Your landing page is gorgeous, stocked with swirling images, compelling videos, and entire sections of interactive content that’s sure to make visitors swoon. You’ve also crafted amazing copy, optimized all elements, and have been promoting the page across all channels for more than six months.
There’s only one little problem: it doesn’t convert.
Since a landing page’s function is to convert, that is a big problem. But it’s not an uncommon one. Many things can go wrong with a landing page. That’s why we gathered up these nine essential elements to help you get it right.
A Primary Purpose
Before you even start crafting copy and selecting eye-catching images, you need to know what your landing page is meant to do. As noted, the overall purpose of a landing page is to convert – to get visitors to take action.
And it’s best to focus on one main action you want them to take. That one main action is your primary purpose and should be the main focus of your page.
Yes, you can have loads of information and even multiple calls to action on a single page. But all that information needs to support the primary purpose. And any CTAs that aren’t related to your primary purpose should be smaller and less prominent than the CTA that prompts the top action you want visitors to take.
If your landing page is meant to get people to enroll in one of your courses, for instance, you can certainly mention the workbook is sold on its own. You can even include a link to the workbook for those that want to purchase it. But the most prominent, colorful, attention-grabbing CTA needs to encourage visitors to enroll in the course.
The Most Important Info Placed Above the Fold
“Above the fold” is a term borrowed from newspapers, and it refers to the top half of the front page where the most intriguing story or photos were printed. When used to describe landing pages, it refers to the top area of the page that’s visible to viewers before they start scrolling down the page.
This area is prime real estate, as it’s the first glimpse visitors get of your page – and the deciding factor for determining if they’re going to read any further.
So what should you put in this most prominent area? MarketingExamples delivers sound advice on elements to place above the fold:
- A headline that notes the value you provide
- Subhead that mentions how you provide it
- Effective, relevant visual
- Social proof
- CTA makes it easy for visitors to act
Let’s say you were creating a landing page for your course: “Speak Swahili in 12 Lessons.” Here’s what the above-the-fold elements might look like:
A headline that notes value:
Expand your world. Broaden your horizons. Speak Swahili in 12 Lessons.
Subhead that mentions how value is provided:
Online, on-demand classes that fit with your schedule and level, even if you’ve never uttered a foreign phrase in your life.
Effective, relevant visual:
Photo of a person kicking back on the beach with headphones, their smartphone screen showing your online course, and your workbook on their lap.
A lineup of logos of publications that featured your “Speak Swahili in 12 Lessons” course.
The red button reads: “Enroll Now.”
The world is full of eye-catching visuals. But just because they’re eye-catching doesn’t mean they necessarily belong on your landing page. To be effective on landing pages, it’s best if your visuals are:
- Showcasing the product or service related to the deal in action.
- Conveying positive emotions to which your visitors can relate.
- Drawing the visitor’s eye to important elements on the page.
If you’re using an image of a person or animal, make sure the person’s or animal’s eyes are either looking back at the visitor or looking where you want your visitor to look. This could be the headline, the CTA, or any other element on the page that deserves attention.
Some brands could do better when it comes to visuals. You’ll sometimes see the subject in a photo looking off into the distance. Or you’ll see all kinds of elaborate designs and intricate illustrations that may look breathtaking – but don’t give you a clue as to what the product, service, or offer is all about.
Visuals are one way to appeal to people’s emotions. A single snapshot or just the right illustration can convey emotion in a millisecond. Add another layer of emotional appeal with the words you use.
Think about the overall goal your customer has for using your product or service. Then bring that goal to life in your copy. Use words to elicit positive emotions, to make your visitors feel excited, appreciated, smart, inspired, and, most importantly, enthusiastic to convert.
The prominent offer you’re presenting is based on the primary purpose of your landing page. And you want the offer to be obvious, as well as concise and crystal clear. While it may be fun to come up with creative copy for your CTA buttons, you’re apt to get the best results if you keep the button text pretty straightforward.
The creative copy might get admiration or a giggle – but it’s generally not the best way to get conversions. The visitor needs to know exactly what they’re getting if they click. No confusion, No surprises. And nothing at all to make them hesitant to move forward.
In short, your main CTA is likely to do best if:
- It is on an obvious clickable button.
- The button has a contrasting color from the rest of the page.
- The button text is concise and describes exactly what they’re getting.
- The main CTA is more prominent than other CTAs on the page.
- The main CTA is placed twice: once above the fold and once again below the fold.
You want to make it as easy and compelling as possible for the visitor to take the action you want them to take.
Social proof is one of the most important elements you can include on your landing page. When visitors see other customers have trusted you or publications have written about you, it builds trust and makes them feel more comfortable moving forward.
You can include social proof in a variety of ways. These include:
- Testimonials, including video testimonials or quotes from customers.
- Logos of brands or publications that have used or written about your products or services.
- Links to review sites, noting the number of reviews you’ve received.
- Statistics, such as the number of customers, clients, orders filled, sales made, awards, or other impressive data.
- Any type of recognition or earned media that relevant to your brand and landing page offer.
While it may be tempting to go crazy to include all kinds of bells, whistles, and information on your landing page, you don’t want to overwhelm your visitor. You also don’t want to distract them from your main CTA, the reason your landing page exists in the first place.
The simplified layout is crucial above the fold, where you have limited space to relay the value and the offer while enticing the visitor to read more. You have a bit more breathing room below the fold, but you still don’t want to go off-track.
The information you provide should all support your main offer. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t need to be there. Put it on another page.
Benefits, Features and Objections
Your landing pages need to have a simplified layout that draws readers down the page. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be short. Some of the most effective landing pages contain loads of information – all of which provide more details related to the main offer.
Some of the most important aspects to cover are the benefits and features of your product or service. You also want to tackle and resolve any objections people may have, eliminating potential friction before it even starts.
- Benefits: How the product or service improves a person’s life.
- Features: Essential functions of the product or service that help provide the benefits and deliver the value.
- Objections: Roadblocks that may prevent people from moving forward with your offer.
You may be able to group several features in a small bulleted section, or cover some objections in testimonials. For instance, if you have a customer who says they were wary of the service because it sounded too good to be true, but then found out it was that good – you have a stellar testimonial.
If you’re left with any lingering benefits, features, or objections you still want to cover near the end of the page, you can always put them all into a FAQ section.
If visitors want to reach out, you definitely want to give them an easy way to contact you. Your website header or main menu may already contain a contact option. Since most people know where to find it and it’s handily above the fold, you may feel that’s good enough.
You could also include your phone number, email address, or a contact form directly on the landing page.
Summing It Up
Whether you’re trying to get people to sign up for your email list or enroll in your Swahili class, a landing page is a prime place to do it. Just remember you’ll do best with a landing page that showcases, supports, and focuses on the main offer every step of the way.
Trim away any distracting or extraneous content that doesn’t directly relate to your main offer, even if it means getting rid of any fancy swirling images, compelling videos, and entire sections of interactive content that only serve to distract. You want your visitors to keep their eye on the prize – your offer – and give it a big, happy click to convert.