January 28, 2020 - By Hawke Media

How to Make a Landing Page: 7 Components That Convert

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The goal of a landing page, as opposed to the regular content pages on your site, is to convert. That means focusing on the drivers, barriers, and hooks that resonate with your target audience, incorporating the essential elements of a good landing page, and eliminating what doesn’t contribute to the singular goal of conversion. Landing pages should always be associated with a specific campaign or product and should target a specific customer segment with relevant content to be more effective. As a benchmark, the average landing-page conversion rate across all industries is 9.7%. That shades the typical conversion rate for Facebook ads (9.2%), but falls way short of the average CTR for email (15.22%). The comparison is unfair, though, given that the landing page is usually the ultimate destination for email and social media ad traffic. 

The secret to maximizing your landing-page conversion is to provide exactly what users are looking for with custom message matching and a simple, intuitive interface. It’s about putting all the components in place and removing clutter and distraction. 

Assembling the Parts of a High-Converting Landing Page

Before you even begin putting together your landing-page components, you need to define these elements. 

Target Buyer

Unlike your homepage, landing pages should be tailored to a specific audience that you’ve seduced and engaged with a campaign focused around a clear, compelling USP (unique selling proposition). Determining which customer segment to target with your page will allow you to refine your message. Content that resonates with users more personally will increase your conversion rate. That means offering compelling benefits and social proof to galvanize action. 

Pro tip: If you’re a retailer that covers a wide variety of categories, you don’t need to present them all on the landing page. For example, if your social media ad is advertising men’s hiking socks, link to a landing page for the same product. Save the women’s leggings and kids’ bobble hats for a separate campaign. 

Campaign Goal

Landing pages are geared toward increasing conversions. In e-commerce, that could be a purchase or subscription, whereas in B2B it may be an eBook download, webinar sign-up, or demo booking. The golden rule of landing-page conversion is to focus on a single goal and build your elements around achieving it. 

Traffic Source

Attribution is key to understanding your best-performing channels. Your Google Analytics or CRM dashboard will identify where the visitors to your landing page are coming from, whether it’s paid ads, email, or organic search fueled by your SEO strategy. Seamless consistency matters, so there should be no disjunction between the offer and language you presented in lead generation and the proposition on your landing page. 

Users coming from an interruptive social ad, for example, will likely know little about your brand and may need education, whereas those arriving via an email link will probably be more familiar with your products. This will dictate what type of content to include on the page.

Pro tip: Your hero shot does a lot of the heavy lifting. If the visitor can’t see the product, a representation of themselves, or simply something to excite them before they bounce, the conversion may be lost in a matter of seconds. 

Building Your Landing-Page Components

Now that you know the who, what, and where of your landing page, it’s time to build it. As with any web page, the user experience is key to success.

Content and layout are critical to encouraging users to take desired action. Too little information, and they won’t feel confident enough to take the next step. Too much, and you might overwhelm them. A wonky submission form or improperly placed call to action will certainly drive them away.

Here are the most important things to consider when building your landing page.

1. Headline

Your landing page has as little as 15 seconds to grab a user’s attention. Your headline is key to hooking their curiosity. It needs to grab interest, articulate a clear, specific benefit, and add context to the hero image. The challenge is to check all those boxes in no more than 10 words, for best results.

2. Sub-headline

Where your headline hooks the user, your subheadline should elaborate on what the headline promises, encouraging the user to take action. It should be between 10 to 30 words.

3. CTA

One of the most frustrating mistakes to see on otherwise well-composed landing pages is a call to action that misses the mark. Whether you’re pushing a purchase, a free trial, an email subscription, or anything else, your CTA should be impossible to miss, with a message that clearly states what will happen when the user clicks. “Buy Now” won’t necessarily cut it, whereas “Start Your Weight Loss Journey Today” triggers ambition. If you really want to turn your visitors into buyers, use personalized CTAs, which typically convert 202% better

4. Imagery

The imagery on your landing page must not only resonate with the target audience but also align with the product itself and the campaign that drove the user to the page. This is not the place for a generic stock photo. It’s where you show your user a better version of themselves, something new and intriguing, or an item with “gotta have it” appeal. 

5. Copy

As with imagery, the messaging and tone of your landing-page copy should be consistent with your overall brand voice and match the traffic source. Your landing page needs to offer a clear explanation of why the user should take the desired action. Demonstrate the benefits of the product, service, or offer in question by touching on value props. This is also your opportunity to address your buyer’s fears, so approach your key benefits in a way that resolves their pain points. 

When crafting your body copy, remember that clarity and brevity are your best friends — try to say the most with the fewest words. Keep away from linking out to other pages or sites, as this can only interfere with the desired user action.

6. Supporting Content

Too many landing pages are still built for desktop browsers, even though 54.8% of online traffic is on mobile. What are they looking for? Fast loading, clear scrolling, and a CTA button they can click. Keep their user experience in mind when adding supporting content that drives landing-page conversions. Embedded video, for example, can increase conversions by 86%, while testimonials and user-generated reviews are great at putting lingering concerns to bed. The average customer reads 10 reviews before trusting a business. There’s still time to earn it on the landing page. 

7. Layout

By now it should be clear that when it comes to landing pages, shorter is better. Minimize how much your user has to scroll to get the information they need to hit that CTA. Keep important content above the fold, and never bury the CTA. There should be a clear path for the user to progress, skip, or click through the individual parts of the landing page. For longer scrolling landing pages, consider placing multiple CTAs throughout.

Conclusion

By nature, dedicated landing pages will have a higher bounce rate (as in, 9 out of 10 users) than the rest of your site, as they serve one goal and aren’t meant to encourage navigation to other parts of the site. Keep these seven critical elements in mind and your landing page will be set up to convert. And remember that a landing page is never a “set and forget” affair. A/B test hero images, headline options, and CTAs, optimize accordingly, and stay glued to your analytics dashboard to see where elements can be improved.