How to Build a Landing Page that Converts

Four crucial elements for success

Introduction

Are your prospects stuck in the top of your sales funnel? Are they finding your website, reading a blog or a press release, and then moving on?

That website visitor, that blog reader is a lead. To pull a lead further into your sales funnel you need to offer them something so valuable they will give their contact details (email address mainly) to download it – a lead magnet. Last week’s post covered the basics of lead magnets but where do visitors end up when they click on your call-to-action to download it? On a landing page!

The job of the landing page it to entice the visitor to fill in a form to download the free content. The landing page should reflect the style of the lead magnet and, ultimately, cultivate action. In this post, we’ll examine four elements of a landing page that converts:

  1. the Value of your offer
  2. the Impact of your offer
  3. the Trust implied in your offer
  4. the Design that leads to action

First, we look at the value of your offer.

1          the Value of your offer

When someone lands on your website, you have less than 8 seconds to make an impression. That means it is critical to put the unique value proposition (UVP) of your offer right up front. Your UVP should communicate the value of your offer and it should differentiate you from others in the marketplace. 

On a landing page, showcase your UVP in the headline and tagline, and in the body copy. By addressing these SEO basics on your landing page, you also increase traffic to the site. More traffic means more potential conversions.

The headline

The headline on your landing page should be concise and specific. You want it to compel the site visitor to act. Highlight the benefits of taking up the offer. Overcome any objections with a clever tagline. Try to generate a sense of urgency.

There are lots of guides out there on how to write a great headline. Most agree that you can spruce up a mediocre headline by:

  1. including numbers,
  2. adding an intriguing adjective, or
  3. using action verbs.

Just be sure to keep the headlines about the offer. A landing page is not the place to sell your brand. Stay in context with the content your visitors were consuming when they the clicked through.

The body copy

The text, body copy, on a landing page need to align with the headline and tagline. It should focus on the benefits, results, and outcomes that can be expected from the offer.

Don’t bombard visitors with all the benefits of the offer. You only need to list as many as are necessary to move the visitor toward the call to action on the page.

Try to address any anxieties that may be plaguing your visitor. They may be worried that your product or service won’t make a difference, that it won’t solve their problem. Let them know the offer will start them on the path toward a solution.

Address SEO

Although optimizing for search engines is not a critical factor for conversion success, it doesn’t hurt. Use relevant keywords in the headline and tagline. Sprinkle them in the body copy. Make sure the page name is using the same keywords. Optimize the meta description on the page for keywords.

Critical to building a landing page that converts is showcasing the Value of your offer – your Unique Value Proposition. Showcase the landing page UVP in the headline, tagline, and the body copy. Optimize for search engines with a UVP-focused keyword phrase. 

2          the Impact of your offer

The whole point of a landing page is to compel your visitors to fill in a form and click a button to download something of value. So the next element of a landing page that converts is the CTA and the form.

The CTA

The Call-to-Action (CTA) need to compel the visitor to fill in the form and push the button. A CTA of “Submit” may not be enough to compel action.

You’ve only got a few words to get visitors to fill in the form. Choose them carefully.

What makes a CTA compel action?  A powerful CTA:

  • is concise, and
  • action-oriented (maybe a short phrase using an action verb),
  • that plays on a visitor’s fear of missing out, or
  • evokes excitement and enthusiasm to stimulate action.

You can even add an incentive to convert, some added bonus for acting.

The Form

The form is focused on gathering information about your visitors. The amount of information you can expect a visitor to give you is directly proportional to the value of the offer. 

It is easy to scare prospects by asking for too much information. To draw leads into the middle of the sales funnel, keep it simple. Getting a name and an email address allows the conversation to begin. Further into the funnel, when content is more valuable, you may be able to ask for more details.

As with all web content, make sure the form is mobile-friendly.

A critical factor in the design of an effective landing page is the call-to-action and the form. A concise, compelling CTA and an appropriate form contributes to conversion. Take time to get it right.

3          the Trust implied in your offer

When designing a landing page that converts, getting people to exchange their contact details for your offer requires trust. They need to trust the offer and trust that their privacy is ensured. They want social proof that you are trustworthy, that your offer is worth it. They also want to know they are not the only ones taking action.

Effective landing pages always include trust-building elements.

Trust building elements can be in the form of testimonials, social sharing, photographs of actual customers, client logos, third-party certifications (trust badges), or even short case studies.

Three of these are particularly effective at establishing trust: testimonials, images and video, and enabling social sharing.

Testimonials

Testimonials are powerful because you’re not the one saying nice things about your products.

Three things make a testimonial persuasive. They persuade if they:

  1. mention a specific benefit your product offers;
  2. substantiate a claim you’ve made; and/or
  3. favorably compare your product to a competitor.

You may not find a customer that will testify to all three. Use the best you have and make sure they relate to the specific offer on the page.

Images and video

Images and video help you connect on a more personal level. Images capture a visitor’s attention and encourage them to stay on the page longer. Use images and video to show snippets of the content on offer. Perhaps a photo of actual customers. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!

Social sharing

Social sharing has emerged as another powerful trust element. Be sure to allow sharing through all your social media channels. The number of shares highlights your status as an industry expert among your visitors.

Using elements like testimonials, images and videos, and social sharing on your landing pages will help build trust in your offers and in you company.

4          the Design that leads to action

Your landing page should present a simple, easy way for your visitors to take the action they need to do to access the offer. Keep it free of clutter. No header, no sidebars. The visitor should have no other option but to fill in form and click the CTA.

Optimize for scanning

Readers tend to track across a page in an ‘F’ pattern. They track left to right across the top of the page and then down the left side. Attention then focusses on the final horizontal in roughly the middle of the page. That’s where you want your CTA.

Make sure you keep all the important stuff above the fold because many visitors will not scroll down the page. Use dot points (more on this below) where possible.

Consistent design elements

Although you have removed the distractions associated with headers and sidebars, you need to keep the design of your landing page consistent with design of the site your visitor clicked through from. This implies trust, that it is the same company site where they started.

Easy-to-read copy

Use plenty of white space so the bright color of the CTA button stands out. White space relieves the reader’s eyes and provides contrast to company colors.

Dot points break up blocks of text and allows for skimming. Use dot points to address anxieties and highlight benefits of taking up the offer. Focus on the benefits.

By using design to lead the eye you present an easy way for your visitors to access your offer.  By optimizing for scanning, maintaining consistent design elements, and using easy-to-read copy your landing page will convert.

Conclusion

This post has demonstrated four things to think about when designing your next landing page.  Each factor has its job to do:

  1. the Value of your offer: the UVP should dominate the headline and tagline. They keep visitor on the page and move them further into the copy.
  2. the Impact of your offer: the CTA encourage action. Form fields reflect the value of the offer.
  3. the Trust implied in your offer: trust elements turn naysayers into believers
  4. the Design that leads to action: visual flow leads the visitor straight through to the CTA and form.

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