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Creating a landing page is easy. Creating a high-converting landing page is hard. This article will give you a handful of tested tips you can use to create better landing pages, or improve the already existing. Stop losing potential customers and users. Use these tips to create landing pages that simply work.
What is a landing page?
Many people confuse landing page with a homepage of a website. They two may look similar, but there is one key difference. The difference between real landing page and website’s home is its purpose. Landing page is a conversion tool. Its purpose, the reason of its existence, is to convert visitors to customers or users. It sells or offers something.
Successful landing page is a page that achieves specific objective. Successful landing page motivates people to click on the Call To Action (CTA). This where the conversion happens. In this sense, a landing page is more than just a website that lives somewhere online. It is a marketing tool. It is a part of marketing strategy with specific goals and metrics.
Another difference between landing page and website’s homepage is that landing page often lacks navigation. This is not a rule, but it is a frequent phenomenon. It is quite logical. In order to motivate people to click on the CTA it presents them with all information on one place. There is no use for additional pages. No more pages, no need for navigation.
That being said, this is not a rule. There are many landing pages that have navigation. In these cases, navigation links usually don’t lead to other pages. Instead, they are used as a trigger to scroll to specific part of the page. So, as a rule of thumb, remember that landing page is a conversion tool. Its purpose is to convert visitors to customers or users.
Tips for creating a high-converting landing page pt.1
Now, when you know what landing page is, let’s take a look at how you can create a high-converting landing page.
Start with a strong headline
A headline is one of the most important parts of every landing page. It is often what determines if the visitor will stay on the website or leave it. When you want visitors to stay on your website, you need to grab their attention. You need to make them interested in what your website has to offer. You need to play on their curiosity.
A headline is the best tool to achieve all this. Headline is what compels visitors to stay on the page and learn more about what you are offering. This is why you must dedicate special care and attention to it, to make it compelling. This also applies to sub-headline, if you use one. However, sub-headline is not a must. A good headline can do the work. Here are some tips on creating a compelling headline.
Make the headline short
First, go straight to the point. People usually prefer shorter text over longer. Maybe bad for SEO, but good for conversions. This is especially true about headlines. Headline is not a place for long stories. You must keep the headline short and clear.
When it comes to headlines, there is no “right” length you should aim for. One size just doesn’t fit all. One landing page can do work almost magically with a headline containing four words or less. Another can work just as well, if not better, with 11 words or more. Meaning, the length of the headline is influenced by what your landing page offers.
However, a good rule of thumb, often used and followed, is to never go over 20 words. Still, in most cases, this will be overkill. When you need more than 20 words for a headline you are not going to the point. Or, you don’t really know what your landing page offers, how it can help the visitor and with what.
This makes it a good way to test how much you know about the visitor and your offering. If you are trying to talk too much, it is a sign you are not sure what the visitor wants, or how your offering can help her. On the other hand, if you can pitch your offer with just a few words, you probably know both very well.
So, never go over 20 words, and always try your best to stay under 10. It is a headline. Skip the small talk and trying to convince. Go straight to the point. Be short and clear.
Emotions are another way to increase the chance your headline will grab attention and interest of your visitors. In the end, we are primarily driven by emotions, not by logic or rational thinking. We use logic and rationality to either support or refute our decisions based on emotions. However, we do so only after our emotions spoke.
So, find a way to make the headline emotion-driven. Don’t try to play on the rational part of the brain. Focus on the faster, emotion-based. Instead of using logic, let your headline evoke emotions, the stronger the better. Some of the strongest emotions you can use are belonging, trust, pride, joy, fear, sadness, disgust, hate and frustration.
One important thing about these emotions. Your headline is not supposed to make the visitor afraid, sad, disgusted or frustrated. It should offer something to relieve these pre-existing emotions, such as fear or frustration. Think about what frustration the visitor may feel, of what she might be afraid of, and use let your headline addresses it. Remember, keep it short.
The same applies to the rest of these emotions. Think about the visitor. How could the offering of your landing page evoke emotion such as pride, joy or belonging? Then, find a way to fit your idea into a very very short sentence. Here you have your headline.
Make it personal
Another way to make the headline compelling, closely related to the previous one, is to find out an identifying, the most important, trait of your ideal visitor. Think about the persona of your ideal visitor. Focus on the psychographic attributes, especially on personal values and attitudes. Next, make the headline speak directly to that trait.
The reason this often works is simple. We like people who are like us. We are attracted to them and we look for them, whether it is a life partner, business partner or a friend. Speaking to the identifying trait of the visitor can help you grab her attention faster. It will seem like the visitor just found exactly what she has been looking for.
Sometimes, a headline is not enough. Or, it is enough, but you want to make the landing page more convincing. Who would not. In that case, you can add a sub-headline immediately below the headline. You can then use it to provide the visitor with more information about your offering. This can help you strengthen interest of the visitor.
When you decide to use sub-headline, remember the same rule of thumb about the length. Shorter is usually better. Although the sub-headline can be longer than the headline, it shouldn’t be too long. Again, 20 words should be enough to say what needs to be said. If you need more space, think about using a paragraph instead. Just don’t overdo it.
As you play with different ideas for sub-headline, try also to switch the order. Instead of putting the headline first, make first the sub-headline and put the headline under it. This also seems to work, at least sometimes. There is on formula for how to arrange sub-headline and headline on your leading page. Experiment and see what works the best.
Make use of images, especially hero images
As the saying goes, “A single picture is worth a thousand words.” In design, images can be very handy, especially when you have only few seconds to grab the attention and interest of your visitors. And, in the case of a landing page, this is more true then ever. Visitors will give you only a handful of seconds to convince them to stay before they leave.
This is why many landing pages use an image to convey the main message, especially as hero image (at the top of the page). A well-selected image can help you get attention of the visitor and establish trust. It can help you evoke specific emotion and connect the visitor on a deeper level. This, in turn, can greatly increase the chance of conversion.
Another reason is purely aesthetic. It is to increase the overall appeal of the page. Landing page with poor design has lower ability to establish trust and connect with visitors. As a result, it is unlikely to achieve its purpose and convert. That being said, not all images are equal. Not all images will be effective.
Any image you want to use must be related, or connected, to what you offer, the product, service or your brand. Don’t use images for the sake of it. I tried it and it usually doesn’t work. Sometimes, it even backfires. Meaning, not only it doesn’t help build trust, credibility and connection. It may actually create distrust, even suspicion.
So, if you want to some image(s), whether it is as a hero image (at the top) or anywhere else on the page, make sure it reflects what the page offers, or the brand, at least some aspect. Even if it’s loosely related. Also, always prefer custom-made images over stock. Stock images never establish as much trust and credibility as custom-made.
Yes, custom-made images and photos can be expensive. However, as an investment it is money well spent. So, don’t think about images, photos and other assets for your landing page yet another expense. Instead, think about them as investments, investments that can help you improve your business thanks to higher conversion rates.
Lastly, there is almost no restriction to the type of images you can use, except one. It can be a photo, illustration, 3D graphics, mascots, etc. You can use any type of image you want. The only condition is that it reflects the offering, the product or the brand.
The same applies to videos. Maybe even more because motion in videos is like a magnet for attention. Videos also work better for connecting with visitors on a deeper level. “Behind the scenes” videos are the best for this. However, the best way to use video on a landing page is as a way to demonstrate the product, or what the page offers.
It is one thing to tell what what the page offers does. However, it is much better to actually show it, to demonstrate it through a short video. In this way, video can almost simulate a hands-on experience the visitor could get in a brick-and-mortar store. Even if not, video can still be a bigger motivator for the visitor to take action.
All that said, it is often advised to not to use autoplay. The reason is that it can be obtrusive. This is essentially true if the video contains sound. Imagine visiting a website and your phone or computer suddenly starts playing loud music noises or something else. This can be very unpleasant, especially in public setting.
On the other hand, there is a chance the visitor will confuse the video with an image, if it is not playing automatically and no controls are shown. So, if you want to use video on your landing page, and it is not playing automatically, add visible controls. Otherwise, the user may not know there is a video she can play and watch.
If you want to use autoplay, make the video play muted by default. Then, provide the visitor with a simple way to turn on the sound if she wants. Remember that the visitor may be in a setting where video with sound can cause her discomfort or even troubles. This is not the experience you want to create if high conversion rate is your goal.
Automatically playing video, but muted, will help you get the majority of benefits and make the most of the experience. And it will make the video unobtrusive. So when in doubt, and autoplay is a must, go with muted.
Avoid visual clutter
We talked a lot about images, videos and visuals. However, as with many things, it is very easy to go overboard, and overdo it, with visuals. This is understandable. You want to create a perfect landing page. You have a selection of great looking photos and images, maybe videos, that will take your landing page to the next level. Are you sure about that?
It is true that using quality visuals is good for making good first impression and grabbing attention. However, more visuals are necessarily more effective. They may not bring more benefits. What’s even worse, adding more visual elements can be actually harmful. It can have a negative impact on how effective the landing page is.
The reason is that every visual element attracts attention of the visitor. When you use too many of them, the result will be something similar to a collision. They will start to fight with each other. Put simply, the visitor will not know to which element she should pay attention first. In the worst case, this may make her leave the page.
Another problem with visual clutter is that it often distracts the visitor from the main point of the landing page. The visitor gets stuck, or glued, on visuals instead of taking action. Remember, the goal of visuals is not to be the center of the stage. It is to support your offering and motivate people to take action, convert them to customers.
Lastly, visual clutter also has negative impact the performance of the landing page. The more assets the browser has to process the longer the load time of your website. According to some studies, even a one-second delay in page-load time can result in 11% fewer page views, 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and, the worst thing, a 7% loss in conversions.
So, think twice before you fill up your landing page with visuals. It might be better to keep things simple. Select only few, the very best, and use those. Remember that, when it comes to visuals, quality almost always beats quantity. And, lastly, make sure all images, and videos, support the goal of your landing page, that they are not a distraction.
Epilogue: Creating a high-converting landing page
You reached the end of this part of how to create a high-converting landing page. You’ve learned some useful tips on how to create great headlines and sub-headlines. You’ve also learned a bit about the power of emotions and psychology. Lastly, you’ve learned how to use visuals so it is not a mere distraction.
However, this was only the first batch. There is more you can learn about how to create a high-converting landing pages. These tips and recommendations will be discussed in the next part. So, stay tuned. With that, thank you for your time and have a great day.
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