Landing pages are powerful marketing tools that can help you improve sales or generate leads more effectively.
In this article we will start with what these pages are and what they are for. We will also discover all the tricks to designing successful landing page and see how to analyze the effectiveness of the pages we have created.
What is a landing page?
Landing pages are pages created with a very specific purpose: conversion.
This word might not be very clear.
Why did I choose to say “conversion” and not purchase?
It is true that an effective landing page must succeed, but it is also true that there are different purposes.
The two main ones are:
- generate leads
- get customers.
This is why you will hear about landing pages for lead generation and product sales.
Let’s take a closer look at what landing pages are for and how they can be divided into various types based on their intent.
What are landing pages for?
Landing pages are created with one goal in mind: to prompt users to take action. The basic structure of these pages is designed to guide the user towards a single action, the famous call to action.
As we will see better when we focus on the creation of the lingering page, all the superfluous and distracting factors on the page must be eliminated.
Imagine that our goal is to register the user arriving on our landing page. The registration form must be a magnet that attracts the user.
In a situation of this type, the presence of other elements that push towards other actions would only result in confusing the visitors.
And what does a confused or undecided user do?
He often leaves the page directly without doing anything.
Quite the opposite of what we wanted to achieve.
Landing page: one or several types?
We have clarified that there is only one intent to achieve when we create a landing page.
The answer depends on us.
We can create landing pages for the direct sale of a product or to generate leads. Then there are other subtypes that always fall into these two main categories. Let’s see some examples of use.
Landing page for direct sales
One of the most common examples is creating a landing page to sell a product or service.
The objective in this case is only one: to conclude the sale.
The page in question, therefore, will not have the purpose of generating interest in the reader, but to ensure that his interest, already born during the so-called customer journey, takes shape.
We could therefore say that the visitors who reach the page are already potential customers. What they lack is just the “last push” that spurs them to finalize the purchase.
This is why to succeed we will have to eliminate all the obstacles that could interrupt the purchasing process at this stage.
We will return in later chapters to this topic and see what can help us do this.
Landing page for lead generation
Another good reason you might want to create a landing page is to generate leads.
The lead generation activity consists in simple words in convincing the user to leave a contact. In practice, we may request a telephone number, an email address and other personal data.
It goes without saying that this is not an activity for its own sake, but a first step which will be followed by other strategies to guide the user to become one of our customers.
Creating a list of contacts with people interested in what we have to offer is, in fact, the first step in getting closer to the sale.
Thank you page
This other category is not strictly speaking a landing page. The “thank you page” is the one that is shown to users who have completed an action.
For example, we may have created a landing page to invite users to subscribe to a newsletter. Users who sign up will then be redirected to a thank you page.
Thank you pages are not to be underestimated because, if used well, they can convince the user to take further actions that contribute to the loyalty process.
How to create a landing page
If we want to create a landing page that does its job well, there are some practical guidelines that can help us.
To make it easier to read, we have divided this guide into chapters.
- In the first we will see how and what to analyze before designing our landing page.
- In the second we will move on to the operational part: good practices and mistakes to avoid.
- The third chapter will be dedicated to the structure of our page: which elements can I insert?
- We will continue in chapter four with seeing which tools can help us in the actual creation.
- The last but not least stage is dedicated to optimization: how do I create landing pages that convert?
Phase 1: the preliminary analysis
Before starting we need analysis:
- you must define a clear goal;
- you have to understand which audience you are addressing;
- Finally, you need to decide how to bring the audience to your page.
Define your goal
If you want the landing page to be effective, you need to know why you are creating it.
This is the time to ask yourself:
Why am I creating this page? What do I want to get?
Answering this question is the first thing to do to define the rest of the strategy and all the subsequent steps.
Do you want to create a page with the aim of filling out a contact form?
Do you want users to leave a review about your service?
Whatever the purpose, the important thing is to define it from the outset.
Know your audience
If you have a product to sell or a service to offer, you should already know the answer to this question.
However, it is worth pausing and asking yourself:
Who am I targeting with this specific landing page?
In fact, it is not obvious that all your audience is interested in the specific page. Are you creating a page for new customers? Or for an audience that already knows you and is loyal?
Making these considerations will allow you to align the content with your audience.
To create the best possible experience for your potential new customers, you also need to consider their entire journey.
You must have clear in mind the entire path that users will take to get to the landing page. Only in this way will you be able to maintain a coherent message that accompanies and spurs users to action.
Imagine that the landing page is the destination and that there are several routes that a user can take to get there.
What are the possible ways?
Let’s look at some examples in the next section.
Establish traffic sources
It must be clear from the beginning that it is not enough to create a landing page without having which traffic sources to use in mind.
Creating the page is not enough if there are no users who can reach it.
First you could use a pay per click advertising campaign such as Google Ads ads. Google and other search engines allow you to create advertising campaigns and show your site at the top of search results.
Another alternative is to focus on advertisements shown on social networks, think for example of sponsored posts on Facebook.
You can also take advantage of email campaigns to get users to your landing pages.
Organic traffic can also help: you may be able to rank among the organic results and get traffic to your site without having to resort to pay per click ads.
It goes without saying that there is no better traffic source, so you need to find the one that’s right for you. On the other hand, properly choosing one or more marketing strategies is essential to be able to bring out the product or service you want to offer.
Step 2: practical tips and mistakes not to make when creating a landing page
Once you’ve established your goal and defined your target audience, you’re pretty much ready to get your hands dirty with the design.
But where do you even start when creating a well-done landing page?
While each landing page deserves a separate discussion and you will need to analyze many factors, including the competition, there are some basic rules that we can follow to follow anyway.
With these guidelines in mind, it will be easier to direct us on the right path to create a landing page that fulfills its function.
Eliminate the unnecessary by removing distractions
Instead of starting with the elements to include on the landing page, you should start thinking about what to avoid including.
As we said at the beginning, your page must have a clear objective.
It’s not enough that the purpose of the page is clear to you, it needs to be clear to the visitor as well. If you fail to do so, all your efforts will be wasted.
So here we are at the first golden rule:
Eliminate anything distracting or unnecessary.
Let’s start with the menu. The navigation menus that you generally use on the site have a very specific purpose: to facilitate navigation and allow the user to explore and reach other pages.
This is why you shouldn’t include menus on landing pages.
In this case, you don’t want the user to leave the page, you don’t want them to explore. There is only one purpose and if you don’t want the user to “run away” you mustn’t give them the chance.
It is no coincidence that landing pages are often designed as stand-alone pages. Sometimes they can also be independent from the main site and have a separate domain.
Grab attention with an effective opening message
When you design a landing page and eliminate distractions, you’ve ensured that visitors don’t jump from one page to another without reaching their goal.
However, this does not ensure that the user actually performs the action.
Removing the menu prevents the user from getting distracted, but how do you really get their attention?
This is where the first element of the landing page structure comes into play. The headline or title together with the visual elements (images or videos) will be the first thing the user will see.
The first impact is the key that opens the door to the reader’s journey. Whether or not it will continue will depend on how persuasive you have been.
An effective message is essential if you want the visitor to stay and continue reading.
Win people over by clarifying any doubts
Now that the first test has been passed and the visitor has decided to stay on your page, you must be able to lead them to take action.
How do you convince them?
The opening message was persuasive enough to convince the user to stay, but now they are likely to be left with new questions and uncertainties.
What you need to do through the visual and textual elements of your landing page is dispel any doubts.
A successful landing page satisfies all the questions that the user may have, clarifies every possible curiosity. This is why it is important that in the content there are all the details about what you offer.
To understand what to insert you can do this simple reasoning. Imagine arriving on a page where a course is promoted: you are interested and want to know if it is right for you.
Some questions you might ask yourself are:
- Where will it take place? In presence or online?
- Will I have access to the lessons later?
- Will I have to take an exam?
- Will I get a certification?
- Is the course suitable for me based on the skills I already have at present?
These are just some of the questions you may ask yourself.
What happens if you don’t find enough explanations on the page? If you are really interested, you may wish to contact the course provider to ask further questions.
This doesn’t mean that this always happens. You might completely change your mind about giving up the idea of taking that class. Or you could look for another one that exactly meets your needs and clears up any doubts.
This example is just to let you know that when you create a landing page you should empathize with the audience that will see it. You know the potential of the service you offer, but whoever arrives on that page maybe until yesterday didn’t even know that your company existed.
It’s up to you to give them a valid reason to trust them and thus get in touch with you or become your customer.
Pay attention to all the details
It’s not enough to attract visitors to your page, to get them to stay you need to offer a solution to their problems.
In order for your message to be convincing, you must therefore create pages that are complete from every point of view. This means both carefully packaging the headline and the texts of the page and creating ad hoc visual content.
We have already seen what information to enter by making the example of selling a course. In addition to being clear and complete in the texts, you must also be clear in the call to action.
Those who visit the page must be accompanied towards the action and once they get there they must have no doubts.
Would you ever click on a button if you didn’t understand what it’s for? Would you fill out a form if you don’t know why it is necessary to enter your data?
Every element of the page must be consistent with your goal. So try to eliminate all those factors that could act as obstacles to achieving your goal.
For example, does the contact form require too much data and few users fill it out? Restrict the fields to only the necessary ones.
Is the call to action unclear and people aren’t sure if they can download the free ebook you offer? Include details explaining that they won’t have to pay anything, or try using a different message in your call to action.
As we will see in the next chapters, there are tests that allow us to measure the effectiveness of landing pages and understand where to intervene to improve them.
Don’t underestimate the performance and technical aspects
A landing page that converts doesn’t just have to be attractive to your audience. You can use an impactful message, choose a really effective combination of images, but in the end you must never underestimate the technical aspects.
What are we talking about?
First, the loading speed.
Imagine this situation: you have invested a substantial budget to create an email campaign and bring potential customers to your landing page. The page, however, is not optimized and has biblical loading times that push users to abandon it even before having seen the first contents.
You’ve wasted time and money and you don’t even have real feedback on the effectiveness of the landing you’ve created.
In a world that goes faster and faster and with increasingly distracted potential customers, it is important to capture their attention immediately. Too bad you can’t do it if you haven’t optimized the loading times.
In our article on the importance of having a fast site, you can find interesting statistics that show you how loading times also have a significant impact on bounce rates and conversions.
Do not forget that the landing page must be functional and functional. Before publishing it you should analyze its usability, make sure it is responsive and do all possible tests.
Some questions that may help you:
- Is the page also visible from mobile devices?
- Are all buttons, forms and page elements working properly?
- Are there any problems that can compromise indexing? Evaluate if you need to do an SEO analysis to find errors. (Valid advice especially if you want to focus on organic positioning.)
- Does the hosting plan I have chosen guarantee me sufficient resources? If you’re running a large campaign, make sure the infrastructure can handle a high-traffic site.
Step 3: how is the landing page structured in practice?
Now it’s time to move on to the actual structure. What should I include on the landing page?
Given that each landing page is unique and must be designed and built to measure based on the function, let’s talk about the elements that we can include.
Note that you don’t have to enter all of these items all the time. For example, if your goal isn’t to collect leads, you won’t need a form.
Your landing page headline will be the first thing visitors see. It’s important that it’s attention-grabbing, persuasive, and makes users want to stay on the page and learn more.
The text within the page
If you stimulate curiosity with the headline by opening new questions in the reader’s mind, you will then have to answer them in the rest of the landing page. The goal is to be able to give all the information you need without weighing down the reading.
Try to be clear
Don’t mince words and try to avoid generic content: use timely and specific information to answer all the questions.
Anyone reading the page doesn’t yet know what you have to offer, so try not only to go into detail, but also to organize what you have to say in a logical way. Do not jump from one piece of information to another but rather structure the content so that it is easier for the reader to identify the important points.
The call to action
What is the goal of your landing page? You have to build the call to action according to this goal.
Do you want visitors to leave their email address or register? When you create your landing page you need to make your goal clear to the people who will visit it.
Imagine a potential customer arriving at a store expecting to find what they are looking for right away. He doesn’t want to go through several rooms or even walk down corridors before arriving at the shelves where what he is looking for is displayed.
When creating the landing page you must adopt the same system: make it clear immediately what you are proposing.
And there’s no better way to do it than to use a clear message that leaves no innuendo.
Even better if, in addition to using clear words in the text of the call to action, you choose to insert it above the fold. This means showing it in the section of the page that is shown without having to scroll down.
Otherwise, you’ll want to make sure you build the page to walk users to the CTA, get them to read on, and get them to take the action.
Depending on the landing page you are creating and its length, it may also be useful to insert the CTA several times within the page. This is the same CTA but repeated more than once and placed in strategic places.
The contact form
If you are creating a landing page to capture new leads, the form is one of the most important elements.
What information do you need? Definitely the name and email address. But are the others necessary?
In principle it is better to reduce the required fields to a minimum, otherwise the effectiveness of the form is compromised. More fields equals more time to fill them out, and as a result you could lose out to those who are in a hurry or unwilling to share a lot of personal information.
Reviews and other testimonials
For the principle of social proof we tend to give more credibility to products and services that are appreciated by other people.
Precisely for this reason we tend to give great importance to reviews.
Testimonials aren’t the only signal you can use — you can also refer to certifications, awards, and other honors.
Without a doubt, the presence of tangible data can also help bring out the credibility of what you offer.
You could include data like average review ratings or refer to case study data, letting the numbers do the talking for you.
The lists and the question and answer section
Another element that can be used on landing pages is the FAQ section.
You can use it with a view to creating a persuasive landing page that offers all the clarifications to users’ questions.
Another format you can use is the list: through a list of points you can make reading easier and capture attention. It’s another way to present important information in a way that visitors to the page won’t miss.
The thank you page
This is not an element that is part of the landing page structure itself, but it is a page in its own right. After the user fills out a contact form you can redirect them to a thank you page.
If the user needs to receive something via email or be contacted again, you can use this page to send them confirmation. You can also invite users to perform other actions such as taking advantage of another offer.
Step 4: what tools to use to create landing pages?
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for our page structure, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves.
How do you actually create a landing page? Are there tools that can help us?
Create landing pages with external tools
There are several landing page builders designed to make it easier to build. These tools allow you to create pages with an easy-to-use editor and therefore you don’t need to have programming knowledge.
An example is the Mailchimp landing page builder.
You could also use the GetResponse landing page creator which allows you to create custom designs or start from a template.
Or even KickoffLabs which has predefined templates to start from.
ConvertKit is another example of a builder that allows you to start with a free plan with some limitations that I invite you to check.
Unbounce provides a builder to create pages with a drag & drop system and also allows you to start from ready-made basic templates.
Swipe Pages also allows you to create landing pages with a simplified system. The service offers various paid plans and a free 14-day trial version.
Note that some builders allow you to create landing pages and publish them for free using an internal subdomain instead of buying a domain and associating it. Although the best idea, if you want to create a professional landing page, is to use a custom domain.
Creating landing pages with WordPress
The external tools we have just seen can be anything but cheap in some cases. You must therefore evaluate whether you need the services offered or want to free yourself from a monthly subscription.
A valid alternative, less expensive and which can offer you more freedom, can be a WordPress hosting.
With WordPress, you can use several methods to create your landing pages.
Page builders have the advantage of providing you with ready-made elements that you can later customize. For instance:
- sections for the call to action;
- hero image to insert in the above the fold section of the page;
- box with testimonials;
- contact form.
Alternatively you can also create your landing page directly using Gutenberg, the WordPress block editor. In this case you can use the editor to create the page and integrate the functions with other plugins, for example using Contact Form 7 to create a contact form.
Create a landing page without using a CMS
From a technical point of view, the landing page is a normal web page. Nothing prevents you from creating it in HTML and CSS and using other programming languages to make it dynamic.
If the page is independent from the site and you don’t need to manage it through a CMS, there’s no reason to do it.
In conclusion, the choice of the method to use depends on your needs and ability to use the tools.
Step 5: How do you measure the effectiveness of a landing page?
You’ve created the landing page, you’ve published it and you think you’re done.
It’s not quite like that.
Even if you think you’ve analyzed every detail, don’t forget that everything is perfectible.
Fortunately, a practical method comes to your rescue to test the real effectiveness of the page you have created.
I’m talking about A/B testing and multivariate testing. We have dedicated an entire guide to A/B testing on our blog.
Here we briefly review the essential elements.
Why should you need an analysis like this to improve your landing page?
An A/B test consists of creating two versions of a web page so that version A and version B differ in one element. What we want to understand from this experiment is if changing an element or its position on the page also changes visitor behavior and improves conversions.
Does different text in the CTA lead to an increase in clicks? To find out, you just need to conduct a test and then analyze the results you get.
A/B tests are used in various marketing activities, including email campaigns and website creation. When it comes to creating such an important page as a landing page that has the goal of converting, testing and always looking for improvements is vital.
Here are some examples of items you can create in multiple versions and submit them for testing:
- the text of the CTA;
- the headline;
- the text within the page;
- the images used;
- presence / absence of a video;
- the combination of colors (or the color used for the CTA button);
- the arrangement of the elements (for example putting the CTA at the top of the page).
The possibilities are truly endless. Obviously you don’t have to do all the tests, all the tests, but you can start with the elements that you think will have the greatest impact.
Landing page FAQs
In this section we try to answer some of the most frequent questions about landing pages and their use. You’ll also find additional resources to help you create a successful landing page.
What is the difference between home page and landing page?
The home page is the initial page of your site, unlike a landing page, the home page must contain the navigation menu. In fact, it is important that the main pages of the site are connected directly to the home page.
There will therefore be links both in the main menu and in the footer and there may be several calls to action within the page to perhaps refer to the products.
Let’s take the SupportHost homepage as an example. At the top we find the menu that refers to the categories of hosting plans and other services, resources for customers, the blog and so on.
As you can see, therefore, a single page contains numerous links and as many calls to action.
In a landing page, on the other hand, distractions are reduced to a minimum and the goal is to have a single action performed, for example subscribing to a single service or activating a free trial.
If you think about it for a moment, it is normal that there are these differences between landing pages and home pages. The two pages are born with two different purposes and are aimed at different audiences.
Who arrives at the home of your site is not directed specifically towards a single goal. Maybe she wants to visit the blog, check out the services you offer, or she’s just heard about your brand and she doesn’t even know what you have to offer yet.
On the contrary, those who arrive on a landing page already have clearer ideas why they have been attracted to a specific page, for example because they are interested in a free trial of your service.
Where can I find other in-depth resources?
In this guide we have tried to touch all the points to create a landing page. We talked about the analysis, the structure, the tools to use and the subsequent tests to improve your landing page.
After this reading you have the basis from which to start, for further insights you may be interested in reading the book “Effective landing page” by Luca Orlandini.
The book contains strategies to follow and is the result of the author’s direct experience in creating web pages focused on selling. It’s not a technical manual, but there are concrete examples and invites you to do support exercises to put what you’re learning into practice as you continue reading.
Where can I find landing page examples?
Before creating your landing page, are you curious to see examples of pages to draw inspiration from?
You could start by taking a look at this huge Instapage list showcasing 110 landing page examples. Here you will find pros and cons for each example as well as suggestions on factors to improve or test.
Also, you can stop by to see this list from Hubspot where a breakdown of 21 landing page examples is done.
In this extended study on everything concerning landing pages, we have seen the most important elements at the base of their creation. Useful tools, errors not to be made and methods for optimization are just some of the topics we have considered.
Now that you’re at the end of the reading, you should be clear on what landing pages can be used for, what strategy to follow to build one that converts, and what other resources you can rely on.
Have you ever created a landing page? What was your goal and what results did you get? Let us know with a comment.