Tips for creating a great landing page

Creating a great landing page for your website is key in converting visitors in to customers: here are our notes from WordPress North East’s event last night – “Creating Great Landing Pages” by Mike Williams of MsgWorks.

by Richard Carter.

Last night’s WordPress North East event was on two popular topics: copywriting for small businesses, and how to build great landing pages for your website.

The evening included Mike Williams from MsgWorks’ great session on Creating A Great Landing Page. During the talk, Mike shared his knowledge of creating effective landing pages for small businesses, and this article is based on the notes I took during that talk.

So, what is a landing page?

A landing page is a page that channels a visitor in to a specific action you desire them to do. For example, an ecommerce website may have . A great landing page typically contains:

  1. A proposition – for example: “Do you want to cure your back pain?”. This is going to help your visitor solve a problem they are having.
  2. A call to action – typically a button, or link: “Find out more”, “Sign up today”, etc. This allows the visitor to perform the action you desire them to take.
  3. Data capture – this could be a contact form, or a sign up form for your newsletter. It allows you to further the relationship with the visitor and convert them in to a customer.
  4. Minimal navigation – as you’re funneling the visitor in to a specific action on your landing page, the less distractions there are, the better (in general!). Removing navigation essentially forces the visitor to complete the desired action, or leave.

A landing page can be useful in a few ways, as Mike explained. Landing pages can be useful if your bounce rate (the rate at which people leave your website) is high. Tailoring a landing page to a specific audience or product you have can improve conversion and target your content to that particular audince.

Tips for good landing pages

Mike discussed what a good landing page would typically look like. Key themes for a great landing page for your website are:

  1. Keep your copy concise: shorter messages are quicker and easier to read, and make it less likely your prospects will lose interest half way through and leave your page.
  2. A clear call to action which stands out against the page. You can achieve this using colours, sizing and other design techniques (or you could as a good web design we know!)
  3. Avoid multiple calls to action: this can be confusing and dilute the power of your landing page
  4. Don’t distract your visitors: keep navigation to a minimum, and consider any other “clutter” on your web page that could be removed whilst retaining your company’s branding.

Signs of bad landing pages

Mike also discussed some habits of bad landing pages, and a number of themes in the examples he displayed appeared too:

  1. Non-responsive landing pages: with more and more visitors searching using their mobile phones and tablets, it’s important to ensure your audience is supported fully when viewing your landing page, and this could mean building a responsive (mobile-friendly) web design.
  2. Too much choice: keep your call to action clear and simple. Consider removing navigation from your website to funnel visitors to your desired action.
  3. Weak content: poor content can destroy even the best designed landing pages. As a rule, try keeping sentences to a maximum of 10 words for landing pages.
  4. “Hero images suck”: Mike’s experience was that large header images on landing pages didn’t work. This is because they can obscure content, as well as hide your call to action.

Thanks again to both Mike and Katherine Wildman for their time and insight last night, and we hope to see you at June’s WordPress North East event!