A landing page, sometimes referred to as a ‘lead capture page’, is a page that has been created specifically to drive segmented traffic from a marketing or advertising campaign. It is where a visitor ‘lands’ when they click on a marketing campaign ad from something like Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
The goal of a landing page is to get the user to take action (the CTA or Call to Action) and as such they usually are a lot simpler than most website pages. They are a vital element of any online marketing campaign because they’re designed to convert visitors into leads, and they have a conversion rate of between 5 and 15% compared to an average website page that only converts at between 1 and 3%.
To help you along in the process of designing an optimized landing page we’ll recap some of the best practices to follow, give you an idea of what tools you can use to build landing pages quickly, and then we’ll look at how to improve conversions and share some tools to help with that process.
1. Designing a Landing Page: Best Practices
To get started there are a number of best practices that need to be included in any landing page design. There are many articles that break down what should be included in the perfect landing page design.
Our 5 key takeaways include:
1. Maintain the Relevance Between the Ad Copy and the Landing Page
This is why you’re using a landing page instead of one of the pages on your website. It needs to specifically address the reason that the user has visited your site.
2. Include A Strong Call to Action
This is your chance to motivate your audience to take the next step in becoming your customer which makes it one of the most important design elements on your page.
3. Build Trust
Use trust indicators such as social proof, testimonials and reviews to build trust with your visitor. This might be the first time that they have ever heard of you or visited your site, so you need to quickly convince them that they can rely on you to deliver the product or service that they need.
4. Reduce Distractions
Remove any unnecessary information on the page. This includes links that would take the visitor off the page and the navigation menu.
5. Use an Effective Form
A good form should attract the user’s attention, stand out from the page, be simple to understand and have as few fields as possible.
Want to do some more reading?
Here are a couple of the top articles we’ve seen on landing page design from around the web:
- 8 Landing Page Design Principles You Should Never Break by Undullify
- Anatomy Of A Perfect Landing Page by Neil Patel
- How to Create the Perfect Landing Page? by ABTasty
For some inspiration for landing page designs, have a look at Hubspot’s Best Landing Page Design Examples for 2019 .
2. How to Build Your Landing Page
There are a number of tools that allow you to quickly build and integrate landing pages into your conversion funnel. Some of our favorites include Unbounce, InstaPage and LeadPages.
Unbounce also offers a 30-day free trial, and offers an end to end solution for split testing as it allows for both landing page design and optimization. This tool is particularly useful for people that are relatively new to coding and design as the simple interface and makes it simple to build landing pages and design split tests.
Similar to Unbounce, Instapage is a more budget-friendly option that allows users to quickly build and deploy landing pages that are optimized and mobile-friendly.
This is another high quality landing page builder with great functionality including a large template library (which you can sort by conversion rate), and an analytics section for monitoring the performance of your landing pages and split tests.
Optimizely is free on their starter plan and opens up a whole new world of options for web devs who focus on CRO. Put simply, a user inserts the page that they wish to test, then makes modifications and Optimizely provides the code that will run the test once it’s been inserted into the page on the website. Optimizely tracks results as they happen, and lets you know which are statistically significant.
Visual Web Optimizer (VWO)
Visual Web Optimizer offers a free 30-day trial to give you an idea of the amazing features that it offers. It’s similar to Optimizely and allows the user to easily select elements to be split tested and provides the code that needs to be inserted. The reporting is intuitive making it easy to see which page converts better.
3. Testing: The Process of Landing Page Conversion Optimization
Once you’ve built your landing page and have started driving some traffic to it, it’s time to look at improving its conversion rate through testing.
What Should You Be Testing?
Crazy Egg outlines their landing page optimization strategy here. They suggests a range of changes that you can make to improve your landing page:
- Try different offers
- Try a simpler layout
- Use different colors
- Experiment with content length
- Use different trust signals
- Use different Call to Action buttons
- Try different headlines and copy
- Use different images
- Try an exit popup
How Should You Be Testing It?
You need to be looking at split testing and using heat mapping software to improve conversions on your landing pages.
Split Testing (A/B Testing)
Split testing, or A/B testing, is the comparison of two versions of the same page (such as a landing page) to see which performs better when traffic is sent to them. In the test, both pages are generally the same or very similar, with only a small variation such as a different image or call to action. Half the traffic is sent to the first variation, and half to the second, and whichever converts at a higher rate is the version that will be chosen.
It is a powerful tool as it allows a website owner to make evidence-based decisions based on actual data, rather than assuming that they know which version will perform best. Every element on a page can be split-tested including all content elements, trust signals, calls to action and images.
A heat map is a visualization tool for data analysis. It uses color to show where on a web page visitors are spending time and where they’re clicking. The ‘heat’ refers to the amount of attention that an area on a page receives. It is represented using colors; red, orange, yellow and white where there is more action, and darker colors for areas receiving less attention.
Heat maps are important because they offer hard evidence-backed data, rather than assumptions or theories, of how visitors are using your site that can be used for conversion optimization. This is because a heat map measures data from real users which means changes can be made to better meet the needs (and improve conversions) of potential customers.
What Tools Can You Use?
To get the most out of your landing pages there are a number of tools that can help you with analysing how your pages are performing, as well as a range of split testing tools that can be used to optimize your page’s performance.
Data Analysis Tools
In order to understand what needs to be improved (as well as being able to track if split tests result in improvements), you will need before and after data on bounce rates, website traffic, time on page and others such as location, device, etc. The best tools for monitoring the effectiveness of your landing page include Google Analytics, KISSMetrics and heatmapping software such as Hotjar and Crazy Egg.
Google Analytics is the go-to free analytics tool for most websites; it’s incredibly powerful, easy to use and completely customizable. It allows you to monitor your website traffic in real time (what current users on your website are doing), gives insights into your audience demographics, lets you see your traffic sources, how your visitors behave on your website and tracks conversions when you set and track goals to see which visitors convert best.
KissMetrics is a paid analytics tool that can be used with Google Analytics and is focused on how users behave and the way that they move through the sales funnel. Although Google Analytics offers much of the same functionality, KISSMetrics is easier to use and was developed with conversions in mind. This is a good option for agencies or larger, more established businesses.
Using a heat map tool such as CrazyEgg or HotJar is another option to collect additional useful information about how your website visitors are using your website. Their heatmaps show which elements on a page attract the most attention, as well as time spent on each section and reports that show where improvements can be made.
Split Testing Tools
Once you have your data analysis tools in place, you can look at improving the performance of your landing pages through split testing (also called A/B testing).
Software that makes the process of running split tests easy to implement and monitor includes Optimizely, VWO and Unbounce as discussed above. If you do not use any of these tools to build landing pages, something like Google Content Experiments is a free alternative for setting up split tests.
Google Content Experiments is a slightly more advanced tool than Optimizely, but as it’s free to use, it is a great option for those just starting out. It integrates into Google Analytics which makes testing and measuring the results easier. But to try and improve a specific goal a custom age needs to be created for each test.
It’s not enough just to build a landing page and hope that it converts. At Wired Messenger we follow a 3 step process to ensure that our landing pages are built to convert, then further refined to produce the best results. Great landing pages start with the design of the landing page following best practices, then building it (using either Unbounce, Instapage, Leadpages, Optimizely or VWO) and finally, testing it. During the testing stage it’s important to look at the data from your analytics tool as well as the heatmaps, and from there you can set up split tests that focus on conversion rate optimization.