How To Create A Landing Page: The Ultimate 2019 Guide
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As a movie buff, I find it extremely amusing to communicate my thoughts through films, even when the case is showing you how to create a landing page that converts.
So please level with me and remember “The Godfather”. (As if you could ever forget it.)
You did? Great. Then you just remembered one of the greatest movie quotes in the history of cinema.
Yes, I am talking about the famous “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”.
Vito Corleone said this to his godson. And it worked.
You are going to say this to your website visitors. And trust me, it WILL work.
What do I mean by that? That YOU are going to create a landing page they can’t resist.
What Is A Landing Page?
So, you’ve done all the hard work, created your wonderful website for your product or services and started bringing visitors to your website.
And now you are ready to take the next big step.
What are the next steps?
Collect emails and convert those visitors into leads or make a sale, right?
Creating a great landing page is the answer you are looking for.
And I know you’ve heard about landing pages before, but do you really know what they are?
I’ll take that as a no, so let’s start with the basics.
The sky is blue, the grass is green and a landing page is NOT a home page.
It doesn’t link to other pages on your site and normally doesn’t include a navigation bar. Because its purpose is not to distract your potential customer.
In fact, its purpose is one and only: conversion.
Repeat after me.
Right then and there.
Technically, a landing page is where you “land” on ( see what I did there?) after clicking an online ad or email (CTA) .
And according to Hubspot “the typical landing page converts at 5 to 15%, but some landing pages that are highly optimized convert at 30% or above”.
Not bad, right?
There are 2 types of landing pages:
- Reference landing pages
- Transactional landing pages
A reference landing page is a page that provides appealing and relevant information to the visitor or a summary of your product or service.
A transactional landing page, as the name implies, aims to encourage the viewer to make a purchase or at least provide contact information that may become a strong sales lead.
Why do you need a Landing Page?
The short answer is that it is an essential element of your marketing and sales strategy that helps you increase your conversion rates and lower your cost of acquiring a lead or sale.
The long answer is:
1. It helps you capture leads
You can spend your whole budget on contact lists and outbound sales teams. Or you can sit back while the leads come to you, just by creating one powerful landing page.
Because responsive landing pages are the best way to capture leads, period!
And not just any leads but also quality leads. Cool, right?
A pitched and informative add that gives you the opportunity to explain your unique offer and validate the user clicked through is a much more effective way to inform them and fascinate them with your proposition.
When you create a landing page that details, sells and demonstrates the benefit of your product or service, embellished with some strong video, audio or images you are sure to get a lead capture campaign.
2. It is an extremely effective & efficient advertising
No matter how much time, money and effort you put on your advertisement campaign, it’s always an investment. And you deserve the best possible return.
Strategically pairing a targeted audience with a customized message, which makes for an unbeatable pair that pays of big time, landing pages are the most effective and efficient kind of advertisement you could wish for.
3. It helps you rank higher locally
Did you know that according to ThinkWithGoogle “18% of local smartphone searches led to a purchase within a day compared to 7% of non – local searches”?
That’s pretty big, right?
Makes sense if you think that Google is now gravitating towards user intent and not just the keywords that users search for, therefore making it almost mandatory, especially for small businesses to focus on local landing pages.
So if you want your site to rank higher when people search locally and need more local customers, creating some local content that speaks directly to your visitor’s heart is the way.
A quick way to achieve this?
Start off by optimizing your landing page design and rank for your surrounding area making it easier and faster for your target audience to find you.
4. It offers a better user experience
Mark my words.
Every. User. Is. Unique.
And they want to be treated that way.
So give it up to the landing pages because they are the best when it comes to connecting to your audience on a deeper level.
When properly customized, a landing page can meet your prospective client wherever he or she is within your customer journey and help you progress your relationship with them effectively and at scale.
What’s more, a high converting landing page boosts your credibility. And this is something not to disregard. To create the perfect landing page should serve as a unique and compelling problem solver for every visitor.
If the landing page is tailored to their needs, they will put their faith on your website and this will be the beginning of a new relationship based on thought leadership and trust.
How To Create A Highly Effective Landing Page In 10 Simple Steps
Creating a landing page for your website from scratch is one thing.
Although, creating a super effective landing page that almost reads your visitors’ minds is another.
It’s not rocket science.
You just have to do it right if you want your landing page to generate leads like crazy.
Don’t worry. We got you covered. Just follow the golden rules of how to create a landing page that converts every time.
1. Create a persona
Noone in the history of “Yes, I want that” ever said “Yes, I want that” without really wanting it.
And please notice how I don’t use the word “need”. Because it’s never a matter of what one needs. Just what they want.
And in order to do that, you must know who they are.
Know their personality, age, habits, budget and other characteristics that will help you “sell” your product or service the right way.
That is why you must first create a buyer persona before getting actually started with your landing page.
Once you do that you will be ready to design a landing page tailored to their needs and designed to convert.
A persona is your ideal target audience.
And it should include basic characteristics such as age, education, career and also some more specific information like their highest priorities, favorite quotes and anything else you might think would be relative to their coming at your website.
All the above require doing customer surveys, online research and of course, there are plenty of simple and extremely handy tools out there to help you build your personas offered by platforms, such as Xtensio, Digital Marketer, Demand Metric and more.
Of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day. So you will have to get in the trenches and do some testing. But fear not. Their data will guide your success!
2. Define your goal
Before starting to create your fabulous landing page you need to know WHY you want to create it in the first place.
In other words, what your call to action will be.
This is usually to:
- Fill out a form
- Fill out a survey
- Sign up for a free trial
- Download a free ebook
- Order a product
- Register for a webinar
- Provide contact information
- Download a coupon
- Access a free trial
- Subscribe to a newsletter
Sticking to a singular goal is important both because it minimizes the amount of choice you give to your visitors and because it makes it much easier to create a truly effective landing page.
So, what’s it gonna be for you?
3. Target the right keywords
It might be time-consuming but if you want the best results you gotta love keywords. And you have to pick them right so that search engines rank your page.
Keep in mind that long – tail keywords are impacted more than shorter ones, they give you higher rankings and often produce a higher ROI.
So I advise you to focus on more specific terms.
That way you will attract exactly the audience you are looking for and make one more step towards the point – of – purchase.
Start by making a list of terms relevant to your page.
For example, imagine you are a pastry chef based in Rome, specializing in cannoli.
Instead of using broad terms like “pastry chef” and “cannoli” you should go for “cannoli pastry chef in Rome”. Makes sense, right?
4. Write a catchy headline
I can’t stress enough the importance of headlines.
So maybe the ultimate expert David Ogilvy will:
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
So, what makes a great headline?
Let’s unravel the mysteries of magnetic headlines with some examples.
The Attention – Grabbing One
You know you want it. You just couldn’t put it in words. So Adobe did it for you.
The headline is short and to the point, leaving it to the reader’s imagination to think of all the countless possibilities Adobe Photoshop can offer.
You don’t know what, you don’t know how. You can only imagine. And that is enough for you to hit that button.’
Example # 2
The One Where You Explain What It’s All About
Words are strong. And trust me, when your product or service is unique, they are enough.
No clutter. No fluff. Only the real deal. You hit that button, you know what you’re getting.
The Too – Short – And – Sweet – To – Resist One
Look at the capitals. Look at the use of imperative. Count the words. Count the characters without even wasting your time.
You want a diet. You are a human. Just hit the button and let the specialists do their job.
Can’t get simpler than that.
5. Create an irresistible Call To Action
This is a no – brainer but even so I will break it down for you. CTA is that sweet little button in your landing page that invites your visitor to take action.
Be it a free trial, discount coupon or registration form, you have to have a button that screams “hit me”.
Like these ones:
The Evergreen Effectiveness of FOMO
FOMO stands for “fear of missing out” and is hands down one of the most popular words of our era. Let’s face it.
Nobody likes feeling they’ve been left behind. And it’s totally ok to take advantage of this fact.
NETFLIX knows that. And they cleverly apply FOMO on this one here to tell you that “hey, are you going to miss the next best tv series? Seriously?”.
But they love you. And they are not going to let this happen to you. Instead, they offer you 30 days free NETFLIX so you don’t miss out a thing. Plus, you can cancel anytime.
Talk about a powerful message, right?
“Don’t miss” is an all-time classic, but you are free to get creative and design your own urgent and scarce button that will trigger FOMO to your visitors.
Simplicity For The Win
Your visitors have the power. But not the patience. And you are not allowed to waste their time. So make them understand the message and do it fast. How? By keeping it simple. Don’t use sophisticated words and puns no one will understand (and laugh) but you. Instead go for easy language and a clean message that will help your visitor get the idea in a second. And hit the button.
Like Spotify does here.
Spotify takes “simple” to the next level by speaking literally baby talk. The message is loud and clear, the words are simple, the design is neat. You can’t go wrong with that.
Precision Means Trust
Your visitors want to know:
- What you do
- What you want them to do
So be a sport and give them what they’re asking for.
A straight to the point call to action that doesn’t make them waver over hitting that button and leaving your page is going to get you more leads than you could ever imagine.
Classpass offers a truly unique service, with an app that helps you drop into any fitness class in your area, without any membership, just with one pass.
It’s a very different idea that can only be communicated perfectly with simplicity and clarity. So here you have a very clear Call To Action that enlightens the visitor and also offers a free trial to make the call even more alluring.
Extra tip: when designing a CTA button, make sure it catches the visitor’s attention. You can do this by using vibrant, bold colors that stand out.
If you are a fan of more muted colors, then your button should contrast with its surrounding images, text or any background colors.
Are you game?
6. Use visual content
I know you don’t need to hear from me that a picture is worth 1.000 words. But there you go. I said it.
And no regrets there because it’s a truth you must never underestimate.
According to a 2018 study by Microsoft, the average attention span is 8 seconds.
And who is your best friend when it comes down to drawing a human being’s attention?
Exactly my friend. Images and video.
I love this Daily Harvest landing page.
Because it uses one powerful image to convey their message in just a few seconds.
This minimal and colorful photo here screams healthy, simple and upscale.
Even if you have no idea what Daily Harvest is all about you get the whole picture in one landing page.
Visual aids are faster and easier to comprehend, strengthen your message and influence your visitors’ behavior on your landing page. Which of course means extra conversions!
By using the right visual content you direct your visitor exactly where you want them to look and eventually take action. Plus, they can cleverly replace text!
7. Link your landing page to your ad
An optimized AD is not enough. You need to connect it with a powerful landing page, otherwise, your whole effort will go down the drain.
So when you create a landing page make sure your ads direct your visitor to the right place instead of confusing them by taking them to your homepage.
Because they just don’t know what to do with it!
8. Include social proof
Imagine you are at the supermarket with your friend.
While you are being indecisive over which shampoo to buy she says:
“Hey, why don’t you buy the X shampoo?”.
What would your reaction be in this case?
Would you just buy it?
Didn’t think so. You’d first want some extra details such as why she liked it or why she thinks it is better than other shampoos.
Then I guess you see my point.
A 2018 consumer survey by Bright Local revealed that “91% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations”.
This demonstrates how social proof can influence a buyer.
Whether it be a product or service, social proof can guide a visitor down the funnel to convert.
Aaptiv, one of the most popular fitness apps, nails the social proof tactics by including a powerful number and real pictures, exactly like the ones their future customer will want to take.
There are only so many different types of social proof you can use:
- Case Studies
- Customer Ratings & Reviews
- Influencer Endorsements
- Brand Logos
- Client Logos
- Subscriber Counts
- Social Shares Counts
- Social Connections
- Test Results
Whatever suits you. Just do it. And make sure you use pictures!
9. Add analytics tracking
You’ve done all the hard work. You’ve created your very own alluring landing page. But, wait, how do you know it’s actually that alluring?
Well, you don’t. Not before you add analytics tracking to it.
There is not much point in creating a landing page if you don’t track its performance.
Website analytics provide you with a lot of precious information on how they landed on your website, who they are and how they behave while being there.
All these reports and analytics will help you develop the right advertising plan and grow your business faster and easier.
10. Optimize your landing page
Last but definitely not least, optimization.
Optimized landing pages according to SEO landing page best practices are bound to drive more traffic.
That happens because it is easier for visitors to find your page and for search engines to understand the purpose of your page.
When optimizing your landing page you should pay attention to the following:
Think of it as the first impression your visitors have from your website. While there is no exact character limit, an ideal title tag contains around 60 characters.
Another powerful marketing tool, meta descriptions basically summarize a page’s content. Think of them as your No1 chance to get the reader’s attention.
They may not be as important as the title tag and meta description when you create a landing page, but they still deserve your attention.
Using your main keyword in a header tag improves your search engine visibility. So no need to be lazy with this one either.
Yes. Content is king.
In so many ways I can’t even begin to describe. But SEO – wise you want your content to be keyword – targeted.
And no, visuals alone don’t work. So when you create a landing page make sure you include some actual, powerful content so that search engines can find you.
Choosing The Perfect Platform For Your Business
Now that you’ve got everything planned out it’s time to move to the fun part.
Actually, create your landing page!
Lo and behold though. Because all will be judged by the landing page builder you are going to choose.
Professional, optimized templates
You may not want to hire a professional to create your own landing page, but still, you want it to look professional.
Actually, it’s not about what you want. It’s about what is mandatory if you mean success.
Your visitors are trained and peaky. Don’t be lazy on this one.
You’re probably reading this article on your mobile. What makes you think your visitors are on their desktop? Don’t make me remind you the year once more.
A/B testing Tool
Every visitor is different. Every market is different. That said, A/B testing is vital if you want conversions.
And it’s the only actual way to know if your campaign is paying off.
Integrating your landing page with all your favorite marketing services is a must unless you are running a campaign just for the fun of it. #not
Integrations allow you to connect your beautiful landing page lead – nurturing software and customer relationship management systems.
Simple as that.
Adding your custom code
This is another feature that is often overlooked, so make sure you choose a tool that allows you to add tracking pixels for retargeting ads, paid ads and Google Analytics.
You will only get the full benefits of analytics when the platform you use supports custom codes and allows integrated tracking on your page.
Variety Of Media Capabilities
Did you know that, according to a study from EyeViewDigital, the use of video on a landing page can increase conversions up to 80%(pdf)?
So focus on flexible platforms that allow you to easily add videos, animated gifs or what have you.
Know where your visitors are converting, what they love and what they don’t.
Learn what motivates them and fine-tune your campaigns with the help of analytics and save time and money.
On Moosend for example amongst others, we use our powerful yet simple analytics tool to help you see what links your subscribers click, what email client and the device they are using to increase your ROI and get strategic insights that will help you increase your CTR effortlessly.
This is a tool you don’t want to take lightly.
Multiple – User Accounts
Maybe you are a loner. Maybe you are a leader visioning to walk the road of success all by yourself. But the truth is, marketing is a team sport.
And the only way to win is to follow the rules.
You and your team need to connect in order to run a successful advertisement.
So pick a landing page builder that allows you to invite other users and give them access to your campaigns so that everyone can work on the same or individual project if that’s what suits you.
I know this might look like a lot of work.
And in fact, it will keep you busy for a fair amount of time.
But, hey, success is not for the faint of heart, right?
Top Landing Page Tools for 2019
Of course, a perfect platform may mean different things depending on your needs, but there are a few basic things you definitely want to have.
So here is a brief list with our top choices so you can separate the wheat from the chaff without wasting your time.
Price: four plans. Business: Core: $29 per month, Create: $45 per month, Automate: $59 per month, Suite: $209 per month.
Free trial: Yes. All plans come with a 14- day free trial.
Landingi is a web-based landing page builder, providing an easy drag – and – drop editor, a rich widget selection and plenty of templates and features to play around with.
Price: three plans, monthly and annual, starting from $79 per month.
Free trial: Yes, a 30 – day trial is available for all users.
Unbounce is an advanced but easy-to-use conversion platform that helps you boost sales and turn visitors into customers without effort.
It is a creative and flexible option for users with little to zero coding skills, plus duplicating templates is extremely easy.
Price: two plans. Core: $99 per month. Enterprise: customized.
Free Trial: Yes, there is a 14 – day free trial including all features from the Core plan.
Instapage is a powerful all-in-one landing page solution with a flexible, freeform drag and drop interface, offering over 200 free templates.
Feature – rich and effective, Instapage comes with simple A/B testing tools enriched by analytics functionalities, allowing you to choose which one works better for you.
Price: three plans, Standard, Pro and Advanced. The 2 – year Standard plan is at $17 per month.
Free Trial: Yes, all plans include a 14 day free trial .
Leadpages is a digital lead generation platform that allows you to customize your landing page from scratch.
Very easy to integrate with other platforms and offers a handful of pretty cool and helpful widgets.
Price: two plans, annual and monthly, starting from $16 per month.
Free Trial: Yes, you can try both plans for free for 14 days.
Lander is a landing page solution that helps users grow their business without any coding or design skills.
It offers an easy to manage reporting and simple builder and also comes with unlimited landing pages for mobile pages.
Price: five plans. Free plan. Starter: $29 per month. Business: $99 per month. Agency: $199 per month. Brand: $499 per month.
Free Trial: yes.
Shortstack is a marketing – campaign and landing page software perfect for anyone with basic coding knowledge.
It has a great visual interface and generally intuitive workflow and easy to modify templates.
Price: two plans. Starter: free. Professional: starting from $5 per month. M
Free Trial: yes.
LaunchRock is a free, web-based software recommended for a novice audience.
Ideal for users with no coding experience, it offers good control over design and styling.
It helps the user easily collect potential new user’s details, due to its’ powerful integrated analytics features.
Unfortunately, it lacks the A /B testing tool and doesn’t provide much room for customizations.
Do’s & Don’ts
You know the rules. You play the game. But are you winning?
Here are some vital Do’s and Don’ts to help you stay on the right track and master the art of landing pages.
- Keep it simple. Go for a clean and simple appearance with minimized and straight information.
- Use buttons that stand out. Helps to create large ones with contrasting colors and varied fonts.
- Use bullet points and numbers. They help our read consume information faster. (8 seconds, remember?)
- Leverage the thank you page. Your good manners will help you build trust, collect feedback for analytics purposes and also help your visitors that they submitted their information successfully.
- Don’t include endless text. Yes, you want your visitors to know what this landing page is all about. But, heck, you don’t want to bore them. Or lose them for that matter. So keep it short and sweet, while being informative at the same time. You got this.
- DDon’trequest duplicate or too much information. Time is gold. As is privacy.
- Don’t use confusing jargon. Of course ,you should include videos or images. Just don’t overdo it. Too much visual information distracts the readers and your message gets lost in translation.
- Don’t lead visitors astray. You’ve put so much effort on this. Do you really want to lose your visitors because of some distracting links or navigation that leads them to another page? Didn’t think so.
- Don’t apply multiple CTA’s. Too many choices are probably going to confuse and overwhelm your visitor, leading him not to take any action at all.
Over To You
Psssst! Come here! Let me help you wear your winning sash over your shoulder. Because you’ve just been awarded Landing Page Master 2019.
Go out there and rock that landing page business like a pro and watch it drive revenue like crazy.
You deserve it.
And then come back here and tell us what worked best for you.
Or leave a comment telling us your “landing page secret”. We promise we won’t tell anyone but our subscribers!