10 Essentials For High-Converting Landing Pages

Creating high-converting landing pages has become a rite of passage for businesses, both big and small, but it’s not easy to find the secret sauce of an effective landing page. Some would even argue there’s a science of psychology lingering beneath the surface and a cloud of “what the customer really wants” raining on the parade of perfection.

To complicate things further, there is an incredible amount of variation among audience, purpose, intent, product, angle, focus, industry, niche, perception, buy-in, cost, messaging, value proposition, testimonial approach, and yes, even more. Clearly, one size does not fit all.

But here’s the good news: there are best practices that can and should be implemented to create a landing page that will drive your customer to convert — no matter what variation your business falls into. Here’s our list of 10 to follow:

1. Strong Headline and Sub-Headline

This is the first piece of content your visitor will see. It has to highlight your offer immediately and be consistent with the piece of online content or advertisement that led the visitor to the landing page. Then use a sub headline for more explanation or to highlight the value proposition (i.e. why your offer is awesome). An example might be:

20 Facebook Marketing Tips To Amplify Your Social Presence (headline)

A practical guide to teach you how to get more Facebook followers, likes, and engagement from marketing gurus who know how to make it happen (sub heading)

2. Limited Exit Points

The point of a landing page is to drive action on a specific offer. At the risk of sounding crazy, you want to hold your visitor hostage on that page until they convert. To do so, it’s important that you limit exit points (in this case, hyperlinks) leaving the page. The goal is to funnel visitors down a desired pathway. Any links that serve as points of departure from the funnel should be used sparingly.

3. Relevant, High Quality Video and Images

It is said that you have 7 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention when they arrive at your landing page and in my opinion the best way to do this is with high quality, professional video. People are inherently lazy and would prefer to watch and video than read an article detailing the same content. Using video will keep people on your page longer and will help them to process the information more effectively. You should also use bright, eye-catching images as they make for a more attractive page and a better user experience overall. I highly recommend custom photos over stock photos. And don’t forget to add visual cues in the form of graphics or icons to clue the visitor into what they should do next. You can go the obvious route with arrows, or finger pointing, or something more subtle like images of people looking or pointing in the direction of your CTA.

4. Navigation that Makes Conversion Easy

It’s important for a landing page to have a clear, crisp design with scrolling navigation that is obvious and simple. It should be as easy as possible for visitors to convert, providing as little distance and as few barriers as possible between points A and B. If at all possible, visitors should be able to convert in one click, in multiple places on the landing page.

5. Persuasive and Trustworthy Content

You want your visitors to be convinced of what you’re offering. To do this, you must balance persuasion with trust. Your explanation should be benefit oriented to towards the visitor. Using the word “you” makes your copy matter to them, rather than your business or brand. Here’s an example to demonstrate this:

“We create healthy lifestyles” vs. “Live the healthy life you imagine”

Pretty safe to say that the second way makes the offer more about the visitor than your business — and it’s more likely to convert. You should also make the value proposition clear, by answering the question, “What’s in it for me?”, with a list of benefits that incorporates the pain points your customer has and then followed by the amazing, life changing solution your offer provides.

6. Clear Call to Action

This could quite possibly be the most important aspect of your landing page. A strong and clear call to action is what will push your visitor over the edge of opt-in. Call to actions can be present in text as a hyperlink, but they perform best when they are in button text, i.e. “Your Coupon Is Here”. There should be no question as to what next steps are necessary – tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do in big, bold text. Make sure the button is big with text that is compelling, exciting and gives the perception of exclusivity, i.e. “Get Your Free Guide” or “Get A Sneak Peek”. Remember to put the button in multiple places on the page so the visitor will see it as they scroll.

7. An Incredible Offer

The easiest way to get conversions is to have an offer that has high perceived value to your customer but is inexpensive/free for you to provide.. Dangle a free carrot that will provide a nugget of advice, an exclusive discount, or a solution to one of their pain points. This will ultimately prompt your customer to fill in the form, and voila, you’ve just achieved an opt-in and new lead.

8. A Simple Form

Most landing pages have some kind of form on them — an order form, an opt-in form, a contact form. Keep the form simple with as few spaces to fill in as possible. Lower value offers might only ask for an email address while higher value offers might ask for more, i.e. name and company. The form should have a clear headline of its own and a call to action button that stands out.

9. Social Proof

To see and read a short story of success first-hand from a previous customer is often the one remaining piece of the puzzle to conversion. It signals trust more than anything that you’ve said on your landing page. Make sure the testimonials are real and show an image of the person. Ideally, if that person also has a website or online presence, you would link to it to further the trust factor. If the product or service has been featured in magazines, on the news or endorsed by celebrities then you should also include the logos and names of these brands on the landing page. Social proof is key to making cold traffic visitors trust your brand.

10. Easy to Contact

Don’t make a potential customer go through hoops to contact you. Provide as much contact information as possible so they can have their questions answered — and make sure you respond to them within 24 hours. An email address and contact form are the bare minimum to include, but you may also want to consider a live chat for instant connection. Live chat makes your business seem more real, provides instant gratification and may just be the sales tipping point you need. Livechat is my personal favourite.

Still stuck on how to create a landing page?

We’ve developed countless landing pages for different businesses and can confidently say each one is unique. If you want to cut to the chase and build an effective landing page for your offer, reach out to us for further guidance.

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Corey Shelson, Digital Marketer

Author Corey Shelson, Digital Marketer

A diverse leader with a strong entrepreneurial background, Corey has been managing teams and delivering projects on time, on budget and on scope for over 10 years. With a Computer Hardware Engineering Degree from the Royal Military College of Canada and MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, Corey has an innate ability to dissect complex problems, create clear and concise strategies and execute projects with precision. Corey founded 44 North Digital Marketing in 2015 and has led the company's rapid growth ever since.

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