Hartley Brody

How to Design a Landing Page That Works

landing pages Whether you’re trying to grow your newsletter, convert more customers, or put out an offer, it’s important to understand the dynamics of a good sign-up page.

To marketers, these are usually known as “landing pages” since they’re the first page someone sees when they “land” on your website after clicking an advertisement or call-to-action.

The entire point of a landing page is to convince a visitor to give you their private information in exchange for whatever you’re offering. While it might sound fairly cut and dry, there are lots of useful tactics to help convince more of your visitors to give up their information.

A lot of people are skeptical about giving up their email address or other private information on the internet these days, so a good landing page should aim to ease that anxiety and smooth the conversion process.


Get Rid of Links

You landing page should have a single purpose, usually to get a visitor to fill out a form. There should be nothing on the page that distracts a visitor from completing this action.

There shouldn’t be any navigation links at the top of the page, since those are just inviting a visitor further away from your goal before they’ve even gotten to check out your offer.

You might want a link or two in the footer to add some legitimacy to the site, but try to keep the number of links on the landing page as low as possible, so your visitor doesn’t get distracted.

Minimize Scrolling

Ideally, your entire page should fit on the screen without requiring the user to scroll. This way, a visitor can take the entire page in at once.

You want to minimize the amount of work it takes a visitor to fill out the form. They shouldn’t have to scroll to see more fields, or find the “submit” button. Try to keep the form as high on the page as possible to minimize scrolling.
This is often referred to as keeping things “above the fold.”

Keep the Form Short

Don’t ask for more than you need. Definitely don’t ask for their age, address or phone number.

People guard their information very closely, and so the more you ask for, the less likely someone is to complete and submit the entire form.

For most situations, you probably only need a name and email address. You can ask for more information in a follow-up email if it’s really necessary.

Use Graphics As Clues

Don’t put charts or fancy but distracting images on your landing page.

landing page imageThe most effective image is often a stock photo of a person looking to the side right next to your form, to give the illusion that the character is looking at the form. Arrows work well too. Anything that screams, “HEY! LOOK AT MY FORM!”

When a visitor is first scanning your landing page, these subtle visual clues direct their attention where you want it to be – on your form.

Use Headlines & Bullet Points

I don’t care if you’re Shakespeare, no one is going to read your paragraph of marketing copy.

Headlines and bullets are easy to scan and convey the importance of your offer quickly and easily. Use them well. This will also help you keep the length of your page short.

Reinforce Your Offer

Use your headlines and bullets to describe why your visitor needs your offer. Don’t just describe the offer and expect them to figure out if they need it.

Tell them what they’re signing up for and what they should expect. Tell them why they need it right now. Tell them how awesome this opportunity is and why they shouldn’t miss out. Tell them you’ll kill a puppy if they leave the page without signing up.

Okay, maybe not that far, but the point is still the same. Once you’ve gotten rid of all the distractions, the most important step is to convince the visitor that it’s worth giving up their private information to get what you’re offering.

Examples

The landing page I built for Marketing for Hackers has converted surprisingly well. I’m rather proud of it so go check that out.

HubSpot also has a great article with 5 examples of big business landing pages for more inspiration.

Tweet me your landing page and I’ll try to offer tips! Or check out more of my landing pages tips here.