The Anatomy of Successful Landing Pages
A landing page can be any page that someone lands on after clicking on an online marketing call-to-action. Landing pages are stand-alone pages from your website and are designed to market one specific item heavily and drive up the sales for it. You can have a landing page to generate more leads by offering a free e-book, encourage a purchase by offering a coupon, or nurture a relationship by encouraging signups for a digital or live event.
While no two landing pages are the same, every great landing page is composed of five core elements:
- A unique selling proposition (USP)
- A hero image or video
- The benefits of your offering
- Social proof
- A single call-to-action (CTA)
These building blocks, which are listed in no particular order, should be used as a guide to help increase the success rate of your landing page. Almost all landing pages designed with these user-centric elements will do well, because the structure of a landing page aligns to persuasion and these are elements that help persuade.
Take a look at the illustration below. Although your own landing pages will look different, the same basic building blocks of landing page structure should be present. Below, we’ll discuss each in more detail.
1. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your unique selling proposition is what sets your product or service apart from your competitors. It is the answer to the age old question, “What makes your company so special?” It is not about elaborate features, but rather your one-of-a-kind brand promise to your customer.
A helpful analogy to consider is one of my recent guilty pleasures: dating and relationship reality shows.
The premise is a room full of optimistic singles try to win the heart of their dream mate. Every competitor talks about how they are well traveled, have a stable job, and are ready to settle down. The key to making it to the end of the show is to stand out from the rest and prove the promises they have made. Although some parts are scripted, this is reality TV—if a contestant lies, social media will call them out.
Your company is in a similar position, vying for the heart of eligible consumers. Simply being in the room is not enough to be noticed. To stand out from the crowd, your USP needs to clearly outline who you are and how your offer will benefit visitors.
Landing pages need to communicate this proposition in a succinct way so that your visitors immediately understand what makes your product or service appealing. A couple of page elements help tell the story of why your offering is unique:
USP tactic #1: The main headline
Your headline is the first thing that your visitors will read. So it is critical that it very clearly describes what a visitor stands to get from your product or service. Keep your headline punchy, clear, and concise about your USP. Avoid using vague or exaggerated language.
USP tactic #2: A supporting subheadline
Since headlines need to be short and sweet, sometimes you will use a subheading or a couple sentences to provide a touch of extra info. Do not get carried away here either, though. As with the headline, shorter is better.
2. The Hero Image
First impressions are important, and the hero image is likely the first visual element of your landing page that visitors will see. In web design, a hero image is the main photo, graphic, illustration, or video people see at the top of a web page. The goal of this image is to add excitement to a page.
Ideally, a hero image should show the context of use. If you are running a SaaS company, this could be an image, or several images, of your application. If you are in the food industry, it could be an appetizing image of someone enjoying a stack of your nourishing, great-tasting whole grain pancakes.
If you can use custom photography or illustrations, all the better. One of the greatest benefits of custom images is that it presents you with the opportunity to show visitors something they have never seen before. While there are high quality stock images available, you run the risk of using a visual your competitor might be using.
So far we have discussed the importance of your USP and hero image for your landing page. While they are ideal for grabbing visitors’ attention, they do not address some of the questions people may have. That is why your landing page should highlight the benefits of your product or service.
It is always a good idea to provide a few more examples of how your business will impact either business or personal life of a landing page visitor. Your landing page copy should address the needs and pain points of your ideal customer. Address them directly, demonstrate empathy for their specific problem, and then showcase the benefit of your offering as the solution to their problem.
Remember to include your USP into your copy. What makes you different than the competitor? What are the benefits that only you can offer?
4. Social Proof
If you are one of the seven out of ten people who have purchased something online, chances are you have looked at reviews before adding that item to your cart and purchasing it. That is an example of social proof and it is an excellent way to persuade potential customers to buy.
On a landing page, social proof can be shown many ways:
- Direct quotes from customers
- Case studies (or links to case studies)
- Video interviews or testimonials
- Logos of customer companies
- Review scores from sites like Google, Yelp, or Amazon
- Awards from credible organizations
When using testimonials, be sure to gather as much information as possible such as names, photos, and titles of the people who are speaking on behalf of your business. The more you can display about them, the more real they become to your visitors. A testimonial will be most effective if your prospect can identify with the person giving it.
5. A Conversion Goal (Your CTA)
Last but most importantly, a landing page should be focused on one clear conversion goal, otherwise it is not a landing page. To your visitor, this is presented as a call-to-action (CTA), which can be either a standalone button on a clickthrough page or a form on a landing page designed for lead generation.
The CTA is the main point of action on your page. Without an effective CTA, your landing page will struggle to convert because no amount of convincing copy or enticing imagery can save a landing page if your CTA fails to impress.
There are all sorts of advanced resources about creating the optimal CTAs, but here are three essentials to get you started:
- Avoid vague button text such as “Click Here” or “Submit.” Use conversational language and let your visitors know exactly what they’ll be getting for their precious clicks (“Start My Free Trial” or “Get 25% Off Your Purchase”).
- Keep the amount of form fields as short as possible. Be sure to include a privacy statement to provide reassurance the user’s data is safe and to comply with any federal regulations.
- Since small differences can have a big impact on your conversion rates, CTAs are always strong candidates for A/B Testing.
Now that you understand the anatomy of a successful landing page, it’s time to see how they can help grow your business. Contact the experts at MoreVisibility and we will help you create a well-developed landing page that will attract, engage, and convert your visitors.