Tag Archives: landing pages 101

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Written by Caroline Cox on Dec 21 , 2020

From effective design elements to optimization tips, here’s what you need to know to create successful landing pages. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • What defines a landing page
  • How to design a landing page for maximum conversions
  • Common landing page mistakes to avoid
  • Examples of landing pages that boosted ROI

When it comes to paid search, the ad itself is only part of the equation. Once you get that coveted click, there’s more work to be done. That’s where your landing page comes in.

We talk a lot about landing pages around here because of how make-or-break they can be for your campaigns. Effective landing pages properly represent your brand, offer something of value to the visitor, and see an impressive conversion rate. Not-so effective ones, on the other hand, garner little more than a high bounce rate and marketing budget spent on clicks that didn’t convert.

For everything you need to know about landing pages and how they factor into a well-rounded digital marketing strategy, read on.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a page on your website that’s specially crafted to capture the visitor’s information. People most often arrive on a landing page via clicking through on an ad or an email. 

The goal of a company’s landing page is to gather the visitor’s information in exchange for something. This could be anything from an educational piece of content to a discount code. Landing pages are generally designed with a more targeted audience in mind than the rest of your site. They also aren’t meant to be arrived at through your homepage or navigation menu. 

While lead generation is the main goal of most landing pages, Mailchimp explains that there are “click-thru landing page” types as well. The goal of these pages is for visitors to click the call to action (CTA) and be taken to a new page to follow through with the action, whether that’s to place an order, schedule a consultation, or something more. 

landing pages pillar page

When designing your landing pages, experience tells us that the most important word to keep in mind is “minimalism.” (Image via Unsplash)

Why are landing pages important in digital marketing?

As HubSpot succinctly explains, the goal of a landing page is to generate leads for your business. It also serves as a type of quick introduction for those who are just stumbling upon or learning about your company.

With that in mind, you want your first impression to be one that’s positive and accurately reflects your overall brand. You can do this through things like:

  • your landing page copy
  • your page design
  • the ad leading to the landing page
  • the offer itself that you’re presenting in exchange for a person’s information

Not only can landing pages help increase conversions, but they can also provide you with valuable information about your target audience. 

What elements make up an effective landing page?

The most effective landing pages are those that are being regularly tested and optimized. However, there are a few key elements that can help ensure your landing pages are as targeted and effective as possible. 

These include:

  • A clear goal
  • A thoughtful design consistent with your overall brand aesthetic
  • An appealing offer
  • A strong CTA
  • A lead form
  • Copy that mirrors and delivers on the ad that brought them there
  • Messaging that speaks directly to your target audience

How do you design a successful landing page?

When designing your landing pages, experience tells us that the most important word to keep in mind is “minimalism.” That’s because, more than anything, you want your page to be free from distractions. Anything that could divert the visitor’s eye from your CTA will only do your page a disservice. 

And, because people are often pressed for time, you don’t want the viewer to have to do a ton of scrolling to complete the desired action. Along with a clean, minimal design, you also want to keep things short and to the point.

One easy way to stick to a less-is-more aesthetic is by excluding elements that appear on your regular site pages. Think: your header navigation or subscriber box for your newsletter. These are great to have on your regular pages, but they can potentially make your landing pages cluttered, depending on what other elements are in play. Instead, you could simply have your logo hyperlinked to your homepage, where visitors can find these page elements if need be. 

Each design element should serve to tastefully draw the reader’s eye to your CTA. This includes things like whitespace and thoughtful imagery, such as stock photos, color blocks, or informative charts. (Whitespace doesn’t necessarily mean “white” in color — just free from text, images or graphics.) It also shouldn’t stray too far from the look and feel of the rest of your website.

What are some common landing page missteps to avoid?

There’s almost always room for improvement when it comes to your landing pages. However, there are a few common landing page mistakes we’ve seen companies make repeatedly when creating these pages.

These include things like:

  • Neglecting to test your forms
  • Putting too many design elements on one page
  • Not optimizing for mobile
  • Boring CTAs
  • Slow page speed

The good news? Once you know to look for these issues, any that you come across can usually be addressed and fixed quickly. 

How do you optimize landing pages for conversions?

Conversions are generally the goal of a landing page. Because of this, any optimization tweaks or tests conducted should aim to increase those conversions. 

For starters, spend time brainstorming a handful of attention-grabbing headlines that you can then test to see how your audience responds. From there, make sure your copy highlights the value you can provide your visitor or what problem your product or service can solve rather than simply bragging about your brand. 

Other conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies for landing pages include:

  • An easy-to-fill-out form
  • Proof points like badges or testimonials that illustrate your credibility
  • A special offer of some sort
  • A mobile-responsive experience
  • Social share buttons
  • A plan for consistent element testing and analysis

What are some examples of effective landing pages?

Just like there’s no single path to increase landing page conversions, there’s no one right way to design your landing page. With that in mind, here are a few landing pages for brands we’ve worked with that not only ended up paying for themselves, but that saw results like more time on site, increased conversions, reduced bounce rate, and more.

zephyr landing page

What makes it successful: This landing page for test management software company Zephyr gets down to business. The offer is clear, the design is minimal, and their claims are backed up by impressive proof points. 

rokitboost landing page

What makes it successful: This landing page for bluetooth headphone brand Rokit Boost leans heavily on the visual to show the specific product it’s selling “in action.” From there, it’s got a minimalist navigation in case the visitor wants to know more before making the purchase. Otherwise, they can go ahead and add to cart, with the added perks of free shipping and a money-back guarantee.

proven landing page

What makes it successful: Proven’s goal is to help businesses hire better and faster. This landing page targets restaurants, with a simple landing page, a strong CTA, and thoughtful use of color to draw the eye where it needs to go. 

See more examples of successful landing pages and their results here. 

The takeaway

If you ask us, landing pages deserve a place in your digital marketing plan. They can be a significant value driver for your business, whether you leverage them as part of your pay-per-click (or paid search) campaigns, email marketing, or elsewhere. 

When you create well-thought-out landing pages that have the right mix of elements, a clear message, and an easy way to complete the desired action, you’re bound to see positive results. 

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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