How To Build a Landing Page That Actually Converts

With multiple channels begging for attention and resources, it’s easy to forget that Facebook is not the only marketing tool these days. The email addresses and, eventually, purchases you wish to see are not going to happen through a Twitter account. They’re funneled through landing pages: attractive, intelligently designed requests for engagement. These pages can be hugely beneficial for your business, and fostering conversion requires focus, design, and a knowledge of your target audience. In this post, we’re outlining how to build a landing page that actually converts.

Make a Request

Your ad copy and visuals managed to attract visitors, but that effort doesn’t convert unless you make a formal request. A “call-to-action” (CTA) is a clear and understandable request of the visitor that should comprise the primary goal of your landing page. While it may not be the most challenging component to create, it is the most important.
For this reason, the best practice is to keep your CTA simple, understandable, and identifiable. The most common CTAs involve a brightly colored, large-format button that includes a message like “sign-up” or “register”, making no mistake what’s being asked and how to fulfill the request. The copy of your CTA can vary with your specific audience, so do some testing. “Donate Now” and “Please Pledge Your Support” are two very different messages, each resonating with a different audience.

Provide an Incentive

Everything about your landing page should then revolve around fulfilling that CTA, and this begins with providing something in return. These can be coupons, eBooks, or exclusive access to site features. Regardless of the nature of the reward, customers should feel that their action is appropriately incentivized, which will lead to higher conversion rates.
Rewards, much like the landing page itself, should have a specific purpose as well. There’s a reason your CTA isn’t backed by a gift card to some other retailer or business, and this isn’t because of the cost involved. The aim of your offer should be to generate further conversion. A gift card would be nice, certainly, but by providing a discount, customers are more likely to purchase your product and venture further down the “conversion funnel”. Even something like access to a webinar can present the opportunity to extol the benefits of your product, achieving the same aim with the added promise of valuable information.

Keep it Simple

Between the specifics of your offer, the values of your company, the CTA, and all the benefits you wish to highlight, landing pages can become a little cluttered. That’s why it’s your responsibility to display this information efficiently and effectively.
Begin with effective presentation “above the fold”, or, on the page, prior to any scrolling. Your CTA should be clearly displayed with a large and matter-of-fact headline, and little to no visual clutter to distract from the specifics. If you choose to list benefits, “tease” them with short, succinct copy, and then expand on them below.
Below the fold, you have a little more flexibility in terms of length, but with caveats. If users choose to scroll, they are likely looking for information, which gives you the opportunity to expand on your talking points. Present this information clearly with attention to readability, but don’t make your copy too lengthy. The more time it takes a visitor to fulfill your CTA, the less likely they are to do so. Finally, repeat your CTA. As your primary goal, it should remain present in the minds of readers, even after they’ve scrolled past the above the fold content.

Cater to your Audience

With all of this in mind, it’s important to remember that your audience is still the focus of your effort. Ultimately, your CTA is being vetted, and fulfilled, by a reader, not by a designer or marketing agency. This means that your copy, your tone, your graphics, and your offer should all focus on your target audience, lest your hard work go wasted.
In this case, A/B testing is invaluable. For those unfamiliar with the term, A/B testing is the testing of two different page layouts in order to determine which one results is the best performance. If users aren’t filling out your form, consider removing cells and see how the conversion rate changes. If your copy is too forceful, tone it down a bit and monitor progress. You’re shooting for a sweet spot at the intersection of customer sentiment and effective web practices, and hitting that mark takes patience and data.
Landing pages are more than just a pretty collector of email information, they’re a way to convert passive web visitors into active and loyal customers. The voice you choose, graphics you use, and request you make will have to pass through the lens of customer perception if you hope to curry conversion, and that means being clear and concise, offering an incentive, and targeting your message with the reader in mind. Ads may set the table, but your landing page is the meal, and satisfied guests mean repeat business.

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