Landing Page Design: Beginning with the Basics
Though it’s rarely the first thing marketers think about, a good landing page can make or break a digital ad campaign. It’s easy to get excited about ad targeting, reach, or complex audience segments, but precision targeting alone can’t create a successful campaign. Whether you’re running PPC, traditional display, or the most advanced form of retargeting out there, your landing page (in conjunction with the other campaign elements) will make a material difference in campaign success.
Much like in banner design, conventional wisdom is to streamline the design, including a single call-to-action and minimal distractions. That said, asking someone to fill out a lead form or make a purchase requires their trust. Good landing page design will take both factors (among others) into consideration.
Keep It Simple to Increase Conversions
If you’re using your website instead of a dedicated landing page, visitors’ browsing experiences are likely to be less directly relevant to their goals. The last thing you want is qualified potential buyers to bounce because they couldn’t find exactly what they were looking for. A good landing page solves this problem by corresponding directly to the associated ad copy and expanding upon whatever was promised or described in the ad.
Your website needs to help several different types of visitors answer a wide variety of questions. Unlike your website, an ad campaign designed to drive a lead or sell a widget has a single goal. The page someone lands on after clicking an ad should reflect that one goal. If you want your visitors to complete an action, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
That’s why most experts suggest keeping your landing pages minimalist, with sufficient copy, images, or videos to make your case (and no more) and a single call-to-action. Keeping the flow as simple as possible can help make sure visitors don’t get distracted from the primary call-to-action.
Simplicity is key, but when it comes to conversions, ease is not enough. If you want someone to hand over their information in a lead form or complete a purchase, you must first establish trust.
The potential downside with very minimalist landing pages is that they may seem too much like a landing page and not enough like a website, and there may not appear to be a strong connection between the landing page and your brand. Though you want a landing page to be much more focused (and in that sense, very different from your website) but you could run into trouble if you’re not dedicated to maintaining consistency.
Landing pages should always be an accurate reflection of your brand, so the branding, colors, and feel should mirror those of your full website. Creating a highly branded and visually appealing landing page can help to alleviate any fear around submitting personal or payment information.
In addition to strong branding, many landing pages can benefit from content that establishes trust, such as a case study or client testimonial, or even an explanatory video.
A Balancing Act
The challenge for marketers when creating landing pages is to keep it simple and lead the visitor directly toward the desired action, while including enough content to convince them that they should. But these two points are far from only considerations that should go into landing page design—other factors to consider are how much value you provide, navigation, headlines, and elegance of design.
When it comes to what to include in your landing pages, there is no right answer. There is no one-size-fits-all landing page that serves every goal for every brand. No two audiences and no two products are completely alike, and what works for one brand may not work for you. The best thing you can do is to experiment regularly (A/B tests should become you best friend) and see what does work for you.