How to Make Great Landing Pages
It’s common behavior for many inexperienced site owners to point paid or promotional traffic right at the homepage. This can be a fine strategy if you’ve got a simple product or a limited offering, but for the majority of sites, you might want to consider tailored landing pages appropriate for where the traffic is coming from. It affords you the opportunity to strip down your presentation with an eye toward simplicity.
A few things to think about:
1: Where are your users coming from? A landing page created for Facebook should have an entirely different personality and focus than one presented to users coming directly from a Google search. Create multiple landing pages tailored to the path the user took.
2: What do you want your users to DO? Make sure the primary goal you want them to take is highlit with crystal-clear messaging and a strong call to action.
3: Give them incentives. If your users are shoe fanatics you’ve got an amazing whitepaper about the history of shoe design and how it relates to your products, make it the reward for signing up for your newsletter. Whenever your customer is giving you something of value, like their information, please make sure to return the favor.
4: Who are they? What are their challenges, risks and goals? Are they mostly browsing from home, or from an office? Fully understanding your user’s mindset as they’re interacting with your product is essential.
5: Tell your story. Use compelling language and videos to clearly communicate who you are, what you do, and why your potential customer should care.
Let’s take a tour through a few different types of great landing pages:
If you’re focused on a single product, you often have the luxury of being able to create a homepage that also functions as a landing page. You’ll notice that Lix is laser-focused: The user can watch an overview video on the product, order one at Kickstarter, or scroll down to learn more. They’re not trying to do anything but these three things, and they’re doing it well with a stunning, simple design.
Tight design. Clear calls to action. Clear benefits. No-nonsense security statement regarding your information. This is doing everything right. (The actual landing page, seen here, has an in-line animated demonstration of their product.)
Basecamp has always been good at telling their story, and this landing page is no exception. They present their top-level information, a concise form with large input fields and great helpful text to guide the users through it, lay out their pricing in an easy to understand manner, and address common customer questions right on the landing page. This is a strong, user-focused landing page that clearly addresses customer needs.
Here’s an example of a lander that’s a little more visually complex, but is utilizing its space very well. HootSuite clearly communicates their top level benefits, a clear call to action to get more information, and an EASY way to sign up with accounts you already have. Users often will be hesitant to sign up for new accounts, just due to the serious amount of potential accounts/usernames/passwords that we all have to deal with. However, they also allow you to sign up for a standalone account if you desire.
They’ve also exposed a series of corporate logos and quotes to lend assurance and confidence. I do think they should simplify the landing page a bit more, they’ve integrated their primary navigation into the landing page, and that can be a bit of a double edged sword. But overall, this is a strong example.
There’s no silver bullet in creating a great landing page, but when you think them through and make certain you know your user and their concerns, your decisions always get a lot easier. They’re also the perfect testbeds for experiments, new ideas and A/B testing. Have at it!