Tips for Designing Landing Pages that Convert

conversionThis week, I had the opportunity to work on a few landing pages for one of our newest clients. As always, I started with a bit of research to see what types of trends designers are following in regards to PPC. Now that I’ve finished my research, and completed the set up for the pages, I thought I’d share some of my findings in my article this week.

1- Responsive Design

If you’ve been reading any of my recent articles, you know all about responsive design and why it’s a smart web design choice. By designing a single responsive landing page you can easily distribute your campaign across all platforms. If your campaigns are optimized for mobile devices as well as desktops, you reach a wider audience and have a greater opportunity of gaining the leads you desire.

2- Dynamic Headline

When creating a PPC campaign, it is important to make your page flexible enough to appeal to many different users. One way to do this is to place keywords within your headlines that correspond to your various ad campaigns. For example, let’s say you own a business that sells organic pet food. Some of the keywords you may be after could include “organic dog food,” “all natural cat food,” “benefits of organic pet food,” etc. While these keyword phrases are all related, the users entering these different keywords may quite possibly be searching for three very different things. By placing dynamic keywords in the headline of your landing page, you are able to match their searches with the most relevant headline. By doing this, you’ve personalized the page for many different users, and increased the chance of conversion.

3- Consistent Branding

One of the greatest flaws I see in web design today is inconsistency. Time and again, I click through to a landing page only to be sent to a website that looks like it was created with no consideration for the current branding. I will never understand it because it can be as simple as using a consistent logo throughout your collateral. With online risks like identity theft or fraud, making your users feel comfortable on your page is absolutely crucial. By hosting your landing pages on the same domain as your site, and making consistent design decisions throughout your pages, you build credibility and authority and allow users to trust your brand and your offer.

4- Speaking of Offers…

You need a clear, concise call to action. What do you want your users to do? Sign up for a newsletter? Register for an upcoming event? Buy your new product? Ask yourself this question and craft a call to action from there. Make it very clear what you are offering your users, and what actions they should take to receive that offer.

5- Track Phone Numbers

Just as you track landing pages by setting up goals in Google Analytics, you should be tracking all phone calls made from users who visited that landing pages. By using services from companies like ifbyphone.com, marketers can create a new phone number, place it on a landing page and forward calls to the appropriate party. Using this service, we can track the landing pages offline as well as online.

6- Keep Links to a Minimum

Another mistake I see in many landing pages is the opportunity that some designers give their users to bounce right off the page. By creating landing pages with too many options, your users may confuse the offer, click a link and fail to carry out the desired call to action. While this tip goes hand in hand with the fourth tip in this article, it is important to differentiate. A link that leads a user off of a landing page can be as simple as “Read More From Our Blog”. Unless that is the specific step you’d like the user to take, don’t include it on the page. It only diverts the user from the main purpose- conversion.

7- Visual Hierarchy

Similar to print design, we must carefully format the layout of our landing pages. It is important that the visual hierarchy matches the desired call to action. The dynamic headline should typically be the largest, so the user will see it first and immediately realize they’ve come to the right place. Next should be information, a bit smaller but still legible, of course, that continues to convince the user to fill out the desired action. There should likely also be a form to fill out, with as few fields as possible, and a contrasting button to submit the form. While this layout may not work for every situation, it does give you an example of a layout that could work for your campaign.

8- Social Proof

People are social beings. Don’t believe me? Do you have a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, or Pinterest? Chances are you use at least one of these social media platforms on a daily basis. If you’re still not convinced, consider this: last month, Forbes estimated Pinterest’s worth at $7.7 Billion. Pinterest first introduced its beta site in March 2010. If people didn’t love socializing, then Pinterest never would have become such a star in less than four years.

So how can you leverage from this information? Simple- integration. Include testimonials, a Twitter feed, etc. that demonstrates how much your users like your company, product or service. By including social proof, you gain your users’ trust and increase authority.

9-Don’t Forget Your Thank You Page!

Of course it is important to include a success message after a user completes a form so they can be sure that the step is complete and so you can track the conversion. But too often this success message is just that- a simple message that says the form was completed. You’ve worked so hard to get your users to the page, to convince them to fill out the form, to get them to hit that submit button, and now you just toss them aside as soon as they fill in their email address? No! This is another opportunity! Your user is already interested- offer them something else. Now is a good time to include a link to the blog section of your website, to invite them to follow you on Twitter or to check out some similar services they may be interested in. You’ve gotten them this far, why not try to keep them for a bit longer?

The Takeaway

Design plays a huge part in creating successful landing pages. By making conscious design decisions, using consistent branding, and treating your users with respect, you are likely to gain authority and increase conversions on your landing pages.

Is your marketing firm following the steps I’ve listed above? If not, it may be time for a switch! Contact Optimum7 for a free consultation.