The following outlines the “best practices” that pertain to proper landing page design. All of these points are designed to maximize conversions. These rules however, cannot always be followed due to variable campaign specifications and user behavior, so in the end it is up to the site’s designers and visitors to determine what works best. The ideal situation for site designers is to follow these guidelines, then split test to find the results that work best.
Rule #1 – Above The Fold
The top 400 pixels of any website are the most important page real-estate. That area needs to tell the visitor exactly what the site is, and what it is for. They should be able to interpret this on their first read, usually between 1 to 3 seconds. Also, remember they need to be able to find a purchase button without having to think about it. Instant communication is the gold standard.
Rule #2 – Imagery
When it comes to using graphics on landing pages, statistics and user studies have found that images are more effective when they contain photos of real people rather then illustrations. Another major point to remember is to make ALL images clickable, whether they take you to a larger view of the product, or just start the product download. 42% of landing pages on the internet do not have clickable images.
Rule #3 – Make It Obvious What’s Clickable
Do not over-complicate things for the user. Text that is underlined MUST always be clickable. If you want to emphasize something, BOLD it unstead of underlining. Buttons also need to be easy to find. Don’t create buttons that blend into the background. Users love to click, so give them what they want.
Which brings us to:
Rule #4 – Buttons, Buttons, Buttons
There is nothing worse then being in a store and wanting to purchase something and you cannot find a sales associate. A website functions the same way, do not hide the purchase buttons! Make them visible and frequent. It may not be as pretty, but your sales figures will thank you.
Rule #5 – Copy Design
Text and typography are an essential part of any landing page. It’s what will convince the reader to purchase your product. Fonts like Arial and Verdana were designed to make reading on a computer screen easy, so don’t make it difficult. Another essential practice is to avoid using light text on a dark background. This is not something our eyes were designed for, therefore slowing the readers apprehension and overall comprehension of essential content. Along the same lines, users are able to read a lot quicker when paragraphs are kept between 40 – 60 words in width.
Rule #6 – Consistency
If your landing page is being driven by banner ads on other sites, it is necessary to keep the look and feel consistent between your advertisements and your landing page. Otherwise users may think they have landed on your page by mistake.
How Do I Know My Landing Page Is Working? It’s All About The Testing!
The Truth About Landing Pages
- The most visually appealing sites are not always the best converting. Sometimes ugly sells.
- What works for one page, may not work for another. That giant purple button might work great on your first landing page, but its not guaranteed that it will convert well on your next.
- Only test ONE thing at a time, otherwise your statistics are useless. How do you know whether it was the new button or the new copy that increased conversions? Test them separately, one at a time.
What To Test
Call to Action Buttons – With your buttons, test your color, and the text on the button. Free Download may work better then Download Now, but you won’t know until you test it.
Headlines – Certain phrases may hit a sweet spot with users that makes them convert much more often then other headline copy. Create confidence with your users by using a similar tone throughout your entire campaign (ads, landing page, etc.).
Placement – Statistics in the past have shown that an Internet user’s mouse will follow a similar pattern. So you will want to test the placement of your call to action buttons, to make sure they are easy to find, and easy to click. Always make sure there is a call to action in the view of the user, when they are ready to click, you don’t want them having to look for a button.