The Complete Guide to Landing Pages 2022
Practices that Make Leads Convert
by Ayman Albarbary . updated
Did you know that your website is NOT designed to drive conversions?
Yes, you read that right!
On the website, a homepage has a bunch of buttons on it and leads you to many other pages, whereas a landing page focuses on achieving one goal: converting visitors into leads.
There are two schools of designing landing pages. The first is what we call an SEO-friendly landing page, that is to say, it has the keywords that make it appear in the search results.
The other is “the orphan landing page” which is not a part of the website, nor it will show in search results. Leads can only access it through a click on one of your ads. This is the one that we are going to talk about today.
Businesses design landing pages to guide visitors toward a single call to action (CTA), drive traffic and build brand awareness for your local business through paid campaigns across different digital advertising channels such as PPC, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Display Advertising, TikTok Ads, and others.
Every business should design its landing page – or pages- in a simple way that shows the visitor directly the goal of the page and what he is asked to do. There is no exception to this rule; B2B, E-commerce, NGOs, B2C, real estate brands should use a landing page for their paid campaigns.
According to Unbounce, “Every link on a page that doesn’t represent your conversion goal is a distraction that will dilute your message and reduce your conversion rate”.
Landing Pages are a Crucial Sales Tool for any Business as They:
- Give prospects an insight into the style and feel of your brand.
- Advertise your products and services to potential customers while simultaneously maintaining customer contact.
- Make it easy for you to control the information presented to potential customers to help them make an informed decision about what is best for them.
But Where to Start?
Many factors go into building your landing page. In this guide, you will learn the following:
- What Is a Landing Page? And Why Do You Need One?
- How to Design Your Landing Page
- Step-by-Step Recommendations for an Optimized Landing Page
- Successful Landing Pages Examples
Read on to learn everything you need to know about creating the perfect landing pages for your local business.
For starters, a landing page is called so because users “land” on it right after clicking on your ad link. The ad link directs the user to your landing page, a simple web page with one specific purpose.
This purpose could be filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter or a free trial, entering your email address, etc.
It is a deal! You give the visitors a tempting offer, typically in exchange for their contact information.
Every landing page has a call to action button. The call to action (CTA) might vary across different types of landing pages. However, the intent is the same: Facilitating the desired action to generate leads.
You would create a landing page in the first place because you want people to visit your site, but you do not want them to come just once but to return again and again.
Many things make a landing page special from other web pages, but the fundamental difference is that you design each to serve two completely different goals in mind.
- Homepage typically sets the stage for your visitors and has several CTAs to cover the spectrum of customer awareness stages.
- Whereas a landing page focuses on ONE CTA, and everything on the page prompts your visitors to convert.
But.. When Do Prospects Usually Answer Your Call to Action?
I am sure that you wouldn’t give away your contact information randomly, especially over the internet. Likewise, your potential customers probably think the same way.
That is why you should present your landing page in a very deliberate way that invites users to trust you and share their info with you.
These are some of the best practices to know which side of your bread is buttered when talking landing pages.
In the case of landing pages, good design goes beyond pretty colors and hover buttons. Although an aesthetically pleasing landing page converts more leads than an ugly, poorly designed one, it is not all about appealing aesthetics.
Since you are encouraging visitors to respond to only one call to action throughout the whole landing page, the design elements should focus on helping the prospect respond to your call.
So, to facilitate the process, your design needs to be effective, functional, and direction-oriented.
Here Are Some Things to Focus on When it Comes to Designing Your Landing Page:
Follow a Proven Structure
Building the structure for your landing page is not too hard these days.
Now that people are used to seeing very similar landing pages all over the internet, you do not have to invent a one-of-a-kind design to create a high-converting one for you.
Stick to the standard format that successful businesses are using and mix it with your sense of creativity.
All effective landing pages include the following five key elements:
- Attention-grabbing headline
- A relevant image to your offer & audience
- An above-the-fold lead form
- Action-oriented CTA
- Compelling copy
Your landing page can include more elements on it than just these five, such as a social share button, but these 5 are a must.
Including more elements depends on your target audience and how much advocacy it will take them to convert.
Go for an Effective Layout
Only a tiny portion of visitors will read every single word on your landing page.
Other than that, the majority will only skim through your content.
Thus, you should let your layout emphasize the important elements and make them stand out to your visitors.
Using negative space strategically can keep your visitors focused only on the aspects where you want most.
Avoiding chunky text, lengthy paragraphs, and leaning towards bullet points is a great way to go about presenting your copy concisely and effectively.
P.S: Perform a blink test to check if your layout is good enough, and enables visitors to understand your offer and CTA in less time than it takes to blink.
Be Consistent in Your Colors
There is an infinite number of ways you can mix and match colors to come up with your color palette or visual identity.
However, this step belongs to the early stages when you are still picking the brand color palette for launching your new startup.
That is because once you settle on your website visual identity, you must stick to it when creating everything else including your landing page.
That keeps your customers familiar with your identity and gradually builds a long-lasting relationship with them.
If you keep changing your color theme, then you will be mixed up with other businesses.
Maintain one strong brand identity and stick to it to build brand awareness.
Choose an Appropriate Image
Visitors will immediately be drawn to the image on your landing page in addition to the bolded copy that you want to stand out. It is a crucial point to pick an appropriate image because it leaves a strong impression and sets the tone for the rest of the experience.
When narrowing down your options, pay attention to some key points:
- Does the picture fit well with your target audience?
- Does it go with their age group and geographical area?
- Will their core beliefs collide with what you are presenting?
- How much value does this image add to your landing page?
- Does it reinforce your message effectively, or should you search for a better alternative?
Although the image will not do all the explanation for you, it should serve an important purpose.
Build a Mobile-Friendly Landing Page
People are growing more and more emotionally attached to their mobile phones. They now cannot go about their day without reaching for their smartphones every little bit to get their lives sorted out.
That led mobile traffic to grow rapidly, and rise above desktop-driven traffic, accounting for over 50% of global website traffic.
Due to the key contribution of mobile phones as a traffic source, you have to make your landing pages mobile-friendly. By making a wholesome user experience on a mobile phone, you guarantee more traffic via this tunnel.
A responsive user interface will allow your visitors to properly view and understand your offer, which will make it easier to accept the offer and convert, regardless of the type of device they are using.
1. Center Your Headline Around a Benefit
People click on your ad because your headline was seductive, but when they land on your page, the majority of them might be untempted and shortly bounce off it, weird right?
But if they are not interested in what you are offering, then why did they click on your ad in the first place?
That’s usually an indicator for two things:
- Your page was not catchy enough in offering them what they needed.
- Your headline is not centered around a benefit, instead, you were just using fancy metaphors to impress your audience, and make your headline look attractive.
These kinds of headlines take time to decode and mislead your visitors.
According to Instapage, headlines need to be clear, relevant, and empathetic for them to do their thing.
So just get straight to the point and meet user expectations with a message that matches between the headline and the ad itself, and demonstrates relevance and credibility to prevent visitors from hopping off.
Most importantly, show your target audience through your headline that you empathize with them, understand what they are going through, and that this offer will be the ultimate solution for them.
Pro-Tip: Always try to match the headline of your ad with the headline of the landing page. That way visitors will not feel lost.
2. Choose an Appropriate Visual
The last thing you want is to send out a message that doesn’t match who you are and what you represent as a company.
That could lead to confusion and frustration amongst your target market, and that is why images can make or break your conversion rate!
Also, keep in mind, not to overuse visuals!
An overly busy user interface will be overwhelming to your visitors and will repel visitors away.
When choosing your visual elements poorly, or too generic, you are wasting all the hard work and killing your conversion rate. This is why visuals are considered a key conversion rate optimization factor.
To avoid both scenarios, choose the image strategy that works best for your landing page.
Pick visual elements that convey professionalism, good reputation, and trustworthiness.
Let your visuals be enticing and catch the attention right away so that your visitors are more likely to act on your offer.
Pro-Tip: Do not use large-sized images or videos. This will slow down the loading speed of your page and believe me, visitors will not wait for anything to load.
3. A Compelling Copy is Your Hook
Clarity Is the Key
You need to write compelling content that immediately grabs the attention of your visitors before they leave the page.
Do not torture the visitors with reading pages upon pages of text to figure out what you are offering them.
Always try to be clear and concise in your writing; visitors should be able to tell within seconds whether reading further is worth their time or not.
So first, decide on the main value to build your content around to achieve the best results.
After that, remember to focus on the benefits of your offer rather than the product/service itself. In most cases, your customers already know the solution and features they want. So aim for pitching the benefits.
The copy should revolve around the visitors’ needs, not yours. It also needs to be clear and readable, away from big chunks of paragraphs and stuffing.
For example, bullet points are great. They emphasize your key points quickly and effectively and allow you to organize them into a small space, which always looks better than a long paragraph.
Pro-Tip: simple language is way better than complicated jargon. Certain applications can measure the level of the used language.
Address the Main Points
No matter what you are offering on your landing page or trying to get your prospects to do (subscribe, fill form fields, sign up for something, etc.), there are points that you just have to tackle with your copy.
According to HubSpot, “Those main points are your persona’s pain point, the solution to that pain point, how your solution works (features), how your solution will improve their situation (benefits), and verification that it works (social proof).”
By crossing off each main point in order, you are then walking your prospect through a deliberate path to converting.
Do not go about it telling them how awesome you are as a service/product provider. It is not the aim of a landing page!
Rather, work on affirming this concept by showing them how much help your service/product can offer, and the problems that it can solve.
Let’s Take a Closer Look at Each of the Main Points:
The Pain Point
Tell and show your prospects that you do understand their needs and wants.
First, you can do so by asking yourself:
- Who am I Talking To?
- What Issues Do They Have?
- How Does My Service/Product Help Them?
These questions give you an insight into your target audience and help you know what makes them tick.
In your copy, point out a problem that they suffer from. It could be a financial problem, or something related to convenience, productivity, or shopping. Then show how the service/product you are offering solves that problem.
To tackle those pain points, first, you have to recognize them. You can do that by:
- Surveying your customers
- Gathering your sales team on a discussion table
- Browsing through online reviews
- Look at your competitors’ approaches and how they resonate with out-of-reach customers.
It is not just ok to remind the target customer of their pain, it is necessary to show them what is at risk to trigger them to act on it.
By echoing and responding to the concerns of your target customer, your landing page sounds like a human talking to another human, which will win them over for you.
You can do that by using the major pain point you are solving as a headline to make way for the solution that is coming afterward.
Light-hearted, compelling, realistic, instructive, and rational all at once. There is no better approach to hook your prospects.
Now comes the part where you respond to the problem that you pointed to in the previous section. Telling your audience that your product/service is exactly what they need to overcome this obstacle.
Do not just offer your solution, but also incorporate emotional and psychological pleasure cues in your content. Show a direct relationship between their struggle and the remedy they need, and ask for their information in exchange for your offer.
Mentioning that your service/product will solve customers’ pain points is not enough to convert leads.
Every problem has multiple solutions, not just one. So why should your audience choose you amongst all the other options they have?
To win prospects over, you have to mesmerize them with your features. I mean, what exactly makes you stand out from other businesses?
Do not shy away from using facts and figures to convince them that your product/service is indeed the right choice for them. That will help your prospects put these features into context.
After explaining to your audience the features of your offer, you have to tell them how this offer improves their life quality.
In your content, go over how your service/product will make a difference, alleviate struggle, or solve a problem for your potential leads in detail.
By listing out the benefits, you are helping your audience picture themselves using your solution and realizing how better off their lives will be if they go for your solution.
Point out clearly what is in it for them, and you have grabbed some attention already. Do a good job, and you have them hooked.
Social proof works like magic in impressing potential leads and driving conversions. No persuasion works without credibility! That is why you earn extra points when prospects see a famous brand’s logo among your partners or entities you have worked with.
Social proof shows people that others trust you and believe in your products/services. It shows off that a trustworthy persona has tested your product and liked the results.
It gives credibility to your brand and increases conversion rates.
So, if you have customer testimonials, reviews, case studies, success stories, awards, certifications, or any other kind of social proof on hand, please use them!
For testimonials, include a picture of the customer with some personal details like name and professional position to look trustworthy.
Showcase your data, use real data and numbers from your business case studies and insights to deliver a true image of your services/products. Just make sure to include as many elements that build trust as possible.
Prospects want to make sure their money is being put in its right place and not wasted on unreliable purchases.
Pro-Tip: Always put yourself in the shoes of the visitor. That will help you understand what they feel and need.
Dismantle Objections Before They Come Up
Objections are why your prospects will stop midway in the sales funnel and not bother to click on your action button.
Sometimes, even when you’ve addressed all the main points in your content, you should always be prepared for unsatisfied visitors before they even get a chance to voice their objections.
According to Action Selling, “An objection is the customer’s response to an unasked question.”
So if you answer the right questions in your copy without being asked, you are tackling potential objections before they arise. Seek an unbiased opinion to review your copy and take notes of what you are missing and will need to add.
Also, make sure to back up everything you mention on your landing page with statistics, facts, and social proof to eliminate any doubt that might make your leads hesitate.
This way, you as a business are well prepared to respond to anyone who scoffs or doubts your qualifications and ability to serve their needs.
Check out what Spencer Lum wrote in his guide, The 3 Steps To Crushing People’s Sales Objections, methodically working to avoid, answer, and overcome objections:
Pro-Tip: Psychologically, the visitor will immediately build objections and block you right away if he feels he is being sold.
Use Click Triggers
A click trigger is a text you see right below or next to the CTA, and it is there to give you some peace of mind that everything will be ok if you click the button.
Click triggers are the final touch you add to your landing page to defeat the last bit of doubt preventing your potential leads from converting.
They tell you: do not worry, dear. That could be phrases like Guaranteed money-back or Easy unsubscribe.
Without a click trigger, the lead will hesitate between following your promises or their inner voice deep down telling them not to.
No matter how good your deal is, some people will not take a leap of faith without prompting and encouragement. Pick your click triggers wisely and place them well so they can do their thing.
Pro-tip: few clear words full of value are better than misleading, time-consuming paragraphs.
4. Place Your Lead Form Above The Fold
The fold in this context is a figurative expression meaning that you will find what you are looking for as soon as you visit the page without needing to scroll down.
If you want to optimize your conversion rate, you will need to design your page accordingly. That means ensuring everything, from font size and color contrast to element placement on the page.
Optimizing users’ experience does not include pushing them to scroll down the page or look all over the place to reach your call-to-action button/lead form!
Typically, there are two forms types: above the fold and below the fold.
Hence, a below-the-fold form will require scrolling to access, whereas one that appears above the fold will not, which will spare your visitors from scrolling down.
So, place your lead form at the top to automatically optimize your landing page by instantly drawing eyes to your CTA and promising an offer.
5. Stand Out with Your CTA
Your call to action button is the part of the landing page where visitors click to conform to your offer.
Your CTA button has proven to be among the top elements in the conversion game, if not THE most important one in turning visitors into leads.
CTA can vary in style and design depending on your goal and website theme, but it needs to be the first thing visitors lay their eyes on.
Generally speaking, your mantra in writing copy for landing pages should always be clear and concise, especially when writing your CTA.
Your CTA Has To:
- Be Short and Easy to Read: Be straightforward in what you ask for, and do not bore your prospects with poetic expression and soft language.
- Help People Know What You Want Them to Do: Your text needs to be benefit-centered and action-packed at the same time because you are both asking the audience to take action and promising them an immediate benefit.
- Stand Out on The Design: You should also pay attention to the button color you choose and how it contrasts with the background color. Choose something eye-popping that grabs attention.
- Use 1st Person: To make your audience feel engaged and involved in the process.
Michael Aagaard said, “We saw a 90% increase in click-through rate when we tested Get my free 30-day trial against Get your 30-day trial.”
6. Be Precise in What You Ask for and How You Ask for It
When asking for too much data, you will lose prospects who do not want to fill out multiple forms.
If you are still in the first stages of building brand awareness, make sure you ONLY request adequate details to get started.
In parallel, as a local business, you must not ask for personal financial information such as bank account numbers when you are still introducing your business without making a purchase offer.
Keep it simple, ask for what you want and only what you want: Basic contact information, i.e. email address, or a phone number, to follow up with a call or an email list later.
Being precise also encompasses the language you use on your landing page, be specific and do not just throw vague things.
For example, instead of telling your lead: We will help you drive more conversions, try using: We brought more conversions for client x by 67%.
You will notice that this statement sounds more specific than the previous version, and therefore more persuasive and easier to believe.
And while we are at it, here is an extra tip: Do not overuse adjectives!
Adjective overload like fantastic, huge, perfect, and more makes your text sound unprofessional and boring; use them sparingly.
7. Remember to Use a Thank You Page
That is probably the biggest mistake I see businesses make when creating landing pages.
They forget to include a Thank You page after getting responses from prospects.
It is always essential to take the time to thank your leads for collaboration and effort every time you ask them for something, and they respond to your call.
That is because most recipients who fill out forms online usually expect appreciation for doing so. After all, they will know that they took part in something worthwhile.
Plus, a thank you page is not only a gesture of gratitude. You also use it to deliver the offer you have promised to your visitors, such as a free template or an e-book download.
You can use it as an opportunity to familiarize your new lead with your business, what you do, what services you offer, and interest them in relevant content.
Throughout your whole landing page, you will manage to focus on one actionable goal which is trying to keep your prospect focused on responding to your call to action and limiting the distractions that might prevent them from converting.
Now, after your new lead has already filled out the form on your landing page, take them around your website.
Do not leave them hanging in there without a direction or navigation menu, as it is much easier for you to encourage exploration at this point after they have taken the first step.
Finally, make sure that you use Google Analytics to help you collect user data that you can use to make the right decision to improve your landing pages.
By now, you have addressed every element and component of a landing page, you wrote a converting copy, and you designed a clean, functional UI.
What do you do now?
After building your landing page, you have to go back and keep tweaking until you are satisfied with the performance.
You can try A/B testing (interchangeably used with the term split testing). This test shows you which elements are achieving the desired results and which are underperforming.
This data guides you through your landing page optimization process by pointing out the gaps and identifying where you have room for improvement. Use it!
Here are a few good tips that you should consider when optimizing your landing page for optimal efficiency:
Present an Irresistible Offer
Take note: a free offer does NOT equal a good one.
Many factors go into putting together a good offer and for it to be free is not enough.
Remember, you are not the only provider for this service/supplier for this product. Just like you are better and more popular than other businesses, you will find other businesses that have surpassed you in fame and recognition.
That is why you need to be unique and present an excellent tempting lead magnet to win your prospects.
If you are contemplating whether you stand out to your audience or not, think to yourself, is my offer beneficial enough to solve the pain points of my target audience and rival competition?
The answer needs to be yes!
- My offer is advantageous
- It directly solves the rising problem my audience is suffering from
- It is so good, it can beat my competitors
Minimize the risk, add a bold, bulletproof guarantee, offer great value as a discount or premium, and require an immediate response.
Optimize Your Landing Page Load Time
Page load time is crucial. You can keep up your prospects’ momentum like bam bam bam, or you lose them due to a single second delay.
Visitors with no brand awareness or loyalty will not wait for your page to load.
It is so easy for them to give up on you before even giving you a chance. It does not matter what kind of business you run; every website must work fast.
Google even penalizes websites with poor page speed and tells you that sites with slower loads get less traffic and rank lower in search engine rankings.
To avoid losing prospective customers due to sluggish site loads, work on optimizing your landing page.
- You should compress image sizes
- Cache your web pages
- Drop unnecessary plugins
- Go for a performance-optimized hosting solution, and more
There are many helpful tools out there that will analyze your landing page and provide recommendations based on best-followed practices.
Be Mindful of The Customer Journey
Business owners always want to attract new leads and drive conversions.
However, you always need to be mindful of where your user places on their customer journey.
Awareness of the customer journey is the key to understanding their behavior and how you should target them.
For example: if they are in the awareness stage, then they are still trying to diagnose what is wrong.
If they are in the decision stage, that means they are almost ready to close the deal.
When you realize what stage they are at, then you change your copy, your tone of voice, and offer to meet your visitors where they are.
Make Some Drama
Clients like to be in control, and they might panic a bit if they lose their ability to decide.
If you show them wow, I have such high demand or shoot we are short on supply, they will freak out wanting to get your offer.
That is what is called scarcity marketing, and believe me, it works like magic.
Use FOMO (the fear of missing out) as an emotional tactic to leverage consumers’ desire to grab every opportunity they get now -although impulsive- rather than regretting not taking action at all later on.
You might show scarcity to your audience through phrases like last chance or ends soon. That will trigger their inner voice to say: “do not miss out!”
You don’t always have to learn it the hard way. Follow the examples of successful pages to get an idea, then build your creativity around it.
Here are some examples of the most effective landing pages.
- EF Ultimate Break
EF Ultimate Break is a travel agency that organizes trips. On this landing page, they are selling Irish air starting from 2200$ with a little bonus: 9 days trip to Ireland!
They played on the curiosity of the lead, plus they used consistent colors and a very compelling copy with a funny adventurous tone of voice.
- StarryStarry provides fast home internet plans with ultra-fast internet speeds. Their landing page focuses on the benefits of the service not the features.They used short headlines and sentences so that the potential lead can get directly to the point and know they will solve his problem
This app is for riders and drivers. However, the landing page is for drivers. It has two easy forms: one to sign up directly, and the other is to calculate how much money can you make. (source: blog.hotspot.com)
- Hootsuite is a social media management platform. In their landing page, they targeted many segments to make sure not to miss out on any opportunity. They opted for stating the features and the benefits very straightforward.
- ContentCalMixing classic colors with bold ones make this landing page a very playful one. The design and the copy give the lead a feeling of joy and comfort.
Grow Better with Landing Pages
In most cases, landing pages form the first impression between prospects and your business.
That is why you need to make sure that you communicate credibility and a good image about your business at first glance.
If your landing page casts a magic spell and visitors like what they see, you encourage them to respond to your CTA. Thus, you increase your conversion rates.
Put effort into your landing pages, as those pages are paramount ingredients in digital marketing.
Clear the Path to Conversion
Your landing page should be clear, straightforward, and direction-oriented to point your visitor to conversion.
Potential leads should not have to stop for a second to figure out what this is about or what they are supposed to do.
Your page should not distract the visitor from responding to the CTA and must be easy to navigate.
What works best, in this case, is a layout that is perfectly designed to draw the visitor’s eye to where they are supposed to look.