Make Landing Pages that Convert

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Campaign landing pages provide to-the-point information about your business’s product, service or other offering to convince visitors to take one specific action. They’re usually separate from evergreen pages and not indexed in search engines, as they are intended for use within paid media, social media, traditional and email marketing campaigns. 

There are certainly several ways to make landing pages that suck. To avoid that, use the 9 guidelines below to create landing pages that convert. Happy selling!

9 Landing Page Best Practices

1. Use Various Landing Page Types

Marketers employ several types of landing pages, each covering a different part of the sales funnel. Consider using a combination of these for the best results.

Brand awareness landing pages: If you only want to get eyes on your brand and engage your audience, you may create a landing page without any forms or hard calls-to-action. This isn’t a landing page that converts – it simply presents your business’s offering, provides resources and makes a good impression. Brands with limited ad budget might skip this type of landing page for their paid media campaigns.    

Upper- and mid-funnel landing pages: If your current goal is lead generation and building a list of contacts to nurture, create a landing page that includes a resource, an event invite or a special offer that’s gated behind a simple form requiring an email address.

Lower-funnel landing pages: If you want to drive sales with your landing page, build this type of landing page. It should include a contact form that requires user information that your sales team needs to engage with the new prospects.

Within those three categories, there are many options for calls-to-action:

  • Click to download a resource (brand awareness)
  • Click through to another page (brand awareness)
  • Submit email address to receive a resource (upper funnel)
  • Register for a webinar (upper funnel)
  • Subscribe to a newsletter (upper funnel)
  • Subscribe to an email list to get a coupon or free trial (upper/mid funnel)
  • Make a purchase (lower funnel)
  • Submit a form to talk to a sales rep (lower funnel)

2. Align Messaging with Campaign Assets

Rule #1 of landing page optimization is aligning the on-page messaging with other campaign assets, such as email and ad copy. If your ad speaks to a particular pain point or value proposition that the landing page doesn’t cover, the user may lose interest after the clickthrough. The same rule applies to design – ensure consistent design across all assets to build trust with your audience.  

3. Speak to Users’ Needs and Emotions

A well-written headline and introduction can greatly impact the success of your landing page. You may need to test several headings and body copy variations to create a landing page that converts well (see tip #8 for details), and there are a few key tactics to explore while writing:

  • Show empathy for your audience’s pain points.
  • Use emotional words conveying users’ aspirations or current need state.
  • Respond to the likely objections to purchasing. These may include: “This product would be hard to use,” “I don’t know or trust this brand” and “It’s too expensive.”
  • Show social proof, such as testimonials, trust badges and statistics. HubSpot has some great examples of social proof.

4. Use Campaign Keywords (for Paid Media)

Best practices for PPC landing pages: If you’re running Google display and search ad campaigns that employ keyword targeting, include those keywords naturally on the landing page (as well as your ads). This will improve your campaign quality score, helping you win more of the available impression share. 

5. Be Brief – Remove Distractions

The content on your landing page should be short, impactful and easy to scan. The design should support the copy by giving proper cues about information hierarchy and what action to take. Remove text and design distractions such as conflicting CTAs, navigation menus, super-long copy and elements requiring excessive scrolling.

6. Use Your Root Domain

Hot take from the digital marketing experts at Oneupweb: Landing page platforms that are separate from your root domain are usually not worth the trouble. While it may be tempting to use a tool with drag-and-drop design features and built-in analytics, these platforms make it difficult to analyze campaign performance data in the context of the full website (e.g., channel comparisons). This ultimately makes landing page optimization difficult. So: Use your root domain and usual CMS! If that’s not an option, at least set up cross-domain Google Analytics tracking through Google Tag Manager – hit us up if you need help with that.

7. Optimize Your Landing Page Form

Visitors will always be somewhat resistant to submitting a form with their personal information. To counteract that hesitancy, always include content that reaffirms what the user is signing up for. Also, set up expectations for what will happen after form completion. Will the user be contacted by email or phone? Will they receive a discount code or a resource in their inbox?

The form fields you include should vary by page purpose. If the main campaign goal is building up your contacts list, consider a single-field form that collects an email address in return for a resource or other small reward. If it’s a lower-funnel campaign meant to drive sales, include a more thorough (but not overwhelming!) form that collects the basic information your sales team needs to effectively engage with each prospect.

Finally, provide a positive user experience by developing a form that’s accessible and clear. Are you explaining which form fields are required? Do error notifications make sense? Does the page provide visual feedback when the form is successfully submitted?

8. Test and Refine

Campaign landing pages are not a “set it and forget it” marketing asset. If you want landing pages that convert at the highest-possible rate, you’ll need to test, measure and refine the page over time. To help you with that, we created a thorough guide for conversion rate optimization and testing. It covers how to figure out which copy, images, calls-to-action and other elements resonate most with your target personas.

9. Hold Vendors Accountable

All your digital marketing and website vendors should be up-to-date on landing page best practices. If you have one team creating ads, another developing landing pages and another writing content, one uninformed team could make a decision that lowers your landing page quality.

If you’re looking for more support with campaign strategy and execution, consider Oneupweb. We have experienced designers, developers, paid media pros and content masters under one roof. Contact us here or call (231) 922-9977.

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