Here's some food for thought: Companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from just 10 to 15, according to our 2012 Marketing Benchmarks Report. Here's some more food for thought: According to MarketingSherpa's Landing Page Optimization Benchmarks Report, layout is a major factor in website performance.
Landing pages are a fundamental -- and undeniable -- part of a successful inbound marketing strategy. They are the hub of your lead generation efforts, and that's why every campaign you run and offer you create should be tied to a custom landing page -- as opposed to an ambiguous homepage where visitors have to guess what to do next.
But while having more landing pages can have a huge impact on lead generation, the other takeaway here is that your landing pages also need to look good to perform well.
Well, we want to make that a little bit easier on you, since we know how challenging great design can be -- particularly if you're not a designer, per say. So to help you build good looking and high-converting landing pages, we wanted to share some design-related best practices.
How to Design a Landing Page That Converts
7 Design Best Practices for High-Converting Landing Pages
1) Get to the point.
We all know people have short attention spans -- so why aren’t we considering that in landing page creation? Online audiences tend to avoid reading through an entire page of informatoin. They will, however, “forage” for information by visually scanning the screen until they find what they're looking for. So when designing your landing pages, get straight to the point. People came to the page for a reason, so make sure you address that reason clearly and succinctly by highlighting the value of what you're offering and how it addresses their needs, interests, or problems. Use clear headers and sub-headers, use easy-to-scan bullet points to explain what they'll get from the offer, emphasize key points using bolded text or italics, and keep things as brief as possible.
2) Use contrasting colors.
Keep in mind that you always want your main call-to-action (CTA) to really POP off your landing page. So when you're encouraging visitors to fill out a form and click on that 'submit' button, make sure it's easy for visitors to see where they should complete that action. That's why using complementary and contrasting colors is a great way to call a visitor's attention to exactly where you want it.
For example, let's look at one of the following landing page example. While the entire page employs blue and white hues, the form submission button itself is a bright shade of pink. This allows the button to pop off the page and easily grab the reader's attention.
3) Stamp on a logo.
Keep your brand top of mind when they're downloading your content and offers by making sure the viewer knows exactly where they are. All your landing pages should have your logo placed strategically on the page. While you don’t need to make it the focal point of the page, it's important that it's apparent enough that people will recognize the landing page as being a publication of your business. This is particularly critical for visitors who come to your landing pages from external non-branded sources, like social media and search. Once you've decided on placement for your logo, maintain that position on all your landing pages to maintain consistency. Talk about low-hanging inbound marketing fruit!
4) Avoid visual clutter.
While displaying extravagant visuals on your landing pages may sound like a fabulous idea, A/B tests at HubSpot have repeatedly shown that including too many over-the-top images doesn’t actually help conversion. In fact, oftentimes it distracts the reader from the main point of the landing page, creation more friction on the landing page instead of supporing conversion. And while graphics are certainly attractive, they can also increase the load time of your website. In fact, according to the Aberdeen Group, a one-second delay in page-load time results in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in conversions. Yikes! Keep things simple, and make sure the images you use on your landing pages support -- not distract -- the pathway to conversion.
5) Never underestimate formatting.
Formatting is probably the easiest design best practice to follow when crafting good-looking landing pages. It's also one that can go a really long way with little effort. Clearly laying out your headlines, images, copy, form, etc. can help you highlight the value of your offer and tee up conversion by creating a visual-friendly user experience that guides visitors to complete the conversion.
Let's look at another example. This template uses a clear headline, sub-header, and then a call-out box to include more detailed copy. Despite the potentially long copy (one formatting solution would be to convert that into shorter bullet points), the landing page is easily digestible due to its aesthetic formatting.
6) Add social proof.
Similar to adding case studies or recommendations, try adding some social proof to your landing pages. This adds third-party credibility to your content and offers and can help boost conversions. Do you have any case studies or testimonials you can pull quotes from? Furthermore, try searching through social networks like Twitter, Facebook -- or another social platform of your choice! Consider embedding tweets from users who have downloaded your content and said nice things about it, or asking if you can quote someone who left a nice message on your Facebook page. Do you have data about how many people have already downloaded this specific offer that you can highlight on the landing page (e.g. "2K people have already downloaded this ebook!")? That's social proof, too!
7) Be consistent.
Here's a bonus tip for you! Remember that MarketingSherpa study we referenced earlier? Well, when analyzing which elements of a landing page has the greatest impact on overall website performance, page layout came out on top. This is likely because page elements that alter the layout of a page can make it harder for visitors to navigate the pages on your website.
While it’s important to continuously A/B test elements of your landing page for maximum results, be sure you’re not radically altering your landing page layout every time. A sense of consistency can help the end user know how to navigate your pages over time, eliminating the friction caused by having to get the lay of the land each time, and resulting in drop-offs in conversion rates.
So what are you waiting for? Landing pages truly are the hub of your lead generation efforts. So stop reading, and start acting! Go build some landing pages to start generating results today.
Image Credit: pasukaru76