Essentials of a landing page

A landing page can be the difference between high conversion or mediocrity. Learns the basics of a campaign landing page along with design tips to optimizing a landing page that delivers.
Arun Nair - Author

Landing page is a web-page specifically designed with the intent of getting attention of the relevant audience, targeted at achieving an objective. The objective could be in the form of views, leads or even an end sale. Because these pages are designed around a campaign, they are also referred to as "campaign pages". The landing page may reside on the same website or hosted on a different website from that of its branded website.

Why is a landing page important? Though the average brand website is just a source of information, the landing page is tailored and optimized to entice a user to respond to the call to action (CTA), an action, which prompts users to fill in details and click a submission button. As a result, the objective achieved from a landing page is far higher than a conventional page. Well optimized landing pages are known to convert @ 20% or more i.e. for every 100 clicks coming into the landing page, 20% convert (to a lead, QR code action or sale).

Your advertisement can draw a user's attention, but it is the landing page that seals the deal.

Principle components of a landing page An effective landing page is made-up of the following components. Refer to the illustration that follows the bullet points...

  • Headline The headline is the striking element of the page and is the thing that creates impact. A sharp headline can veer the user in the right direction, and increases brand recall.
  • Image A masthead image or banner compliments the headline as it has a multiplier effect. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
  • Copy This is the text paragraph or bulleted points that follow the masthead image. Besides the headline, this is where the user finds various attributes and features of the product or service. Also, a clever combination of headline and copy is also favored by search engines in a contextual search advertisement.
  • Testimonials For users that are not convinced yet, testimonials and other credentials is that extra dose of persuasion towards the most important step, the call to action.
  • Call To Action (CTA) The CTA is the ultimate step that completes the landing page objective. The objective is either a form fill, calling a number or scanning a QR code.
Components of a Landing Page

So what makes a great landing page? A great landing page is an orchestration of the best practices of all the components listed above and is greater than the sum of its individual efforts.

Here are some best practices of a good landing page ...

  • A striking and powerful headline that arrests the attention of the user and convinces them of scanning the content. The attention span of the user is short, so unless the initial proposition is not convincing, the user is likely to skip/close the page resulting in a high bounce rate. Avoid generic statements in the headline, keep the headline short, direct and thought provoking.
  • The copy of the landing page must be clear and concise, outlining the product/service benefits at the top. Every word in the landing page must add towards the user intent and hence every word must clearly communicate the points, features without slacking off.
  • One of the top reasons that lead the user to abandon the page is the apprehension of risk or lack of credibility of the landing page. Reduce the risk of purchase by adding more indicators of trust or credibility. This could be in the form of testimonials, awards, mentions in the press, star-ratings. It is also recommended that you use SSL to secure the landing page secure. Besides securing the registration credentials, it also adds credibility and trust to your page.
  • The Call to action button should be optimized to attract attention and lead the user towards it. Use an accent color for the CTA button, that is a contrast with the primary/base color of the landing page. Studies have shown that a mere change in shape or color of the CTA button has had a disproportionate impact on the conversions.
  • The "Thank You" or the post registration page is the page subsequent to the user's completion of the intended landing page objective. Use this page to assuage post purchase/action dissonance or the feeling of guilt that usually follows a transaction. Use the opportunity to educate the user, or gift them with a free resource (usually an ebook or a discount on purchase).