Effective landing pages are the linchpin of a winning conversion process online.
So before ANY presumptions are made here – let’s clarify what a landing page really is (not to me only…to anyone who doesn’t love to lose money).
So… WTF is a Landing Page, Really?
Since the beginning of the online sale, a landing page has always been referred to (in digital expert circles anyway) as a website page – or social network sub-page that’s specifically designed to accomplish ONE objective.
They’re used to capture leads from your web traffic.
Landing pages are also used to convert those leads into new customers…and if you’re semi-smart as a business owner, you’ll use them to drive the people who want to buy from you…
…to buy more of what they already like.
Landing Pages are fundamental to online conversions of any kind.
Each time you build one, go through this 16-point checklist to give your landing page the best chance to succeed.
UNFUNNEL GROWTH LAB MEMBERS: You can download and print this entire checklist by logging in to your PRO Dashboard…
Let’s get started!
In this checklist, I’ll share everything I know about building one of four types of landing page that convert. And unlike your full of shibby, yet also hair-gelled and car sale suited up (because a suit means money, bruh) …
…unlike that idiot, I’m going to put my cards on the table.
That’s right, I’m showing you my numbers – traffic, leads and sales. And a monthly comparison of how this checklist impacted our bottom line in mere days.
Step 1 – Kill the Navigation
The landing page should not distract the visitor with the ability to navigate away from the page.
In this example from the Inbound Marketing co-authors the visitor either converts or leaves. There are no other options.
Conversion Rate = 62%
Step 2 – Gives a Shout Out to a Specific Target
You have realistically about 2-4 seconds to let the visitor know they came to the right place. Call them out – be it direct or indirect with familiar imagery or dialogue.
Step 3 – For the Body, Apply K.I.S.S…. S.
Keep it short AND simple … stupid!
(remix) When inbound lead generation is the objective, I’ve never seen a single landing page design using more than one single message and offering more than one single promise…
…do anything but fail miserably. And I’ve seen many idiotic “UXperts” test this law using ego. FAIL.
If a visitor can’t figure out what you’re offering in 5 seconds or less, you’ll lose them.
Perform the 5-second test with friends or colleagues and make sure your landing page passes.
What’s being offered in 5 seconds or less on this landing page offer from unfunnel, Hubspot, Moz, Distilled and SEO.com?
Conversion Rate = 49.8%
Step 4 – Create A Killer Headline
You need a clear, concise, benefit-rich headline that grabs your reader’s attention and tells them they’ve come to the right place.
Count the number of benefits in this headline from the battle tested New Business landing page for Digital Agencies…
Conversion Rate = 52.9%
Most of your visitors won’t scroll below the fold, so if you’re make a free offer, give them an easy to click, highly visible call to action without scrolling.
Here’s what is “above the fold” on a 15″ laptop on our first landing page ever designed for unfunnel readers (and still one of the best performers)… Conversion Rate = 51.4%
Step 6 – Action Colors & CTA Buttons with Contrast
There’s a lot of debate about button colors, but one constant is that the button color should contrast (NOT blend in) with the surrounding design elements.
Notice how orange buttons as both links and Calls-To-Action contrast nicely with the white space or even its reverse… so the user never has a dead click. Conversion Rate = 48.6%
“Submit” is not good enough. Test button text that gives a specific command or speaks to the end result (i.e. “Free Instant Access”).
This button from the co-branded unfunnel-Hubspot ebook restates both the content type and that it’s free to download…
Conversion Rate = 44.9%
Step 8 – Leverage Social Proof
“As seen on” logos, social media share buttons, testimonials, or referencing the number of downloads/ subscribers all let your visitors know they’re making a smart decision by opting-in.
See how this lead generation tips ebook name-drops our partners at Hubspot – and a sample number of peers getting these steps wrong? It’s subtly incorporating social proof into their sales page…
Another (even stronger example) you may have seen is the “Ultimate Digital Revenue Shortcut” landing page – i.e., our Membership sales page.
Even requiring a payment for conversion to occur…
CONVERSION RATE = 17.8%
Step 9 – Use Directionals and Visual Cues
The landing page should incorporate arrows, boxes and other visual devices to draw the eye to the call-to-action area. Even a simple arrow pointing at the desired call-to-action can boost conversions… like it has for our friend at the newly launched UX AUDIT.
Step 10 – At Least ONE Hero Image
Typically an image or graphical representation of the lead magnet will bump conversions, but not always. So start with it as a control, but make a note to test without it also.
Any question about the Free Startup Template offered on the Landing Page here? Conversion Rate = 40.8%
Step 11 – Don’t Ask for More than you Need [Minimize form fields]
Don’t ask for information you don’t need! If you only plan to followup via email, just ask for name and email, at most. (In fact, test dropping the name field, too, if you don’t plan to personalize your followup messages.)
Conversions on this landing page would almost certainly skyrocket if they remove some of the fields in the form. Oh wait… it’s dynamic?!? (scroll down to step 16 for punchline…)
Conversion Rate = 48.9%
Step 12 – Source Messaging to Landing Page Match
The text and imagery on the landing page should match (almost exactly) the ad copy and imagery that was in the creative that brought the visitor to the landing page from a traction channel.
Notice the harmony between native ad creative, blog post and landing page are throughout this promotion…
Step 13 – Be Social
While landing pages don’t typically go viral, some of your more altruistic visitors will click Facebook and Twitter share buttons, so make it easy and obvious for them to do it.
Step 14 – Be Consistent with the Brand
You don’t have to stick your logo on every landing page, but the overall look and feel should be consistent with your core brand.
Step 15 – Privacy & Terms
Not only are privacy policies and terms of service required to advertise on some sites (including Google), they’re also good for conversions.
Step 16 – DYNAMIC CONTENT!
If you have an inbound marketing software or tool similar to Hubspot (if not, you can try it FREE for 30 days here)… dynamic content not only enables you to reduce form size dramatically for repeat visitors and customers – but it also can use tracking to change up the messaging based on the user’s past behavior!
Conversion Rate = 49% (and climbing…)