How to Build an Effective Landing Page

In a world where content reigns supreme, there is a lot of advice circulating about how to use content to effectively market and sell your business, optimize your website in search, increase engagement on social media, and so on. But none of that advice matters if you don’t first convince people that your content is worth their time (and their email address.) 

If you’re spending a ton of time and effort creating phenomenal content to build brand awareness, educate your prospects, or delight your customers and you’re just giving it away for free, you’re kind of missing the point. Your content offers should come with a price: information. Specifically, information that you can use to further segment and nurture your leads through your buyer’s journey. And how do you capture that information? By building a badass landing page.

What is a Landing Page? 

A landing page is a standalone web page on your site that is dedicated specifically to converting leads from a single marketing campaign (i.e. a content offer, event registration, ad campaign, etc.) Unlike most of the pages on your website, which typically have several goals and options for your visitors, a landing page should have exactly ONE. This means no distractions. No links to other pages on your website, no footer CTAs or popups, don’t even include your main navigation menu. 

Once a prospect lands on your landing page (finally, something aptly named without an acronym, amiright?) they should have only two options: to convert on your offer or to leave. 

The Anatomy of an Effective Landing Page

Obviously, we’re aiming for the former goal, so to optimize your landing pages for conversion we’ve put together a few tips for building a landing page that converts. 

1. Craft a Focused Headline

7 in 10 people who make it to your landing page will bounce right back off. Visitors decide whether to remain on your page within seconds of arriving. This means they need to be able to tell immediately whether they have landed in the right place. Your headline is the first thing they will read, so it must convey the benefit to them - the value of your offer - clearly and concisely. (Pro tip: this headline or offer should directly reflect whatever messaging you used to get them there. No clickbait!)

2. Use a Super Hero Image

Your hero image or video is the first visual element of your landing page that visitors will see. Because this media takes up some prime real estate on your page it might be tempting to get creative. Go for it, but be sure that it tells the same story as your headline, and just as quickly. 

3. Be Persuasive

Crafting copy that converts is a fine art, and one that takes practice and lots and lots of testing. Like your headline, this needs to be clear, concise, and compelling. Try including a supporting headline - a short phrase that builds upon your headline or conveys a secondary persuasive message. Then dive into your unique selling proposition: what is it that makes what you’re offering of critical importance to the visitor? How is it going to benefit them? This is your mic drop, your moment of truth, so don’t ruin it by being overly wordy or talking about yourself.  

4. Place Your Form Above the Fold

The purpose of a landing page is to what? Collect information. So of course every landing page you create should have a form. Do not - we repeat, do not - make your visitor navigate off your page to get their offer. Include the form right at the top of the page so they see it without having to scroll (a.k.a. “above the fold”). 

5. Only Ask for What You Need

Lead information is the toll that must be paid for your incredibly awesome content, but don’t be greedy. People are already hesitant to share their email addresses, and asking for a ton of additional information can turn them off. How much you can ask for depends on how well acquainted they are with you. If the page is dedicated to a top-of-the-funnel offer, meaning it’s likely to be their first contact with you, don’t get too personal. However, if it’s a bottom-of-the-funnel offer - something that indicates a high likelihood of a sale - you can ask for more. When all else fails remember that a name and an email address are all you need to nurture a new lead.

6. Make Your Call To Action Clear

If the entire focus of this page is a single call to action, a single goal that you want your lead to complete, it should go without saying that it needs to be clear and easy to find. Your CTA button should stand out - use a color that contrasts with everything else on the page - and spell out exactly what you want visitors to do. Don’t get fancy here - in most cases simple CTAs like “submit,” “download,” or “get it now” are sufficient.

7. Offer Social Proof

This is a critical element of any landing page, and it is the most overlooked. Despite all of our best efforts as digital marketers, word of mouth still takes the cake when it comes to building trust with new leads. Testimonials, customer logos, or reviews will help build that trust and encourage people to fork over their email address. 

Have a content offer that you just can’t get people to download? Get more tips from the experts at HubSpot or give your friendly neighborhood marketers a call for a quick review of your process.  

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