How to Create a Landing Page That Converts

How to Create a Landing Page That Converts
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It’s every marketer’s dream to have landing pages with high conversion rates, but there’s no magic formula or recipe that guarantees immediate success.

Instead, there are key elements you can implement within your copy to strengthen it and make it more persuasive so that people are irresistibly attracted to your call-to-action (CTA).

This article will explain what those key elements are and what tools you can use to create a landing page that converts.

What Is a Landing Page?

A landing page is a web page created specifically to convert visitors into leads or customers.

Unlike any other page on your website, a landing page is created with the intent of getting visitors to act upon your copy and CTA.

There are two intended goals of a landing page:

  • Leads: the landing page is created to capture emails with the download of a freebie.
  • Sales: usually featuring long-form copy; this kind of landing page has the scope to sell something. For example, it might encourage visitors to make a phone call or directly purchase a product from the landing page/online store.

In a way, your homepage might be seen as a landing page if its scope is not to introduce your business merely but to get visitors to click on your service or product pages to get more information before they make a purchase.

Yes, you can still optimize your homepage using the characteristics we illustrate below -- you will make it more powerful and lead-attracting than your regular homepage.

So, the goal of a landing page is to get people to respond to your CTA, and good copy plays on emotions, even in B2B and even if the product is highly technical.

The point is that human beings act on emotions much more than logic, so you should keep that in mind when you create your landing page.

Why Create a Landing Page?

You may have an idea already, but just in case you’re still in doubt, here we’ll cover the three reasons why you may want to create a landing page:

  • Capture leads
  • Generate sales
  • SEO

Let’s take a look at them.

Create a Sales or Lead Point

A landing page is a powerful selling or conversion tool with a 23% conversion rate.

It’s easy to move users down the funnel because you have a specific place to send them that you can track. You can turn any linking opportunity into a lead opportunity with a landing page, especially if you created the page specifically for that audience (e.g., a free ebook landing page created for the readers of a guest post you published at a specific blog, where they can download the ebook in exchange for their email address).

Using a landing page to capture emails makes sense, given that 79% of B2B marketers agree that email is really effective in generating demand.

Reap SEO Benefits

When you write copy for a landing page, you don’t write in the void.

SEO plays an important role since you want people to find your landing page on search engines, especially Google.

So your copy should be built around keywords and search intent. That way, you can be sure your page will appear in search results for those specific keywords.

For example, if you want to generate signups of people interested in a free project management tool, you may want to build your landing page around a keyword such as “project management tool free” and encourage visitors to sign up to try your 14-day free premium trial.

How to Create a Landing Page That Gets Results

There are several criteria to ensure that a landing page is high quality and will help you get leads or sales.

1. Have Your Goal Clear

Is your landing page for getting leads or to generate sales?

We already saw the difference between the two scopes:

  • Are you trying to capture email addresses? If you are, it’s a lead capture page.
  • Do you want to sell subscriptions/services/products? If you do, it’s a sales page.

Knowing the purpose of your page and what you have in mind will help you understand how to address your audience and how to write the copy.

2. Keyword Research and Search Intent

Do your research to decide which keywords to use and what is the search intent behind those keywords.

That’s a necessary step to get your landing page found on search engines.

Keyword research is not hard: all you have to do after brainstorming your landing page topic is input that topic in a tool such as Ubersuggest and see what keywords it suggests.

Ubersuggest also gives you the search volume and SEO difficulty for each keyword, which are, respectively, the average number of times users search that keyword in a month, and how easy (or difficult) it is to rank for that keyword, based on the competition in search results.

As for search intent, it’s simply the intent of the searcher when they input a keyword in Google’s search field and hit the search button.

You can often infer the search intent behind a keyword, but to be sure that you got it right, the easiest way to check search intent is to run a Google search for the keyword you want to target and see what results the search engine returns.

For example, a search for the keyword we previously mentioned -- “project management tool free” -- clearly returns free and open software as results, along with list blog posts collecting free and freemium project management software. That tells you that users look for software directly when they run this search, and that’s what your landing page should offer.

3. Write Compelling Copy

Good copywriting is key.

Your landing page should convince visitors to act upon your CTA.

That begins with the headline and lead, two critical parts of your copy.

Why?

Because, on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. So if your headline doesn’t glue visitors to your page, the remainder of your copy will get no chance, even if it’s powerful and compelling.

A good example of a great headline is David Ogilvy’s legendary Rolls-Royce ad from the early 60s, “At 60 Miles An Hour”, where the eyeball-attracting headline plays on sensory imagery to make the reader “feel” the silence of the car:

At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.

As a rule of thumb, make your headline useful, extremely specific, and have it convey a sense of urgency, so the visitor will feel the internal push to read the copy.

Also, include a number if possible: according to ConversionXL, headlines containing numbers convert better than headlines with no numbers.

Then, the lead -- the first sentence of your copy -- should be engaging and specific, as copywriter Bob Bly says in his book The Copywriter’s Handbook. That will keep the reader glued to the page and reading.

Finally, it’s your copy’s duty to make the reader feel irresistibly attracted to the CTA and ready to act on it.

Writing persuasive copy is at the heart of copywriting, and it begins with your value proposition.

If you don’t know, a value proposition is your competitive advantage expressed in the form of a sentence.

It answers the question: “What does my business do better than the competition, and why should people buy from me?”

Well, your landing page should convey your value proposition, both in the headline and in your copy: why should people give you their attention (and things like their email address or money)?

Another thing to have in your copy is benefits.

What’s in it for your prospective lead or buyer?

Your copy should avoid focusing on features and instead talk of the ways your product or service will solve your prospect’s problems.

What are their pain points? Highlight how your product helps ease them.

For example, read the copy on this landing page from AWAI motivating clearly struggling copywriters to signup:

landing page 6 awai

But are features to avoid at all? The answer is no.

Features find their place in your copy; you only include them after the benefits.

People now are ready to learn more about your product or service. Break down the features of the product nicely, adding a short description for each one.

MOZ Pro is a good example:

landing page 4 MozPro

Finally, your call-to-action (CTA) should be strong and direct, like a “Download Now” or “Get Started”.

Keep it concise -- your CTA doesn’t have to be complicated, and it should have a clear value proposition (i.e., what people will get when they click on it).

See this example from HubSpot:

landing page 5 HubSpot

As you can see so far, some key elements make your landing page copy strong and effective, but we’ll add a last one to be extra helpful: make your copy scannable.

Use spacing, paragraphs, bolds, italics, subheadings, bullet lists. White space is good!

Look at how Apple used it:

landing page 1 apple

4. Address the Buyer’s Pain Points

Address the target buyer's or lead's pain points in your copy.

Put that empathy at work.

The prospective buyer or lead should feel that you understand them and that they can trust you because you're not only an expert, you're a friend.

Ask yourself:

  • What problem does my customer/lead have?
  • How can I empathize with their problems in my copy? (e.g., with examples)
  • How does my product/service ease their pain?

Conduct qualitative market research to find your customers/leads’ pain points and address them in your landing page copy.

5. Add Visual Elements

Video introductions, video testimonials, photos.

Add any visuals that add credibility to your landing page.

Copywriter Bob Bly in his book The Digital Marketing Handbook, says that adding videos to a sales landing page improves conversions by about 10-15%.

6. Add a Byline

Bob Bly says that long-form landing pages might be experienced as an article (and thus seen as more trustworthy) if you add a byline.

Think about it: when you read an article, don’t you trust it more if you know who’s written it rather than reading an anonymous write-up?

A byline is a psychological lever that will keep people reading your copy and secretly imagining the author talking to them.

It makes for a pleasant experience and better chances that they will click the CTA button.

7. Add Clear Contact Info, a FAQ, and a Guarantee

Again, it’s about trust.

People should know where they can contact you if they have questions and are not ready to buy yet, so have clear contact info on your landing page and make it easy to message you (e.g., a contact form or a live chat).

Also, there should be already a list of FAQs for their most immediate questions (e.g., about free trials and refunds).

Finally, if you sell something through your landing page, offer a guarantee, and let them know how long it will take you to refund them if your product or service is not satisfactory.

8. Frequent CTAs

According to Unbounce, 90% of people who read your headline will also read your CTA copy, so it makes sense to have frequent CTAs on your landing page after your headline.

For sales pages, have your CTA early and often in your copy. You may sell to prospective buyers or leads at different stages of your copy.

Some will buy early; others will require further reading, even up to the FAQ and guarantee, to finally trust you enough to click on the CTA.

However, for short-copy, mostly leads landing pages, frequent CTAs may appear spammy. In this case, a maximum of 2 reiterations of the CTA will be enough to capture early and late leads.

For example:

landing page 2 edgandia

For this short homepage copy, one CTA button is totally enough.

9. Capture Page Exits

When people click away from your page without further action, you really don’t want to waste the opportunity to (at least try to) win them back.

Provide them with a popup offer, so you have at least an email address for follow-up.

In fact, popups can generate an average conversion rate of 3.09%, according to Sumo. That’s great.

10. Keep Navigation Elements at a Minimum

A landing page should focus on its copy and CTA, and everything else is distractions.

The design of a landing page should work toward its goal (conversion) so try to keep navigation elements at a minimum and avoid flashy graphics that don’t add to your overall scope.

As Peep Laja from CXL says:

“Rule of noise: The closer you get to closing the sale, the less things you should have on your screen. Once they get to checkout screen, you shouldn’t have ANYTHING on the page that doesn’t directly contribute to conversion.”

11. Run A/B tests

How is your landing page performing?

What if you change a few elements on the page -- would it still perform well or better?

You can find out with A/B tests. A/B testing is done by testing two or more versions of your copy, page design, and/or CTA with your audience and observing the results.

landing page 3 A B testing example

Image: Wikipedia, Creative Commons

Also, heatmaps can guide you to analyze user behavior on your pages and see where you should improve things.

Refer to your analytics software for heatmap setup if you don’t have it running already.

How to Build a Landing Page (In Practice)

Now that you know what your landing page should contain, it's time to build the actual landing page.

You can do it in several ways.

1. Hand-code Your HTML + CSS Page

When you know how to code in HTML and CSS, you can easily create your own landing page template by coding it yourself.

For inspiration, you can check out Unbounce and AWAI landing pages and take note of design best practices.

If you don’t know how to code, you can still find ready-made HTML templates for landing pages.

For example, this post at Colorlib lists 107 free landing page templates you can choose from.

2. Use Templates in WordPress

If you use WordPress for your website, you can find several free and paid themes specific to landing pages.

For example, you can find several affordable landing page WP themes at ThemeForest.

Usually, these themes are very easy to set up because they come with a built-in drag & drop editor.

3. Use Leadpages

Speaking of drag & drop editors, Leadpages is a pretty good landing page builder.

It offers a good selection of landing page templates that you can edit directly on the site.

The tool has a 14-day trial, so you can give it a try and see if it’s what you’re looking for before you spend money on it.

4. Use GetResponse

GetResponse is an inbound marketing tool and landing page builder that helps marketers automate their tasks.

GetResponse comes with a vast assortment of landing page templates that you can choose from, divided by category (e.g., “Download Pages, “Thank You Pages”, “Webinar Pages”, etc.).

5. Use Unbounce

More expensive than Leadpages, Unbounce is a popular landing page builder with a wide selection of templates.

Like Leadpages, Unbounce comes with a drag & drop editor, making it easy to build your landing page even with no coding knowledge.

How to Promote Your Landing Page

After all the hard work, it’s time to promote your landing page.

Let’s see 4 ways to do it easily using digital marketing.

1. Search Engine Optimization

If you have optimized your landing page copy for keywords and search intent as we recommended at the beginning of this article, you have nothing else to do but monitor your landing page ranking for your target keyword(s) and its conversions in analytics.

In the other case, follow our keyword research advice and Search Engine Journal’s guide on search intent to optimize your landing page for SEO and also up your chances to score backlinks.

A way to actively seek backlinks to your landing page is to offer your product or service up for review to selected bloggers and hope they will link back.

You might check out this guide from Backlinko to learn more about optimizing your page for SEO.

Also, as we already said when we talked about minimizing distractions in your landing page design, keeping graphics elements to a minimum will help with improving page speed, which is another ranking factor in Google.

2. Email Marketing

If you built an email list for your business, you could send out emails to your subscribers with a link to your landing page, and conversion tracking enabled (clicks, actions, etc.).

That way, you’ll know if subscribers are clicking on that link and if those clicks are generating sales.

If you don’t have a list but still want to promote your landing page through email marketing, you can advertise on other people’s newsletters and mailing lists.

3. Social Media Marketing

There are two ways you can promote your landing page on social media:

  • Posting promos on your account: this will allow followers to find your landing page through your posts. Use hashtags to expand your reach to any interested party that doesn’t follow you (yet).
  • Advertising: you can buy sponsored placements on social media to reach as many as possible outside of your network

We recommend you try both methods to get as many eyes on your post (and landing page) as possible.

4. Advertising

We already said you could advertise on newsletters and social media.

Well, there are many more places you can advertise:

  • Search engines: you can advertise your landing page for your target keywords, so it’s shown above organic search results
  • Industry portals and e-magazines: you’ll be able to advertise your landing page to your target audience here
  • Niche forums and communities: these websites often welcome ads from related websites in the same niche or industry, and they offer a large community of potentially interested people

Conclusion

Creating a good landing page that converts is a work of strategy, and this strategy involves understanding the buyer's psychology.

That’s why we put so much emphasis on copy and CTA. Coming up with a good CTA involves understanding how prospective buyers will react to your landing page copy (i.e., how the copy will play with their emotions, so they feel motivated to buy).

Play your cards well, and your landing page will be successful.

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