how to create great landing pages

Landing pages and why they matter

Landing pages and why they matter

July 26th, 2016 – 29 Comments

Landing pages are a very important part of your business. You see, if you optimize your landing page, you can be increasing both your traffic and your conversion rate. Obviously, you should tailor that landing page to your preferred audience, but there are a number of things that go for all landing pages. In this post, we’ll go over some best practices to get you going!

Landing pages

A landing page is a page where yourb visitors “land” (arrive) from other sources, such as search engines or social media. So basically it’s a page that’s optimized to evoke a certain reaction from the visitor, such as buying a product or subscribing to a newsletter.

Of course, you’ll have to do quite a few different things for your landing page to gain more traffic as opposed to increasing your conversion rate. In this article, we’ll focus mainly on how to increase your conversion rate. But don’t underestimate the importance of optimizing your page’s SEO. Check out our post on cornerstone content to get you started in that department.

Product pages vs. landing pages

If you have a shop and offer just a few products, your product pages will be landing pages. Take our company as an example. Our plugins all have product pages, and these pages are the pages people use to enter our site when searching for our plugins in Google or after they clicked on an ad on Facebook.

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If you have a large shop, product pages and landing pages could very well be different. People will search for specific products, but also for particular categories. If you own an online shop selling clothes, people could search for a specific brand of jeans or jeans in general. You should make sure both function as landing pages.

Focus your landing pages

Focus is especially important on your landing pages since this is where you’re selling your products! Make sure you only have one thing people can focus on and not a lot of different things. If people come to your landing pages because they are looking for the ballet shoes you are offering on your website; you want to guide these visitors to your checkout.

For most landing pages it’s usually pretty easy to figure out what you want people to see most prominently. If you’re selling a product, your landing page for that product should focus on the ‘Add To Cart’ button, also known as the call-to-action. Think about the placement, color and text of your call-to-action. We’ve said this before.

Safety signs and security seals

Safety signs are security seals and logos that increase the trust of your visitors. They make sure people feel like your landing page is a safe place. Of course, some safety signs seem to be more effective than others. Though, having a security sign works better than having none.

Landing page: security seal examples

ConversionXL did a great article on which seals work best, go read that one as well.

Payment options

People also prefer your eCommerce shop supporting more than just one payment option. And if people see your landing page has (multiple) trustworthy credit card logos, they’ll feel safer on it! But most importantly, about 60% of your visitors will just abandon their transaction if their preferred payment option isn’t or appears not to be available. So make sure these signs and logos are easy to find on your landing page.

Social proof: testimonials

Wikipedia gives the following description of the term ‘social proof’:

“A psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.”

Optimize testimonials

Make sure you use photos with your testimonials. Photos of the customer add to the credibility of the testimonial. The more legit a testimonial looks, the better it will work. It goes without saying that you should never make your testimonials up yourself.

A good way to convey that your testimonials are legit is by using video testimonials. This will obviously take more time, but videos are great for getting a message across.

Testimonials of influential people usually have more impact. Some people are so well-known in their field of work that their opinion carries weight. So with testimonials from influential people, the product will be perceived as better, and your company as more trustworthy.

This means that people will try to copy the behavior of others. And if you show them others who were (very) happy with your product, this will convince them to use it as well. One way to do this is by showing testimonials on your landing pages.

Another way to do this is showing how many other people have already used your product. This is often used for newsletter subscriptions, for example. We’re doing this on our WordPress SEO plugin page as well:

Landing page: reviews work

Headlines of your landing page

Your landing pages have to be very clear about your product from the start. People’s attention span is just about 8 seconds, so you have to make sure you tell all the important stuff first and tell it as fast as possible.

Make sure to optimize your headline and tagline. These should clearly communicate the core goal of your product. Create a headline for your landing page that attracts your visitors’ attention. Below that could be a tagline that brings home the message of your headline. Writing decent headlines and taglines is a science on its own, so this is something you need to test.

Images

Images are said to have a significant impact on navigating your visitor from your landing page through your website. If you’re selling physical products, having decent images on your landing pages can have a really big impact. This way people will better understand what they’re buying. It’s a replacement for actually touching and seeing a product in a physical store.

An excellent way to increase people’s understanding of your product is by having pictures of people using your product on your landing page. People can envision themselves using the product then as well. Beware of the dangers of this, though: using people in pictures will almost always result in facial distraction. Make sure the people in the pictures are looking the right way.

Summarizing

Your landing page should at least optimize for the following things I’ve mentioned in this post:

  • Focus
  • Social proof
  • Headlines
  • Safety signs
  • Payment options
  • Images

All these things require some actual thought and testing before you’ll know what works specifically for your website. So make sure you put some thought in this and test different versions before deciding what to go with. Good luck optimizing your landing page!

Read more: ‘Testimonials: increase your visitor’s trust’ »


29 Responses to Landing pages and why they matter

  1. Nathan Payne
    By Nathan Payne on 7 August, 2016

    Landing pages are one of the most important parts of how I was able to grow my clients revenues.

    Some clients simply don’t understand that having a contact pages these days is almost useless without a defined user experience. CTAs, content that leads to an action, social proofing and SSL badges – they all make a small difference in CRO.

  2. Canon PIXMA MP495
    By Canon PIXMA MP495 on 2 August, 2016

    This blog is my inspiration, I always waited for news of the latest news be making me become a lot more insight into seeing the world
    thanks so much,love u

  3. Epson WorkForce WF-2540
    By Epson WorkForce WF-2540 on 2 August, 2016

    Thank you for a very informative blog.

  4. Jeep Compass
    By Jeep Compass on 31 July, 2016

    This really helped me to get to know SEO and I want to share the link here hopefully beneficial to all

  5. Thony
    By Thony on 31 July, 2016

    I really liked your article but I do not say much here and I wanted to share this link here may be useful to all

  6. Thomas
    By Thomas on 30 July, 2016

    I find that video reviews, or video of any kinds not only increase the time on site but also reduces bounce rate which helps keeps you relevant in the search results.

  7. Jeannie Hilll
    By Jeannie Hilll on 29 July, 2016

    While working to assist a number of clients with various 3rd party landing page resources, we consistently run into two key issues.
    1. The pages commonly have a number of broken links, like old JavaScript and CSS files. This becomes an issue if importing them onto your site.
    2. The same page is also posted on the host, where it is published 1st.

    That said, for example, LeadPages is great for lead capture, text messages, and Facebook communications.

  8. Roel Mahalin
    By Roel Mahalin on 28 July, 2016

    Good stuff you got here! Brief, realistic and straight to the point. Though you have discussed everything that plays a part in having higher conversion rates, it is also best to perform an A/B test to your landing page to see what works best.

  9. GJI
    By GJI on 28 July, 2016

    Hi,

    I have many products on my website so it’s very difficult to create landing pages for all products. Is there any possibility to make a dynamic landing page.

  10. Hannah
    By Hannah on 27 July, 2016

    Regarding testimonials though – isn’t that easy to just fake? Fake the testimonials to make people believe others have left them? I mean sure it’s shady but it’d work.

  11. Creative Solutions
    By Creative Solutions on 26 July, 2016

    Thank you for a very informative blog once again

  12. Anil Agarwal
    By Anil Agarwal on 9 October, 2014

    I used to make lots of changes with the aim to get more leads from the targeted websites. Here is my to do list to get more leads:

    – Showing pop-ups with targeted and personalized messages across the website.
    – Making changes to form text, location and number of fields
    – Showing testimonials
    – Product videos to help people understand things better.
    – Showing secured signs so that people feel there data is safe with us etc

    • Kredyty Kolobrzeg
      By Kredyty Kolobrzeg on 2 August, 2016

      I totally agree with You. Using even few things of your list will help getting more leads. Personally I don’t use product videos, but maybe I will in the future. Thanks for sharing your experience with us ;)

  13. Shane O'Connor
    By Shane O'Connor on 7 October, 2014

    You can also get free training at leadpages and unbounce. I used their training and then kicked on with my own thing.

  14. Andy
    By Andy on 6 October, 2014

    I think that it was a very good idea to introduce a good plugin for making land pages in WP CMS. I have searched a lot for a plugin to make nice and effective landing pages for my wordpress sites but i didn’t find yet!

  15. Amit Ramani
    By Amit Ramani on 4 October, 2014

    All good points. I do have a question about placing logos for ppayment methods. If my landing page is for an ecommerce ssite that sells physical goods, the focus should be on the “Add to cart” button. Where do I place the logos for payment methods then? Do they also have to be above the fold ? Currently, they are on the checkout page.

    • Thijs de Valk
      By Thijs de Valk on 8 October, 2014

      Preferably have those logos above the fold, but they can easily be in a sidebar or something like that. Just having them on the checkout page kind of defeats the point, because people will only notice them when they’ve already added an item to the cart.

      The point is to show these logos as much as possible, so people know their favorite payment method is accepted.

  16. Brad
    By Brad on 4 October, 2014

    First I have heard of facial distraction. But you have a good point.

    When you say this “Make sure the people in the pictures are actually looking the right way.”

    Which way is the right way?

    I noticed on the lower avatar in you signature that was looking rt at me, my eyes went right to his face vs the copy about the author.

    • Thijs de Valk
      By Thijs de Valk on 8 October, 2014

      The right way is looking at your call-to-action.

      You’re actually right about our author avatar, we might change that. Then again, it’s not such a big issue if people don’t read the “about the author” section ;)

  17. SEO Page Optimization Tool
    By SEO Page Optimization Tool on 3 October, 2014

    Hi, nice information about the landing page. here is the tool for page optimization and ease site analysis

  18. Mark Statham
    By Mark Statham on 3 October, 2014

    Actually, everything depends of what is the targeting, and how big is the shop/website/portal. Depends also of the how you want to earn from this project. For sports betting for example is very funny, you dont want to push the people to bet, and you lie them with a lot of not real betting bonuses! :) What i wanted to say is that for me the “FOCUS” is the main thing in the good website succes.
    The article was great! Thanx!

  19. Niteesh Yarra
    By Niteesh Yarra on 3 October, 2014

    This article is a miracle
    It hit my heart in the left auricle.

  20. Dana
    By Dana on 3 October, 2014

    So I am about to merge my two businesses, a photography business and retail. I want to create a landing page so that people can go to it to choose if they are looking for me for photography or to buy children’s clothing. Is this the best idea? My landing page would be http://www.orangecatkids.com and it would link to http://www.orangecatphoto.com for the photography and http://www.shophopscotchkids.com for retail. (rebranding the retail as Orange Cat Kids) Am i hurting myself by doing this?

  21. Hesham Zebida
    By Hesham Zebida on 3 October, 2014

    I’ve made several changes for my product landing pages, which improved sales in general, but my mistake was not measuring performance by A/B testing!

    So, honestly I am not sure if the changes I made is the real reason behind the jump in sales!

  22. Christian
    By Christian on 2 October, 2014

    Hi,

    Very interesting stuff, but what about us who sells a service? As an example, I’m a photographer, and sometimes I find it hard to figure out what makes people hire/contact me (or the opposite) – besides from my pictures. It can be a little tricky to both have big images and big headers, CTA-buttons and text in one place, so that people don’t have to scroll like crazy to get info.

    • Lincoln
      By Lincoln on 3 October, 2014

      Hi Christian. I’m in the same boat as you, sort of… My product is me, consulting in a way. I would think you should maintain a single portfolio page with all your work in one place. Your product of photography should speak for itself. The rest of your site should be about you, with multiple pages, each geared towards a specific psycological trait as to what makes a consumer choose a person. My two cents… Best of luck.

      • Christian
        By Christian on 3 October, 2014

        Great inputs – however… I have different landing pages – the front page, wedding photography, corporate photography, photojournalism, portrait photography and so on. If I for example create a single page gallery/portfolio on my front page, but people comes in through my portrait-page, they wont see the big gallery on the front page. Of course I can have some portrait photos there, but…

    • Curtis
      By Curtis on 3 October, 2014

      well you know for example if you have a gallery page you can have a CTA over your pictures…like have a nice fading gallery with a CTA over the picture so it shows people your work but at the same time the CTA which can say “Hire me” so it makes it easy for them to contact you once you’ve caught their interest…also putting a headings over your image in my personal opinion doesn’t take away from the picture itself.

  23. Prateek Bansal
    By Prateek Bansal on 2 October, 2014

    We have been building websites in such a manner that all the pages appears to be landing pages and via which we get more leads for our clients. They are happy and we are happy.


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