How to Create a Landing Page that Works: a Brief Guide
People tend to complain when they aren’t able to keep up with the rhythm of someone or something. We, the mankind, are limited physically, but it shouldn’t limit our actions. The Internet is probably the best example of being able to prove that everyone of us should constantly try to get out of the “comfort zone”. The web is evolving very fast and some people are quite critical about it – maybe it should remain just a means of providing or getting information or a “don’t pollute the Internet” kind of thing. On the other hand, other people “fight” to keep the Internet’s growing rhythm. Due to that, we now have almost unlimited capabilities in the online environment. Willing or not, bad or good, the Internet has become vital for humanity. At the beginning, the Internet was a simple and obvious tool for exchanging information, but in 2013 it is a profitable industry. The online environment is the realm of a new type of making business and many entrepreneurs try to get profit by this context. Step by step, webmasters have changed their vocabulary: the users are now potential clients, a visitor is a client and marketing or discounts are common terms. Needless to say that many people make a living only from online activities.
We believe that the Internet is a commercial entity and this statement won’t ever be changed. It’s true, the initial purpose of free information exchange is generous and pure, but money can’t be ignored. On the other hand, these two facets of the Internet may both survive: it can be the realm of online affairs, but at the same time, users may use it as a reliable source of information. Consequently, the design community should pay more attention to the commercial aspect of the Internet.
“Landing page” is a term that is mentioned very frequently, and somehow its value was deprecated. It’s enough to search for landing pages designers and you will find thousands of experts ready to create masterpieces for a few bucks. Still neglecting the concept of a landing page is totally wrong, and any online entrepreneur should care about it. A landing page is a webpage designed to attract people and convert their presence into a specific action, i.e. subscribing to a newsletter, downloading or purchasing a product. It’s not rocket science to understand that its role is capital in becoming profitable. Under these circumstances, it’s logical for any website owner to try to improve his/her landing pages. Designing an efficient landing page is a very challenging task and without a doubt the perfect one wasn’t launched yet. Over the years, we developed tons of websites and of course, we dealt with client requirements about creating or improving a landing page. Today we would like to share our impressions about a working landing page with you.
The following tips are useful in creating a good landing page and any designer should apply them in his/her workflow.
1. A good design is essential.
Many visitors expect miraculous solutions, tips, and best practices when reading articles like this. The awful truth is that many of them are disappointed – “design is capital” is a logic and common suggestion. Like it or not, this is the obvious truth, a landing page is in fact a webpage, and therefore the rules of a beautiful squeeze page design are applicable here (perhaps even more than anywhere else). The beauty of a quality design can’t be replaced!
We hope that the next landing pages will impress you and these will make you understand why good design is so important.
2. Determine the targeted public and design for them.
Each website is created for a specific public target and each business has its potential clients. Obviously, a landing page should have a specific public target and everything should be focused on their needs. Many designers don’t take into consideration this aspect and the immediate consequence is the very low result of converting the Internet users into clients. Let’s suppose that the director of a kindergarten has hired a web design agency to create a website. The landing page contains some brief information about the institution and it offers the possibility of downloading an album containing many images and some aspects about how to “take your child to a kindergarten”. A very colorful landing page full of illustrations is definitely more attractive than a black and white one, isn’t it? The landing page is for clients, therefore any personal preferences must be ignored.
3. The message should be simple and concise.
The Internet users have very many opportunities and this is the basis of a superficial algorithm of website judging. The common user “scans” a webpage and unless he finds the proper information right away, he will give up trying and will leave the website. In order to avoid this situation, a good landing page should be simple and to the point… nothing more, nothing less!
4. The call to action button is the “icing on the cake”.
Nothing can be more annoying for a user than ending up in a dead end. Imagine you’re reading the content, you’re interested in what the landing page describes and then in the end you are not able to find the call-to-action button. That sucks, doesn’t it? This button is very important and sometimes it is responsible for the success of a landing page. Undoubtedly, it should be in contrast with the background, big and highlighted enough to be noticed easily but not so bold to fatigue the readers’ eyes. Once again, it should be emphasized that the call to action button should be designed depending on the targeted public. The call to action button is a part of the webpage and it also should match the color and the typography used. A handwritten font and a vintage color scheme in combination with a glossy, ultra-modern black call to action button is an example of how these may ruin a website.
5. Convince people that you are reliable – the power of testimonials.
I bet that every day you receive at least one spam message that informs you about an irresistible offer. It wouldn’t be something bad if it were real. These daily mails convince people that the Internet is a very unsafe medium and that behind everything, any opportunity is in fact a scam. This behavior affects the correct and fair opportunities – therefore a landing page should convince the readers that it’s not a spam. The problem of trust is very delicate and any details should be treated carefully. The use of testimonials is a very effective solution for assuring people about the reliability of the landing page. A client trusts another client – it’s an unwritten rule of freelance that should be applied in this case.
Each designer has his own value system and it’s possible to offer more or less quantity of tips regarding the designing of a landing page. Altogether, the above tips are the core essence of the most efficient landing pages, therefore you’d better treat these seriously.
The bad news is that a landing page can never be finished completely. The success of a landing page depends on its design, but there are two factors that contribute in making it a profitable entity: the tests and the correct setting of metrics.
Just as much as the “good design is capital” principle, “test, test, test” is another very common suggestion. Testing a landing page is still a different fact: any small improvement has a direct influence over the profit. Even the most important companies are very frequently improving their landing pages. The idea is that the designer can obtain feedback from the potential clients by testing various landing pages. These shouldn’t be totally different, just a few small differences, but usually these may raise/decrease the conversion rate. The overall conclusion is the following: testing is very important and a landing page may be constantly improved.
The second factor we mentioned, the correct setting of metrics, also has a great influence on the success or failure of a landing page. Any entrepreneur or website owner wants instant profit and sometimes the expectations are too high. A landing page is just a webpage and sometimes it might be a failure. Having adequate expectations from a landing page is extremely important. There is no miracle in business, just hard work and entrepreneurial spirit.
Have you ever created a landing page? Please share your impressions with us.