i.e. you need to make them have an impact on your visitors and this can only be done if they say more than “nice product” or “cool service!”
- Customer Image: Testimonials with images are more effective because your potential customers identify with them more, they would rather read and believe a testimonial by a “real” person than they would by XYZ.
9. A Guarantee
You may not know that a guarantee can affect a page’s conversion by almost 85%. A guarantee, regardless of what it is or how it’s presented, can help people feel reassured while on your landing page.
A guarantee can take many forms. Depend on the type of your business, you can choose what kind of guarantees such as satisfaction, money back, etc. Make your guarantee trustworthy by adding some figures like percentage of money back, the more the figures are clear, the more trustful your guarantees are.
And never forget to position your guarantee statement close to the CTA. This proximity will help the user 1 - Receive a final bit of assurance, and 2 - Be ready to convert.
Your business can always benefit from high converting landing pages. Higher conversion rates means more customers, and more customers means more profit potential.
With so much focus on driving traffic to landing pages, you ought to make sure your design not only presents your brand in a positive light but is also effectively attracting and converting targeted traffic into qualified leads.
To wrap up, remember to keep on testing. Never stop testing, and your conversion rate will never stop improving.
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