The first rule of landing pages is: Don’t talk about landing pages.
No, wait, that’s Fight Club.
The first rule of landing pages is: You need to create a landing page. It’s incredibly effective for attracting leads for your products, services, newsletters, courses, and other offerings.
When creating your landing page, there’s no need to be perfect out of the gate. The great thing about landing pages is that you can and should improve them as you go. So just get started.
Use a landing page builder and select a template as your starting point. Customize the template, publish your page, track the results, and use the data you collect to improve your landing page.
As you begin to create (or improve) your landing page, we suggest using the following 13 best practices to get started on the right foot.
Landing Page Best Practices
1. Make the landing page accessible
Can your website or landing page be accessed by everyone? If you don’t know the answer to that question, chances are you may not be familiar with the topic of Web Accessibility.
It’s also likely that your website has accessibility barriers that make using your site difficult for some people. Why is this important?
Putting aside the benefits to your business and potential legal issues, it’s just the right thing to do. As humans, we all have different abilities and disabilities. And it’s crucial to be inclusive in the creation of your landing page so that everyone can read, engage, and thoroughly consume your content.
To be ADA and WCAG compliant means your site meets the current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.
WCAG covers a lot of ground, but these suggestions will help to improve landing page accessibility:
- Alternative text (alt-text) for images and video
- Resizable text
- Keyboard or voice-controlled navigation
- Unique and descriptive page titles
- Few or no flashing and blinking content elements
- Video and audio accessibility features
- Color contrast between text and background
If you need help, check out How to Meet WCAG (Quick Reference) from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
2. Fit the design to the device
Once upon a time, everyone used desktops or laptops to surf the web. That’s no longer the case, as many people now use smartphones and mobile devices.
Create mobile-optimized landing pages. This will make the layout mobile-friendly, make CTAs easier to find, and adjust or remove images where needed.
You’ll create a better visual experience for visitors and conversion rates will improve. Those are two great reasons to use mobile-optimized landing pages.
3. Remove all distractions
Landing pages work best when they have a singular focus. Remove distractions that can take visitors away from your CTA.
When possible, get rid of site navigation and links to your homepage or other parts of your website. You want the visitor to stay on the page, focus on the content, and perform one action.
4. Write a solid headline
Visitors will see the headline before anything else. If it doesn’t grab their attention, you’ll lose them right away.
Focus the headline on the benefit to the visitor. Make it clear and compelling. The visitor should be able to figure out why they are on the page and what’s in it for them.
For example, the headline on Apollo’s landing page is very clear on how the visitor would benefit from using the website.
5. Back up the headline with solid copy
The headline keeps the visitor on the page. The copy does the selling and leads them to the CTA.
Writing great content will keep visitors reading. The more they read, the more engaged they will be in the content, what you are selling, and the actions you want them to take, either now or in the future.
We could write a separate post (or book) on how to write great copy. Here are five key points:
- Make the copy clear, concise, and compelling.
- Focus on the visitor. Use “you” and “your” (rather than “I” and “our”).
- Emphasize benefits over features but don’t exclude anything relevant.
- Refer to the visitor’s pain point and how you will solve it.
- Address potential objections before the visitor can.
6. Match the landing page to the linked ad
Does your belt match your shoes? Does the carpet match the drapes?
Not always. But the landing page should match the ad that brought visitors in.
The ad and its key elements (e.g., goal, benefits, audience, style, layout, voice) should be consistent with the landing page and its elements. Landing page copy should continue and reinforce ad copy.
Every ad should send the visitor to a matching landing page. Create variant landing pages to ensure the messages match the ads.
For example, if you post an ad for a free report on landing page best practices, don’t send the visitor to a page that requires signing up for a subscription. You’ll lose them for good.
7. Make the CTA stand out
The landing page must get the visitor to complete the CTA. It’s the star of the page.
The CTA should be easy to find and recognize so it doesn’t blend into the page. For example, make the CTA look like a button and use a distinct color.
Write copy that directs the visitor to press the button. You can even include a picture of someone pointing at the button.
The CTA should state what the visitor should do. Use an action verb (e.g., download, submit) to make it obvious what will happen next.
For example, Conversica’s CTA is very clear on what will happen when you click the button. You will be able to book a demo of its AI Assistants.
8. State a solid offer
To drive the visitor to the CTA, make a solid and compelling offer.
Your visitor’s contact information is valuable; give them something valuable in exchange. Make the offer intriguing and relevant to what you do.
For example, if your company sells an insurance product, create an insurance-related offer, such as an ebook on strategies for controlling insurance costs.
9. Put the action up front
When the visitor hits the landing page, they should see everything that matters right away.
Have you heard the term “above the fold”? It’s a newspaper term that refers to the top half of the front page.
Regarding landing pages, anything on the screen visible before scrolling is “above the fold”. It’s valuable real estate because it’s the only part of the page that the visitor is guaranteed to see when they arrive.
Your headline, special offer, and CTA should fit into this space. It ensures the visitor sees this information and can take action without having to scroll.
Of course, don’t stuff too much content here. The CTA should be visible and easy to find above the fold.
10. Direct the visitor’s eye
There’s a lot of psychology around how eyes scan the page when reading. This is important to know when designing the landing page.
Landing pages are not always meant to be read like books (i.e., left to right, top to bottom). You must tell visitors how to read the page.
Use directional cues to guide the visitor to look where you want them to look and go where you want them to go. Examples of directional cues include:
- Arrows, lines, and other shapes
- Video, images, and animations
- People pointing or gesturing
- Contrasting and assigned colors
- White space
- Typography and fonts
11. Demonstrate your product in action
You want visitors to use your product or service. Show what that looks like wherever possible.
Explain what your product or service does. Showing a customer using your product or service is the best way to demonstrate that it works.
Use photographs, drawings, animations, videos, and other visuals to show the product or service in action. It’s proof of concept and attention-grabbing.
12. Back up statements with social proof
No matter how much you talk about benefits, it might not be enough to convince visitors to become customers. They may need other forms of proof.
Include social proof on the landing page. Quotes and videos from satisfied customers will help to back up claims.
Tie every testimonial to real people. Include as many details as possible, such as their name, title, background, how they benefited, and anything else to put a face to the name.
For example, Concierge’s landing page includes a quote, name, position, and photo from a real customer.
13. Speed it up
Everyone’s in a hurry. They don’t have time for that (i.e., your page to load).
Unbounce’s Page Speed Report for Marketers found that a web page’s loading time affected 70% of consumers’ desire to buy. You will lose a lot of potential customers if it takes more than three seconds to load on a mobile device.
Keep your landing page lean. Eliminate whatever you don’t need, or that will slow downloading speed.
Optimize images and videos. Follow Google’s best practices to improve loading speed.
Best Practices for Creating Lead Generation Landing Pages
Use the 13 best practices described above when creating lead generation landing pages. Follow the four best practices below to get better results with generating leads.
1. Cut out manual data entry
Visitors have to type in their name and email address. But you can help them to avoid as much typing as possible.
Use checkboxes and pull-down lists to make answers easy to provide. It will reduce the amount of work (and friction), and make it easier to collect, organize, and analyze answers.
For example, PatientPop’s landing page includes a dropdown list and a number button, making it easier for visitors to fill out the form.
2. Break forms into steps
Shorter forms are better than longer forms for getting conversions. But sometimes you need to collect more information.
Break forms into smaller chunks over several pages. It will make the entry process easier to accept and increase the likelihood that visitors will answer all questions.
Start with easy questions first. Visitors are more likely to complete the process once they’ve answered a few questions.
Landing pages enable you to collect visitors’ names, contact info, and personal data. This is a contentious topic, as people worry about how it will be used.
It will reassure visitors that their data is safe and protected. It’s also required under national and international personal privacy legislation (e.g., GDPR).
4. Always thank your visitors
The “Thank you” page is essential to the landing page. People want to feel appreciated for their time; a simple “Thank you” goes a long way.
The “Thank you” has two other purposes:
- It proves that the form has been submitted
- It provides additional marketing and sales opportunities
This second point is key. You can ask the visitor to sign up for a newsletter, book an appointment for a meeting, take advantage of a special offer, sign up for a subscription, and more.
The Bottom Line
Best practices will help you to create landing pages that attract and convert visitors into leads and customers. Start with the basics and use these strategies to improve your results.
Test everything and use landing page optimization tools to keep improving conversion rates. Check out other landing pages to see what they’re doing that you could emulate.