Designing an effective landing page that increases conversions isn’t the same as crafting a successful website or email newsletter. A landing page is unique in that it directs them to a specially-designed page to have them take a specific action. The focus on a single purpose is the primary feature that separates a landing page from a typical website.
Understanding how to design a landing page, and in particular, how to design a landing page that converts, is essential to your success. If you want to maximize your page’s success, it’s important to adhere to a specific set of guidelines throughout your design process. By following a particular set of rules, these one-page websites that direct your user toward a single action has the power to be extremely effective!
How to design a landing page that converts
Landing pages were initially developed as a response to the poor sales Microsoft was experiencing with its Office suite. The primary goal of a landing page has always been to generate leads. However, since its introduction, landing pages have evolved to the point where customer management, email marketing solutions, and lead capturing features are a conventional and powerful tool for retaining and acquiring buyers and subscribers.
Designers, marketers, and businesses often include landing pages as part of their marketing and sales tactics. Most often, landing pages are linked to an email newsletter or social media campaign to convert those leads into buyers or subscribers. If you’ve ever clicked an ad from your Instagram or Facebook feed, then you’ve probably landed on at least a few landing pages. Alternatively, as a designer, you’ve probably created a fair share of landing pages. Or maybe you haven’t, but you’re familiar with designing websites and you’re here to get the 411 on how to design a landing page that converts. Whatever level of experience or reason for you here, it probably won’t come as a surprise that call-to-action buttons and lead generation forms are key components in converting visitors into leads and buyers. But the magic starts with asking yourself, what is the goal? What are you trying to accomplish?
Defining the purpose or goal of your landing page
Landing pages have a lot in common with websites, but what makes them different is the fact that they serve a different purpose. With that, you need to consider the key features that help you understand just how to design a landing page that converts.
Like every aspect of your online marketing plan requires goals. A landing page that lacks concrete or specific goals is not going to an effective page. Define your goals clearly before designing your landing page.
Once you’ve outlined the intended goal of your landing page, you will probably have a clear idea of what your call to action will be. This is arguably the most important component of any landing page. Your call to action needs to be clearly tied to your goal, and be in line with everything else on your landing page, including the copy, images, UX, and the overall layout. Keep your CTA above the fold and draw as much attention and emphasis to the primary CTA. It’s essential that users know exactly what to do and that is simple for them to perform the desired action.
Use natural and actionable phrases, such as, “Start Now,” “Sign Up Today,” or “Get a Free Quote Now” and avoid less effective and passive phrases such as “Submit,” or “Send”.
Source: Microsoft small business academy
Visuals are everything
A successful landing page is a powerful conversion tool that heavily depends on the visuals. You need to seamlessly guide your visitor’s attention to the desired action, and the best way to do that is with powerful visuals. Eye-catching and simplicity will go a long way. Visually clean and simple designs are appealing, easy to understand, draw in users focus, and encourage them to take action.
Keep in mind design principles, such as balance, space, contrast, color, shape, size, typography, illustrations, photography, layout, and other visual elements, as these will impact the success of your landing page.
It’s also important to select the right images or videos in order to persuade the user to act on the call to action. Images and videos help create a narrative that keeps the user invested, creates a personal connection with user, and guides them to the final action. If you want to know how to design a landing page that converts, it all starts with telling a story to emotionally engage and hook your audience. As humans, we are naturally drawn to stories, so using visuals, images, and videos to tell a story will help increase conversions.
Including images of people and friendly faces has been proven to be an effective technique for higher landing page conversions. Pictures of real, everyday people, opposed to objects or stock images, creates a more personal connection and will elicit more empathy from users. Since users are more predisposed to make decisions on an emotional and subconscious level, images of friendly people can be a very powerful technique.
The Power of Color
In the world of marketing, the psychology of color is a powerful tool. Studies have found that color influences our behavior and decision-making and can even be the sole reason someone purchases a product. Humans are visual creatures, so understanding and utilizing the science of colors in marketing can greatly improve the user interface, guide the behavior of users, and increase landing page conversions. Subconsciously, we associate different colors with a different set of emotions and reactions.
One of the best ways to truly tap into how to design a landing page that converts is understanding the psychology of color. Selecting the right colors is imperative to your success as it impacts what a potential user sees, how they feel, and it directly influences their decision.
Using the color wheel to choose the best color combinations will help make your call to action buttons, text, or key elements stand out and appeal visually to users. A study conducted by the University of Toronto found a majority of people using Adobe Kuler prefer simple color combinations based on 2 to 3 favorite colors. Users prefer simplicity. Too many colors detract from your message, and can make your design more confusing.
With that in mind, it’s often beneficial to choose complementary color combinations, or “opposite” colors, to make things stand out. When you look at a color wheel, you may notice that blue is the opposite of orange, red is the opposite of green, and yellow is the opposite of purple. Consider this, when we view a design that is predominantly various shades of greens with a bit of red, the red stands out amazingly well. The eye detects the red as a visual break from all the green.
It’s recommended to use complementary colors to help your message and brand stand out. However, you don't want 50% of both complementary colors, as it causes distress to the eyes when it isn’t clear which color to focus on. For the best results, select a primary color as your main color. Then accent the primary with its complementary color with approximately a 7:3 ratio. This makes for a visually appealing color pairing and gives your eyes a break.
Make a lasting impression with a simple headline that hooks your readers and gets straight to the point. Your landing page should look like a simpler version of a website page and remain on-brand. This can be achieved through graphics, general look, and feel, or your color scheme and font choices. Simple, and catchy headlines are the first thing users see on a landing page, so they need to be compelling enough to effectively engage the user. If the headlines don’t engage the user in the first few seconds, they’ll likely click off. Your headline should be the element that grabs the users’ attention and thus, it should convey the essential message and the unique selling proposition of your landing page, quickly and simply.
One major difference between a website and a landing page is that the usual site navigation is absent. This helps clearly direct users to complete the desired action, outlined by the CTA, and removes any distractions that might lead them away. For the sake of simplicity, the only clickable links should be call to actions, and in some cases, possibly a link to more information for users that are in the consideration phase. You can link your logo to your regular home page if you so choose.
An effective landing page is the key to transforming your leads into conversions, and the goal is to maximize your conversion success-rate. How do you know it’s effective? You thoroughly test the responsiveness of your design. Are there are any confusing or busy sections? These are exactly the places where people will drop off. When you’re asking someone for information, you need to make sure there is nothing that will deter them!
Keep in mind with the rise of mobile devices, a majority of people will be viewing your landing page on their phones. Responsive landing pages need to provide the same level of UX and UI on mobile devices and computers.
Apples or oranges and A/B testing
Once you’ve designed a landing page based on your knowledge of how to design a landing page that converts, it’s time for A/B Testing.
Testing is intended to find out if your design or product is successful. It’s all about trial and error, which means it’s an ongoing process that may need revising. The best way to learn how your audience will respond to your landing page is with thoughtful A/B tests. A/B tests provide the perfect opportunity to determine which features convert the most leads.
Comparing slightly tweaked variations is one of the best ways to design the most optimal landing page and get concrete data on which variation attracts more customers. Simple changes, such as your CTA text, can help you analyze different results and optimize accordingly.
Landing pages are conversion-oriented, and thus crucial to any business, as they’re the tool that turns leads into buyers. You can’t afford to have a poorly designed landing page that doesn’t create a positive, painless experience.
Tailor your landing page to create a great experience that encourages users to keep coming back, fits your brand, fulfills your business needs, boosts conversions, and makes a lasting impression. Get clear on who your target audience is so you can speak directly to them. We also recommend always staying open to feedback, testing your regularly, and revising it to ensure you continue to meet your goals.
We get it, effectively implementing the guidelines of how to design a landing page that converts is easier said than done! With careful attention to the best landing page practices, you will have the key to boosting your conversion.
Instantly test the effectiveness of your landing page with others and get invaluable insight based on direct input and real user interaction with CloudApp. Comparing slightly tweaked variations is one of the best ways to design the most optimal landing page and get concrete data on which variation attracts more customers. Simple changes can help you analyze different results and optimize accordingly.