Steve Jobs may have been wrong when he said that fans in computers would scare people, but he was accurate when he said this about design:
“Design is not only how it looks and feels. It is also how it works.”
This sentiment, one that Jobs is popular for, is a truismFunctionality is an important aspect of design, Regardless of the number of frills, design is ultimately pointless if it isn’t functional. Design is that sweet spot between function and form
In this article, I’ll show you how you can design landing pages that will convert like crazy and give you a high ROI in your marketing campaigns.
What makes a good landing page?
The first thing to consider is the purpose of the landing page. Only after you know this can you know if your landing page is actually doing what it’s supposed to do. In case you don’t know, landing pages are stand-alone webpages that are designed to get users to take a particular action.
The action(s) could be anything from registering for a webinar or buying a book; whatever you want to get your users to do, landing pages exist to make sure that users who land on them do one thing and one thing only.
The following are elements that make for a good landing page. From a visual perspective, good landing pages should:
Look clean and organized
The aesthetics of your website will greatly affect how people perceive your brand and you won’t get a second chance at a first impression. This is why you should use every and any trick in the wbook of tricks to make sure your landing page ‘wows’ your audience.
There are so many elements you can put together that can make your landing page aesthetically pleasing.
You can creatively use colors and type to achieve contrast and balance, as well as establishing visual hierarchy. Now I know that some of these terms may sound foreign, but trust me, these concepts aren’t difficult to grasp. With a few examples, you should have an idea of what these concepts mean and how to use them when designing you own landing page.
Your landing page should also be uncluttered.
Landing pages are designed for conversion rate optimization and so you have to strive for clarity and simplicity when you’re creating your landing page.
Ideally, you should aim to be create a landing page that is interesting, yet simple, easy to understand and navigate. An overly complicated landing page will only distract the user and ultimately drag your conversion rates to the bottom of the ocean.
Keep it simple.
Have lots of negative space
Keep calm. There is nothing negative about negative space.
Negative space only means the space that is between and around the elements on your landing page. It is simply the space that surrounds the copy, graphics, video, etc. It could be any color too.
Although white is most commonly used, other colors can be used effectively. In fact, Adobe has used darker colors to great effect.
The point of having a lot of negative space is to avoid clutter and to give the elements of your landing page room to breathe and room to shine. Negative space has a calming effect. In addition, it makes your landing page elements and their hierarchical relationships clearer, which aids simplicity and minimal
Negative space is important.
Contain social proof
Never underestimate the power of social proof.
There are very few things that are as effective as driving sales as social proof; the proof that shows that the big name brands and personalities trust you.
Social proof is one way that you can address the objections that your potential customers may have about your brand or your product. By including testimonies, awards and partnership badges,++++ you’re showing your audience that you can be trusted. Because influencers endorse you and give you approval, your credibility levels just go through the roof.
So, you can use social proof to your advantage by including awards your business has won for excellent performance from prestigious institutions. You can also add testimonials and partnership badges to boost your credibility. I mean, any brand that is partners with Google or Hubspot has got to be great.
Credibility is everything, and showing that you’re credible is one way to coax your reluctant visitors to become loyal customers.
You cannot get it wrong here. You mustn’t get it wrong here.
First, a bit of history.
In the early 2000’s, before iPods, smartphones and tablets, the internet was solely accessed through the desktop interface; but this all changed with the advent of the smartphone and it’s internet capabilities.
As mobile devices became increasingly popular, webmasters addressed the problem of differing screen and resolution sizes by creating different versions of their websites; one for mobile and one for desktop.
This approach, although it was tiring and much more difficult, worked for a while.
Then in a technological explosion, different screen sizes were manufactured and webmasters were exhausted from separate SEO and PPC campaigns for the same website. This is without taking account separate content strategies for the same website.
Some webmasters stubbornly clung to this clunky, gangly approach to design, and then Google drove a knife through the heart of adaptive design with its algorithm update in April, 2015.
Adaptive design was finally gone.
In its place was the new slinky responsive design that would be able to fit different screens. This new approach to design really changed things up.
By using fluid proportion-based grids and flexible images, responsive design makes content viewable on any screen size or resolution. Unlike the older design which was only suited to desktop screens.
These days if you don’t design your website and your landing pages with mobile users in mind you’ll lose a lot of potential customers because the majority of the internet traffic these days comes from mobile.
A compilation of stats from Smart Insights shows this trend.
Inclusion of video and motion graphics
We have always been sensitive to motion. We cannot ignore motion; indeed we very aware of motion.
Moving things are curious; this is why video always generates more engagement on social media, more so than text or even pictures.
Humans have always been primed to track motion. Blame it on our survival skills when we were trying to avoid being tasty snacks to the T-Rex.
You can leverage this pshychological phenomenon to increase your conversins. Include videos, GIFs in your landing pages and watch your conversions increase.
There’s something noteworthy about this phenomenon too.
Men are more susceptible to the motion bug than women. This is probably because men are wired to be the hunters and protectors. I do know that I love a good video!
Regardless of your demographic, as long as they’re human (hopefully they are), you can bet that video will get their attention which translates into high conversion rates for you.
Now that you know what makes for an aesthetically pleasing landing page, let’s proceed to actually creating one.
The no-nonsense guide to creating a kick-ass landing page.
Just to recap, a good landing page is on-brand; it includes your product, service, and company information as well as relevant offers and CTAs (calls to action).
The steps to building an incredible landing page include:
- Identify your audience
- Make sure that the landing page has a singular purpose
- Choose a landing page design software
- Write enticing headlines
- Make the landing page beautiful
- Publish and test the landing page
Identify your audience
This is where all good marketing starts from. To deliver a personalized marketing experience to each one of your customers, you need to know them and then design and/or write for them.
You should design your landing page such that it answers any questions they may have including quelling their objections.
Don’t leave your users hanging or disappointed when they land on your page; depending on how you’ve set up your ads, your audience will have expectations and will have expectations when they land on the page.
The colors, language, and even they font you use should be similar. Don’t create an image in your ad and then portray a contrasting one in the landing page. Aim for unity or you may risk leaving them confused.
When thinking about designing your landing page, you should ask the following questions:
- The objections you want to address with the content you post on your landing page
- The thing(s) that members of your audience want the most; consider their goals and the metrics they use to measure success.
- Also consider the tone of the copy you’re going to put on your landing page. You also want to think about the ways you’re going to resonate with them using copy or design elements.
These are some of the things that you should consider that you should consider when planning the layout of your landing page.
Decide on the CTA you want to center the landing page around
By now you know that the purpose of a landing page is to do a particular thing. This follows that you should be very clear about what you intend to use the landing page to achieve.
To make sure that your landing page is successful and converts, it is imperative that you make is very clear what you want from the visitors of your page.
If you dilly-dally, and don’t make clear from the start what you want your visitors to do, you may end up losing them.
Choose a landing page design software
There are a plethora of choices available when it comes to landing page design software.
There is a dedicated section below, where we 0065 xplore some of the software you can use to create beautiful landing pages.
Write a captivating headline
You don’t have to be David Ogilvy to write a headline that works. As with design, headlines have to be functional for you to see increases in your conversion rate.
If a headline intrigues the reader enough to make them click on your copy, then it has brilliantly done its job.
So, how do you go about writing kick-ass headlines?
There are some proven tricks that you can use to write attention-grabbing headlines. They work because they take advantage of the human psyche.
Here are a few:
Use power words
Just as we’ve said already, writing headlines takes advantage of the human psyche. Certain words evoke some emotions that could motivates people to buy from you.
Because this isn’t a headline post, we cannot go into the details of why they work, but we can certainly look at some of them and then you may use them creatively in your headlines.
Power words are divided as follows, and I’ve added some examples of words that could really transform your headline:
- Mystery words: Rare, unusual, secrets, revealing, unlock.
- Excitement triggers: Special, exceptional, maximum, save, bonus.
- Urgency words: Immediately, limited-time, last-minute, last-chance, limited.
- Power words: Boost, turbo-charge, amazing, energetic, mind-blowing, etc…
There are more words that you can use in your headlines, but the underlying principle is to inspire some emotion with the words you do choose.
Benefits always win
Humans are naturally selfish and always want to know what they get out of deals.
To prove the value you’re offering, you should emphasize on the benefits of your product rather than its features. I know there is the temptation to focus on the amazing features of your product; you are eager to tell your audience that your blender is faster and more efficient because of more efficient blades. However, the reality is that you should shift your focus from your perspective to the customers perspective.
You gotta show them what’s in it for them; you need to unequivocally show them what they will get when they sign up and fulfill your CTA.
Remember to K.I.S.S (Keep it Simple, Stupid)
Users’ mind will screech to a grinding halt if your headline is ambiguous and unclear. You may have succeeded in establishing flow right from your ad, but if you miss doing your headline right, you interrupt that flow; a seamless connection between your ad and headline greatly increases the chance of conversion.
Make the landing page beautiful
The aesthetic of the landing page is also important if you want to leave good first impression on your first time visitors.
Of course you needn’t go overboard creating a landing page article that looks like a jar filled with different colors of sweets.
In one interview, Chris Lindekens, creatve director at ChargeTech said the following about the role that color plays in landing page design:
“Color can portray many things on a landing page, and one of the most important ones is brand familiarity. Having a cohesive color scheme can remind the user that they are still under the umbrella of your content while they scan through a page that might not look exactly like your main website. There is nothing more sketchy on the web than choosing to purchase or see something, and the link takes you to a completely different looking site asking you for payment or the like. Like I said before, it’s okay to deviate–but if you do, make sure you have a standard header and footer using your company brand colors.”
In short, do an amazing job and create a landing page with pizzazz, but don’t end up creating a confusing one.
Publish and test the landing page.
After you’ve written your seductive headline and designed a landing page fit only for the gods, the next thing to do is to publish your landing page and then wait for the conversions to roll in.
Also, don’t just publish your landing page too; test it and optimize it.
There are many programs you can use to A/B test your landing pages. Ideally, you should test individual design elements like colors, fonts, CTA buttons, etc. to determine which elements jointly yield the highest conversions.
Software for landing page design
As promised, we’ll explore some of the software you can use to design jaw-dropping landing pages.
There are a plethora of landing page software you can use; and just like most software, different programs have advantages. Your choice all depends on what you which options are most suitable for your needs.
One of the reason why leadpages is so effective is because it has a drag and drop builder that makes it really easy to customize. It also has the option for you to A/B test your landing pages so you can have the maximum impact.
The strength of this landing page is that it has more than 100 templates that you can choose from. In addition, the templates are organized according to your business type and they include options for SaaS companies, ecommerce businesses, agencies, etc.
The best part?
They are completely mobile responsive.
Instapage has a feature called dynamic text replacement thaa allows you to automate the opt-in content on your page.
In addition to this, it also has options for you to A/B test your landing pages so you can maximize your landing page efforts.
They are also responsive and have a variety of templates too.
Mail chimp is synonymous with email marketing, but they also have a feature that allows you to design landing pages and still A/B test them.
You can customize all the features to your heart’s content.
Hubspot is another program that it famous for their CRM. They also have a landing page feature that can allows for you to design landing page the way.
And just like the others, they can allow you to design landing pages that are responsive as well as beautiful.
There are definitely more programs that can allow you to design functional, yet beautiful landing pages.
In closing, we’ll just look at some landing page best practices that can help you make the most of your marketing efforts.
Include unique and engaging visuals.
Include engaging visual content on your landing page. Whether it’s a photo, video, or animation, you want your landing page design to somehow pique the interest of your visitors.
The HubSpot landing page’s visual content is unique to the company — the animated design and colors are on-brand. They also don’t take attention away from the written content on the page.
Keep it simple.
Although you want to include a headline, written content, CTA, and visual content on your landing page, that doesn’t mean you want your design to be too busy. In fact, you want the opposite.
Remember: Less is more when it comes to the design of your landing page (and your entire website for that matter). This keeps things clean, organized, and simple to and navigate for your visitors.
Make sure it has a responsive design.
Remember, the chances of your website visitors, leads, and customers visiting your website via a mobile device or tablet is high. So, ensure your landing page has a responsive design that automatically changes format based on the device it’s being viewed on.
Keep it on-brand.
When a visitor comes to your landing page, they should automatically know it belongs to your business. Brand your landing page in a way that complements the rest of your marketing content, logo, and colors. Your visitors should be able to immediately know your landing page belongs to your business due to the branding you incorporate.
Optimize your landing page with CTAs.
Your landing page should include at least one relevant CTA, located above the fold (meaning, visitors don’t have to scroll to get to the form because it’s in view as soon they hit the page), so visitors can come to your landing page and convert within seconds. This CTA might be used to learn more about your product or service, purchase your product, sign up for a special offer, or subscribe to your email newsletter.
Add your contact information.
Your visitors may come directly to your site in search of your contact information or determine they want to contact you for assistance or support after spending some time on your page.
To avoid wasting their time and causing them any unnecessary frustration while trying to locate your contact information, place these details on your landing page. This keeps the process of contacting you as simple and straightforward as possible for your visitors
Include live chat on the landing page.
If possible, include a live chat function on your landing page. This way, visitors can get the immediate assistance they want and need from the moment they open your page.
HubSpot’s landing page has a live chat feature for easy access to immediate support. The location of the collapsible chat box keeps the page looking organized
Use A/B testing to determine which design works best.
Once you’ve created your initial landing page design, don’t feel locked in — this is an iterative process. Meaning, test your designs among your target audience to determine which colors, CTA buttons, headlines, visuals, and written content resonate with them best and result in the highest number of conversions.
You can A/B test your designs and review your results. Then, once you’ve determined which design works best for your target audience and boosts conversions, stick with that design (until you have a new and improved design to share — then, start this process again).
Landing pages are a powerful tool that can help you leverage your marketing efforts for maximum impact.
But to get the most out of your landing page, you need to really pay attention to how your landing page looks and especially how it works.
You can choose any number of tools to use, you only have to choose with the knowledge that there’s a landing page design software for your skill and experience level. Make sure to do some research first.
Like one graphic designer once said