How to Properly Design High Converting Landing Pages

A landing page is technically any web page that a visitor lands on after clicking a link or ad. In terms of online marketing, it means a very specific and controlled page you choose to land a visitor on after he clicks on an ad.

Many website owners running online advertisements through Google Adwords, Facebook Ads or other ad networks simply link visitors to their homepage or a page within their existing site. Unfortunately because ads often mention very specific things to garner a click, this tends to lead to poor conversion rates.

The Importance of Dedicated Landing Pages

For example, you may have created two ads in Google Adwords. One that mentions “Limited Time Free Shipping” while the other mentions “20% off all orders over $50.”

Landing visitors on a page within your existing website that doesn’t explicitly include the specific offer mentioned will not convert as well as a page that does showcase the specific offer.

That means in this scenario you should have two different dedicated landing pages created – one for each ad variation. And on each of those two landing pages the headline should mention the specific offer (free shipping or 20% off).

Additionally because people who click an ad are being compelled by a specific offer usually for a specific item, it is considered a good practice to create a landing page that sits on its own subdomain instead of linking to a page within a large website.

When you link to an external website page within your website the navigation lends itself to “leakiness” or the ability for the visitor to click away from the offer that originally compelled him to click your ad. Since you paid for that ad click you want to do your best to get him to convert right away.

So what should the landing page on your subdomain look like if it’s not supposed to be a part of your regular website? Great question!

Blueprint for a Standard Landing Page

Here’s is a blueprint for a standard landing page design layout:

The actual brand design (colors, logo, fonts, etc.) of the page should follow the same standards as your normal website.

Breaking Down the Landing Page Layout

Alright, so it’s great to have a blueprint for your landing page layout, but even better for just a little more guidance right? Let’s analyze each element.

The Main Headline – The main headline of your landing page should be an attention-grabber and very clearly relate to the offer used in the ad that sent the click. Going back to the Limited Time Free Shipping example, your headline should be related to Limited Time Free Shipping not 20% off, 50% off, BOGO or anything else.

The Hero Shot – The hero shot is the main image on your landing page. It’s best not to use stock photography if you can help it because that comes across as very impersonal. Instead use actual images of your product, pictures of your staff or a specially created graphic specific for this ad campaign. The hero shot is generally the first thing a person looks at when your landing page loads, so make sure it is really compelling.

Data Collection – If your landing page is being used for lead generation or a sale, this is the area that you want to include your form fields in to increase registrations on your website. If your landing page is not for lead gen, but rather retail, you can include a brief summary description of the product here.

CTA (Call to Action) – This is arguably the most important element on the landing page. The Call to Action is what says to the visitor “Buy Now,” “Add to Cart,” “Join Newsletter” or whatever else the desired action is. It should be short, clear and very easy to understand.

Benefits – The benefits section is where you add maybe a small paragraph and a bulleted list of the reasons why your product or service is the best. Don’t include long or cumbersome copy here. Keep things easy to read by making the features scannable through short paragraphs, bulleted lists and bolded key terms.

The “Safety Net” CTA – The “Safety Net” CTA is where you place your secondary call to action. It sits at the bottom of the page because you don’t really want people to take action on it – you want them to respond to your main CTA above (“Buy Now,” “Add to Cart,” etc.). Your “Safety New” CTA might be a link to your main website or social media buttons like the Facebook Like button or the Tweet button. Some marketers might say not to include this element at all since it can distract people from your main CTA – and they wouldn’t be wrong. This is something you will want to a/b test.

In general I tend to advise clients to put the secondary CTA on the Thank You page. It is a great way to keep customers or leads engaged after they have already responded to your main CTA.

Follow the tips mentioned in this article and you will be on your way to improving your online ad campaigns and generating more revenue!

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The images used in this post are part of a Landing Page Blueprint infographic created by Kissmetrics

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