A landing page is a designated webpage where potential customers 'land' after clicking an advertisement. Landing pages are simple enough in theory, but as with any aspect of digital marketing, the devil is in the details. The moment a user arrives at a landing page is the “make or break” moment for a conversion. You want to make every optimization to your landing pages to increase your chances of closing the sale.
What’s the point of a landing page?
Why do I need a landing page? Can’t I just send them to my website? Well, yes, you can, and many advertisers do. However, if you send customers to your website, there’s no guarantee that they’ll still want to (or even be able to) find the advertised item that piqued their interest in the first place. They may get lost in your other services, or find themselves intimidated by your navigation system, or they might simply lose interest. Every single one of these scenarios leads to a lost sale.
The advantage of landing pages is that they take away all external distractions. There’s no navigation to the rest of your site. There are usually no other links that don’t explicitly relate to the purchase, and there’s no unrelated information. The value of the landing page is that it allows you to silo your customers into your sales pipeline and incentivize certain actions. Every aspect of your landing page—the copy, the visuals, the layout—are all designed to facilitate conversions.
What does a great landing page look like?
When designing your landing page, you should always keep your goal, which is to close sales, in mind. Your headline should be descriptive and succinct. Illustrative images, graphics, and videos should clarify information about your service or product, or entice viewers with additional features. Sometimes, a landing page will feature more elaborate video content, like a testimonial or a tutorial.
When putting together a landing page, you should always consider “the fold,” which is the area of the webpage that’s visible when you load the page. The fold contains the information that you don’t have to scroll to see. Sometimes “the fold” is also called “the jump,” because you have to “jump down” to see the remaining content. After reaching your landing page, the user should be able to understand your product and make the purchase without going “below the fold.” This means that your most essential content, like a clear CTA and checkout buttons, should all be above the fold.
Placing important information above the fold in response to users’ reluctance to scroll is only one of the ways that savvy marketers have adjusted their standards and practices according to human behavior. Digital marketers will also often talk about the “F-pattern” of reading, which refers to how users scan for information—first they look across the top third of the page and then scan along the left side vertically. You should try to place most of the crucial information according to that pattern.
Every year, we see an increase in the percentage of users making purchases from their mobile web browser. If your landing page isn’t responsive—in other words, appropriately scaled for mobile browsing—then chances are you’re losing sales as we speak.
Putting it all together
These guidelines serve as a blueprint for how to design a landing page that users will navigate with ease and will lead to increased conversions. But, these guidelines are not foolproof and depending on your product or service, you may need to bend or break some of the rules. To fully optimize your landing page, you’ll need to test them out yourself. By split-testing any changes to your landing page, no matter how small, you’ll be able to identify what kinds of content, design, and copy works for your customer base.