A landing page’s sole purpose is to convert whoever enters the page. It has one focused CTA, and only one. That CTA itself may be varied depending on the campaign and how you’re presenting the desired action to your users.
A landing page is not a homepage, and shouldn’t behave like one. Homepages have many purposes and can inspire a user to take any number of actions.
Homepages will generally link to most pages of the site, giving the user free-reign to roam wherever they please. The goal of a homepage is to encourage the user to travel deeper into the site, whereas a landing page is encouraging the user to make a specific action on the page itself.
These ten best practices will help you differentiate your landing pages from your other website pages and create experiences that convert!
1. Don’t Lead Users to Your Homepage
When you design a landing page it should be tailored to the user’s exact search query.
For example, if you’re a dentist and a user types in ‘Veneers in Orlando’, you want to lead them to a page specifically about veneers and the services you offer centered around veneers at your Orlando office. You wouldn’t want to lead them to your homepage which covers every service you perform at all your Central Florida locations. This doesn’t match their search query and they’re likely to bounce from the page.
Landing pages give you a way to meet search intent and lead a user toward the desired action. If you lead a user to the homepage they will be influenced to take any number of actions. They’re also more likely to leave the page page your homepage most likely doesn’t speak to their needs.
When you design a landing page remember, your homepage is an overview of all of your services. A landing page is meant for the one specific service the user searched for. You want them to land on a page focused on their needs.
2. Make Your Landing Page Mobile Friendly
63.4% of the global population is using their mobile device for internet browsing as of 2019. This number is on the rise from previous years and mobile continues to gain traction and favorability among consumers.
Because your users are operating on a much different screen dimension than when on desktop, mobile users need larger buttons and legible text. Your user shouldn’t be twisting and turning or zooming in and out to properly utilize your page. In fact, if they need to do that to make simple actions on the page they’re likely to leave.
You can use Google’s mobile-friendliness checking tool to access your own landing pages using either the URL or code.
Also, be sure to link all phone numbers using the following code:
This allows users to easily click-to-call, improving mobile-friendliness and making it that much easier for your user to take the next step.
3. Add Directional Cues to Guide the User
A directional cue can be an arrow, the focus of the model on screen, lines, or object positioning and pointing. These are visual elements lead the user’s eyes to the important element on your landing page. You could be pointing out a contact form, CTA button, or any other information you deem most important for the user to see.
Your goal is to get the attention of users’ to the most important element on the page and convince them to move to the next step by converting.
4. Consider the User’s Level of Awareness
If you are introducing someone to the basic concepts of a topic you would speak to them much differently than you would someone who expressed advanced understanding and presents specific, niche questions. This same logic should be applied to your landing pages. If the user is searching for basic or broad terms they should be presented with a much different experience than a user who searched for a specific, niche topic.
In order to consider the user’s level of awareness you need to know what those levels are. Let’s break them down:
- Unaware: These users don’t even know they have a problem.
- Problem aware: These users know only about the problem.
- Solution aware: These users know there is a solution to the problem.
- Product aware: These are users who know your product but haven’t converted yet.
- Most aware: These are your loyal, loving brand promoters. They love your products, they love your brand, and they are repeat shoppers.
User intent is also at play here and goes hand-in-hand with awareness (but keep in mind these terms are not interchangeable). You need to understand why someone is searching for the keyword and how to play to the benefits they’ll connect with.
For example, one users searches ‘Best cars of 2019’ and another searches ‘Buy used green minivan near me’. The minivan shopper is much closer to converting – they know they want to buy, the type of vehicle they want to buy, and where they want to buy it. Whereas the user searching for ‘Best cars of 2019’ is just a casual browser.
A landing page cannot be successful if you try to speak to every level of awareness and all user intents. It’s better to create multiple landing pages for users at different levels of awareness. Start with the landing pages that speak to users that are likely to convert. Then, move on to the rest of the users.
5. Keep Your Design Simple and Focused
Utilize the F and Z patterns when designing your landing page to optimize for the natural way people read a page. The F-pattern is based off of extension research conducted by Nielsen Norman Group, which tracked the motion of a user’s eyes on a page. It showed users start in the top left and scan left ot right down the page until they come across something interesting and relevant. The Z-pattern is most often observed on pages with less information and text blocks. The user’s eyes move left to right, then down in the shape of a Z.
Designing a visual hierarchy in this way creates an intuitive landing page built to place the most important elements in the path of your user’s eyes.
Just as the copy on the page should be focused on one goal, simplicity is best when it comes to design on a landing page. This avoids overwhelming the user. If there is no visual hierarchy and every element is vying for complete attention then nothing on the page will win.
6. Include Trust Signals
Including trust signals on your landing pages gives your users a sense of security as they near the point of converting. Including this powerful tool on your landing pages results in better conversion rates. Different types of trust signals include:
- Trust by association
- Social proof
7. Focus on One End Goal Per Page
Don’t confuse the user with multiple offers on one page. Focus on only one action you want the user to take while on the page – not two, or five, or ten. Just one.
If your user landed on your page from a “Contact dentist near me” search, don’t try to get them to sign up for your newsletter or like you on Facebook. Those come second after trying to be the dentist that this user actually contacts.
This means there won’t be a clutter of multiple CTAs on the page. This helps to make it clear to the user, immediately, what action they are being asked to complete. And from this, you’ll see an improvement in the number of users who do convert.
8. Create Short & Simple Contact Forms
You know that dread of being handed a stack of paperwork, that’s essentially how you make your users feel when you present them with a long and intensive contact form. Keep your form fields to around four, the essentials being name, phone number, email, and a text-entry box.
You can increase form submissions by offering an incentive. Things like webinars, whitepapers, and ebooks are a clever way to capture a lead while offering them something they’ll see as valuable in return. You’re also giving them a reason to give up their email address, which many are protective of for fear of being spammed by aggressive email-happy companies.
Remember – No matter what you’re asking in the form or offering in return, make it clear and concise to avoid confusion and frustration by your user.
9. A/B Test Different Aspects of Your Page (Separately)
A/B testing is a way to study very specific changes and see what works and what doesn’t. When you A/B test you change only one small thing about the page. This could be the CTA or the background color or one image. It’s important to note that A/B testing is not split testing, where there are two entirely different pages being used to see which gets better results for the same campaign.
Over time you can experiment with small tweaks until you are satisfied with the conversion rate of the page.