Best Practices for Designing a Landing Page

Designing a great landing page is often a delicate balance of art and science. You want to be creative and make a statement, but also understand the need to follow tried and true methods that will point site visitors to your sales funnel. 

You can definitely explore creative ideas, but following these best practices will help ensure that your landing page design engages visitors quickly, presents the most relevant information with clarity, and of course, drives revenue. 

These landing page design tips should be seen as a framework to build from. With this guidance, you’ll know the critical elements to include, as well as some general rules for making your site easy to navigate and interact with. Always keep in mind, however, that you can test, adjust, and improve as you go!


Why You Need a Landing Page

Websites can be pretty dense. With various pages dedicated to different types of content, product listings, background information, and beyond, a visitor has an awful lot to contend with. 

A landing page is meant to simplify that experience by directing a visitor to an introductory, relatively basic page that will spark their interest (instead of overwhelming them with too much information). 

Landing pages are built with specific goals in mind, whether that’s capturing a lead making a sale. The content has this singular focus in mind, and the design elements serve to bring the visitor closer to your desired result – almost always through a specific call to action (CTA).

Instead of letting traffic wander around your site and hoping they click where you want them to, a landing page is a marketing strategy that focuses visitor attention. Instead of encouraging navigation and exploration, landing pages often try to keep visitor attention on one page, even hiding menus or removing header and footer links. 

The whole point is to drive people toward the CTA by focusing attention on one very specific goal. If you want people to sign up for your mailing list, start a free trial, or otherwise submit to lead capture, a strong landing page is a must!

Landing Page Parts

Your landing page should have a few core components. While these may look a little different depending on the type of business you’re running and your goals for the page, the same essential principles apply.

Above The Fold

At the very top of your landing page, your “above the fold” information is what visitors see without scrolling or clicking. It’s perhaps the most valuable real estate on your landing page, so choose what to put front and center wisely! 

This section is often used for eye-catching imagery, a thought-provoking statement, or attention-grabbing typography, and is sometimes known as the “Hero Section” because of its bold position and intended “wow” factor. 

Main Content

After your “above the fold” section, you’ll get into the main content of your landing page. This is likely the largest section and will take up the most space. It’s often where companies include features of their products or services, display their unique selling points, and further engage audiences with more detail about the initial pitch/statement in the above section.

There may be a fair amount of text in this section, but don’t be afraid to include images, infographics, and other interactive elements that break up the copy. 

CTA and Conversion 

In the third major component of a landing page, this is where you want site visitors to take action. The CTA section will likely include buttons, forms, and strong language urging people to act immediately. 

It may be as simple as a “sign up now” button, or enticing language like, “get started for free!”

This is also an important place to consider prominent colors and text that draw the site visitor’s eye to the places you want them to take action.

Footer

At the very bottom of the landing page, you’ll have your footer – a great place to stash links for more information, additional lead generation forms, and social media links. However, it’s important to remember that you want people to stay on your landing page, so limit the number of links in the footer to reduce prompts to navigate elsewhere. 

Landing Page Best Practices

As you build your landing page, keep the following principles in mind…

1. Keep it Simple

To keep the attention on your essential information and CTA, don’t overcomplicate the design or include too much copy. Include white space (or whatever your background color is), lean on grid-based layouts for symmetry and ease of use, and try to make navigation as intuitive as possible.

2. Build Trust

While still maintaining simplicity, you can earn your visitors’ trust with a few basic elements. Most people check reviews before making an online purchase, so including a few reviews,  testimonials, or other forms of social proof will help put prospects at ease. You can also provide a prominent link to other reviews, but remember that you want to keep people on the landing page!

If you’re processing payments, you can also include the logos of trusted businesses like PayPal to show that you’re invested in protecting user information. 

3. Get to The Point

Keep your writing concise and direct. People tend to skim website copy for what’s most relevant to them, and brief headlines help grab attention without overwhelming people with too much information. You can include details in the main copy of your landing page as needed, but it’s always a good idea to keep your headlines short and to the point. Subheadings are extremely helpful too! 

4. Pay Attention to CTA Placement and Clarity

Your CTAs should be prominently displayed, using both design and frequency to make them as obvious as possible. There’s a ton of room for creativity here, and you can A/B test different wording, colors, and sizes to see which works best for your audience. 

If your landing page is long, your CTA (and corresponding buttons or forms) should appear several times throughout the copy. Make the language crystal clear so users know exactly what you want them to do. 

5. Engagement

People tend to have short attention spans, especially when they’re browsing websites. Use images and graphics to keep people’s focus, experiment with animation and parallax effects to keep things interesting and eye-catching, and as mentioned above, limit the number of links that will tempt visitors to navigate elsewhere. 

If your landing page requires a large amount of copy to explain your offer, consider including a video explanation instead of too much text. 

Get outside opinions as you build. If people are losing focus as they scroll through your landing page, it’s time to pare things down and refocus on direct, engaging content that drives people straight to your CTA. 

6. User Experience

If you have clunky forms, difficult to read text, or are asking too much of your site visitors, they’ll disengage and not follow through in your CTA. This is particularly true of forms. Ask prospects for the bare minimum information to make things easy on them, and review the principles of user experience (UX) to drive design decisions that don’t distract, confuse, or frustrate the people using your site. 

7. Contrast

Contrasting colors help make certain elements of your landing page stand out, and are an important part of accessibility for people with limited vision. If you’re using text over an image, make sure the colors have enough contrast to be easy to read. If lack of color contrast makes the text difficult to read, buttons hard to find, or interacting with the page unpleasant, people will quickly go elsewhere!

8. Font Choice

Using legible fonts is absolutely critical. If your landing page copy is hard to read, people simply won’t read it! Finding the right font choice for your landing page is a matter of color contrast, size, and typography style. 

Choose fonts that scale with different devices and sizes that can be easily skimmed for key points. For increased readability, leave extra space between paragraphs, lines, and even between the letters themselves. For uniformity and legibility, limit the number of different fonts you use on any single page – too many styles look messy and distract readers. 

Common Mistakes

Even with these best practices in action, plenty of people make critical landing page mistakes that hurt their conversion rates, and ultimately, their bottom line. Avoid these common pitfalls as best you can!

1. Image Resolution

You want your images to be crisp and clear, so that means using high-quality, high-resolution graphics or photos on your landing page. Unfortunately, higher-quality images also come with larger file sizes. If your load times are slow as a result, people may become impatient and navigate elsewhere.

To resolve this issue, use WordPress plugins or tools like TinyPNG to optimize image file sizes without sacrificing quality or resolution. 

2. Bland Language

Landing pages are meant to engage and entice, and that usually means using fun, friendly language! If your messaging is cold, flat, boring, or bland, it won’t hold people’s attention long enough to drive them to your CTA. Emphasize ease of use, and keep things light-hearted to entertain and inform readers, even if the subject matter isn’t terribly exciting.

3. Malfunctions

Make sure you test your buttons and forms! If your CTA isn’t working properly, it casts doubt on your entire offer (and even your whole business). Double-check any downloads, thank you pages, that buttons are properly linked, that form information goes where it’s supposed to, and so on.

Make a checklist, test thoroughly, and go back through from time to time to make sure everything is functioning properly. If it’s not, you could be losing out!

4. Dense Copy

As mentioned in the best practices section, your landing page needs to be easily read – including information that can be absorbed with a quick scan. This means making headlines concise and obvious, displaying the most important information prominently, and leaving plenty of space between sections of text. 

Keep sentences and practices short. Use bulleted lists. Experiment with headings and subheadings. It’s all about making things easily absorbed at a glance. If they aren’t, site visitors will lose interest in a hurry. 

Armed with these best practices (and mistakes to avoid), you’re ready to start building an awesome landing page that drives action and yields results. You can be creative, of course, but don’t deviate too far from the principles laid out here. 

As you design and experiment, remember first and foremost that you want people to easily engage with your landing page – and anything that distracts from ease of use is pushing away potential business! 

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