7 Things to Think About Before Designing Your Next Landing Page

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The design of your landing page matters big time! Unfortunately, too many people focus on the aesthetics of the page at the expense of other features. Today, I would like to share with you seven things you should consider if you would like your landing pages to convert better. If you have ever wondered what to include or not to include on your landing pages, you would definitely want to continue reading this.

You have to remember that when it comes to landing pages, conversions are the name of the game. Your design though important, is only a fraction of your entire campaign. Honestly, it takes more than just a good design to make a sale.

Rarely, if ever, do you hear customers say that they made a purchase based on the design of a page. Now, design is a major factor, but not a determining factor. Heck, Seth Godin’s site is probably not the best designed site on the internet, but that doesn’t stop him from getting tons of responses and reactions from his audience.

So just what does it take to create a highly converting landing page?

1 – Your business objective

You have to be clear in your mind what you are seeking to accomplish with your page. Your objective also known as your “WHY”, is what will separate you from the rest of the pack. Have you identified your customers’ problem correctly and do you have the best solution for them? Too many people miss the boat on this one.

Your major aim should be to address the most pressing problems your audience has and then explaining why your solution is the best.

It is worth remembering that people only buy from those they know, like and trust and the quickest way to win your prospects over is by seeking to help them. So always make sure you have a clear objective.

2 – Your audience

The second thing to consider before designing your landing page is your audience (or personas). Who are you targeting and what kind of action do you want them to take? Just like how you wouldn’t get on a bus if you didn’t know where you were going, you shouldn’t create a landing page if you don’t understand your readers and their needs.

How do you understand your audience? First off, if you don’t know who your audience is or what personas you are marketing to ask yourselves these questions – who are my ideal customers and who are the customers I should avoid? What motivates them and what do they care about? How do they consume content – do they use search engines, social media, mobile or desktop?

Once you determine your audience, put out a piece of content and attract readers to it, you should be able to make them stick – you can read more about ways to make your blog/content sticky by reading Darren Rowse’s post here – then collect data about your audience that will help with your landing page and overall marketing goals.

Here are suggestions on how to build trust with your audience:

  • Over deliver, don’t only give them what they are looking for, give them more!
  • Make sure all their questions are answered.
  • Show that you really care.
  • Don’t be too quick to sell, rather be quick to listen.
  • Offer solutions; Let your readers know that you offer the best solution to their problem.
  • Remove any doubt as to why your product or service cannot be trusted.
  • Establish yourself as an authority and soon you will have them eating right out of your hand.

3 – Your Product

The success of your business greatly depends on how well you understand your product. I am sure you have come across sales people trying to sell you that they don’t believe in, let alone understand.

It probably didn’t take you long to figure out that they were only after your money. Well, the same can happen with your landing page. Your conviction about your product is what will convince your prospects to either buy from you or leave.

The only way you can get this conviction is by understanding your product and understanding the competition it faces.

Think about this, why can people like Brian Tracy, Les Brown and Tony Robbins sell their products for thousands of dollars and still have people buy them?

Well, it’s not only because they understand the market they operate in, but it’s also because they know their product and they know it well. They have convinced themselves beyond any reasonable doubt that they have the best product and so convincing people to buy from them is easy.

Once you have this kind of conviction about your own product, the money will follow – I guarantee it!

Mashable’s guide on improving your product landing page is a must read if your landing page’s goal is to sell a product.

Note: Don’t ever assume that the user knows what your product is…always explain it. 

4 – Your overall design

Once you have got these three things accomplished, you can shift your focus on the design of your page. As I mentioned earlier, design is important. In fact, when it comes to design, what you should aim to achieve is:

  • Keeping your page clean, neat and easy to navigate. It needs to flow without any friction to the user.
  • Writing accurate copy. Don’t lie to your customers. Deliver on your promises. Do not offer something for free and then charge $3 on the next page. Don’t victimize people with the old bait and switch.
  • Use visually appealing text and images, however, remember do not use stock photos that you find plastered everywhere on the net as it will make you appear generic and untrustworthy.

Visit WebDesignerDepot to look at 30 amazing landing page design examples. Full disclosure, I don’t have any conversion data from these pages so I can’t draw a conclusion that these landing page designs convert well (purely a design aesthetic basis).

5 – Your call to action

This is the most important part of your landing page. It will determine whether people take action or simply ignore you.

Essentially, your call to action tells your visitors what to do. The most common call to action (or CTA) is for: purchase of items, free gifts i.e. reports and eBooks, requesting more information or watching a video.

So just what should you consider with your call to action? Well, for starters, you should avoid using bloated superlatives like awesome, best and amazing. This gives the impression you are trying very hard to sell.

Another grievous mistake you should avoid is inconsistency with your CTA. Be consistent. As I said earlier, if you are offering a free product, don’t charge on the next page. Not only will you lose the sale, but you will also gain an unsatisfied prospect who is most likely to tell others about their negative experience.

Also you want to make sure your call to action is clearly visible. Keep it where it can be seen – placing it above the fold is commonly advised.

Pro tip: Never use a button with the word “Submit” as your CTA. Just don’t do it! For more tips on how to increase conversion rates on your website click the link.

6 – Your goals for your page

You should thoroughly think about your goals for your page. What I mean by goals are statistics. Your statistics and metrics will help you test and find out what works. Of course, the key is to rinse and repeat, however, that would be impossible to do if you don’t have an initial idea of your expected results.

Write down what you expect to achieve with your page and measure those estimations against your results.

7 – Social proof and why it’s important

They say money makes the world go round – I don’t know how, however, on the internet, I can totally understand this. Nowadays, you can buy anything. You can buy Facebook likes, Twitter followers even YouTube views! Imagine that!

As marketers, this makes our work very easy.  However, the truth of the matter is that using faked out screenshots and hyped up testimonials is the fastest way to lose your credibility. Remember how we talked about human intuition and how it’s easy for you to spot a fake a mile away?

Well, the same can happen with your testimonials especially if they are outrageous. When it comes to testimonials, always seek to be transparent. Never claim to make thousands of dollars, when you are barely getting by. Sooner or later, people will find out you are a scammer and believe me, they will let everyone know about it.

So avoid this at all costs. Always make claims that you can back up. A good way to do this is by using the company’s product/services own success stories. This article by Pamela Vaughan clearly breaks down the entire process of using social proof.

That’s it! You are now ready to design your landing page. If you are still in doubt, just remember to always put yourself in the shoes of your readers and ask yourself whether you are convinced with your page.

Better yet, you can ask your closest friends to have a look at it and gauge their reactions. Find out from them whether you page achieved its goal. What do you think?  Was this post helpful? Share your comments and views.

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3 thoughts on “7 Things to Think About Before Designing Your Next Landing Page

    1. Mark,

      That all depends on the product and your audience. A lot of membership sites use videos on landing page but some use long form copy. Do a Google search on some of your most important keywords and see what type of content is being served on the first page. If there are a bunch of links to YouTube then you should create a video.

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