Despite the trend for creating buyer personas and their well-documented benefits, optimizing and tailoring landing pages for different campaigns and audiences is an aspect often overlooked by marketers.
Landing pages should be created with a specific objective already in mind — whether that be to generate leads, get subscriptions to a newsletter, sell more products, etc.
Each objective requires different content, design, and calls-to-action to create relevant landing pages that capture the attention of your audience and encourage them to take your desired next action. But often, instead of creating a specific page in line with the interests of the audience and the goal, a one-size-fits-all landing page is created for all campaigns and tweaked accordingly.
We’ll look at general landing page optimization tips below and explain how to optimize three landing page types that all have a different goal to ensure maximum conversions.
Landing page optimization tips
Whatever type of landing page you are creating and whatever it’s goal, there are some best practices you should always apply.
1. Consistency is key
For any landing page, the branding — look and feel — needs to be consistent with your website, and the page where the user came from. This extends from having images in similar styles to having the same (or similar) headline on the ad as on the landing page. Inconsistency across the ad, your landing page, and pages on your website will likely cause confusion and, as a result, a drop off in conversion.
2. Define your audience
The “who” is critical to landing page creation and being clear on your audience is key. This could be the type of users (e.g. people who stay in luxury hotels) to where they are in the sales funnel (at the end of the funnel and ready to buy your product or at the start and looking for resources, i.e. newsletters). The language, imagery, and the overall message need to be tailored for this audience.
3. Be clear on your goal
User intent is a key consideration when creating any landing page, and the “why” needs to be immediately clear.
If you want your users to sign up to a newsletter, have a clear CTA that says “sign up for our newsletter.” If you want them to buy your product, make sure they can easily do that without having to sift through other offers or CTAs. Have one goal per landing page and stick to it without diluting the message.
4. Always be testing
There is no exact science behind creating a landing page and no guarantee that it will convert. But A/B testing can help you figure out some general principles. A/B testing helps you determine things like:
- Are there specific words in your CTAs that seem to improve conversion rates?
- Do your users prefer certain colors and fonts?
- Do they respond favorably to videos?
All of these aspects can help you improve conversion in future landing pages. You should also test landing pages extensively before they go live to ensure that they work from a technical perspective (links, multimedia content, etc.) in much the same way you’d test a newsletter before sending and that they have the desired effect on your target audience.
5. Get the technical details right
Paid ads, email, social media, and more. There are many different channels you can generate landing page traffic (including these free ones) so make sure your pages are optimized for all entry points.
- Are visitors coming from Instagram? If so, tailor the landing page to mobile devices, and double check the design is responsive.
- Are they clicking through from a newsletter? Ensure that all content displays correctly depending on where they are accessing that newsletter.
Different designs for different goals
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when creating landing pages for different purposes. However, the pages should be optimized for your goal and tailored to your audience. We’ll look at how to do this to maximize conversions across landing pages for newsletter signups, lead generation, and selling products.
Newsletter sign up
If your goal is to encourage email newsletter sign ups (a quicker and easier process than trying to sell a product), then your landing page should be clean, simple, and without a lot of distractions from the ultimate goal.
Text should be kept to a minimum as this is a relatively low commitment (you can easily unsubscribe and don’t have to provide many personal details), with a simple form collecting only basic information such as name and email address. Avoid confusion with your CTA by making the goal very obvious, so the user is clear why they need to provide their information (e.g. “sign up for the newsletter”).
Furthermore, your newsletter signup landing page should have:
- Minimalist design
- One self-explanatory and prominent CTA above the fold
- Lots of white space for minimum distraction
- Easy to read text (avoid overly “artsy” fonts)
- Simple, fuss-free content such as concise text and few visual elements (make your landing page goal extremely clear)
- Benefits of signing up (but don’t go overboard on the text)
- Information on your privacy and unsubscribe policy
Video marketing platform Wistia’s sign up page is a great example of this type of landing page with a minimal design, simple color scheme, and form fields for the essential details (with all other information kept below the fold):
Collecting emails and personal information for lead gen is a mid-point between email newsletter sign up and selling a product — more details are normally required than for a newsletter, but less than a product purchase. Here is where you can get creative with landing pages because there are many different ways to collect information, such as running a competition or getting users to download a report.
The golden rule here is: Base the amount of information you request to the value you provide.
If you are providing an extensively researched, unique and specific report (like a white paper), then you can request more information because there is higher perceived value. If there’s a risk visitors could find the same content elsewhere, then keep form details to a minimum.
Furthermore, your lead generation landing page should include:
- A signup form tailored to the value of product
- Customer testimonials that vouch for your content or brand
- Separation between sign up form and product information (so the page is easy to consume)
- Terms and conditions explaining your use of their email address
Industrial Strength Marketing has a striking design to download a free guide to responsive websites. This form contains more information than a newsletter sign up, but is not overloaded with information:
Digital Marketer has a visual cue that directs you to the special offer for their Conversion Funnel Master Class and certification (the offer they really want you to enroll in):
Selling a product
If you’re trying to sell a product or offering a demo or free trial, your landing page layout should incorporate a checkout button above the fold, with carefully positioned product images and descriptions to inform the customer.
If it’s a transactional landing page, provide in-depth content about features, benefits, pricing, terms and conditions, delivery options, free trials, etc. And since it’s a sales page, it’s recommended you include more copy to address any objections or doubts.
Getting the balance between sufficient copy to answer these objections with a design that supports this copy (without overwhelming visitors) is key.
Furthermore, your product landing page should include:
- Multiple CTAs at different points throughout the page (but all with the same goal)
- Eye-catching product images and descriptions
- Interactive, multimedia elements (gifs or video)
- Testimonials or logos from well-known customers
You may also want to replace a signup form with a prominently placed CTA that allows you to collect the information on the next page.
Shopify puts its CTA above everything else on its free trial product landing page while keeping copy to an absolute minimum. This is a good strategy to take with free trials because there is less risk involved compared to purchasing a product right away:
Club W gets their product landing page spot-on, with a strong visual, use of humor, customer testimonials, sufficient copy, and a simple way to purchase the product:
There is also a lot to be gained in optimizing post purchase landing pages where you can gain more sales. These should be personalized according to the customer but remember they will already be aware of your brand and shopping experience — so design this post-purchase page with that in mind.
If you’re looking for inspiration on how to design a landing page for your specific goal that will convert like a dream, then it’s worth taking a look at what has (and hasn’t worked) for other companies, as well as picking up some tips on copywriting for landing pages.
If you’re already creating landing pages for different goals, let us know about your experiences in the comments below.
Karen McCandless is a writer for the GetApp Lab, as well as editor of the small business software discovery site’s blog. Before working at GetApp, Karen spent a lot of time reviewing photo and productivity apps for Android and iOS, as well as covering all things B2B, primarily for retail and manufacturing. When not writing about B2B apps, she enjoys trips to the theater, playing badminton, and working out ways to travel more.