How to Design a Beautiful Landing Page When You’re Not a Designer

How to Design a Beautiful Landing Page When You’re Not a Designer

Last updated on June 10, 2016 by Dusti Arab in Conversion Rate Optimization

So you’re a marketer and your main skill set is in sales or sales writing or social media. Basically, you’re good at a lot of things involving people and getting them to buy things. Great!

So how’s your design skill set?


I get it. You’ve got a laundry list of skills to pick up at some point, and learning design is probably on it, especially since not being able
to design your own materials often leaves you at the mercy of your designer’s packed schedule.

So when it comes to getting yet another landing page out the door when you’re on a deadline, what do you do?

Probably something like what I did when I was put in this position. Have a minor panic attack.

What happens when you assign a writer a design project

When I first came on at Instapage, one of the first things I was assigned was to make a landing page with the software, so I had a full understanding of how awesome Instapage was. (And you know, so I could talk about it coherently like someone who had spent time with the product).

At first, I was a little nervous. I knew the product was supposed to be simple enough to use, but I am not a designer. Seriously. I remember designing my first ebook in Microsoft Word. *cringe*

Writing is my strong suit as a marketer, and although I can tell you whether or not I like something visually and why, I tend to stick to what I’m good at and leave design to the experts. (Like our badass vector artist Rafal. He’s the dude crushing it on all of this amazing, custom art you see every post).

Anyway, here I was making this landing page, and I needed a topic to center it around for the sake of testing purposes.

Luckily, I had an ebook I wrote a couple of years ago that I had a pretty boring sales page up for, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to create something a little nicer that hopefully converted better.

My epic quest into designing on Instapage had begun.

How To Design A Landing Page When You’re Not a Designer

Choose a theme

The first thing to do was choose a theme to start with. (Designing my own, even with the click to add option would have taken me a long time). With 80+ free templates to choose from, as well as the selection on ThemeForest, there isn’t a shortage of professional templates to start with. This is the one I chose to start with.

Screenshot 2015-04-03 at 11.55.53 AM

I already had a book cover image, so I knew it would be easy to replace the existing one on the template. The look of the wood background was clean and and simple enough of a backdrop for my book, and I thought my audience would respond well to it.

Choose a color palette and fonts.

My audience is primarily women, but they aren’t necessarily an ultra girly audience. I went with the light blue I had used in my book already and a striking purple for the CTA. I resized the form and made some other minor adjustments very easily.

I’ve always been a fan of fancy-pants, typography-fueled design, so I loved that there were several font pairing suggestions to get you started. It makes life much easier not having to make one more decision, and this small addition made a huge difference in my experience creating the page.

Here’s what the top of my page ended up looking like.

Screenshot 2015-04-03 at 10.11.53 AM

Add Your Elements

By this time, I was feeling much more confident about making my landing page look exactly how I wanted it to. I cut one section, added another, and moved anything around that didn’t feel quite right. The fluidity of the design-friendly functionality is phenomenal. I was able to shift things intuitively without fighting the software (a problem I’ve run into with most programs).

I already had most of my copy written for the page, and after rereading it, I made some minor edits and chose to use most of it. Here’s one of the sections.

Screenshot 2015-04-03 at 10.18.29 AM

I wanted to end my page with one final CTA, so I added the form to give them one last chance to get the ebook.

Screenshot 2015-04-03 at 10.19.00 AM

Overall, I’m very happy with the results I got from the short amount of time I spent working on my landing page for the ebook. Because I think you’ll find it helpful, here’s what I would change next time

What I’d do differently next time

1. Plan my variations in advance

I made this page with the intention of learning how to use a piece of software, not to maximize my conversions. As I’m learning more about what makes a landing page effective, planning smart variations will become a large part of my strategy for email list domination.

I’ll likely test the button color later, but for my first shot, I chose to only tweak the button copy initially. Additionally, I’ll be trying a shorter form page and compare it to the long form to see which is better. According to the analytics, 70% of click to the page came from mobile (not a surprise since mothers are the target market), so I’ve got a hunch a shorter form will be most effective for this group.

2. Try wireframing my own template

I don’t know why I was so intimidated to start this project. The fully customizable builder is smooth, seamless, and gives me the flexibility to add any element I like to the page. I’m currently playing with the idea of creating a custom template that reflects my overall brand aesthetic better (which will be super easy if I use the Template Importer).

What’s holding you up from creating a beautiful landing page? Have questions about the choices I made in mine? Leave them in the comments!

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