For many businesses, ready-made landing pages are the way to go. You don’t have the time, expertise, or team to lear how to build landing pages without help, and with tiered pricing, you can afford to keep paying for a landing page service as your traffic and sales increase.
But there are two glaring problems with ready-made landing page services:
- Your ability to customize is limited.
- You have to keep paying every month for the same landing page… forever.
Landing page services are following the software-as-a-service model, and the SaaS model typically makes sense because you replacing massive upfront expenditures with a much smaller monthly cost. You are eliminating the risk that your massive software investment will be obsolete in a few years, and you are gaining valuable functionality before you could afford to purchase a full system.
But with landing pages, this model doesn’t really make sense unless you need a bunch of landing pages, and you think you’ll probably scrap them all in a year and get new ones.
How much does a landing page cost?
Landing pages don’t really cost that much to hire out (cough, fiverr), and it’s a one-time cost. The main expenditure is the copywriting, which ready-made landing services don’t even handle for you.
Tips on How to Create a Landing Page from Scratch
Tip #1: Clean, Organized Design
If you look at any landing page service, you’ll notice that while there are hundreds of pages to choose from, they are all simply derivatives of a few basic templates. The 3 most important are included below.
The Lead Generation Page: A home page or landing page designed to generate warm leads.
The Optin Page: A page used to offer a lead magnet to customers, often in exchange for their email address.
The Webinar Signup Page: A page used to promote and take signups for an upcoming webinar.
The look, feel, and overall structure of your page design will have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your landing page and how well it drives conversions. The primary goal of your landing page should be to make it as easy as possible for a visitor to convert, so it is important that all elements of your page work towards the conversion objective, whether it being filling out a form, making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading an eBook.
An effective landing page design makes smart use of color and eye-catching images. Certain button colors such as red or green are said to increase landing page conversions, but above all make sure that there is a strong contrast between your button color and your background. There are many different button attributes you should test to ensure a good landing page – test color, placement, and size to discover the most effective landing page layout.
Tip #2: Be a Minimalist
Be sure to maintain a clean page with obvious, natural navigation and no distractions (such as pop ups). A good landing page provides all the necessary information needed to encourage visitors to convert, but nothing extra. Too much info can overwhelm visitors, so keep it simple and provide only the essential information that will guide visitors down the funnel. The info you do put front and center should be easily scannable – good landing page copy uses bullet points to explain details when possible.
Take into account what key info needs to be shown above the fold within the visitors’ direct line of vision, and what can be put below the fold. Most visitors naturally know that they can scroll down for more information, so don’t be afraid to add more thorough descriptions down where they will be discreetly hidden. A good landing page design maintains a clean and attractive visual impression while still allowing visitors the information they might desire in a non-intrusive way, and taking advantage of the below the fold space is one great way to do this. Another way to add more information without overwhelming visitors with text is through video landing pages. Consider highlighting the key points of your offer with text and using an optional, clickable video to explain the details.
Tip #3: Use Header to Broadcast Offer Value
A good landing page should have a strong offer and be able to explain why the offer is valuable in clear and concise terms. The landing page headline and subheadings provide a key opportunity to promote the value of your offer. Most effective landing pages confirm the offer with the headline and use the sub-heading for further explanation of the offer or to share the value proposition. For example…
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Some landing pages choose to push their value proposition to the main headline and use the sub-heading to discuss the actual software or offer. Don’t forget, you have about 8 seconds to convince users your offer is worth pursuing, so it’s absolutely essential that your offer and value proposition are clear and convincing.
Tip #4: Trust Signals
Good landing pages make abundant use of trust signals, which can indicate to visitors that their offer and brand are trustworthy. Trust signals can take a number of different forms – testimonials are a classic form of trust signal, capitalizing on word-of-mouth to reassure visitors with endorsements from past clients or customers. This can also be done with “Like” counters, which push a more subtle form of endorsement through “Likes” and +1s from various social media sites.
Another powerful tool implemented by effective landing pages are trust badges. Trust badges often refer to the logos of well-known brands you’ve worked with in the past, certain endorsements and recognition you’ve received, groups and coalitions you are a member of, etc. They serve as endorsements of your trustworthiness and skill.
Even unofficial (and, honestly, meaningless) buttons like those purchased from stock graphic sites add an element of trust and build confidence in your offer.
Tip #5: Make Your Page Mobile Friendly
These days it’s essential that your landing page can easily be navigated on mobile devices, as nearly 30% of all web activity comes from mobile. It’s been shown that having a mobile-friendly site can even double your conversions. Your landing page should look and feel great on mobile devices – easy to navigate, fast loading, and ultra clickable. If you want to learn more about making your landing page mobile ready, check out our guide to creating mobile-friendly websites.
Tip #6: Keep Your Forms Short
When a user visits your site, naturally as an online marketer you want to collect as much data as you can from them. However, when it comes to creating a good landing page, less is more. It is extremely important that you make users fill out as few form fields as possible. The more fields you ask a visitor to enter, the less chance you have of them filling out the form and completing the desired conversion. If your conversion requires a form, only ask the essentials of what you need. Remember, you can always ask for more info on the thank you page.
Tip #7: Tailor Your Landing Pages for Individual Audiences
If you have a great offer and have been promoting it well, you’ll likely be getting traffic from a number of different sources. If at all possible, you’ll want to customize your landing pages for different audiences. A user that arrives at your landing page from a Facebook or Twitter post is quite different than a user that arrives at your landing page from a PPC ad or a link from your monthly newsletter.
Tip #8: Match Landing Page Copy With PPC Ads
Effective landing pages make sure to match the words used in their page copy with the keywords and text used in their PPC ads. Repeating the same language and key phrases reassures visitors that they’re on the right path and shows consistency.
It’s also important to deliver users directly to the content they are looking for. If a user clicks a PPC ad about sleeping bags, don’t drop them in the camping section – you want to bring them to their exact desired destination. Match the user’s need as closely as possible – that’s where the conversions happen!
Tip #9: Test!
The final hallmark of good landing page is testing. An effective landing page simply cannot be created without a thorough amount of testing. Testing and tracking results are essential for seeing what your landing page is doing right, and what it is doing wrong. Test, test, and test some more!
Conclusion – Start Building Landing Pages
Ready-made landing page services have a permanent place in today’s eCommerce market, but they aren’t for everyone. If you want avoid paying monthly fees for a simple template, use these guidelines to create your own page “from scratch.”
Find a design that works and then customize it for your brand. Write great copy and then give visitors a handful of limited options, each moving them forward in your funnel.
While landing pages are important, they really don’t have to be complicated. And that’s good news for those of us who aren’t ready for a SaaS solution for landing pages.
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to landing pages?