The Structure of a Winning Landing Page

All good landing pages follow a certain structure. These aren’t laws of the universe, but it’s what typically works the best. No point in re-inventing the wheel.

.

A benefit oriented headline. The headline is the most important part. If the visitors came by clicking on an ad, it must correspond to the ad text that triggered the page. If your banner or PPC ad said „Breakthrough meditation system“, then this phrase should also be included in the headline of your landing page.

Relevant and short copy. Make it clear, relevant, concise. Don’t put too much text on the page, as the visitor has to be able to read it quickly. Use bullet points to drive the main points home. Make sure the language in the ad is also present in the copy of the landing page (otherwise visitors will doubt whether they’re in the right place)

The focus is on getting visitors to take one specific action. There should be only ONE possible action for the visitor to take – be it subscribing to something, making a purchase or something else. Don’t offer options or the conversions will suffer.

There are no distracting navigational links. Remove all extra clutter – links, menus, buttons – that have nothing to do with the particular ad/campaign. The point is that the visitor cannot ignore your message by navigating away, and therefore focuses on only that page.

There is a prominent subscription form. The one action you want the visitor to take has to be big and obvious. Put a large sign-up form on the landing page, and make it stand out. If the landing page is long enough for scrolling, duplicate the form or button at the very bottom of the page.

Maintain your brand. Don’t make your landing page look different from your overall website and brand. Keep the same colors, fonts – the overall look and feel of your main site. This helps to enforce the brand awareness.

Here are some examples to look at:

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 11.15.44

 

.

Elements you typically want to have on your landing page

What You Need to Include:

  • a headline that speaks to the target audience
  • your company logo
  • a quick explanation of your offer above the fold (the fold is the portion of the screen that can be seen without the
  • average user having to scroll down)
  • a longer explanation of the offer below the fold if needed (depends on the complexity of your offer and product)
  • an image of the product being offered
  • a simple form, with ideally just 1 to 3 fields (usually just name and e-mail). Remember, the more fields you ask the visitor to fill in, the more friction you create and therefore the less people will fill out the form.
  • a signup button on your pre-defined most wanted response

What You Should Leave Out:

  • a navigation menu – remember to focus only on your offer
  • links to other parts of your sites such as “about”
  • any pictures or images that don’t relate to the offer; these will only serve as distractions
  • hard to read text, anything less than 12 px is bad (use 14 or even 16px for body copy)
  • any links along the lines of “click here to read more.” If you can’t cram all your content into the upper fold of your landing page, just let the user scroll down. Scrolling is almost always better than clicking to the next page.
  • scary forms with unnecessary fields such as “title” or “fax”
  • “clear fields” button

There are always exceptions and you usually can’t copy best practices to use on your site, but this advice given here should be your starting point. Get the essentials in place first, and tweak from there.

.

Length of a landing page

Long or short? There are 3 factors affecting the efficacy of body copy length on a landing page:

  • Nature of visitor motivation
  • Initial level of Anxiety about product/company
  • Level of cost/commitment associated with conversion.

So in a nutshell short copy performs better when the offer is free, very cheap or in some other way not intimidating. Also, when it’s an impulse buy or gives an emotional satisfaction (concert tickets, candy, something beautiful). Long copy is more suitable for expensive or complex product.

.

Make sure the motivation is there before asking for action

Leading behavioral design researcher BJ Fogg has created a model that explains that three elements must come together at the same time for a behavior to occur: motivation, ability and trigger. When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.

Bottom line is this: Behavior = motivation x ability x trigger.  Before I’ll go into how to apply it  for boosting conversions, you need to understand the model itself. (All credit goes to BJ Fogg.)

Here’s the model:

media chart

You want to aim top right (high motivation, easy to do, a trigger in place). If you have high motivation and low ability (difficult to do), what you’ll get is frustration. If it’s low motivation, but easy to do (e.g. take out the trash), you get annoyance.

How to use it:

1. Everything starts with defining the specific desired behavior - in our case it’d be getting visitors to subscribe.

2. Make sure the headlines and the copy create enough understanding and motivation before asking visitors to take action

3. Ensure that your form is not overly long or complicated – only keep the essential fields to make it easy to opt-in.

4. Your form and call to action is your trigger here. Make sure it gets noticed!

Now you can create a landing page that follows this structure with the new GetResponse Landing Page Creator.