Landing pages are gateways to whatever user behavior you desire. For example, if you’re selling a product directly, a landing page could be a product page on your normal site or a separate, designated sales page showcasing the product. If you’re just looking for user information like names and email addresses (for individual follow-up or general data), a landing page might offer a free download or gift in exchange for this information.
Whatever your goal is, your target consumer behavior counts as a “conversion,” and it’s possible to optimize your landing page for conversions with a few simple tweaks. Take, for example, these seven best practices in conversion optimization:
Your landing page goal is earning a conversion, so why would you immerse the opportunity for conversion in a field of other, non-essential images and gimmicks? Minimalism in design means only including elements that are absolutely necessary and resisting the urge to clutter up your layout with secondary features. Make good use of white space, and be hyper critical of every element on the page—ask yourself, does this need to be here to inspire a conversion? Can this be made smaller and less noticeable? The fewer things a customer has to look at or interact with, the more likely he/she will be to fully convert.
Your call to action is the interactive element that stands between your user and a successful conversion. In most cases, it’s in the form of a button at the bottom of the page, though there’s no rule that explicitly demands this. Your call to action needs to stand out from the rest of your page or else it won’t get noticed. Start by making it big, obvious, and with a color that contrasts with its surroundings. You might also include visual cues like arrows or the eyeline of a human face to indicate where the button is. Your goal is to get that button noticed by any means necessary.
Before people buy your product, send over their personal information, or interact with you in any meaningful way, they need to know that they can trust you. To win this trust, you need to prove yourself—and there are several ways to do it on a landing page. First, include testimonials—written or video—that showcase former customers talking about your product. Next, include human faces in the design of your landing page. People trust other people. Finally, include any merits, awards, or other noteworthy achievements about your business that you can—including any guarantees or special assurances you make your customers.
People will only convert if it’s easy to do so. Making them jump through hoops is a practical guarantee that your conversion rate will suffer. If you’re asking for personal information, only ask for the information that’s absolutely necessary, such as a “full name” and “email” field. If you’re selling a product, make sure your cart and purchasing processes contain as few steps as possible to avoid losing people along the way. Even a few seconds of extra work could turn some people away.
Words carry much influence on landing pages, and there isn’t much room to work with. Start out with a compelling, exciting headline, and include a sub-headline with a brief explanation of what you’re offering. These two lines combined give you about 20 words of space to capture a user’s attention or lose it forever. Be very careful which words you choose, and don’t be afraid to swap those words out to see if other sets perform better. You’ll also want strong copy present for your call to action button, and in your benefits listing.
Speaking of benefits, be sure to mention some. People need a strong reason to convert—they won’t hand over their information or money for nothing. If you’re selling something, list out the unique benefits that your product or service offers. If you’re just requesting information, offer something of value in exchange for it, such as a downloadable whitepaper or a discount on future orders. Make it worth your users’ while.
People will trust your brand more if there’s some means of contacting you immediately on the landing page. It’s a kind of security blanket that shows you care about your users and that someone will be held accountable if things go wrong. A link to your main site, phone number, and address can help, but a chat window is even more effective—as long as you have someone on standby to make sure all inbound queries are answered.
Keep in mind that these best practices are intended specifically for landing pages—some of them, like engaging copy, can be applied site-wide if you’re interested in optimizing your entire domain for conversions. Others, like lists of valuable benefits, are best suited when consumers are on the verge of converting already (as with a landing page). Of course, little changes can make a big difference, so in addition to following these seven best practices, be sure to make changes to your layout, color scheme, images, and wording to see what effects they have on your conversion rates. Keep what works and discard what doesn’t—you’ll have a conversion machine ready in no time.