Five Steps To Designing A Successful Landing Page

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Designing a successful landing page is a common issue dealt by Digital/Creative Strategists and Marketers. It often leads to a classic left brain right brain dillemma. The right brain slants towards compelling (creative) landing experience which motivates users to move forward (i.e. take action), the left brain asserts detailing a clear value proposition, testing plan, success/operational metrics, and actionable information from historical data to come-up with an optimal design from the get go. This persuasion will talk about 5 Best Practices to ensure that Landing Page design follows a structured approach. 

Step 1: Define Objectives:

Determine the business objective associated with the landing page. Is it catering to one (singular persona) or many? The goal here should be to determine the most effective way to accomplish the business objective based on the end user(s).

Step 2: Evaluate Value Proposition:

This is where leveraging analytics data becomes extremely valuable. In this step one should determine the "motivations" associated with the user needs. Do we want our users to self-serve? Do we want our users to  start a conversion process. Do we want them to learn about our services or product promotion? etc.  Whatever the case, the goal should be to maximize on motivation of the end user and tying it with Headline, Copy, and Content. The key in all cases is to determine the Value Proposition based on your segment/persona and communicating it crisply and effectively. 

Step 3: Reduce Tension or Friction:

This is all about having a ZEN (balanced) mindset. The key to minimizing Tension is to reduce the number of elements and call-to-actions on a page. A vague or even worse, crypted call-to-action can be a distractor. Here, the goal should be to focus on design elements. Examples of design elements include, length of page, layout of form fields, actual number of form fields etc. After the design elements are handled it is important to think about offer based or original content appropriately. 

Step 4: Provide Incentive:

If there's a promotion of a product or positioning of a thought leader-ship piece it's a great way to highlight it. The goal in this step is to introduce an appeal to drive the desired action via content (e.g. Video or Offer). This is also an ideal place to introduce Testing strategies from the get-go as one can leverage Optimization techniques and learnings to fine-tune the right content/offers. 

Step 5: Reduce Anxiety:

The key approach to reducing anxiety is to personalize content. If that's difficult to achieve in the short term then one should consider providing copy, content, tone, and images associated with the brand theme and brand ideology. It's always good to include credibility statements like testimonials, client list, thought leadership content to retain your user. Other ways to reduce anxiety is to have a clear privacy policy with company specific contact information.  About Us section also serves as effective and efficient minimizers of anxiety.

Here are the Five Steps Summarized:


Five Steps To Effective Landing Page

Some tactics to keep in mind when designing an effective landing page:

Page Headlines:

Headlines should be clear and concise. The headline of your landing page and the headline of the ad or copy where the user is coming from should complement each other. 

How does Page Headline Help?

For one, it helps you maintain your Quality Score. If you maintain consistency in content across the chain (from an ad impression to landing page content) your cost (CPC) goes down (substantially). Secondly, it helps you clearly communicate with the end user. You want to get their attention fast. 

Strong Call-To-Action

Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg in their book Call To Action provide a first of its kind perspective on tying online persuasion to conversion. 

How does a Strong Call-To-Action help?

A clear call-to-action is an indicator (navigator of sorts) for the user. It guides them on what they should be doing or where they should be going next. Key point to remember here is that the buttons and call-to-action should stand-out clearly. 

Above The Fold

This is a sensitive topic as many of my colleagues may disagree with me. I have heard people say that the Internet is mature and users know how to scroll down a page. But that's not the point. The goal is to let the user know (without tension or anxiety) about where the most important aspects of the Landing Page reside.

How does Keeping Content Above the Fold Help?

It minimizes anxiety and reduces friction by allowing for users to focus on the page as opposed to determining other elements of the page which many not be as important. Keep in mind, users assume that  items (call-to-actions) which are below the fold are not necessarily that important. 

Minimize Links

Too many links can confuse the user. It also shows a lack of motivation on your part. It may be okay if it's a homepage but even then one should be careful that only the most important elements are hilighted. The elements that reduce anxiety and increase motivation are the elements you want to surface out. 

How does Minimizing Links help?

It reduces the Paradox of choice

Here is an example of a great landing page with varying degrees of engagement options for the consumer from my friends at Smartinsights.

Attributes of a Good Landing Page

What do you think? I would be delighted to hear your perspectives on Landing Page design or best practices associated with it.