Dedicated Landing Page Design Best Practices (Part 1)
howdy design fans and welcome back, we've spoken a lot throughout the course about dedicated landing pages and all their unique characteristics. But I wanted to make a specific section that focuses on landing page best practices for direct response pages for those dedicated landing pages because so many of you are using them rightfully. So there are a crucial component of any good marketing campaign, whether it be a specific PPC campaign or specific content marketing campaign. Many links from your main site will be going to the dedicated landing pages for e book downloads, for requests for proposals for free consultations, things like that. And there are a number of techniques that we spoke about that really relate specifically to dedicated landing pages. I'm gonna show you a bunch of cool examples from around the Internet and from lots of different clients, landing pages that we've built and um let's jump right into it and we'll take a look at the slides on the right hand side of the ...
slide, you could, you could easily identify the aesthetics and the overall composition of a dedicated landing page, write it a little bit thinner, sometimes they're longer, sometimes shorter, but there's a clear call to action and it kind of has that distinctive style that just screams out on the landing page for PPC campaigns, dedicated landing pages are absolutely crucial. I've seen countless instances where clients have come to us with campaigns, adwords, bing campaigns where the clicks were being sent to home pages, pages on their site, which is not always bad, but we went ahead and actually built brand new landing pages that were very specific to the types of goals and the conversion actions that they wanted to track and they wanted to generate. And we saw incredible lifts in conversion rate on that note, dedicated landing pages differ from your main site, in that they specifically target one conversion action. Okay, that's a big difference. You might have a website that offers lots of different products, lots of different services, Inner pages have a lot of different opportunities. There's, there's remember we spoke about that attention ratio dedicated landing pages, the purpose that they serve is that they focus on one conversion action. They try to lead the user very, very succinctly and effectively to that goal. When you send traffic to a dedicated landing page, it's very, very important that you capture their attention immediately. Unlike your homepage or your main product pages, your main service pages, typically landing pages are going to be receiving first time visitors first time visitors are very, very low on attention. Right? That's something we've spoken about many times. So your, your job with a dedicated landing pages to capture attention right away. Another great thing about landing pages is that it's much easier to test things on using tools like unbound and we're gonna go and actually build and build a landing page and then bounce and later on in this course using tools like optimized the visual website, optimizer google optimized. It's very easy to run really cool ap tests and to generate statistical significance which design what call to action, which headline is actually better, which actually will convert users more effectively. So definitely take advantage of dedicated landing pages and definitely test don't overlook the value of a legitimate email address you guys might think, hey, well my main conversion action should be a sale. It should be a sales form. It should be a phone call to our call center. I've seen many campaigns, I've, I've personally run many high level campaign spending lots of money where we shifted the PPC traffic or we shifted the email traffic from an actual homepage with a call to action was an actual sale of a product or a, you know, a longer sales form to content that was gated with just provide where you just have to provide your name and email address and getting a legitimate email address off a landing page is hugely valuable. Once you start building a legitimate email list. Marketing to those email addresses is essentially free. Right? You have a male chip account, you have a hubspot account, have constant contact account, whatever it may be, The cost is minimal and you're able to really get in front of your people in a, in a individualized, consistent way more so than any other type of medium on the internet. So use your dedicated landing pages to capture email addresses. Even if it's a secondary conversion goal. Let's just jump in and take a look at some of these individual elements that are particularly important for dedicated landing pages. A clear and unmistakable headline on the right hand side. You see a page, we're gonna go back into this page in a little bit. This is the page that we redesigned for one of our clients. They're one of the more successful new york state home inspection companies, headlines on dedicated landing pages take the place of page titles and other typical headlines on your main sites. Your dedicated landing page headlines has to capture attention immediately. It's not just to give the user a sense of orientation. Like we spoke about with page titles on, on more developed e commerce catalogs or even on, you know, website with a lot of services. The headline has to be a clear and unmistakable, almost like a call to action that really has the user's own in and focus right away. The headline also has to be very specific. The headline should be answering a question or filling the need or at least clearly conveying that the rest of the content on this landing page is going to answer your most basic questions and it's going to fulfill from an information perspective what you're looking to get by being on this page, you should be using large font sizes, right? That's a given, even bigger than your typical page titles. Your headlines should be significantly larger than any other text on the page and larger than your typical page title or headlines from your main website should be very, very clear. Should be the first thing that I see the way you write your headlines is also important. Your headlines should not just be informative. They should also move people to act so on a dedicated landing page. If you do it well, your page title, your headline could also serve as a complement to the actual call to action. Should be something that moves people to act and you could also use the headline as we have in this example, as a way to increase trust and decrease anxiety. One of the most important things we'll talk about that in a second. One of the most important things in the landing page is these trust elements like we said, first time visitors are very, very low on attention. They're also very low on trust because by definition they're a first time visitor, they might not know who you are. So trust factors like testimonials, reviews your, your industry expertise, things like that are very, very important. And if you couldn't convey that in your actual page headline, you can get a lot of mileage out of that in almost every dedicated landing page that you run your call to action and your action block should really be above the fold. Above the fold refers to the lowest point where a user would have to start to scroll on their page and obviously above the fold is different across lots of different screen sizes. You could use a tool like resize my browser dot com to resize your actual screen to all the different types of common sizes. But as of january 20 16/90 percent of browsers have a screen resolution of 10 24 by 768 pixels or higher. So keep that in mind as you create and design your landing pages to have that call to action the action block above the fold. Once again it goes back to that same thing. First time visitors are low on attention, they need to see that that conversion action is there. They have to get a clear sense of the purpose of this page. So having the call to action above the fold is powerful. That obviously there will be instances where it's not viable or gets in the way of your design or your tests show that it doesn't really make a difference. But most in most cases that's how you should design your dedicated landing pages at least to start because most of your dedicated landing pages will also be longer than just the viewable browser plane. There will be scrolling. You should also have another call to action section above the footer on the bottom of your page. We've spoken about truncating text writing short but that is even more important on dedicated landing pages. On direct response pages, right? You're dedicated landing pages is it's trying to elicit a direct response, that's why they're also sometimes referred to as direct response pages. So you need to even be more careful about the length of your copy right. You want to really say what you need to say it is clear away as possible that everything focuses around the direct call to action. You don't have, you don't have extraneous tan gentle text paragraphs features benefit lists of ancillary products and services you really want to be focusing on the conversion action and all the information on your landing page should be supporting that specific conversion action. Use a sub headline or an area like we see over here on surveymonkey in that in those two green boxes to support the main headline basic bullet points, basic information that support the main headline and support the call to action. If you're not able to answer your visitors question in your headline. Most cases you're not going to really be able to answer all their questions. Use that supporting area of text. Once again try to do it above the fold to answer whatever questions they may have. If you do have any paragraphs of copy on your dedicated landing pages, they should be even shorter 23 sentences max. Then you have them on your primary site. And again keep in mind this idea of no clutter no yelling, no shouting, simplicity, breathability, lots of white space, clean, easy to look at, easy to understand. And I think this surveymonkey landing page is a great illustration of these concepts, right? You have a clear, clear headline, clear call to action. Some additional information that clearly supports the headline and they get the job done really well over there trust trust and a little bit more trust. Right? Just to be safe. Trust elements on dedicated landing pages are an absolute must. In fact, just a couple of hours ago was on the phone with a prospective client going over their, their redesigned and this is what we spend most of the time talking about creating elements of trust on a dedicated landing page, especially if you're attracting first time visitors media mentions client reviews, testimonials, remember the idea of the comparable and the many right accomplishing social proof social identity using these elements on your landing pages, client logos, um, all those types of things, how long you've been in business, the amount of customers you have, those are all things that subliminally increased trust and there's no place that those things are more important than on a dedicated landing page that you're using in your specific marketing campaigns and because dedicated landing page by definition are trying to get people to convert and that's obviously clear to the user. There's inherently a heightened sense of anxiety and a little bit more of that defense mechanism is like, hey, you know, you're trying to sell me on something. Um, what's really going on here, are you really legitimate? So that's why it's really, really important and dedicated landing page to have those elements of trust. Another good thing to keep in mind is that these trust elements and symbols should really be in close proximity to your call to action. So when somebody is filling out the call to action, it's not like it's a conscious thing where they're like, oh you want my email, um I don't know if I can trust you and they start hunting for your testimonial. It's not really how it works. A lot of this. A lot of the research that Jacob Nielsen has done with eye tracking software shows that it's very, very subconscious, all these things are subconscious do I do I while I'm filling out your form or while I'm converting in wherever that call to action is my brain subconsciously processing a sense of trust and a sense of security and a sense of legitimacy. This has proven stuff. This has been shown with research studies over and over again, very scientific. So having these elements of trust in close proximity to your call to action will increase your conversion rates, explainer videos, animated videos. A lot of you guys ask me should you be using videos on your dedicated landing pages? The answer is yes, you definitely should be, but once again, if those videos are good, I've seen many cases where a good video that has a lot of appeal really helps to increase conversion rate because a lot of people instead of wanting instead of reading through copy once again, back to that same concept of they're not committed to you yet. This is a dedicated landing page that's taking a lot of first time visitors. There's a lot of competition out there. There's a heightened sense of anxiety. They're not so committed. So having the ability to watch, which is easier than reading is good. The more professional the video is obviously the better you could spend a ton of money on producing a good video, right? You could spend $20,000 a minute. You want to be between 30 and 90 seconds, but definitely check out Fiverr Fiverr dot com. It's a great resource. You could get started with really high quality. I've, we've had videos produced from them. If you find the right type of freelancer, you could really get a good job done over there on a very tight budget for under 100 bucks, you can get a really solid video, an animated video or talking head video made. And again, treat videos like text short, objective, informative hype free and you'll be in a good position on the right hand side, you have an image of the original scrap box. They're one of our clients, we created this dedicated landing page. This was a video that had gone viral on social media. We kind of pasted it into the header section of the landing page and it's been doing incredibly well. It gets people into the buying funnel for this specific product. It's a it's a landing page that's really focusing on one of their many different types of arts and crafts related furniture and products like that. Having that video there has definitely shown to increase conversion rates over time. And as we've optimized other elements of the page as well. Another really important thing that has been shown time and time again in research and this is another great idea. We haven't spoke about this yet is splitting up long forms to only include the first most important fields in the first section of the form. So if you look at this example from South University on the left hand side, there's just two form fields, right? This is the landing page experience that you get when you first land on the page, what is your campus and program of interest? Right. So I want to do an online program. I can select what type of program I want. And I type in the actual degree that I want to take and then I click next, it tells me it's step, step one out of two. Remember they're telling me it's step one out of two because we don't want to surprise visitors if you just wrote next. I think that I'll be submitting the form. So no surprises. But then once I click next I get the rest of the for my name, my phone number, email address, address, right. This is a very, very good best practice to follow If you have long forms create the first stage of the form on page one where you just have a couple of the key field. Long forms tend to be overwhelming when you look at them, Right. If you're asking people a lot of information, it's typically better to break it up just so it doesn't look as daunting right? It doesn't provoke any additional anxiety that first time visitors have. This is a very good example. Another really important concept to keep in mind on dedicated landing pages is consistent messaging from that upstream click if you have people coming from an ad where you have people coming from an email, write something in that email or something in that ad prompted them cognitively prompted them to actually go and click on your ad. Right? So make sure the messaging that was in the ad is the same. It's congruent as it is on the landing pages. One is that's that's an expectation people are conditioned. If I'm clicking on an ad that talks about a specific promotion, I expect to see that promotion on the landing page. If I click on this. If I click a display out with a certain color scheme, certain typography, I expect for that relationship to be incongruous when I land on the page. If it's not, it creates confusion, right? It creates unclarity. There's a question mark that goes off in my head. Is this the right site? Am I on the right page? That I click the right ad? So you want to avoid any sort of cognitive attention like that in your direct landing pages? Another thing is to fulfill promises, right? No bait and switch. Don't promise anything in an ad or in an email campaign or a content marketing campaign. And then once the user gets the landing page that offers not really valid or it's not, it wasn't really true. That's something that a lot of marketers try to do, but it always backfires. Like we said, all offers and promotions should really be consistent throughout the upstream click where the person individually came from. If they came from a facebook post as well, whatever, whatever that original source was. Keep in mind if your landing page for that campaign is consistent with where they came from for the sake of not having anyone lecture run for too long, we're going to pause right here and then we will pick up in the very next lecture right from this slide. I'll see you guys in a few seconds.