“All landing pages are web pages, but not all web pages are landing pages.” – HubSpot

So what makes a landing page so special?

A landing page is designed for a particular and focused objective. Typically, that’s to compel a visitor to fill out a form and exchange their information for something of value. Landing pages are, without a doubt, crucial to lead generation.

Often, a landing page is a stand-alone web page with no navigation linking back to your main site. The reason? To limit the options available to your site visitors in order to focus their attention on the single purpose: to fill out a form and obtain something of value.

Unfortunately, there is no precise formula for creating the “perfect landing page”. However, there are some best practices you can use when you start your next landing page design.

Use these simple but essential tips to improve your landing page conversion rate:

1. Keep the Most Important Stuff “Above the Fold”

In the newspaper business, the most important headline and news article – front page news – is always placed above the fold, so it’s the first thing a reader sees.

Likewise, on a web page, anything “above the fold” is in the space a visitor sees without having to scroll further down the page. This is where all the important elements of your landing page should go.

Attention spans are short. Your landing page should grab a visitor’s attention quickly and tell them exactly what to do – “Click Here”, “Download Now”, “Register Today”.

You should include:

  • A compelling headline that describes the offer.
  • A short description of the offer.
  • A call-to-action (CTA) button.
  • A supporting image (optional).
  • A proof element: a testimonial, well-known customer or partner logos (optional).

Here is an example of the above-the-fold space on a Mercer-MacKay landing page for Microsoft award submissions. You’ll notice it’s a simple and concise headline to intrigue the viewer with a clear CTA button.

2. Write Clear & Concise Headlines

Headlines are critical to your landing pages’ success.

If you want your viewers to take a closer look, you need a great headline that compels or intrigues them by articulating the value or unique benefit of your offer.

3. Ensure Your Call-to-Action Stands Out

Make it bright and make it bold. Your CTA button needs to draw the viewer’s eye.

Your CTA button should be placed right below your CTA copy, or you can have the CTA copy as the button. In the example above, “Win with Mercer-MacKay” follows the second approach.

4. Use ONE Call-to-Action

As the saying goes, “a confused mind never buys”.

The more options presented to a viewer, the less likely they’ll take any of them.

Design your landing page for a single-targeted purpose to improve your ability to successfully capture leads – that means one CTA throughout your landing page.

5. Include Relevant Images and Videos (But Don’t Clutter the Page)

Images and videos can have a great impact on visitors. In fact, videos have been shown to improve conversion rates by 80%. If you have a video that complements your offer, use it!

A word of caution, though: too many graphics can be distracting.

HubSpot has found through A/B testing that graphic-heavy landing pages do not improve conversion rates. What’s more, they have the tendency to increase the load time, which has a detrimental impact on conversion.

According to the Aberdeen Group, a one-second delay in page-load time results in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions.

Always use images and videos that support the path to conversion, rather than sidetrack the viewer’s attention.

6. Include Social Proof

Build your credibility and trustworthiness through social proof. This could be the inclusion of customer testimonials, well-known customer or partner logos, press mentions, or other accolades (like Microsoft competencies, award recognitions, etc.).

7. Watch Your Spelling & Grammar

You would think this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised at the number of mistakes you find. Have a second or third set of eyes review your copy.

If you’re using landing page software where you work within a template, transfer your copy over to a Word document to catch any glaring mistakes.

8. Test, Test, and Test Some More

Since there is no precise formula for the “perfect landing page”, testing is crucial to evaluating what resonates with viewers and prompts conversion.

Run A/B tests that test the different elements of your landing page, such as copy, images, CTAs, formatting and placement, or colours, to determine what works and what doesn’t.

As a rule of thumb, focus on one change at a time. If you’re testing too many things at once, you’ll never know what is helping or hurting your conversion rate.

9. Prioritize for Mobile Users

The future of search is mobile. According to Google, more than 50% of searches globally now come from mobile devices. If you’re not optimizing for mobile you’re missing a huge opportunity to convert more leads.

In fact, 40% of mobile visitors will abandon a landing page if it is not mobile-friendly. Take the time to improve and optimize your landing page for both your desktop and mobile visitors.