Horizon Featured Article

High-Performance Landing Pages vs Pages That Don’t Convert

Let Northsail Help You Create High-Converting Landing Pages

Are you starting out on a new website project, but you're having trouble figuring out where to begin? Are you worried that your landing pages won't drive the conversions that you're hoping for?

Well, we have good news for you - Northsail is here to help.

In the same way that our customers know they can always trust us to complete projects on-time, on-spec, and on-budget, you can rest assured that if you follow our tips for improving your landing page designs, you'll be building high-converting landing pages in no time.

But before we start talking about how you can increase your conversion rate, let's talk a bit about what landing pages are, the types of landing pages you might come across, and using a landing page builder to save yourself time and stress.

What are Landing Pages?

Landing pages in the most basic sense are any stand-alone page on your website that customers can click through from ads, emails, or really, any other digital location.

Whether you're trying to draw customers to your website through social media marketing, or you're running an elaborate email marketing campaign, the end result is the same.

Customers will end up on your website, looking for more information about either your brand, your products, or the services you offer.

Some of what they're looking for will likely depend on what method they used to click-through, and the content that engaged them enough to want to visit your site.

Types of Landing Pages

Technically, there are 8 types of landing pages that you can create, each with their own purpose.

Splash Landing Pages - Unlike other types of pages, these have a specific goal in mind (i.e., verifying the customer's age, asking for language preferences, etc.).

Squeeze Landing Pages - This is a landing page with a single goal. Often these are used to collect small amounts of customer data (i.e., email address), in exchange for some kind of offer or promotion.

Lead Capture Landing Pages - The most common type of landing page, these are focused on balancing an ask from the customer with an equivalent reward. These pages could include a number of form fields, but in many cases, the amount of information that you'll be able to collect will depend on which level of the marketing funnel you're targeting (i.e., top-of-funnel = less form fields, bottom-of-funnel = more).

Sales Landing Pages - These pages typically go after bottom-of-funnel customers, and they're a bit harder to design. This is because for these to be successful landing pages, they need to convince the customer to make a purchase, often with an action button at the end of the page.

Thank You Landing Pages - These do exactly what they say, and they're used to thank customers. Typically, this is done either after a potential customer makes a purchase, or after they submit some type of data form.

Unsubscribe Landing Pages - These are pages that you hope customers don't ever have to visit, but they're a necessity for anyone running email list campaigns. They give the customer the option to remove themselves from your email list. If you're going to try and retain the customer, the content on this page is your last chance.

Referral Landing Pages - Anytime that you can get a customer to refer a friend or family member, that's a huge win for your business. Just remember: don't ask for too much information. Otherwise, it can dissuade certain customers from going through with the referral.

404 Landing Pages - These are pages that customers reach if something has gone wrong, a link is broken, or they try to type in a specific URL on your site that doesn't exist. It's a good idea to always include a link back to the home page from this content, so that the customer doesn't choose to simply click away to a competitor's site.

Using a Landing Page Builder

Depending on the platform you're using, landing page builders can be very useful or very frustrating.

A good builder will make the process quick and easy for you to design, and the best ones (like our Horizon service) offer useful landing page templates that can save you time and energy getting started.

You'll also want to make sure that you're using a well-designed landing page builder, which will function well with the Google Analytics algorithms. This way you can ensure your finished pages will be indexed and crawled efficiently through organic searches on the most popular search engines (i.e., Google, Bing, etc.).

Without taking these things into account, you can't build effective landing pages, even if the builder allows you to make the site visually appealing. There's more to functionality than simply offering good landing page tools for use.

You won't see an increase in your conversion rate if potential customers can't find your pages.

7 Tips for Your Landing Page Designs:

1.) Have a Strong Hero Image

Building your pages with strong visual content is one of the key elements of any high-converting landing page, and they should always be high-quality images.

If it helps, think of your landing pages like miniature marketing campaigns. You need visual content on your pages that will engage and excite visitors, while also staying true to your brand voice.

An effective hero image at the top of the page, combined with a killer headline, will grab customers' attention from the moment they reach your page. It should encourage them to keep reading and explore everything the page has to offer.

Boring hero images (or lack of images) can take the wind out of your customers' sails. It can turn them away from your site and towards competitors, because they don't feel engaged enough within those first few crucial seconds.

2.) Collect Data with a Contact Form

Collecting data is always useful, especially if you're planning things like email campaigns and need to collect email addresses to build out your list.

This is a great way for you to combine different marketing campaigns together with a sense of unity and purpose. If your page isn't meant to sell, then your landing page conversion rate could be determined by how many people are completing and submitting your forms.

It's also really important to think about form placement when you're designing pages to collect data. If your whole page is geared towards data collection, you may want the form at the top. This way, customers can complete the form immediately upon visiting the page.

However, if you're trying to guide customers towards longer forms, which require some lead-in and further explanation to justify, you may want to place the form further down the page. This will allow you a bit of content space to engage/convince customers to complete the forms you're requesting.

3.) Avoid Excess White Space

Have you ever been to a site that has all-together way too much white space (also called negative space)? If you have, you probably didn't stay on the page very long.

While it may work for some brands, in many cases, an excess of white space on the page results in a lack of energy. It can feel boring or formal, which isn't the most appealing look for businesses.

If you are going to use large amounts of white space on your pages, think about ways that you can use it to your advantage. What button colors are you using? Vibrant, colorful contrasts to the white on the page can function as a trigger for action in some customers.

In fact, you may want to spend some time thinking about color theory and your typeface choices, so you can figure out how that can apply to your site. These elements can make a huge difference, if you're planning to have a lot of negative space on your pages.

4.) Include Valuable Pieces of Content

Landing page optimization involves more than placement of features and visual marketing elements - you also need to spend some time figuring out how to include valuable pieces of content.

Valuable content that uses keywords and SEO best practices (without stuffing keywords), is a great way to help draw organic traffic to your pages.

High-performing landing pages strike a balance between product features, education, and customer relationship building. Finding the right kind of valuable content for your site based on your industry is a great way to tackle all three of those goals at once.

If you're looking for landing page inspiration, focusing on creating solid site content is a great place to start. Once you have that figured out, the rest will fall into place much easier.

5.) Be Sure to Post Customer Reviews

Social proof is absolutely one of the most valuable things you can include on your pages.

Your ideal customer is going to want to read a bit about how you've helped others like themselves in the past, and posting customer reviews is a great way to show practical examples of when you've accomplished that previously.

Any potential buyer will likely take the time to read at least a couple of reviews, if you've presented them on your page. And don't be mistaken - these don't all have to be positive.

Addressing negative situations can actually help your landing page performance as well. Customers like to see that businesses will address issues when they arise in a respectful, professional way.

You might be surprised to find that an actioned/solved negative situation can turn frustrated customers into brand champions, and encourage others to trust in your brand because of your transparency.

6.) Offer Useful Information About Product Features

If your pages are product-focused, you should always include a list of benefits that customers will be able to access through the purchase of your products.

Product features don't just apply to functionality necessarily. You can include a list of benefits that customers have informed you about in the past, which you may not have considered for products.

For example, a company selling steel roofing solutions may not think about how customers would worry that rain might sound loud or disruptive with their system. It has little to do with the functionality of how that roofing system will protect their home, so it may not be addressed until the customer is partway through the conversion process.

Including information that addresses those concerns before customers have to ask will alleviate these worries; allowing them to focus on the positives presented to them; instead of carrying those concerns in the back of their minds.

7.) Light a Fire with Countdown Timers

Creating urgency is a digital marketing tactic that can be incredibly useful for businesses that are offering limited time promotions or industry events.

Adding a countdown timer makes the period of time left for the offer or event as clear as possible, and it has a tendency to light a fire under the butts of your customers.

No one wants to miss out. Creating a tangible timer that customers can use to evaluate how long they have left to act can encourage them to take action, where they may have waited otherwise.

Trust us, these are a great way to increase the average conversion rate of effective landing pages. Depending on how great the offer is, it may even be enough to encourage customers to promote your event to loved ones, so that they don't miss out either.

Take the Stress Out of Landing Page Creation

Horizon Makes Building High-Performance Pages a Breeze

You'll never run short on landing page inspiration when you choose to start building high-performance pages with our newest service - Horizon.

With tons of incredible landing page templates and easy-to-use customization options, you'll be able to quickly create your perfect landing page, every time.

Best of all, you can try Horizon today for free. That's right, we're offering a 100% free 30-day trial to anyone that wants to try out Horizon for themselves. We're so confident you're going to love it, we won't even ask for your credit card information until after your trial is completed.

Horizon is powering business growth for customers across North America. Are you ready to start your next website project, without the need for a developer?

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