When creating your first landing page, the amount of information on how to do it “right” can be quite overwhelming. Here are some guidelines that worked for us.

What is a landing page?

In marketing terms, a landing page is a website specifically made to guide the user to perform the desired action, for example – buying a product, submitting contact information or registering for a newsletter.

A key factor on any landing page is to try to meet the visitors’ expectations. If your visitor came through an ad promoting free quotes on health insurance, you would probably have less success if your landing page contains information about insurance in general. Get to the point, make it relevant, and remember that less is more.

“People rarely read Web pages word by word; instead, they scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences.” – Jakob Nielsen, 1997

Nineteen years later that statement is still true. Remember that time is very relevant, especially on landing pages. Very few potential customers will read large chunks of text; in fact, many users will make their buying decision within the first few seconds on your site. Knowing that, how can you improve your landing page?

Content – Less is more

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Personality, trust, clear headline and call to action, Conversion Lab – http://conversionlab.no/

Give your landing page a clear headline

What is your product all about? A title such as “I’m glad you are here” will probably not attract as many customers as “Solve your cash flow problems today!” The key is to offer solutions – whether it is with your product or a service!

List the benefits

What makes your product stand out from the rest? What are the key benefits? It is very important to list those right at the top. As mentioned before, time is of the essence! Make sure to stick to the key benefits. Three to five points are fine.

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Displaying companies you have worked with, can greatly improve the trust factor of your brand – http://marvelapp.com/

Gain Trust

Won some awards? Beaten the competition numerous times? Written a New York Times Bestseller? Time to brag about it. Awards and seals are a great and effective way of gaining a visitor’s trust. Such awards not only work well for Online Shops (Trusted Shops for example) but also for your landing page. Furthermore, if you have received some great ratings, testimonials or your product/service is used by some famous brands, include those on your landing page as well.

Have none of the above?

No problem, bring in your personality! You believe in your product, don’t you? Showing the visitor that you stand behind your product is another great way to earn the trust. This can be achieved with a video in which you are presenting the product and if that can’t be done, include a photo of yourself. It is always better to show your visitors that the product you offer is actually made by a real human being.

Call to action means call to action

The most important element on a landing page yet many seem to hide the call to action. Whether it is a form, a button or a phone number, make sure that it stands out from the rest. Here is one professional’s advice “if your website is green, do not make your call to action button green.” This is not only referring to color and typography. Clearly state what it is the user will get when clicking a button for example. Try changing that “Sign Up” into “Sign Up for a free Quote!”

Layout – Focus, Focus, Focus!!!

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Everything important is above the fold, IFTTT – http://ifttt.com/

Keep it above the fold

In times of tablets and smartphones, scrolling has become a more accepted way of navigating through websites. Though when it comes to landing pages, you should keep the most relevant information above the fold. Meaning your visitors should see all that is necessary to gain interest in your product without scrolling. However, you can include more detailed information about your product below the fold. Once you have the visitor’s attention, you are free to inform him or her in greater detail, including further features, reviews, testimonials, etc. Just ask yourself, if the above the fold area would be the only space available, what would you include to make the best impression on a potential customer.

Remove distractions

This one is overlooked a lot. Is that big shiny Facebook button really more important than your product? What do you want to achieve – more sales of your product or more Facebook followers? Removing such distractions will let the user focus on the important things of your website, which is the service or product you are offering. That does not mean you can’t integrate social media into landing pages, for example, you could show how many followers you already have (another trust element) but again, keep the focus on your product/service.

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Focus on your product, eBook Landing Page – Off the Shelf theme http://shapingrain.com/products/offtheshelf-for-wordpress/

Keep on trying

You have followed all of the above, but still make no sales? It is time for some A/B testing! Create different versions of your landing page, rearrange elements, change colors, and collect all the information you can collect. Testing the effectiveness of a landing page is a topic on its own and I can’t possibly go into that subject with great detail in this post (plus, quite frankly if you made it this far, you deserve a break).

Creating a successful landing page isn’t Neuroscience but some of these points are very often overlooked. Remind yourself to keep the focus on your visitors and what it is you exactly want to achieve. You might have some setbacks at first, but with some testing and patience, you will get the results you want. Good luck with your project!