Here at FatCat, we’ve been designing a lot of landing pages for our clients recently. A landing page is something users encounter when browsing the internet every day, but you might not have ever actually heard the term.
So what is a landing page?
A landing page is a web page just like any other, except that it only has one specific function or goal. For example, the goal could be to get users to sign up for your email newsletter, request an information packet, or promote a product or event. Its name comes from the user clicking on a link or advertisement and landing on this page.
A landing page allows you to specify exactly what it is you want the user to do or look at, without them being overwhelmed by your full website. Another advantage is that it allows you as the business to track how many people clicked on the link or ad that is connected to the landing page.
What makes a good landing page?
Clear call to action
There should be one main objective of a landing page, and the call to action is how that objective is communicated to the user. It is most often the largest typography on the page, or is highlighted by a bright color to grab the users eye. A landing page is not a place to wander around and research your company or product, it’s purpose is to get the user to do something. The call to action could be ”sign up for our newsletter”, “request more information”, or “come to our open house”. Whatever the call to action is, it needs to be clear and simple, so the user understands what they are expected to do and what they should expect if they complete the action.
A eye-catching and encouraging call to action is important, but if you just have a call to action without any content to back it up, the user is unlikely to follow through with what you want them to do. A little extra content can help to make your business look legitimate, reliable, and credible. Take a little extra time to explain a few things possibly including who your company is, what product or service you sell, what the user will gain from attending this event, or why your company is the best choice.
Simple structure and language
Since a landing page only has one function, it needs to have a very simple structure so the message doesn’t get lost or misconstrued. Keep your content to a minimum, and don’t ask the user to read huge paragraphs of boring text. Using bulleted lists or short paragraphs can help ensure the user will actually read the content.
Minimal form requirements
Landing pages often include a form for the user to fill out as the ultimate action. This gives the user something (a newsletter, info packet, etc) and it also turns a viewer into a lead. A viewer who fills out a form is telling you that they are interested in your product or service and is no longer a cold lead, but is now a warm lead! Forms can give you information you need to follow up with leads, such as name or email address. But be careful, if you ask for too much information on a form, particularly if all the fields are mandatory, this may turn users off. Then they may not fill the form out at all, leaving you with another cold lead and no completed goals. To help ensure users fill out the form, only include the essential information you need—the simpler the form, the more likely they are to fill it out. If you feel you must include personal information like phone numbers, try making those fields optional so you can still catch the leads of users who don’t want to give out that information.
Offer advice as a giveaway
Sometimes the end goal of a landing page is just to collect data from users to turn them into leads. If your product or service is expensive, time-consuming, or hard to sell, try offering advice to get your users involved. Your call to action could be for the user to request a packet of information on what the process of remodeling a bathroom is like in general, rather than just a brochure on your bathroom remodeling company. Users are more willing and likely to request information they feel is relevant and helpful rather than just sales materials promoting your business.
Build trust and reliability
Your landing page is a point of interaction with a potential lead or customer, so make the most of it. Don’t mislead them with a vague call to action or unclear intentions. Make you offer clear and true—if you ask them to fill out a form to request an information packet, send them an information packet. Don’t send them a ton of information they didn’t ask for, and above all don’t give out their information to others.
Customize each landing page for specific use
Landing pages are relatively quick to make, and can have deep impact when they are clear and relevant. Best practices are to make a different landing page for different purposes. If a user clicks on an ad that says “click here to find out about our open house event” and the user clicks it and is brought to a page that talks doesn’t mention the open house, then the landing page is not relevant. Make a new landing page for each different purpose.
And as always, it’s got to look slick!
Good design is always important, and is perhaps even more important on a landing page when there is only one message to communicate. Design helps to guide the user in deciphering what the message is and how they should react and respond. The design of the page should also reflect your brand and the overall feel of your company, just as your website or any printed material.
For more information and tips about landing pages, as well as some good and bad examples of real landing pages, check out this article from Unbounce.