August 17, 2017 Stephanie Wagle

Driving to Conversion: Designing Exceptional Landing Pages

Every aspect of your landing page design should support the path to conversion.

When we design a content marketing campaign, we sometimes start by designing the landing page experience. Sure, an outstanding ad campaign will drive folks to the landing page — but once they get there, we really want them to convert to a lead.

Our head of decision sciences likes to repeat this stat to our sometimes-verbose team of copywriters as they write landing page copy: 2% of the people who land on a landing page will fill out the form.

So, no pressure.

All that means is, we have to write succinct, inventive, and compelling copy. We’ve got to convince our target audience that they need the offer we’re selling. A lot of that has to do with the offer itself, but really, it’s all in how we sell it, and how we design the page to convey our message.

Let’s talk about design — because over the years, our creative team has worked to refine and perfect our approach to designing landing pages, experimenting with the right place to put the form, the right amount of copy, the right layout, and the right interactive elements.

Here’s what we’ve learned about creating exceptional landing pages that convert for our clients:

Highly-Scannable Design: Everything about our page design must support the path to conversions — so we layout our text in a way that makes it easily scannable, offer CTAs above the fold (and below if we have a longer landing page experience) and ensure our design is consistent with our client’s brand and product positioning. And here’s another tip: adding video to landing pages has been shown to increase conversion by up to 80%

Consistent Headlines: From our campaign creative through to the landing page, our headlines and CTAs must be consistent so people will know exactly what to do when they get to the page.

Highly-Clickable CTAs: CTA color is a big deal for us. There’s a lot of research on how red buttons perform better than green buttons. (One study found red buttons outperform green by 21%.) That’s fantastic, but often our client’s brand palettes just don’t support red CTAs. So over time, we’ve learned the secret to clickable CTAs is really about contrast, either through color or fonts. Occasionally a subtle bevel or drop shadow can help if the brand allows. Or we might make it stand out by making it unique, like giving it rounded corners in contrast to the rest of the design. And arrows are helpful too, because they indicate a forward direction or progression.

The Right CTA Copy: We always wrap our CTAs with a short description of our offer — one sentence or phrase. And we like to use active words like “get” instead of “submit” or “download.” (Download is a pet peeve for us — it just feels very 1997.) But the real key to CTA copy is ensuring that it conveys both the value of our offer, and the relevance to our audience. One case study showed a 68% increase in conversions just by adding relevance to the CTA — it made the CTA copy longer, but it’s hard to argue with 68%.

Succinct, Actionable Copy: Our copy focuses on the benefits of our offer — why does our target audience need this offer; what will compel them to fill out the form? What will they get out of the offer — will they get stats, expertise, will they learn something that will help them be better at their job? Most of the time, we subscribe to the idea that less copy is more, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.

Social Proof: When we can, we feature testimonials on our landing pages, because 63% of people say they’re more likely to take action when they see product ratings and reviews. Remember, those are testimonials about our offer, not necessarily the product it might relate to.

Forms: Users hate giving away their information — so we strive to make our forms as short as possible, collecting only the information we really need to qualify leads.  And, the form should be the primary focus of the page. We tend to put our forms to the right, but persistent forms work too.

Don’t optimize for the fold: While we try to keep our landing pages short, the reality is that users do scroll — so we follow this rule of thumb: figure out what a user needs to know in order to be motivated to fill out the form.  This means our landing pages can sometimes be quite long, either because our audience isn’t easily convinced to give away their email address, or because there really is a lot to say about the offer they’re getting. It’s all about having a deep understanding of our audience, their goals, and what motivates them.

 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing the ideal landing page experience. Each offer, each brand, each campaign is different. Our goal is always to create an experience users will enjoy; one that compels them to convert.

Working on a new content marketing campaign? We can help.