Top 10 Tips for a Landing Page Design that Works (with Examples)
When it comes to converting visitors, landing page design is everything! Get the top 10 tips for landing page design with visual examples here.
Landing pages are like the Swiss Army knife of online marketing—they serve multiple uses for different goals equally well. They are versatile, easy to create, and effective at driving results.
In this article, you will see ten tips that will help you develop a landing page design that works for your business.
1. Use a Clear Visual Hierarchy
Have you ever stopped to think about how people behave on a web page? It turns out people don’t act randomly; most tend to consume information online in a very particular manner.
A seminal study from the Nielsen Norman Group using eye-tracking systems found that in content-focused websites—such as this blog post—readers scan from top to bottom and from left to right following an F-pattern.
The red mark shows where people gaze their eyes on, and the dimmer colors (orange, yellow, and blue) represent the places where they gaze the least. This study showed people often start reading a page at the top—i.e., the headline—followed by the first sentence of the page, and then go to the bottom, always reading from left to read and skimming a lot of content along the way.
Creative agencies and designers are aware of people’s natural tendencies to look at the most prominent elements that appear in front of them first, which is why they developed the concept of “visual hierarchy”—the order in which the different elements show up.
Presenting the most important information at the top of a page and highlighting those elements—such as buttons and images—will guarantee the visitor will behave in the way that best follows the website’s interests. This is all part of why landing page design is so important.
When you design a landing page, make sure it has a headline, followed by a subtitle, and a CTA, all of which should show up above the fold—i.e., the part of the website that shows up without scrolling down—and with larger fonts than the rest of the content.
When you design your landing pages, you want to draw your visitor’s attention to these three elements. Your goal is to make it easy for the reader to understand what the page is about, just like KyLeads does:
No matter how you design your landing pages, remember to use a clear, persuasive visual hierarchy with clear, attention-grabbing elements.
2. Use Contrast
There’s a sin many designers share when designing landing pages: they forget the visitor doesn’t know what they know. What a designer thinks is evident and clear, it may not be so for the visitor.
To develop a visual hierarchy that best fits your interests, you want to use contrast. Contrast is a landing page principle that increases your landing pages’ clarity by juxtaposing two or more elements, in effect, making them stand out.
For example, ClickUp splits up half their page with a light grey background and the other half with a brilliant purple. Then, they use black fonts above the former and clear images above the latter.
The contrast used makes it easy to start reading the page from the most important part to them—the headline—followed by the image and the CTA.
As a rule of thumb, avoid using a background and a font with a similar color or hue. Light background with dark fonts is a well-known foolproof practice to use. The same goes for the CTA and other elements that you want to highlight. Remember to think about your landing page within a global visual hierarchy, as explained previously.
3. Write User-Centric Copy
One of the first rules all marketers have to accept early in their career is their target audience doesn’t care about them or their offers. Consumers only care about what’s best for them, what solves their problems, and what they need to succeed. This is why marketers always write their copy around their customer’s needs and concerns.
Likewise, your landing pages must have a user-centric copy. Your copy must emphasize what the visitor will get from acting upon the call-to-actions (CTAs) shown around the landing pages. Stress on the benefits of the offer shown on the landing page and why it matters to them as soon as possible.
For example, Better Proposals, a proposal software company that targets freelancers and agencies, uses a headline that touches two of the most significant issues their audience has—winning more business and getting paid faster. Its clarity and benefit-driven copy make it a no-brainer to act on the CTA shown below.
4. Leverage Social Proof
For the past 50 years, psychologists have studied how people behave socially. One of the most popular and enigmatic behaviors is “social proof,” which states that people base their behavior on the behavior of others. Social proof is incredibly powerful to increase the trust your visitors have in your value proposition.
The claims you make on your landing pages may be impressive, but people need proof that others agree with you. To leverage social proof in your landing pages, you can use:
- Awards won
- Customer reviews
- Press mentions
- Praises from industry authorities
For example, Bid4Papers shows testimonials from the 14,000+ customers that have trusted them since their foundation.
Social proof is a common marketing tactic most landing pages use because they work. When you design your landing pages, make sure to use at least one of the social proof types shown above to increase their effectiveness.
5. Keep the Design Simple
Every landing page’s goal is to get your visitors to understand your message and take action accordingly. The simpler your design, the easier it will be to achieve this result.
Just as your copy should put the visitor first, your landing page design should put their experience first. Your landing page must present your copy clearly without any confusing elements.
Your visitor’s experience and the behaviors you expect them to have will depend on your goals, which, in turn, influences your landing page design. Start from your goal, and work your way backward, designing your landing page around it. Here are some examples that illustrate this idea:
- If you want to generate email subscribers, make your sign up form prominent, clear, and easy to use.
- If you want to generate sales, put your “Buy” button above the fold and focus your visual hierarchy around it.
- If you want people to read your content, put your content in the center of the screen, and avoid distractions. Such is the case of my blog, which I built around my content and nothing else. This makes it easy for my readers to absorb the information presented.
Instead of creating landing pages from scratch, you can use landing page software like Leadpages and Landigi, which use simple landing pages design concepts that avoid any confusion and increase their effectiveness.
6. Take Advantage of Cognitive Biases
All humans follow common behavioral patterns. Social proof, as discussed before, is one example of such a pattern. There are many more patterns like it, which psychologists call “cognitive biases.”
According to Interaction Design Foundation, “a cognitive bias is a systematic (non-random) way in which the context affects judgment and decision-making.”
Psychologists and marketers have found that the way you present your information determines the visitor’s behavior. As such cognitive biases play an important role in your landing page design.
Some cognitive biases that marketers use include:
- Anchoring bias: Present your most expensive product first, which “anchors” the price higher in the customer’s mind.
- Sunk cost fallacy: Make people feel like they have invested a lot in their purchase decision by using progress bars, product suggestions, and sunk rewards.
- Confirmation bias: Break the preconceptions people have by showing testimonials, guarantees, and product comparisons.
7. Use Relevant Images
The use of images makes it easier for visitors to understand what a page is all about when they are relevant to the message presented. Likewise, your landing pages’ images should match your message. All of the examples above show images that connect with the offer or the copy; if the images didn’t relate to them, they would violate the idea of keeping your design simple.
Make sure to use images and graphics that represent your target audience and the benefits of your offer. For example, Digital Olympus, a link building agency, shows a transparent mountain behind their headline. This mountain represents the company’s name—Mount Olympus is a mountain—and the “long-term growth” mentioned in the headline.
If you are going to add an image, avoid stock images, and create one yourself. With a graphic design tool like DesignWizard, creating visual content has become easier than ever.
8. Test Your Designs
All of the landing page tips shared here are best practices proven to work over many years. Still, no matter what you do, your landing page performance will always depend on the specific circumstances in which you use it—your audience, your marketing channel, your goals, and more.
To create landing pages that convert, you need to test your designs. To do so, use an A/B testing tool that allows you to collect data and optimize your landing pages properly. From the many elements you can AB test, consider the following:
- Images and graphics
- Buttons (look, text, and location)
- Trust signals
- Press quotes
- Placement of page elements (blocks)
- Navigation links
A/B testing requires collecting lots of data before making a decision. Make sure to drive high volumes of traffic before reaching statistical significance.
9. Align Your CTA with Your Copy
Every successful landing page has one goal: to lead the visitor to take action. One of the elements that most influence your visitor’s behavior is your CTAs. You can design a landing page with a perfect copy, but if the CTA doesn’t connect with either of them, you will create unnecessary friction in the visitor’s mind.
Most CTAs tend to use a copy that says, “Click Here” or “Buy Now,” but these are too generic and obvious. Your CTAs must align with your copy and offer, just like your images.
Take a look at the following example from Quicksprout. The company uses a short, enticing headline that matches the illustration, but the CTA steals the show thanks to its copy that entices the visitor to enter their website in the search bar.
Take time to write your CTAs’ because it carries tremendous power on the visitor’s behavior. Think of it as the conclusion of the entire landing page’s message. Your CTA should be the answer to the question, “what’s the next step the visitor can expect after visiting my landing page?”
10. Use Power Words in Your CTAs
CTAs are undoubtedly one of the most critical elements on a landing page. While there’s no “perfect” CTA copy, there are some words that you want to use as much as possible, which marketers call “power words.”
Power words are words that stir an emotional response in your visitors. They stimulate their imagination and increase their capacity to take action.
When writing your CTAs, make sure to add some of the most commonly used CTA words like:
- Sign Up
Hubspot, the leading CRM software company, uses “Get Hubspot free” as their CTA. This copy perfectly matches the rest of their copy, and two of their words—“Get” and “Free”— are staples of copywriters due to their proven effectiveness.
Make Your Landing Page Design Work for Your Business
Landing pages will continue to exert a strong influence on every digital marketing strategy thanks to their power. When you decide to create a landing page for your business, remember the ten tips shown here.
With these tips, your landing pages will not only garner the attention they deserve, but they will also generate your business leads and sales. What are you waiting for to get started?