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Landing Page Best Practices: Content, Design, A/B Testing, and More

Landing Page Best Practices

You work hard to create offers that add value and help increase leads for your business. However, if your landing pages are stuffed with an ineffective call-to-action, MS Paint-esque design elements, and 15 form fields, you’ll turn potential customers away before the page fully loads.

How can you avoid these missteps and create a beautiful, simple, and high converting landing page? Together with the help of our friend Joel Klettke of Business Casual Copywriting, we’ll chat about important landing page best practices: content, design, A/B testing, and more. We’ll help you figure out what to incorporate, what to take out, and offer tips to improve your conversions.

First, lets talk about content.

Landing page content

When it comes to landing page content, less is more. You need to make sure you’re writing enough to entice, inform, and answer questions, but not so much that the viewer is overwhelmed.

Pro tip: Use bullets. They present information, metrics, and facts in an organized, easy-to-read manner.

What to write

Put yourself in your buyer personas‘ shoes. What questions do they have? What are their fears and goals? Write for them, not for yourself. You’re already sold on your product. Your job is to sell it to a stranger.

How to write it

To do that you need a unique value proposition to let your prospects know why your product or service is the best choice to serve their needs.

Generic, boilerplate text won’t do here. How can you steer away from boring, wordy UVP’s? Joel talks about the biggest mistakes he sees:

“Not actually being unique, or emphasizing a benefit their audience actually doesn’t care much about just because the company thinks it’s what makes them special. UVPs should be informed by customer feedback, not just internal thinking. What YOU think is special about your product may not be why people actually buy your product.I guess the other big one is making UVPs incredibly wordy/hard to understand. If I can’t determine what’s going on in a few seconds, I’m outta there.People often assume that their reader shares the same knowledge they do–but they usually don’t. They need you to explain WHY a feature matters to them, WHY your UVP (unique value proposition) makes a difference.”

What else to include

Another content element that drives conversions is social proof. If you have a high number of blog subscribers, social shares, or great testimonials, flaunt them!

People will be more comfortable and inclined to fill out a form when they know there were happy customers who have come before them.

Joel’s advice on content:

“I’ve always had the philosophy that you should write exactly as much as you need to make your point, and then shut up and get out of your own way. But really, the length of a landing page or piece of content is driven by how confident your lead is in the purchase they’re about to make, and how many fears they bring with them into the equation.

So in general, never say more than you need to, and never write ‘filler’ copy because you think a page should be longer for search–but as you write, try to determine whether or not you’ve answered every question your lead comes in with.”

Forms

Forms can (and will) be a make-or-break section for a potential lead. Do you really need to know their mother’s maiden name or their favorite candy? To help increase your form submissions, try some of these tips:

  • Remove unnecessary fields. This is self-explanatory. Does a user need to fill this piece of information out? If you question it, ditch it. Pro tip: If possible, use dynamic forms like HubSpot’s smart fields. They use cookies to store any previously captured information, hiding fields the user has already filled out.
  • Embrace white space. Don’t crowd the forms in. Leave a decent amount of white space around the fields.
  •  Why should they fill out your form? Make sure the button reinforces what the user will get (i.e., “download our white paper” or “schedule a consultation”), and avoid using words like “submit” which imply that the user is giving up too much information.

It’s important to note that the number of fields on a landing page should change depending on the funnel stage for which the offer is designed. For awareness content, the fewer fields the better. For more decision-stage content (requesting a consultation, for example), more fields are to be expected.

Landing page design

Like landing page content, landing page design benefits from a “less is more” approach.

Make sure to remove the navigation and outbound links on your landing page. You want your users to stay on your page and digest your information—not click on a link and end up leaving your site.

Using images or videos can increase conversion rates by up to 80%. Show your product or service in action. Give people a peek into what they can expect. Joel’s advice on images?

I feel like people often resort to trying to use words when an image would do just fine. Especially with process-related copy or sometimes even UVPs, a picture can say a thousand words and make a concept crystal clear. 

Call-to-Action

For your call-to-action, pick a color that stands out—but not so much that it looks completely out of place. Use only a few, action-oriented words within the button. Keep it above the fold, and make sure the visitor understands what will happen when they click on it.

Here are some other great CTA examples from our friends over at HubSpot.

A/B testing

A/B testing allows you to tweak various aspects of your marketing efforts to figure out what resonates with your audience (while simultaneously figuring out what does not). There are endless things to A/B test, but the most popular areas are colors, CTA button shapes, content layout, headlines, and form fields. You name it, it’s been tested. Smashing Magazine has an excellent Guide To A/B Testing, which will help you get started.

Joel’s A/B testing advice:

“I find myself most commonly testing two drastically different variants, then refining each one to land somewhere in the middle. The elements I usually wind up tweaking first are headlines and CTAs, but it’s really important not to look at testing as piecemeal tweaks – sometimes, you need to test layouts, visuals vs. copy and so on. Tools that help show where attention is being captured/dropping off can really help you determine where to look next.”

To find out where your visitors click, how far they scroll down your page, figure out why they leave and more, we recommend Crazy Egg.

These landing page best practices are just one spoke in the inbound marketing wheel. Want more tips and guidance on how to get found online? Look no further! Well, look below.

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