30+ principles to a better landing page design

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After hundreds of landing page optimization projects, we wanted to share few of the lessons we learned when creating a successful landing page. We hope that you will find this article helpful. Also, please consider subscribing to our RSS feed or leaving a comment.

There are four basic components to a successful web page design: Research; Design; Copy and Testing and Modification. It is important to devote adequate resources to each component – they form a chain that is only as strong as the weakest link. For instance, if you fail to properly research your audience, then the greatest design will never be able to save the campaign. But it’s not always that easy to balance each, so we’ve compiled a list of 30 design principles for a better, more successful, web page.

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1. Know Your visitors: Understanding the visitors you are targeting on a particular landing page is one of the most important elements in its success. The problem with understanding visitors is that many developers, designers and marketers talk about it, but very few actually implement it. You must understand the motivations, desires, fears, and concerns these customers have when it comes to your product or service. Only then, you will be able to create a landing page that focuses in its entirety on converting these visitors to customers. It is typical for us to spend anywhere from two to four weeks on understanding visitors during the initial stage of a conversion optimization project.

2. Getting to the roots of your visitor: Below is a brief excerpt of the marketing questionnaire we submit to clients as we begin any conversion optimization project. Answers to these sorts of questions will focus your attention on the details that are critical to your landing page’s success. (Click on the image to view larger version)

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The topic of customer research is beyond what we cover in this post. The series on persona creation can serve as an excellent starting point to getting to know your customer.

3. The images: Carefully chosen graphics will enhance the design of your landing page. A basic guideline is to use graphics and colors that are similar to, if not the same as, those used in any other promotional creative relating to your page. Changing the graphic approach and/or the color scheme with which your customer has become acquainted can cause confusion and lead the customer to click away.

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4. Value proposition: A value proposition is very often, misunderstood to be a single stated statement on a website (such as the tagline). However, successful companies are able to transcend their value proposition in the copy, the elements, the overall design of their landing page and campaign, and even the tagline.

The value proposition will help establish trust and gives a sense of congruency throughout the page.

5. Give visitors what they are looking for: You also need to make sure that customers arrive at the exact information they expect. That it is why it is important that your promotions lead visitors to relevant landing pages, and not the home page of your website. With only seconds to keep their attention, you cannot risk losing your customer’s focus by forcing them to search for the information they need from your home page.

6. Consistent message: A landing page’s design should match the related promotional creative as much as possible. If a user clicks on a PPC ad: “10% off lawn mowing service,” they expect to see the same headline on the landing page. If the user clicks on an ad with a blonde model dressed in a red cashmere shirt, they expect to see that same blonde model as they arrive on the landing page.

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7. Remove distractions: Do not crowd your page – keep it simple. Even the ubiquitous navigation bar, found everywhere else on your site, could undo a conversion by providing a means to click away from your page – consider removing standard navigation bar on your landing page.

8. Don’t ask too much of your visitors: The goal is to make the conversion as easy on the customer as possible. Concerning purchases, this may mean not requiring users to register with you, but allowing them to order as a guest. If there are online forms to complete, they should be as quick and easy to fill out. For example, it helps to have the input cursor jump to the next field in the form on its own. In addition, have the fields auto-populate if possible. Focus only on the absolute essentials. Only request the information that is necessary for your purposes. The less time users must spend on your conversion activity, the less time they have to change their mind.

9. Don’t get carried away: Resist the temptation to use the latest web graphic effects merely because they are the latest. Many times, simple is better. The focus of your page needs to be completely on getting visitors to perform the desired action. Using too much technology will distract them, and your message may be lost. Consider also the increased loading time of a page that is multimedia-heavy. Visitors do not want to wait for a page to load.

lp410. Build their trust: It’s always risky to enter into an online transaction with someone you don’t know. People may fear giving you money or their personal information because they do not know you. How can you get potential customers to trust you without ever meeting them? Trust is established through credibility.

11. Privacy: You need to promise your clients that their privacy will be guarded. Make sure your privacy policy is clear and easy to understand, and be sure to direct your customers to this policy. Let them know that you have taken the time to create safeguards for their information. Place a link to your privacy policy, an icon that shows precautions have been taken or a simple statement such as “Your privacy is important to us”, in close proximity to calls to action.

12. Testimonials: Never underestimate the power of a strong, credible testimonial, but be sure they are concise and on point. When your prospects read testimonials from past customers, they will be more likely to feel at ease doing business with you. User testimonials should speak of the benefits of your services and be relevant to your target audience. For a good testimonial, it is preferable to include a full name, location, or even photo of the customer. Video testimonials are even more successful in converting visitors to customers.

13. Satisfaction guaranteed: Can you reassure potential customers that your product or service come with “Satisfaction Guaranteed”? Give your customers a warranty for products, or trial period for services. For example, you can give 30 days to try your product risk-free, and if not satisfied, they can get a full refund. You may also suggest free consultations for new clients to get a feel for your services without spending any money. This will encourage readers to convert because you will have minimized their risks. Make sure visitors to your site can easily see and understand your warranty or satisfaction policy.

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{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

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62 Search Engine Marketing July 15, 2011 at 9:27 am

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63 Busana Muslim July 21, 2011 at 5:39 am

One thing that can tell whether your landing page is good or not is by looking at your web stats, the time a visitor stays on your site.
If the stats says more than 50% visitors only stay for 0-30s, it means that you need to redesign your landing page.

64 Hindi SMS Jokes July 22, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Back Links or Incoming Back Links (IBL) are links from other websites to one of your web pages. One method search engines use to determine how popular or important a web page is, is by counting these links. Common methods used for obtaining links to your site are: Send a press release to online PR sites Send an article with a link to your site to article submission sites Submit your site to relevant online directories Join forums that are relevant to the content of your site, put a link to your site in the signature area, and submit comments to the site. Another method of increasing back links is by paying for them on other sites. Many search engines in particular Google strongly frown on this method of gaining links.

65 semanticlp July 24, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Happy to learn those principles for a batter landing page design.

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Thanks

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67 art August 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm

great article. I have interesting issue. We have a landing page that focuses on driving phone calls only. Now we are evaluating ways of tracking the conversion event. One idea is to create large button that reads something like…”Click To Get Phone number” and track the click as the conversion. We would remove all phone numbers from the landing page. Any ideas? Art

68 Mrinal October 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Happy to learn such good principle for a batter landing page design. Thanks for your great effort.

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Hey landingpageoptimization, I enjoyed reading your 30+ principles to a better landing page design article especially the bit where “easy to fill out. For example, it helps to have the inpu”.

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Very use full post with lot’s of information regarding batter landing page design, I do follow those on my design and site. It’s works for me.

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75 Kane Sherwell January 31, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Thank you I’m using the above for you own landing pages. thanks again

76 Hochzeitsgeschenk February 29, 2012 at 9:15 am

Thanks for the post. I agree that web pages should easy to navigate and the content should be relevant to the site. And of course i hate popups.

77 Hochzeitsgeschenk February 29, 2012 at 9:17 am

Thanks for the post. I have to design my landing pages and agree that web pages should easy to navigate and the content should be relevant to the site. And of course i hate popups.

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good job for 30+ principles to a better landing page design

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I think you have some excellent points here, I too think that these things are very important in designing a good landing page.

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Very useful, I will implement them next time I design landing pages.

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