Last week I shared with you how to "Drive conversions with simple landing pages (Part 1)". I'm now back with part 2 to finish off this best practice guide to help you deliver the perfect landing page.
Already up to scratch with part 1? Then let's delve into part 2...
A picture paints a thousand words
We all know that second to your headline, an image is the first thing your readers see. And the fact the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text, means it’s pretty much the most important factor on your LP.
An image can make it or break it.
But remember, no one sits around in suits laughing hysterically at a laptop...leave the cheesy stock photos alone. There are plenty of quality photo galleries around (like istock or shutterstock), you just gotta dig a little deeper. Nothing worth having is easy.
Relevance is key. If your LP is focussed on a specific report around B2B blogging, you don’t want to have an image of consumers at a conference. It wouldn’t make sense and it would confuse your readers. This in turn increases page abandonment, and nobody wants this.
The image should complement your headline and body copy. They all need to work together to create a seamless experience that’s clear and unambiguous.
Using an image of your product or asset (eBook, report etc.) is a great way to intertwine these components together, and it provides a visual representation of what you’re offering.
Another way to use images on landing pages is of people with a testimonial.
Think about it, what’s going to speak more volume..., you telling someone how amazing you are, or someone telling it for you?!
Customer testimonials are a great way to prove yourself as a trusted source of information, and pairing that with a relatable image can be key to a high-converting landing page.
Lastly, don’t forget to add alt-text to images, this means Google can “read” your images and see the relevance.
If an image paints a thousand words, a video must paint a million. Video has increased in popularity, and isn’t just for cute cat videos and silly pranks online.
53% of people surveyed want to see more video content from marketers (HubSpot). People are crying out for engaging short videos. Video is easier to digest than words, people are lazy and prefer to watch a video over reading a page of text.
To top it off, video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. This kinda stat is just shouting for you to try it!
There are tons of benefits to using video on a landing page, but you’ve still go to make sure you’re driving that one, specific goal.
Your video needs to tell an engaging, emotion-driven story that leads to one direct action. And as with customer testimonials, if you feature your company employees or yourself in the video, the trust factor is significantly increased, bonus!
Videos increase the time spent on page, which helps drive home the message and lets it sink in for longer, thus increasing conversions through engagement.
Makes sense right!?
Video isn't for everyone. But just remember, you don't need to hire a whole crew and create a Hollywood film, simple animation can be just as effective as people video. Do what works for your business and your budget. Test things out, start small and build on this over time.
The perfect form
Just like a ballerina, the perfect form doesn't come straight away. It takes time and precision to develop it. Your form may look good first time around, but there is always way to improve and develop.
If you want your users’ details - that all important conversion - then you’ve gotta have a form to capture their information.
It wasn’t that long ago I wrote a whole post about lead generation forms that actually convert. I’ve created a quick lowdown of the top tips from the blog post, tailored to LP’s…
Utilise your headline
Remember when we talked about headlines in part 1? The same applies for your form. Use action-oriented words which clearly explain what you want users to do i.e. “Download”, “Sign-up”.
On a LP, your form headline should directly correlate to your main headline. This increases the likelihood to convert and really drives home the reason for your LP.
Keep it short
Only ask for the key pieces of information. If you don’t need their phone number, don’t ask for it.
Make it is as simple and easy to convert as possible!
Use progressive profiling
Make sure to use smart form fields. If you have a user who has downloaded your content before, the last thing you want is them to have to fill it all in again.
Progressive profiling allows you to queue other questions to ask users, if you already know their basic information. This helps you to build a more rounded profile of your potential customers.
One vs. two column debate
This is still up for debate. But we go from HubSpot’s study, who finds that if the form on your LP is an exchange of info, a ‘one short column’ form fits.
But, if the form is to trigger another action (aka. a call back), then a ‘two column’ form is preferred.
To throw a new one into the mix, a two-part form often converts higher than a long form due to the Zeigarnik effect. Something to think about when you decide your must ask questions.
If you keep reading we will go into a lot more detail, but in a simple sentence:
You need to be clear, concise and straight-to-the point.
Use action verbs - just like with your headline - and make it clear what you need someone to do. It needs to look like a button, act like a button and read like a button.
Another one up for debate. We don’t go for best practice here because we learnt that placeholder text worked for us over labels, as it shortened the form’s look and feel.
As we always say, test, optimise and change. Nothing is ever perfect first time, you gotta test different methods and sometimes push the boundaries.
Call that user to action!
A compelling call-to-action is the difference between a conversion, and well, no conversion. It sounds pretty simple right? Chuck some action oriented words on a big bright button and you’ve got yourself a win.
Unfortunately it’s not that simple.
An effective CTA relies on 3 things; design, copy and balance. Let’s look at each of these in turn.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to design. It needs to meet your brand guidelines, and still catch the eye of the intended user.
Create, optimise, measure, tweak and repeat. This is the case for all areas of content marketing, remember, there is always more to learn!
CTA’s should be visually bright, they should be the standout feature on your landing page.
If you change the shape of your button, consumers may not know they can click it. Odd shapes are visually intriguing, but they still need to resemble a button. Users have a preconception of what a button looks like based on real life buttons (keyboards are a great example).
Your CTA needs to be big enough to stand out, but not so big that it distracts from the rest of your landing page. Getting the balance is key, and as I said above, you need to test it and tweak it!
Giving your CTA a lifelike shadow adds depth, and rounding the corners helps draw the user's eye into the centre, enticing users to click. Psychology ey!
A CTA button the same width as your form is a good place to start, this looks visually pleasing and draws the reader down the form to click. But this is just one way, trial a variety of sizes to get the right fit for your business.
As we mentioned above, a CTA should use action-oriented verbs. Make it clear what action you intend the user to make, and tell them exactly what they’re getting.
Make it clear and obvious. At the risk of sounding like a broken record,, make it easy for your user to click this button. Don’t confuse them with irrelevant information, make it clear and concise.
Getting the balance between your LP and your CTA is important.
They should fit together seamlessly without one overpowering the other. The LP needs to engage the reader with strong use of images, and language. But your CTA needs to entice users to complete the form.
Balance - like anything - is developed over time.
A CTA will encourage readers to enter your all-important sales funnel. You have them hooked. Now you can really start to nurture the relationship and prove your worth.
- Blog, Sweat and Tears
And there you have it...
...our best practice tips to create high converting landing pages. It all comes down to three key elements:
- Seamless integration
For each step of the landing page creation, make sure it covers these three elements and you should be well on your way to creating a landing page that not only converts, but engages your readers.
For more best practice tips, and helpful guides make sure you sign up to our monthly newsletter below…