Landing pages. They’re an essential part of any good marketing campaign.
They boost conversions, increase sales, and encourage sign ups. Unfortunately, they’re slightly misunderstood and rarely optimized to their full capacity.
First of all, let’s answer the big question:
A landing page is a custom web page designed specifically to convert customers. It’s highly specific, targeted, and laser optimized for sales or signups.
They are often used to funnel visitors from advertising links on social media or Google.
It’s a standalone page that isn’t typically linked to your homepage or the rest of your website. If people are on your landing page, they’re already interested in your product or service. They’re already intrigued.
All you have to do is convert them, which you can do in two main ways:
You tend to see a lot of adverts on Facebook and Google pointing people to a website homepage. This is often a mistake.
A home page is very general. The aim is to introduce a passive visitor to your overall business, and let them explore at their own pace. On a homepage, there are lots of different user journeys and outcomes.
A landing page, however, is highly specific, and targeted to just one promotion. With a landing page, there is just one possible user journey. You want just ONE outcome: the sale or signup.
So how do we go about creating one of these landing pages?
If you’re using WordPress to host your website, you might have to work within the confines of the theme. In some cases, it is possible to simply create a new page. You can style it how you like, and give it a new URL (more on that shortly).
If you’re looking for something a little more flexible, you can install a landing page plugin. One of the best is the aptly named ‘WordPress Landing Pages’ which lets you choose from templates to create a custom design. It also allows you to run A/B split tests, which is handy for optimizing your conversion rate.
When it comes to WordPress themes, the drag-and-drop options are the most versatile and flexible out there. One of my favourites is Divi, which we included in our list of best WordPress themes. Using Divi, you can quickly and easily add a new landing page, and create a custom layout using drag-and-drop boxes.
You can also use a paid alternative like Lander or Leadpages. It costs a little money, but it helps you create a landing page with simple step-by-step instructions. There’s no need for complex coding, and it only takes around 30 minutes to get up and running. There are tons of existing templates to choose from, and you can tweak them as you go.
Now that we’ve got the basics down, let’s talk optimization. How do you get the most sales and conversions from your landing page?
You might not pay much attention to the jumble of words or letters in the website address. However, it has more impact than you might think. First of all, a good URL is essential for SEO purposes. It allows you to squeeze in the right keywords and help Google find your site.
But on a landing page, they play an even bigger role. I suggest using your URL to reinforce your call to action. Let’s say you’re using your landing page to promote your new app. In that case, make the url:
It’s a simple, subconscious nudge to your visitor. Always keep the URL short, specific, and to the point.
The best landing pages are specific. Remember, this is not the place to offer multiple promotions. The landing page is designed for just one purpose.
As you can see on Code Academy’s landing page below, their single goal is signing people up to the program. Quite literally, there is no other target or link on the landing page!
What is your one goal? Is it getting people to sign up to your mailing list? Is it downloading your new app? Or selling a new product? Choose one, and focus on it clearly.
Web designers often say that 90% of their job is cutting stuff out! Once you’ve designed your landing page, think about all the distractions you can get rid of.
Check out this example from CampusTap. It’s one of the most simple, streamlined landing pages I’ve come across. There are just four design elements: a title, an explainer, a call-to-action, and an image. What more do you need?
On a traditional web page, you want lots of links to help visitors explore your website. But, when it comes to your landing page, you want just one link: the call-to-action.
There should be no exit points to distract your visitors or lead them somewhere else. Having no external links on a page feels quite counterintuitive, but it’s the best way to convert your customers.
If they can’t click away to another part of the site, they’re much more likely to click on your call-to-action.
Your call-to-action is the most important part of the landing page. It’s the ‘buy’ button or the ‘sign up’ button. In fact, it’s so important, we devoted an entire blog to this one small element.
Getting your visitor to click this button is the ultimate goal. Make the copy snappy, straight to the point, and compelling. Talk directly to your visitors, like this example from the folks at Crazy Egg.
Consider the colour and design too. The best colours are yellow, orange and green. Why? Because they create a clear contrast and stand out from the page. They draw the eye straight to them.
The best landing pages have a simple process for converting customers. Ideally, you want to convert people in just one click.
For example, on your landing page, you might have a signup form. When a customer fills in their information, try not to include a second or third step. Clicking that call-to-action should be the end of the exchange. Every additional step it takes to complete the process, you lose conversions. Keep it simple.
Once your visitor arrives on your landing page, you’ve got a few seconds to convince them to take the next step. One way to do this is get inside their head!
Try to create a landing page that connects with them immediately. Tap into their emotions – particularly their dreams and ambitions. Look how AwesomeTalk get straight into your head with their clever landing page. It doesn’t describe the service – it doesn’t have to. Instead, it uses your natural emotions to help inspire the click-through.
Anything that taps into someone’s emotional responses is going to get inside their head, and hopefully convince them to click further.
Usually, a visitor has arrived at your landing page through an advertising link. Facebook adverts are often great for funneling people towards a landing page. It’s at this point you should keep the images and design as consistent as possible.
In other words, use the same image on the landing page that you used on the advert itself. Use the same copy and explainer. Why? Because this automatically reinforces your message again and again. It also helps smoothen the step and stops your customer from becoming distracted.
Everyone loves a good offer or discount. It could be just the thing you need to convince someone to sign up or buy your product. Netflix have one of the best landing pages out there (in this case, it’s also their homepage). And it’s all based around the core offer at the heart of the business: a free month trial.
If you own an e commerce website, you can use your landing page to promote a sale of a particular item. Or use it to package together similar items into one deal. A discount or sale increases the likelihood that a passive visitor will make the purchase.
If someone has arrived on your landing page, they’re almost convinced. You’ve already intrigued them and lured them onto your signup page. There is only a small layer of friction left. There are just a few questions or reservations niggling at them.
It’s your job to eliminate any last reservations and get them over the line! One brilliant way to do this is with social proof. In other words, take this opportunity to show how many other people are using your product or service. Let your visitor know that others are using it and loving it.
In this example, to-do list app, Todoist, cheerfully remind you that 2 million others are already using it. It’s almost enough to make you feel left out!
You can do a similar thing by quoting testimonials on your landing page, especially from big-name clients or buyers.
It’s 2016 and I almost shouldn’t have to mention this! But, so many landing pages are still not mobile friendly. With more than 50% of all internet access now on a mobile device, your landing page has to look slick on any device.
This is especially important if your funnelling traffic from a social media advert. A huge amount of social media use takes place on a mobile device, so this process must be seamless. If you build your landing page using the methods I explained at the beginning of the article, they should all give you the option to make sure it’s ‘responsive’.
Don’t lose conversions because your landing page sucks on a mobile device!
You can get even more value for money on your landing page by adding share buttons. Often, you’ll spend a little money promoting the landing page on Facebook or Google. However, once people start flooding in, make it easy for them to share it with their friends.
After all, it’s free promotion! Always prompt your visitors to share the landing page if they find something useful. As you can see below, the folks at SaaS encourage you to share their eBook once you’ve downloaded it. That will lead to countless additional visits to the landing page.
We’re always talking about speed here at Bitcatcha. After all, our server speed test is what we do best! However, it really does matter when it comes to your landing page. Regular readers will know that a slow website can drastically affect your conversion rate.
In fact, anything slower than three seconds can cut your conversions in half. No company can afford to lose half its potential sales. Especially when it’s so simple to fix your speed problem. If you’ve followed the advice so far, your landing page should be simple and relatively empty. That should make things nice and quick. If it’s still slow, there could be a problem with your underlying server or web host.
Since your number one priority is conversions, it’s time to test exactly how well its working. You’ll soon realise that your landing page work is never done! There is always a new layout to try. There’s always a different colour call-to-action to try. There’s always a different phrase or piece of copy to use. Always a different image.
Any small tweak could have a huge effect on your conversion. So, if you’re not sure which layout or image is the most effective, change it and test the response.
Using the ‘goals’ function in Google Analytics, you can track exactly how many conversions you get on any given page. Each time you make a tweak or change, monitor whether the conversion rate moves up or down.
If you use one of the paid landing page creators mentioned earlier, they’ll often let you A/B test different options before committing to a final design. If you want tons of conversions, this is most important thing you can do!
Landing pages are one of the best way to boost your conversions and vastly increase your sales and signups.
Unfortunately, if you don’t optimize them correctly, they could waste you a lot of money.
Have you had any luck with your landing pages? Please feel free to share your secrets and tips in the comment section.