How to Create a Drupal Landing Page from Scratch

How to Create a Drupal Landing Page from Scratch

Last updated on by in Conversion Optimization
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After what felt like a decade of staring at combinations of letters and symbols that might as well have been Greek, at 2 AM, I finally admitted defeat. I failed — hard.

Maybe you can relate.

Basic hypertext markup language (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS) were relatively easy for me to learn, but their more intimidating relatives like JavaScript and Python demanded extra patience and attention that I didn’t have.

It was in the early hours of a Sunday morning that I finally realized, “Maybe I should have someone build this website for me.”

If this is something you’ve been through, I can sympathize.

Today you’ll be happy to know that you don’t need to know complex coding languages or even their more basic foundations like HTML and CSS to build a website. You can copy and paste text, add or remove pages, and altogether create websites in less than an hour.

How?

With something called a content management system (CMS).

What is a content management system?

A content management system is a software used to upload, manage, and edit all types of content on a website. From images to navigation menus, from buttons to landing pages, CMS’s help you arrange and change it all without extensive coding knowledge.

There’s no question they make content management easier, so the only question becomes: Which is right for you?

There are dozens of free and open source options out there, but three in particular are the choice of 86% of all people who use content management systems.

WordPress vs. Drupal vs. Joomla

Together, these three CMS titans power nearly 30% of the entire internet, dwarfing all their other competitors.

WordPress is the clear favorite, hogging 68% of the market, while Joomla and Drupal duke it out for second place.

This picture shows the CMS market share and why WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal own the largest share.

But this isn’t a popularity contest.

When choosing a CMS for your website, there are other things to take into account: ease of use, scalability, support, etc.

While WordPress is the most widely used CMS, and Joomla claims the second biggest piece of the CMS market pie, Drupal is no slouch.

In fact, even though it’s used by fewer websites, Drupal is the choice of more highly trafficked enterprises like The White House, Harvard, Tesla, and NBC.

This picture shows Tesla Motors' website that is built with the Drupal CMS.

When designers set out to build a simple blog or corporate website, they turn to WordPress. When they’re looking for something a little more versatile that’s still relatively easy to set up, they choose Joomla.

But if they’re looking for something more robust — something scalable and more secure — they manage their content with Drupal.

Some more big names who use Drupal to maintain their websites:

And when the marketing teams from the websites listed above run social media, pay-per-click, and other forms of paid promotions, they turn to a Drupal landing page to drive user action.

What is a Drupal landing page?

Whether they learned it through trial and error, or some Google research, web designers and marketers know that navigation links kill conversions.

Your homepage is a great starting point for potential customers, but if they’ve clicked through from a Facebook post or a Google Adwords ad, something called “intent” comes into play.

“Intent” refers to the reason your prospect clicked your link in the first place. If your link reads: “Economist.com - Save 87% On The Economist,” when clicked, users expect to be taken to a page where they can learn more about saving 87% on a subscription to The Economist, like this one:

This picture shows how The Economist uses a Drupal landing page to generate new sales.

That’s one example of a Drupal landing page.

Simple, right?

Not so much.

Too many businesses simply direct prospects to their homepage — and there’s one major problem with that.

When that user finds themselves on your homepage, they’re confronted with all sorts of links, offers, banners, and other distracting stimuli that could potentially overwhelm them to the point that they forget your offer and leave.

Here’s what The Economist’s homepage looks like above the fold:

This picture shows The Economist's homepage and how "busy" it is with many eye catching elements.

Holy content overload.

Imagine if you had been directed to this page instead of the one above it, which was tailored specifically to boosting magazine subscriptions. You’d have to hunt around visually, scanning every pixel on the homepage for the menu item that would most likely take you to the offer you were there to claim.

Maybe you’d see the little bar above the navigation menu that reads “Subscription offers,” but, then again, maybe you wouldn’t.

Maybe you’d get distracted by a breaking news story, click through to read it and never come back.

Or maybe you’d see an ad for a product you had considered purchasing, and click through to buy that instead.

The point is, every promotion needs its own page — one that’s free of navigation links and flashing banner ads. It should briefly describe the benefits of the offer that you advertised via social media, PPC, or email, and then compel its visitors to claim it.

That’s what a Drupal landing page does. It has:

Now that we’ve nailed that definition down, let’s take a look at some examples from brands that have already incorporated Drupal landing pages into their marketing strategy.

Drupal landing page examples

(Keep in mind, for shorter pages, we’ve shown the entire page. However, for longer pages, we only displayed above the fold. You may need to click through to the page to see some of the points we discuss and some examples may be A/B testing their page with an alternate version than is displayed below.)

Taboola

This picture shows marketers how Taboola uses a Drupal landing page to generate conversions.

What they did well:

What could be tested:

Box

This picture shows how IBM uses a Drupal landing page to generate free trial signups.

What they did well:

What could be improved:

Olympus Medical

This picture shows marketers how Olympus Medical uses a Drupal landing page to generate conversions and sales.

What they did well:

What could be tested:

WordStream

This picture shows how WordStream uses a Drupal landing page to generate conversions.

What they did well:

What could be tested:

Fast Company

This picture shows marketers how Fast Company uses a Drupal landing page to generate new subscription orders.

What they did well:

What could be tested:

None of these landing pages are perfect, but we can pull bits and pieces from each to develop the ultimate Drupal landing page. Here’s how:

1. Start with a benefit-oriented headline

Of all the headlines above, which would you say is the most compelling?

If you said Taboola, you’re right. The others do okay, but the only one that conveys a clear benefit belongs to the traffic-boosting service.

Remember advice from legendary ad man John Caples. To create the best headlines, combine two or more of the elements below:

2. Authority

Taboola takes this category, too. While in everyday conversations we roll our eyes at shameless name-droppers, the practice is totally acceptable on landing pages.

In fact, it’s more than acceptable; it’s encouraged.

Taboola’s mention of brands it works with, like NBC News, Business Insider, USA Today, and Chicago Tribune, aligns it with reputable organizations that prospects will likely jump at the chance to publish their content on.

3. Use powerful words like “Free” and “You”

Two of the most persuasive words in the English language, “Free” and “You,” carry enormous power on landing pages.

Why?

Because by using “You,” you directly involve the reader in the conversation.

The headline “How To Boost Your Conversion Rate In Three Easy Steps” adds an element of personalization that “How Marketers Can Boost Their Conversion Rates In Three Easy Steps” doesn’t.

Now, if we add the word “Free” to that headline, it becomes even more compelling. And the reason for that is pretty obvious, isn’t it?

As consumers who gobble up thousands of marketing messages daily, we’re often promised a benefit of countless products and services, which we anticipate will come at a cost (because more often than not they do).

However, if you clarify that yours doesn’t in the headline, it completely destroys that notion. In short, who doesn’t like free stuff?

“Get The Free Ebook: How To Boost Your Conversion Rate In Three Easy Steps” will likely always perform better than the former.

4. Bulleted, benefit-oriented copy

For the most part, we don’t like to read on the internet. That’s even truer on landing pages, which we visit simply to determine what an offer is worth.

Because of that, keeping your text to a minimum is important. Breaking up long blocks into shorter, bite-size chunks using bullet points and icons will get your point across without overwhelming your visitors.

Olympus, IBM Box, Taboola, and WordStream all do a good job of breaking up text for internet scanners while communicating the benefits of their offers.

5. A compelling call-to-action

Your entire landing page is built around your call-to-action. Using all the elements above and lazily using text like “Submit,” along with a random button color, will completely ruin your chances of soliciting a conversion.

For compelling CTA’s, we’re going to turn to WordStream and Fast Company’s Drupal landing pages. Here’s why:

Studies have shown that writing in the first person, the way Fast Company did in this text:

This picture shows marketers how Fast Company uses statistics in its copy to generate landing page conversions.

... has the power to boost conversions.

Combined with an attention-grabbing button that features a customized call-to-action, like the one on WordStream’s page, these two practices can lead to quite a lift in conversion rate.

While the CTA “Get Your Toolkit Now” uses the most powerful word in copywriting, “Get MY Toolkit Now” has the potential to perform even better.

6. Social proof

If hundreds of thousands of people use your service, it must be really good, right? What about if some of those people are well-known in their industry?

That makes your offer look even more appealing.

Taboola’s section titled “Who uses Taboola?” does just that:

“Thousands of companies, small and large, looking to build a quality audience, generate leads or increase online sales. Get on board and get in on the action alongside Ben & Jerry’s, Disney, Walmart, Samsung, HP, GE and many more!”

Don’t you want to join successful businesses like Disney, Walmart, and HP? I would.

7. A minimalist footer and no navigation menu

On the rest of your site, your footer and navigation menu are where your prospects can go to find all of the publicly available information on your website.

On your landing page, they’re simply holes that have the potential to lead them away from your offer.

Use a footer like Taboola’s, and a non-existent navigation along with an unlinked logo like on Fast Company’s landing page.

This way, your prospects have no choice but to either hit the back button, exit the browser window, or convert on your offer.

How to publish a Drupal landing page if you’re not a developer

Fortunately for those of us who don’t have the technical background needed to create our own functionally sound landing pages with Drupal, hunting down a developer with years of experience using the CMS is no longer necessary.

Now you can just use Instapage.

Once you’ve finished adding all the elements above to your page, click the blue “Publish” button, and select “Drupal” when the pop-up appears.

Then, follow these easy steps to get your new landing page up and running in a matter of minutes:

Your turn

Which content management system do you prefer? Have you ever made a Drupal landing page?

Let us know in the comments, then create and publish your landing page in minutes by using Instapage’s simple design-friendly software.

Show Me The 35 Best Landing Page Tips