Converting more website visitors to paying customers is a fine art. And, one of the key elements in your digital marketing palette should be optimized landing pages. A well designed landing page can improve your conversion rate, lower bounce rate and make a big difference to your CPA.
That’s all very well, but how can you stand out and create a truly winning and high converting landing page?
Let’s start with the basics first.
What are landing pages?
A landing page is a standalone web page that’s designed to do one thing – improve the chances of a sales conversion.
Landing pages are usually simplified category or product pages, designed to remove obstacles to a sale. They will likely contain minimal copy, instead focusing on bold value propositions. There may also be creative elements geared at educating the reader, showing them the perks of your offer, and guiding them to a sale with a clear call to action and a focus on the product’s benefits.
Most often they are employed as part of PPC ad campaigns, for example, if you click from a paid search result or banner. However, they can also be used to funnel referrals from specific sources, for example, organic links from a partner, or traffic from social media posts.
Some landing pages offer customers a trade where they provide free value, like a downloadable or special offer, in exchange for their contact information. You can then use that information to follow up on the customer and eventually/hopefully get the sale.
But like other marketing tools, landing pages have variable success rates. Whatever the product or service, taking time to optimize your landing pages can be very effective.
Here are three reasons why you should focus on creating a high converting landing page.
Why optimizing your landing pages is important
1. Value through optimization
Marketers understand the importance of optimization. You do extensive keyword research, test multiple ad campaigns, and even A/B test web pages because you’re trying to push the conversion rate as high as possible.
High converting landing pages operate by the same logic. By tweaking a few elements – emotional triggers here, irresistible CTAs there – you can slowly raise the conversion rate on your landing page and boost sales.
2. Shorten the entire marketing funnel
The faster your leads convert, the shorter your entire funnel will be. That means you’ll invest less on retargeting ads, rely less on your email newsletter campaigns, and even optimize your ad spend, with an improved cost for each customer acquisition.
Turning your pages to high converting landing page status by communicating the value of your offer clearly could also allow you to widen the top of your funnel. If you know that a significant number of leads that pass the awareness stage eventually convert, you will drive as many leads as possible.
3. Beat the competition
If your visitors are ready to buy now, your landing page may be the only thing standing between them and your competitors. You need to put your product’s best foot forward and show them there’s no need to keep looking. Also, because you can’t always rely on retargeting ads to bring them back to your website.
But if your landing page doesn’t make a good impression the first time around, potential buyers may write off your brand and choose your competitor. With our attention spans online shorter than ever (8.25 seconds) you only have a few moments to show potential customers that you’ve got the goods.
How do you build a high converting landing page?
Designing a landing page is similar to creating an ad campaign. You increase your chances of success by leaning on established, tried, and trusted principles or templates. Successfully implementing these can help you avoid the trial and error process and get right into converting more leads than you can handle.
Let’s dive into what that looks like by examining the 5 critical parts of a high converting landing page.
1. A headline that can’t be ignored
A large chunk of your traffic won’t make it past your landing page headline; heat map studies of multiple landing pages confirm this. Every visitor will look at your headline, which is usually the first sentence on your landing page, to verify if they are in the right place.
If they aren’t immediately hooked, they will leave and bump up your bounce rate. That also means all your work to create the landing page copy is out the window.
This is a great example of a high converting landing page from Shopify… They’re selling you YOUR DREAMS! Plus a 97% discount. Surely it doesn’t get better than that.
Looking at the example above, you can see that when creating landing pages, it’s essential to spend time writing a headline that your leads can’t ignore. You might not be selling them their dream business or a nearly 100% discount. But how can your product speak to their needs and wants?
Check out our guide to power words for a great insight into CTA language
The most effective (and simplest) idea for writing a headline is to make a promise that addresses your visitor’s pain point and then deliver that in the copy.
The headline has one job – to get the visitor to read the next line. So, you have to make it that good. How?
- Directly address the pain points that your offer addresses
- Include an overarching benefit of your product
- Use subheadings that let you expand on your headline
- Make the headline stand out in a large bold font
Take a look at our guide to creating copy for PPC ads – which also applies to these high converting landing pages.
2. Focus on the user benefits, not the features
The next secret to a high converting landing page is addressing what’s in it for the user. As visitors scan your landing page, they are actively looking for something to make them stop, read and digest your information. One effective way to do this is to show what’s in it for them instead of just talking about the product.
For example, in the example above, the user can ‘discover the secret’ of speaking a new language. (Spoiler alert: it’s repetition and consistency).
Or, instead of talking about how lightweight your software is, talk about how quickly users can load it up and accomplish their tasks. Instead of how swift your shipping is, remind users that they can get their packages in less than x hours.
As the product creator, this may be tough to do initially. You are proud of your product, and it’s important to you that everyone knows just how amazing it is. But the truth is, they won’t pay attention to any of that. They are only concerned about its utility.
How can you keep the focus on the benefits and boost landing page conversions? Here are some questions that can help you present your product benefits instead of the features. Answer these, and you’re one step closer to writing copy that will convert like magic.
- What can the user achieve with this?
- Who will this product benefit the most?
- What problems are users trying to solve with this product?
- What will this specific feature help the user accomplish?
3. Show how helpful your product has been to other users
Many high converting landing pages let their customers do the selling for them. Marketers have seen their conversion rates double by simply adding user testimonials, and it’s not hard to see why.
People want to know that your product works, and hearing it from just you isn’t enough.
Plus, nothing beats hearing advice from someone who’s walked in your shoes. Testimonials are compelling because they show your leads what to expect after buying your product.
When using social proof, written and video testimonials are two of your biggest options, and they both have merits. Written testimonials provide a thought-out opinion and are easier to read while scrolling. Video testimonials lend more credibility by showing the face behind the review, but your leads will miss them if they don’t stop and press play.
The best testimonials are written in the customer’s words, but it often helps to ask the right questions so that readers can relate to them.
Here are some questions to ask customers when requesting a testimonial:
- What’s the biggest problem you wanted to solve with this product?
- Why did you choose our product/service
- What was the best part of using this product?
- How was our product/service better than others you tried?
- Would you recommend us and why?
4. Make the content scannable and easy to follow
There are two ways to do this, and they both involve changing your landing page design: Using short sentences and paragraphs and breaking the test into subheadings.
Using short sentences and paragraphs across the entire landing page ensures that leads can read your copy quickly and easily, and understand every word. The goal is to communicate as simply and as effectively as possible.
Some copywriters also make sure to write like they talk. This style of writing makes the text read more like a conversation than a web page that’s designed to sell you something.
However, you should pay attention to your brand voice. The language used and the way it is presented is a major factor in keeping the reader’s attention.
You can raise readability even more by breaking the text into subheadings, making it easier to scan.
As we mentioned before, most people are just looking to browse until they see something that catches their eye. You want to make that search easier for them by breaking your landing page copy into segments.
Here are some more tips to help you create content that’s easy to follow.
- Keep language simple – avoid using big words
- Use active voice – if you’re not sure what that is, here is a handy guide
- Use engaging and relatable language. Humor and emojis can work well on landing pages
5. Use call to actions that inspire action
No well-meaning marketer would launch a page without a call to action.
But, how you design the call to action, and the specific words you use can make all the difference… And help you crack the high converting landing page formula.
The idea is to build successful landing pages by using calls to action that remind your lead of what’s waiting on the other side. So instead of generic phrases like “download now,” you could use “give me the free ebook.” or “show me how to achieve benefits.”
Multiple studies have confirmed this. In one, marketers tested “add to cart,” “buy now,” and “purchase now” CTAs. The “purchase now” performed 5% better than “buy now” and 14% better than “add to cart.”
It’s also great practice to add CTAs across the entire landing page, not just towards the end. This way, you give your leads multiple opportunities to make the decision and buy.
Finally, studies have found that tweaking your landing page design and adding a bright-colored CTA can boost conversion.
Here are some other CTA ideas:
- I’m in!
- Book my free assessment
- Help me save
- Get the benefit bundle
Landing page examples
If you’re looking for some inspiration from existing landing pages, we’ve pulled together these great campaigns.
As you’ll see from this simple yet effective landing page from Moz, they have really distilled the key points into a very small area.
Yes, Moz is a well known brand, and most people searching for SEO tools will already know about them. But they are also in a competitive space, so highlighting their features while offering a tempting deal could make the difference between converting visitors or losing out to competitors.
Note also that Moz clearly use their 30 day free trial as their CTA.
As you might expect from a company that specialises in landing pages, Unbounce have a good example of a landing page.
Their selling point is explained in BIG BOLD text right there – with the sub explaining how easy it is.
They also use an easy to see and access CTA in the top corner. And just below the fol you come across testimonials (social proof) plus the benefits and features simply outlined and lots of white space.
Although they only use one customer testimonial here, they could use a grid of three or four to really ramp up the social proof.
As far as the standard for high converting landing pages goes, Unbounce are always going to offer a good point of reference.
Staying with landing page software, we’re looking at Unbounce’s competitor Leadpages (because we can). And of course there are some more interesting uses of content and landing page layout that you can learn from.
Leadpages start with their clear statement about how their product works, with an animated gif helping to highlight the whole process. A great way to keep people engaged with the landing page and want to scroll down.
Below the fold, we start to see a sales pitch and the social proof (how much customers trust their product). But for me, I would prefer to see the product features a little sooner. These make an appearance a bit further down the page…
The benefits of using their product are stated clearly, including some reasonably detailed information expanding on the headlines.
The call to action is also used regularly along the entire length of the page, giving the customer multiple chances to convert.
The product features actually appear quite a long way down the page – which might have been a decision made to engage less technical marketers. Although for me, I’d want to be seeing the functionality much sooner.
Another well known digitally focused brand, Shopify, has crammed lots of useful information into their landing page. In fact, what makes this stand out as a great landing page example is the fact that this reads like a simplified user guide to dropshipping.
The first thing the visitor sees is the signup for for the free trial, which draws in those that have already made their mind up.
But scroll down… And we start to see how Shopify are winning over those that might be hesitant to get started, using the combination of a guide and a sales pitch…
They link to their free guide (lead magnet) to getting started with dropshipping.
And of course, they highlight the product details, features and benefits throughout.
This is a really good example of including a lead magnet, to harvest those potential prospects who aren’t quite ready to buy yet. And with those email addresses, of course, you can start to use your email marketing funnel too.
Same company, different product and approach. This landing page is for setting up any ecommerce site (not just dropshipping).
Instantly, they’re selling the dream (literally) plus offering an incredible discount. Win/win surely?
Big bold text highlighting the offer gives the potential customer a good reason to scroll down and find out more. And the simple bold white on black color scheme really makes the message pop out.
In fact, in contrast to the dropshipping landing pages, Shopify have gone for very simple here. They also offer another ecommerce landing page here.
That’s it. That’s the landing page.
Sometimes simple is best.
Running an A/B test
When setting up a landing page, finding the most effective landing pages for your audience isn’t always going to happen instantly. This is where A/B testing, or split testing comes in.
If you’re not already in the know, split testing or A/B testing is where you run two (or more) versions of your landing pages as part of the same campaign.
By doing this you can work out which page gets the best engagement, lowest bounce rate and highest amount of conversions. In short, improving your landing page conversion rates is a case of trial and error.
The results of your landing page split tests can make a huge difference to future campaigns, and help you create more effective landing pages.
There is a whole world of running split testing for landing pages – you can check out this guide from Hubspot.
Optimizing your traffic
In the world of paid ads, the issue of click fraud remains a constant thorn in the side of marketers and business owners.
Invalid traffic drains on average 14% of Google Ad budgets. This includes bots, competitors and click farms – making protecting against click fraud a key part of the strategy for the average digital marketer.
Read more about click fraud in our guide.
Whatever campaign you’re running online, improving your traffic quality can help you improve conversion rates and save money.
If you’re running paid search or display ads on Google Ads or Bing Ads, or social media campaigns on Facebook Ads, run a traffic audit with ClickCease.
Sign up for a FREE 7 day trial to get an insight into who clicks your ads, and to see how much you could save by blocking fake traffic.