The Ultimate Guide To Landing Pages

Learn About Landing Page Design, Analytics, and Components

This is the perfect place for both experienced digital marketers and newbies. Below you will find a step-by-step guide that will take you through everything to include and consider when creating a landing page.

Table of Contents

Goal of a Landing Page

Goals can include; lead generation, ecommerce, subscriptions and more. Landing pages should be engineered for your end goal.

The purpose of a landing page is singular and focused: to guide visitors towards one specific action or goal. While there are various types of landing pages, each tailored to different objectives, they all share this common aim. For instance, an eCommerce landing page is designed to promote and sell a particular product or service, leading customers directly to a purchase.

A lead generation landing page, on the other hand, aims to collect visitor information, like email addresses, to build a database for future marketing efforts (one should think through their sales and marketing process to address the various stages here, more on this later in the article). Similarly, a course signup landing page is crafted to enroll visitors in educational programs or webinars. Regardless of their type, all landing pages should be streamlined and free from distractions, ensuring that the visitor’s attention remains solely on the intended goal. This focused approach is what makes landing pages a powerful tool in achieving specific business objectives, whether it’s increasing sales, generating leads, or expanding educational outreach.

Landing Page Elements

What To Include on a Landing Page

Below is a list of what any great landing page should include (and why).

Welcome to the section on the anatomy of a landing page! In this part of our guide, we’re going to break down what makes a landing page not just good, but great. Think of a landing page as a key tool in your digital marketing toolbox; it’s where your audience lands after clicking on an ad or a link. A well-crafted landing page is crucial for making a strong first impression and guiding visitors towards your goal, whether that’s making a sale, gathering contact details, or another action.

We’ll explore the essential elements of a landing page – from the headline that catches your visitor’s attention, to the call-to-action (CTA) that seals the deal. Each component plays a vital role, and understanding how to optimize these elements can make a huge difference in your page’s success. Let’s dive in and learn how to create landing pages that resonate with your audience and drive results!

Headlines and subheadlines

Subheadlines are a great component for the skimmer, someone who won’t read every word (most of us).

When it comes to a landing page, the headline is your first and perhaps most crucial element in capturing your audience’s attention. It’s the big, bold text that greets visitors and immediately tells them what your page is about. The headline should be clear, concise, and compelling, effectively communicating the value of what you’re offering. Think of it as your first impression – it needs to be strong enough to grab the visitor’s interest and keep them on the page.

A subheadline, while optional, is an excellent tool for adding more context or detail to your headline. It’s particularly useful for skimmers – those who quickly scan through the page. The subheadline complements the headline by elaborating on the offer, providing more information, or addressing a specific point that might be crucial for your audience. For instance, if your headline is catchy but broad, the subheadline can give more specifics, like a unique feature of your product or a key benefit.

Together, the headline and subheadline work as a team. The headline grabs attention, and the subheadline hooks the reader by offering a little more. This combination can be particularly effective in ensuring that your landing page communicates its message quickly and effectively, keeping the visitor engaged and interested in what comes next. Remember, the goal is to keep it engaging, easy to understand, and focused on the value to your audience.

headline Engineering Notes:

It’s important to recognize that a landing page headline serves a different purpose compared to those designed purely for CTR in ads or emails. On a landing page, your visitors have already arrived, so the goal shifts from attracting to retaining their attention.

The headline here needs to effectively communicate the value or solution you’re offering, compelling the visitor to stay and keep reading. It’s about immediately confirming to the visitor that they’re in the right place and that what follows is worth their time. A successful landing page headline aligns closely with the visitor’s expectations set by the preceding link or ad, and smoothly transitions them into the heart of your message or offer.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Your unique positioning can stem from a local level or be a first-to-market strategy.

The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of a landing page is a critical element that sets your offer apart from the competition. It’s what makes your product, service, or message uniquely valuable to your audience. A strong USP is more than just a differentiating feature; it’s the compelling reason why someone should choose you over others.

Consider the power of being the first option a potential customer sees in a crowded market. For example, while there are countless pages about landing pages on the internet, you found this one. How did that happen? It’s likely the result of a well-executed SEO and traffic analysis strategy. This blend of data-driven insight and creative marketing ensures that a site stands out in search engine results, grabbing the user’s attention first.

This principle can be applied broadly. In your business, whatever your niche, being first to be found by your target audience can be a unique selling point in itself. It’s not just about launching a product or service before anyone else; it’s about being the first to capture the attention and meet the needs of potential customers in the digital space.

While being the first option a customer finds online is advantageous, a USP can encompass much more (mainly because you have to make your visitors stick around).

Your USP might highlight a specific feature of your product that no one else offers, like an innovative design or a unique technology. It could emphasize exceptional service, like 24/7 customer support, or a commitment to sustainability that resonates with eco-conscious consumers. The key is to find what makes your offering special and appealing to your target audience.

Other factors that can form a strong USP include:

Remember, your USP is not just a marketing statement; it’s a promise to your customers. It should be evident in every aspect of your business, from your product features to your customer service, ensuring a consistent and compelling reason for customers to choose you over others.

Hero Image or Video

Throughout your landing pages, mixed media can cater to visual learners.

A hero image or video on a landing page plays a pivotal role in capturing and retaining the attention of visitors. It’s often the first visual element they encounter, setting the tone and mood for the entire page. While not always necessary, a well-chosen hero image or video can significantly enhance the user’s experience, especially for visual learners who quickly grasp concepts through imagery.

Purpose of Hero Images or Videos:

Landing Page Features List

Benefits and Features

Bells and whistles are great but don’t forget that features are not benefits.

On any good landing page, highlighting the benefits and features of your product or service is crucial (if you want conversions of course). But it’s important to distinguish between the two.

Features are the specific characteristics of your product or service – what it is and what it does. These can include specifications like size, quantity, functionality, or the technology used. Features are factual statements about the product or service, such as “waterproof smartwatch with a 10-day battery life.”

Benefits, on the other hand, are about the value that the features bring to the customer – the ‘why’ behind what makes those features important. They answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” For instance, the benefit of a “waterproof smartwatch with a 10-day battery life” might be the convenience of not having to charge the watch frequently and the freedom to use it in various environments, including swimming. Benefits are the core reasons why someone would buy your product or service.

When deciding what to include on your landing page, consider the type of page it is.

In all cases, it’s about striking the right balance. While features provide the necessary details about what the product or service is, the benefits connect on an emotional level, addressing the customer’s needs and desires. A well-crafted landing page will artfully weave both features and benefits into the narrative, ensuring that visitors not only understand what they’re being offered but also why it matters to them.

Landing Page Social Proof and Testimonials

social proof and testimonials

Renting an AirBnB listing?  Think about what makes you choose one listing over another.

Including social proof on your landing page is a powerful strategy to enhance trust and reduce uncertainty among potential customers. It leverages human nature’s tendency to be influenced by others’ choices and experiences, providing reassurance that they are making the right decision.

Social proof can significantly alleviate newcomers’ hesitations by showcasing the positive experiences of past customers, thereby fostering a sense of community and belonging. This not only makes your brand more appealing but also bolsters the credibility of your claims. After all, a product or service seems much more reliable and effective when endorsed by satisfied customers rather than just the company itself.

To effectively incorporate social proof, there are several approaches you can take. Customer testimonials offer personal, relatable stories of how your product or service has made a difference, adding a human touch to your landing page. Including user reviews and ratings gives a broad perspective on customer satisfaction, with high ratings serving as a strong endorsement of your offering. For B2B services, detailed case studies provide a deep dive into how businesses have benefited from your products, offering tangible evidence of your impact. Highlighting media mentions and endorsements from well-known figures or organizations adds an external layer of validation, while displaying trust badges from reputable entities can further solidify your credibility. Additionally, showcasing impressive user statistics, like a large number of satisfied customers or rankings as a top choice in your industry, can be very persuasive. Each of these elements contributes to building a comprehensive picture of trust and reliability, encouraging potential customers to take the next step in your sales funnel.

Real world example

Consider how Airbnb effectively uses social proof through customer reviews on their site. Each property listing features real reviews from guests who have stayed there, offering honest feedback about their experiences. These reviews cover everything from the accuracy of the listing to the cleanliness of the space and the hospitality of the host. For instance, you might find a review saying, “The cozy cabin was just as described, and the host went above and beyond to make our stay memorable!”

Imagine coming across two similar listings – one with multiple positive reviews and another with none. Naturally, you’d likely lean towards the one with reviews. These testimonials provide a sense of security and assurance about the quality of the stay. They paint a picture of what to expect, easing uncertainties and building trust in the property and the host.

Airbnb’s use of customer reviews is a prime example of social proof in action. It not only enhances the credibility of individual listings but also reinforces the overall reliability and user-friendliness of the Airbnb platform. For many users, these reviews are a deciding factor, offering that extra layer of comfort and confidence needed to make a booking decision.

Call to action (CTAs)

Engineering the best CTA for your page should be paired with the stage of the sales funnel.

The Call to Action (CTA) on your landing page isn’t just a button; it’s a key part of your customer’s journey and should be tailored to where they are in that process. Just like you wouldn’t ask for a sale on the first date, each stage of your customer’s journey requires a different type of CTA. For a visitor just getting to know your brand, the CTA might be an invitation to learn more, like “Explore Our Story” or “View More Products.”

As they move further down the funnel, becoming more familiar and engaged, your CTAs can gradually shift towards stronger commitments like “Sign Up for a Free Trial” or “Schedule a Demo.” Ultimately, for those at the decision-making stage, your CTA could be a direct “Buy Now” or “Start Your Subscription.” By aligning your CTAs with each stage of the customer journey, you ensure that you’re not rushing the process, but rather nurturing and guiding potential customers at a pace that matches their readiness to engage, leading to more effective conversions and a smoother sales process.

Design principles for landing pages

The world is a big place, full of creativity. Don’t be afraid to outsource your design needs and save time when needed.

You don’t need to be a graphic designer to effectively incorporate graphic design theories into your projects. Nowadays, a wealth of resources and tools are available to help bridge the gap. From user-friendly landing page templates that adhere to design best practices to the vast network of skilled freelancers in the gig economy, including designers, developers, and analysts, you have access to everything you need to enhance your projects visually without becoming a design expert yourself.

These resources allow you to apply fundamental design principles with ease, ensuring your work looks professional and resonates with your audience. By leveraging these tools and outsourcing when necessary, you can free up time to concentrate on the aspects of your business or project that you’re most passionate about, optimizing productivity and satisfaction.

core design principles...

are fundamental guidelines that apply to virtually any type of design work, whether it’s for digital interfaces like websites and apps, or traditional media like print and packaging. These principles form the backbone of effective design, ensuring that the final product is not only visually appealing but also functional and user-friendly. Here are some key principles to consider:

If you're looking for landing page examples...

Platforms like ThemeForest offer a vast selection of high-quality templates tailored to various industries and styles, making it easy to find one that aligns with your brand identity. Additionally, landing page software such as Leadpages, Unbounce, and Wix provide user-friendly interfaces and customizable templates, enabling you to create professional-looking pages with minimal effort.

These resources are invaluable for streamlining the design process, allowing you to focus on crafting compelling content and calls to action that resonate with your audience. Personally, I have a subscription to both Elementor Pro and Optimizepress which have a vast array of landing pages already built, from time to time I will pop in and take a look at what new layouts they have.

color schemes

Tools like Cooolors and online color scheme generators (free) will get ideas flowing, fast. 

Selecting the right color scheme for your page is crucial in creating a visually appealing and coherent brand identity. Colors have the power to evoke emotions, convey messages, and influence perceptions, making it essential to choose a palette that reflects your brand’s values and appeals to your target audience. Sticking to your brand colors across all your digital and physical assets is typically a good practice for ensuring continuity.

This consistency helps in building brand recognition and trust among your audience, as they come to associate certain colors with your brand.

When it comes to putting together a color palette, not everyone has an eye for which colors complement each other. This is where tools like Cooolors.co and other color scheme generators come into play. These tools are invaluable for both beginners and seasoned designers, offering an easy way to explore and create color schemes that work well together. By simply inputting your primary brand color, these generators can suggest complementary or contrasting colors, helping you design a cohesive color scheme that enhances the overall aesthetic of your page.

Furthermore, it’s important to consider the psychology of color in your selections. Different colors can trigger various emotions and actions. For example, blue can evoke feelings of trust and security, making it a popular choice for financial institutions, while green is often associated with health and sustainability, ideal for eco-friendly brands. Understanding the implications of your color choices can help you better communicate your brand’s message and connect with your audience on a deeper level. (a quick google search of ‘color psychology’ will provide a lot more resources than I could pack in here)

Lastly, keep accessibility in mind when choosing your color scheme. Ensure there is sufficient contrast between your text and background colors to make your content easily readable for everyone, including those with visual impairments. Tools like the WebAIM Contrast Checker can help you test and adjust your colors to meet accessibility standards, ensuring your page is inclusive to all users.

Landing Page Content Creation

crafting compelling content

Don’t be afraid to take a copywriting course. The effective communication of your product or service translates into real financial returns.

Writing great copy for your page is all about crafting words that really speak to people, making them excited or curious about what you’re offering. Think of it as telling a story about your product or service in a way that’s super friendly and welcoming, almost like you’re chatting with friends.

But here’s the thing: not all pages on a website are trying to do the same thing, so the way you write your story changes depending on what you want your reader to do. Let’s look at a few examples:

If you’re selling something, your copy should make that product or service sound irresistible. Imagine you’re selling a new kind of sneaker. Your copy might talk about how these sneakers feel like walking on clouds and make you never want to take them off. You’d focus on making the reader feel they can’t live without them.

For signing up to a newsletter, you want your copy to be more about the benefits the reader gets by joining. You might say, “Sign up to get the latest fashion tips straight to your inbox, plus exclusive discounts you won’t find anywhere else!” Here, you’re showing what’s in it for them.

If your goal is to inform, like on an ‘About Us’ page, your copy will be different too. It might tell the story of how your company started in a garage but grew into something big because of your amazing customers. This copy is more about building a connection and trust.

For getting visitors to donate to a cause, your copy needs to tap into their emotions. You might share stories about the people or animals they’d be helping, showing how even a small donation can make a huge difference. It’s all about stirring up feelings of compassion and the desire to help.

No matter what your page’s goal is, the key to great copy is making it clear, engaging, and focused on what the reader gets out of taking the next step, whether that’s buying something, signing up, learning more, or donating. Always keep your reader in mind, and write in a way that feels like you’re right there with them, guiding them through.

Diving into a copywriting course is a fantastic way to sharpen your skills and learn how to create compelling content that engages and converts. Platforms like Udemy, YouTube, and Skillshare are treasure troves of knowledge, offering courses for every level of expertise, from beginners to advanced copywriters. The beauty of these resources is that they provide high-quality education at an affordable price, making it easy for anyone to start improving their copywriting skills without a hefty investment.

Landing Page Reporting and Analysis

landing page analytics and reporting

You don’t need to spend a dime on powerful reporting tools. The best ones are actually free.

Analyzing the results of your landing page is like being a detective. You’re looking for clues to see what’s working well and what needs a bit of tweaking. Imagine you have a lemonade stand and you’re trying to figure out what brings more people to buy your lemonade. Is it the big sign, the free samples, or maybe the special lemonade flavors? By looking at the results, you can find out.

Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console are your best friends in this detective work. Google Analytics is like a super smart assistant that watches your landing page all day. It tells you how many people visited, where they came from (like if they clicked on a link in an email or found you through a Google search), and what they did on your page. Did they buy something, sign up for your newsletter, or just take a quick look and leave?

Google Search Console, on the other hand, focuses more on how your landing page shows up in Google searches. It tells you what words people used to find your page and how high your page appears in search results. This can help you understand if you’re using the right words to attract people.

Then there’s Looker Studio, which is like a magical book that takes all the complex information from Google Analytics and Google Search Console and turns it into easy-to-understand charts and graphs. This way, you don’t get lost in numbers and can easily see what’s happening.

Whether it’s highlighting your hit products more prominently or tweaking your newsletter sign-up to boost engagement, these insights allow you to refine and enhance your page for better performance. Understanding what draws visitors to engage, click, or convert empowers you to amplify successful elements and adjust what’s not resonating. If you’re new to the realm of marketing report analysis feel free to get in touch to learn more about Jon’s Marketing Report Services (tutoring available).

Landing Page What To Include

common mistakes and how to avoid them

Keep visitors on your page through careful planning.

Creating a landing page that converts visitors into customers is an art, but even the most well-intentioned designers can fall into common traps that reduce effectiveness. Two frequent mistakes include the inclusion of external links and creating a page with too many distractions.

External Links: Including external links on your landing page is like opening a door for your visitors to leave before they’ve even had a chance to see what you offer. While you might think adding links to your social media profiles or a related blog post could provide additional value, they actually serve as exit paths, diverting your visitors’ attention away from your primary goal. The key is to keep your audience focused on your landing page and moving towards your Call to Action (CTA), not exploring elsewhere.

Too Many Distractions: A landing page cluttered with too many options, images, or blocks of text can overwhelm visitors, diluting the main message and making it hard for them to understand what action you want them to take. Every element on your page should serve a purpose and guide your visitors towards your CTA. This means simplifying your design, using a clean layout, and ensuring your content is concise and to the point. Distractions can come in many forms, from unnecessary navigation menus to a multitude of colors and fonts. Remember, simplicity is key.

To keep your visitors engaged and encourage them to take action, your landing page needs to be focused and free of any elements that could lead them away. This includes resisting the temptation to add external links and avoiding clutter that could create confusion. By doing so, you increase the likelihood that visitors will stay on your page and complete the desired action, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or another goal you have set. Keep your landing page clean, focused, and directed towards your CTA for the best chance of converting visitors into customers.

final landing page thoughts

Tell me if I’ve missed anything!

You’ve made it! We’ve explored the essentials of a landing page —from the importance of a compelling headline and the distinction between features and benefits, to the strategic use of social proof and CTAs. We’ve also touched on the critical role of design principles, like color theory and grid layout, and the necessity of analyzing your landing page’s performance to continuously improve.

Remember, whether you’re a seasoned marketer or a small business owner, mastering these elements can significantly enhance your landing page’s effectiveness. And if you’re ever in doubt or need further insights into creating engaging copy or avoiding common mistakes, remember that help is just a question away. Happy building!

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