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Wondering how to create a landing page? It might be easier than you’d think.
For any company, entrepreneur, or freelancer, the first step in standing out online is having a great website. However, if you want to generate referrals, leads, and sales opportunities, you need something an extra: a powerful landing page.
Landing pages are the specialist tools marketing experts, and business leaders can use to drive visitors towards a conversion, by sharing specific information in a structured way. Landing pages can convince people to make purchases from online stores, sign up for an email newsletter so you can nurture your leads long-term, or simply reach out to you through a contact page.
According to some studies, companies can increase their leads by 55% just by doubling their number of landing pages. Of course, before you can start leveraging the benefits of an effective landing page for yourself, you need to learn how to design one.
Fortunately, we’re here to help
What is a Landing Page? An Introduction
The first step in creating effective landing pages is understanding their purpose.
Landing pages are a distinct part of your online presence used to drive a specific action. Unlike a full-blown website, a landing page generally doesn’t have navigation or multiple pages to explore. The whole purpose of the page is to “convert” your customer.
In terms of content, a landing page has one simple message to convey, and the design of the page supports this objective and nothing else. The ultimate goal of a landing page is to drive a customer to action through the careful use of visuals, copy, and CTA buttons.
Landing pages are:
- Specifically focused on a single clear goal
- Designed for conversions
- Equipped with only one option or CTA
- Populated by traffic from ads (like PPC campaigns)
- Designed with minimal distractions
Creating a landing page is a little different to building a website, but it can actually be much easier for some, as there are fewer elements to design. Here are the 11 steps you’ll need to follow to create an impactful landing page.
Step 1: Choose a Landing Page Builder
Unless you want to code your own landing page from scratch (like a professional developer), you’re going to need a builder to help you bring your landing page to life. A landing page builder is essentially a selection of software tools created to help you quickly and conveniently design your page. These builders can come with various tools, including:
- Drag-and-drop builder: A drag-and-drop builder allows you to drag modules like text, photos, and buttons into different segments of the landing page. The builder translates your actions into code for your landing page.
- Forms: Forms are one of the ways you can get people to convert on your landing pages, by asking them to provide you with information like an email address.
- Templates: Landing page builders often com with templates to help you design pages for specific purposes. For instance, you may have one template for capturing leads for your email campaign, and another page designed to increase sign-ups for a webinar.
Landing page builders also allow you to design buttons for your call-to-action requests, sell products and services directly (in some cases), and track conversions through analytics and reports.
The exact number of features you’ll get from your landing page builder depends on the service you choose. Let’s compare two options:
Leadpages is a landing page builder perfect for people who want to create high-quality pages on a budget. This cost-effective tool comes with all the features you need to create incredible landing pages, such as a free custom domain (your website URL) free hosting for your landing page, mobile-responsive site templates, integrations with leading tools, and unlimited pop-ups and alert bars.
Alternatively, Unbounce is a landing page builder created for companies who might need a more extensive selection of features. This comprehensive landing page builder allows you to create comprehensive pages with smart AI-enhanced building tools, with in-depth insights into customer segmentation, analytics, and more.
Notably, some website builders also come with their own landing page features, though they might not be as comprehensive as a complete landing page building tool.
Step 2: Learn When To Use a Landing Page
Once you have your landing page builder, you’ll need to decide when it’s necessary to design a landing page, and when you might need to consider using a standard website page instead. For instance, while you want people to convert when they visit your product pages, you don’t need to create individual landing pages for every product you sell.
Your product pages still need to give customers the option to go back and look at alternative products, or add more items to their basket if they choose. A landing page focuses on convincing your audience to do a single thing and nothing else.
You’ll use a website when…
You’re developing a page as part of your overall online experience for customers. You might want customers to act on your website pages, but you also want to give them options, like the ability to check out your “About Us” page and learn more about your products before contacting you.
You’ll use a landing page when…
You need a single page to encourage a specific action. Landing pages aren’t there to raise brand awareness or build relationships with customers, they’re designed to achieve a single goal, whether it’s getting more leads and sign-ups for your email campaign, or generating direct sales.
Landing pages eliminate the distractions of other web pages, like navigation and links to other content, but they also give your customers fewer options.
Step 3: Set a Goal for Your Campaign
As mentioned above, the whole point of a landing page is to drive a customer towards a specific action, and generate a single outcome. To create an effective landing page, you therefore need to decide what specific action you want to encourage.
Some of the most common goals for a landing page include:
- Generating sales: For ecommerce websites and businesses, a landing page can help you to transform people who find your ads into instant customers. With the right landing page builder, you’ll even be able to take payments and take customers through the checkout process right there on your landing page.
- Earn more conversions: Sales aren’t the only form of conversion. A conversion is any action your customer takes that you want them to do. For instance, if your customer arrives on your landing page and signs up for your webinar, downloads a free asset, or shares a review, they’re “converting” as a result of your page.
- Create new leads: Landing pages are an excellent way to create more leads. You can fuel growth by encouraging people to sign up to your email campaign, or asking people to join your social media community. Once you have a connection with your audience, it’s much easier to nurture them into long-term customers
Having a specific goal for your campaign will show you what you need to measure to determine whether your efforts have been successful. A good goal can also direct you towards the right template for your landing page needs. Most page builders will have different templates for different landing page objectives.
Step 4: Designing Your Landing Page
One of the most exciting parts of building a landing page, is designing the ultimate page layout. Fortunately, since you’ve already chosen a landing page builder to help you at this point, you won’t need any coding or programming knowledge.
Instead, you can simply load up your landing page building tool, and choose from one of the existing templates they have to offer. As mentioned above, most landing page creators will sort templates by objective or audience, so you can browse through and find the one that makes the most sense for you.
Remember, you’ll also have the freedom to edit your template, so don’t forget to:
- Use brand visuals: You still want people to associate this landing page with your brand, so it’s important to utilize key visuals like specific brand colors and logos. Your landing page builder should allow you to upload any image files you need.
- Leverage visual hierarchy: Design the layout of your landing page to place what you want your customers to see first at the very top of the page. You can then use elements of good design, like sizing and structure to draw your customer’s eye down the page.
- Make it responsive: Ensure your landing page design works perfectly on every device so you can continue to earn conversions and leads wherever you encounter prospects. Most builders will allow you to test how dynamic your content is.
- Use contrast for buttons: Make sure you use contrast to separate your CTA buttons and forms from everything else in the page. This will help to ensure your visitors on the landing page know what they need to do.
Don’t forget the basics of good graphic design while you’re editing. Every other element on your page should be pointing users towards the form or action you want them to take. Avoid using too much copy, as this can overwhelm your reader, and make sure there’s plenty of white space.
Step 5: Write Your Copy
Now it’s time to write the copy that’s going to convert your visitor.
You can start with your copy before your design if you prefer, as this will help you to determine how much space you need throughout the landing page for your bullet points and paragraphs. The right copy is often the most important tool you’ll have on your landing pages. It needs to convince your customer that the thing you’re asking them to do is worth their time.
The best way to create amazing copy is to practice, and learn from your customers as you go, using analytics to see what kind of campaigns they respond to best. When you’re just getting started for the first time, follow these key rules:
- Use a high-impact headline: You’ll usually have just a couple of seconds to capture your customer’s attention from the moment they arrive on your page. Make sure your offer immediately pops off the page by highlighting your headline as much as possible. This headline, combined with the right image, can help to convert your customers.
- Focus on benefits: Don’t just list a bunch of features on your landing page and expect your customers to figure out why they’re useful. Instead, explain to your audience how whatever you’re offering is going to solve their problems and benefit them. Try to view the page from your ideal customer’s perspective.
- Keep it simple: Landing pages usually convert better when they’re easy to read. Too much content can overwhelm your viewer, so it’s best to keep things simple. Bullet points can be a great way to keep copy compact.
Remember, when you’re done writing, set some time aside to go through your copy a second time and proofread for any errors. Grammatical and spelling mistakes can make it less likely your customers will trust your company.
Step 6: Craft your CTA
Your CTA is one of the most important parts of your landing page, because it’s the final push your customer needs to take the crucial action you want them to take. A “Call to Action” tells your visitor what you want them to do next after they’ve arrived on your page and read your content.
CTAs can take the form of a click-through button, which leads your customer to another page, or brings up a pop-up. They can also come in the guise of short forms or fields where your customers can enter their information.
To get the most out of your CTA:
- Be specific: CTA buttons like “Get Started” might work for some, but they can be quite vague at a time when you want to be as convincing as possible. Visitors won’t know what to expect from buttons without a lot of information. Try to be a little more descriptive, with CTAs like “Claim your free trial”, or “See pricing”.
- Stay simple: While descriptive CTAs are important, it’s important not to make the statement or form too long. A complex CTA can send your customer in the opposite direction. If you’re including a form for your customers to fill out, think about how you can make it as short and simple as possible. The best converting forms only ask for one piece of information, such as an email address or phone number.
- Stay focused: The whole purpose of a landing page is to achieve a specific goal. Landing pages need to eliminate all other distractions, including links to other pages and options. Your visitors on a landing page should only have one path forward, so focus on one CTA only. Avoid any CTAs with links to other pages or purchasing options.
Step 7: Choose Your Images
At this point, your landing page is really starting to come together. You have a structure or template in place, and the copy required to convert your audience. Now it’s time to choose your visuals. Companies that create custom visual content have around 7 times higher conversion rates, but if you don’t have your own in-house designer, any visual can make a positive difference to your landing page. Visuals help to guide customers through a page and make the design more engaging.
When choosing your images, you’ll need to:
- Highlight real people: While pictures of a product are great, people are much more likely to respond to images of other human beings. Photographs of real people enjoying your product or service will help visitors to connect with your offer and visualize themselves using whatever it is you have to offer.
- Choose a hero image: A lot of the best landing pages use a huge image at the top of the page to show visitors what their offer is about. The hero image can be a great way to introduce your customer to a page, alongside your headline.
- Visualize benefits: Try to convey the unique benefits you’re sharing with your copy through your images. For instance, if you’re selling shoes that are great for climbing, show someone climbing a mountain in them. This helps to give customers an insight into the advantages of your products when they don’t read all the copy.
Step 8: Connect Your Landing Page
While you don’t necessarily need a website for a landing page, you do need to connect your landing page to a host provider, your email system (if you’re collecting email addresses), and other tools, like a checkout page if you want to manage transactions.
Your landing page builder should help you with this, allowing you to:
- Choose an URL: You’ll need to connect your landing page to your main domain and create a custom URL. This will be the address people visit when they click on your page ad.
- Add custom scripts: Adding tracking for analytics tools like Google Analytics is important, because it helps you to see who’s visiting your landing page, what actions they’re taking and more. The information you collect will guide future page designs.
- Integrate crucial tools: You’ll need to connect your landing page to the other tools you’re going to be using to nurture and convert leads. For instance, you might need your system to automatically pass leads through to your CRM and email marketing tools.
Step 9: Preview, Edit and Publish
Once you’ve got everything connected, make sure your landing page works exactly as its supposed to. Although it’s tempting to hit the “publish” button straight away, taking some extra precautions can save you a lot of time and money in the long-run.
Here are some of the things you might want to run through with your colleagues before you take the plunge with your new page:
- The copy: Do a quick check to ensure there are no grammatical issues, spelling mistakes, or other problems with your copy. Any mistake you make could harm your credibility.
- The SEO: You can decide whether or not you want your page to be visible to search engines before you publish it. Some landing pages don’t need to be search-engine optimized.
- The functionality: Make sure your user can do what they’re supposed to do on your page. This might mean ensuring forms work and save information as they’re supposed to. You can also try out your checkout tools if necessary.
It can be helpful to ask someone else to run through your landing page for you if you’re not sure everything is working properly yourself.
Step 10: Start Driving Traffic
With your landing page ready to go, published, and hosted on the web, the next step is simply getting people to visit it. There are various ways you can encourage people to make their way to your landing page, including:
- Email marketing: Turn your email subscribers into full customers by sending out promos linking to your landing page. You can even create different variants of your landing pages for different segments of your target audience.
- Social media: Social media ads are a fantastic way to generate traffic for your new landing pages. Most tools, like Instagram and Facebook, will allow you to leverage powerful targeting features to focus specifically on the audience best for your needs.
- Pay per click ads: PPC ads offered by search engines like Google are excellent for getting you to the top of the search results for specific search terms and keywords.
You’ll have a much easier time driving traffic to your landing pages if you take some extra time to understand your audience and build user personas before you start advertising. A good knowledge of your target audience helps you to determine where you’re likely to get the most attention.
Step 11: Test and Optimize
Finally, it’s time to make sure you’re really getting the most out of your landing page. Duplicate the page you created using the tools you have built into your landing page builder, and create different variants testing things like body copy, headlines, colors, and CTA content.
Testing different elements like images and offers can give you some valuable insights into what kind of factors really influence your audience to make purchasing or conversion decisions.
Some landing page tools will even allow you to create dynamic pages which change according to the interests or behaviors of the person who visits your content.
How to Create a Landing Page: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There you have it, everything you need to know about building your own landing page from start to finish. Keep in mind, landing pages are much easier to build today, thanks to the wide variety of tools we have available in the digital world. However, it still takes a while to figure out what kind of landing pages will drive the most conversions.
Take your time and experiment as much as you can, gathering information from your analytics over time. The more you practice, the better your landing pages will be.
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