SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz

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Ten Tips to Designing a Landing Page That Converts

Know Your Goals for Landing Page Conversion

A landing page is any page on a website where traffic is sent to prompt a specific call to action. Specifically created to maximize return on paid ads, they are often are the first point of interaction between brands and potential customers. Everything needs to be considered when creating a landing page, so take a look at these 10 best practices for effective and fully optimized landing pages that convert.

1. What is the Goal?

The best landing pages are targeted, specific and contextually relevant to its corresponding campaign. In an ideal world, what do you want your visitors to do? Purchase something? Fill out a form? Sign up for a newsletter? Setting goals is the first step to any landing page strategy. That way you can begin to define conversions, track and test them, and see what's performing best. A solid methodology ensures your strategy is aligned with your goals.

2. Headline

On average, only 2 out of 10 people continue to read what's after the headline. The goal of your headline is to get the audience to move on and read what's next. Keep it simple and clear, as clarity always trumps persuasion. Make sure the headline matches what your ad is saying because consistency has a large influence on conversion and quality. Make sure to point out your value proposition offering only the necessary information and keeping the page short, sweet and uncluttered.

3. Clear Call to Action

Make it easy to convert. Provide little distance and as few barriers as possible between landing on the page and completing your call to action. Ensure your call to action stands out by differentiating it with buttons, links, and colors that don't blend in with your design. The color, shape, and size of the button is a huge part of conversion psychology. Create a button that even you can't resist to click. Present the call to action in the headline text, as well as the button text, and tell you customers exactly what you want them to do next.

4. Avoid Information Overload

Dedicated landing pages are designed to specifically drive conversions and ROI. It's easy to start with a clean landing page and then all of the sudden have four paragraphs, links, and images all over the place. Be sure to assess the information architecture before you get too deep. Keep a crisp design that provides important details about your product or service and leaves all questions answered without inspiring any new ones. Incorporate your keywords into your landing page content to increase relevancy and quality score. Wording plays a key role in encouraging the viewer to take action, so focus on keeping the message concise.

5. Visual

Visuals can convert better than text. Some customers prefer visuals to show them what you are offering with an image of your product or service. Bright, eye-catching images make more attractive pages and a better user experience overall. Remember, quality matters to your visitors, so use of high-quality imagery and fonts conveys a strong message about your brand. Video has shown to improve conversion by 80%. Due to the speed of information, our online attention spans are steadily declining and videos are easy to consume and understand. Images also simplify content and keep the page looking tight and clean.

6. Above the Fold

The fold is the point on your landing page where visitors have to scroll down to see more. About, 80% of a visitor's time is spent above the fold. If possible, keep your call to action above the fold. For lead generation forms that live below the fold, make a directional cues to point the visitor down the page to the button. A good design can help lead visitors toward your conversion action.

7. Forms

Relevant, streamlined, user-focused forms feel easy to complete. The general consensus is that the more information you ask for, the lower your conversion rate will be. People that asked required phone numbers and date of birth saw a drop off rate of 51%. The visitor doesn't want to do any work and may decide to turn away if you have too many form fields. Keep it to a bare minimum and only ask them vital information you need. The rule of thumb is to not include more than 7 fields in your lead generation form.

8. Streamline the Process

Having a site that is mobile friendly can double your conversions. Whether you choose responsive or native, be sure your landing pages are device optimized. Do you really want to miss out on the 90% of the world's population that use mobile phones? Ridding the tedious deed of pinch and zoom make a world of difference. Your landing page shouldn't be "one size fits all," rather custom to your visitors and their devices.

9. Load Time

If it take too long for your landing page to load, you're likely have a lot of visitors giving up and leaving you with a high bounce rate. Not to mention, poor load time can negatively impact Ad Rank. That's why it is important to make sure your page load time is up to speed.

10. Build Trust & Say Thank You

Reassure you visitors by adding logos of well-known companies you've done business with, awards you've won, or security seals such as Verisign, so they can convert with confidence. Third party verifications have a huge effect on conversions. Then don't forget to follow up by saying thank you. This is a great way to guide visitors to other related information on your website.

These are just 10 landing page best practices that are bound to boost your conversion. It is a tried and tested area of marketing and there is always room for improvement. Do you have any landing page best practices to suggest? Let us know in the comments below!

More Stories By John Basso

John Basso is an experienced technology executive with a unique ability to help businesses win through strategic roles both inside and across multiple organizations. He has been leading technical teams and implementing leading-edge business processes and custom technology solutions for over 20 years.

John’s versatile skill-set across all major business functions has made him an integral part of the success for Amadeus Consulting - where he is the CIO. As a dynamic executive, John is inserted into critical phases of the business lifecycle for Amadeus Consulting and works closely with its business partners to ensure their success.

John's demonstrated ability to manage complex custom software development programs across US and international teams has led to senior executive positions, including Chief Strategy Officer, CTO, and VP of Marketing, with several Amadeus Consulting clients and partners. Additionally, he has extensive experience with venture capital funding and was a key contributor to equity investment deals for three different promising startup companies of over $20 million each. Boards: Left Hand Design Corporation, Business Information & Analytics Advisory Board, University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business

Awards: "Forty Under 40 Business Leader" by the Denver Business Journal in 2005, Eco Hero by the Boulder County Business Report.

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