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Best Practices for Landing Page Design

Landing pages today are generally easy to produce and typically serve a single objective: lead generation. Although they are not comprehensive in their coverage of a business’s capabilities, a properly designed landing page can be an extremely powerful lead-generation tool given that it’s most often used in conjunction with digital marketing efforts.

 Why It Matters?

Although most landing pages may seem similar at first glance, we can assure you that they’re not. We’ve used and tested dozens of different landing page styles, and through that research we’ve determined that not all landing pages are created equal. Moreover, we’ve been able to prove that a good landing page template is worth its weight in gold. After all, the sole objective of this introductory page is to persuade a visitor to do a single thing (e.g., download a white paper, sign up for a webinar, watch a video, etc.). Every small way in which a landing page is more effective directly impacts the total number of leads that a company’s digital marketing efforts will generate.

A/B Testing

Improve user engagement and conversions through systematic testing grounded in best practices

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‘The Norm’

Because the majority of landing pages are intended to be simple, we’ve found that most companies’ approach to designing them mostly aligns with what we would recommend. Often times, landing pages are built following templates that are available through digital tools such as Marketo. They might be created when a company has a specific promotion to offer, for example, and they’re designed to present that offering in a simple, understandable way. The downside to following every aspect of a template is that the resulting landing page may only yield average results. When page builders are asked why a landing page looks the way it does, the most common response that we hear is, “That’s how I’ve always seen it.” Or sometimes they’ll say, “We just looked at another website and copied them.” This tactic delivers an adequate landing page, but it rarely produces an optimal one. As mentioned earlier, even minor improvements or tweaks can be difference makers when it comes to lead generation.

A/B Testing Increases Landing Page Conversion by 30%

A leader in the paperless documentation sector was looking for ways to improve sign up rates for the free trial of their product, a key source of paying customers. Their main focus was on paid landing pages, which drove most of their free trial sign-ups.

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A New Way

When we create a landing page, we don’t view it as a single point-in-time exercise. After the initial template is produced, we’ll tweak facets of the page until we have a design that we know is the best version of itself. Testing tools such as Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) are the most common ways to do this. Using one of these tools, we first produce new versions of a landing page and then analyze how both perform, letting the data that we receive guide what we do next. When we no longer see differences between the various pages that we’re testing, we consider it “optimized.”

Don’t forget the data

An often overlooked but crucial piece of landing page design comes down to a single question: “Can we track it?” Oftentimes, people run into the pitfall of trusting marketing automation tools to handle every aspect of data collection and attribution. While most of these tools can effectively produce reporting from their own trackers, they fall flat when that data needs to be moved anywhere else or joined with data from other sources. For that reason, it is paramount that a landing page be designed to accommodate all types of tracker. As way of example, consider a Pardot landing page that is designed to include Pardot forms. Routinely, we’ll see clients iframe the form into the page’s design, as well as use in-line thank you messaging. That’s an easy way to get the form on the page and in-line thank you messaging means few redirects; however, because those forms are input using iframes—meaning the form has a different url than the landing page—it can be difficult to discern from what page they were submitted. It becomes even more complicated if the same form exists on multiple pages. This is an issue that can be resolved with some creative work by a developer, but it could have been avoided entirely if thank you pages had been incorporated into the design instead of in-line thank you messaging.

Keep Pushing

Remember, the design of a landing page doesn’t follow a one-size-fits-all approach, and that’s what’s exciting. We’ve created hundreds of landing pages over the years, which means we have a general idea of what’s going to work for each client given their business and their needs. Even so, we continue to discover new things when we work with clients who are willing to try something different. And that’s our best advice. Keep trying new things but always measure the end results. Your website, including its landing page(s), should constantly evolve. If it doesn’t, you risk leaving leads—and also potential revenue—on the table.

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