An eye catching image. A snappy header. Maybe even a bullet point or two next to an optimized form. The anatomy of traditional landing pages is pretty straightforward. But user behavior is changing. The rise of pillar pages and changes in search engine algorithms are evidence of this shift.
So, what are you doing to ensure your landing pages stay up to date and relevant? Here are three landing page optimizations you can try today that will help you do just that.
1. Ungate Your Content (Partially)
At first, this tactic may seem counterintuitive. After all, the form on your landing page is meant to collect a visitor's information in exchange for your content. So why ungate any of it? Let's unpack this.
In every conversion process, each additional step you add comes at a cost. The cost may be your visitors' patience or interest, but over time it builds up and works against the value proposition of your offer. Landing pages are part of the longest conversion paths on your site. So you need to make sure they offer an initial value to visitors and continue to increase excitement.
The popularity of pillar pages is proof that the way visitors search for information is changing. Now, more than ever, pages that are seen as trustworthy resources are surfaced and highly trafficked. This should be in the back of your mind when creating and revising landing pages.
Meaningless copy and haphazard layouts don't help you build trust or increase conversions. This is one of the major pitfalls of traditional landing pages today. They act as summaries that may check off a list of best practices, but aren’t actually providing more value to the user experience. Great landing pages need to contain more than just a few bullet points and a picture to showcase the value of an offer.
Think of your landing pages as an opportunity to align with visitors and teach them something new. Build that alignment with your website visitors, and they'll trust that your brand will help them accomplish whatever they set out to do.
This doesn't mean ungating all of your content. Leave that for high level, awareness stage offers and topics you want to build thought leadership around. Instead, focus on ungating key pieces of information from your content offer that will pique the interest of your target audience. This will help increase excitement because it's evidence that your offer is valuable. In short: show, don't tell.
2. Break Up White Space and Text
The design of a landing page is largely about balance. The right amount of information, displayed at the right time, in a visually appealing way. So when it comes to your context, think about how you can dynamically break up blocks of text or white space with contrasting colors and images.
This is not to say your landing page design should be busy. That can make any page overwhelming and unwelcoming to a potential prospect. Instead, consider if you're displaying the content of your page in the most accessible way.
We have entered a period where online readers like to skim.
Leveraging white space and other visual elements will encourage readers to see the most important areas of your page.
Let's take a look at this HubSpot landing page, for example. Notice the way the key takeaways of this content offer are under bolded headlines. Information is split between white, gray, and blue blocks to break up the lengthier areas of text. This creates a more appealing visual experience without exhausting the reader's eyes (or interest!) with a wall of copy.
3. Don't Fear The Scroll
For years, landing page tutorials have taught marketers to keep the conversion opportunity above the fold. This makes sense because it puts the form right at the forefront and sets clear expectations.
This formulaic placement is being challenged by the move to include more information on landing pages. You want to create a seamless experience for your website audience. Sometimes a form at the top of every landing page can be interruptive. Worse yet, the immediate appearance of a form may be off-putting to visitors. Landing pages are like digital sales reps and, as the Inbound Sales Cert will tell you, any rep who immediately pressures you to buy can be off-putting.
Think about how your layout can start a conversation. Your prospect showed their interest the moment they clicked your CTA. Use the layout and content of your landing page to continue to educate and inspire them. That doesn't mean you shouldn't get creative on how you direct visitors to your form. If you do require scrolling and notice your conversions slipping, use interactive elements like CTAs with anchor tags to help prospects get to your content as quickly as possible.
Take a look at this HubSpot landing page. Notice the "I'm ready to download!" button? This is a CTA containing an anchor tag that directs users to an optimized form at the bottom of the screen.
The function of this button is twofold. First, it helps set expectations: a user can download this guide. Second, it allows HubSpot to answer the needs of two different audience segments: those who immediately want the offer and those who need more information and additional context on how this offer can help their business.
Originally published Aug 1, 2018 9:00:00 AM, updated September 17 2020