You’re tasked with creating and writing your first landing page. Don’t know where to start? Well, you already know you’ll need text copy and visuals—so it’s like approaching any other page for your website…. right?
With a landing page, ultimately, there is one goal: getting conversions. This goal can take on a few different forms—from a newsletter sign-up and a product trial, to a demo view or eBook download.
While it’s important to treat your website like a product and evolve your content (we’ve written more about it here), landing pages should not be treated the same way as website pages. Instead, landing pages should be focused on an offer and encourage users to convert—either through providing information or completing a purchase. At the end of the day, there is a specific job to be done, and that is to convert. What they are converting on is up to you, but it must be clear and frictionless.
After working with companies of all sizes, Manual Labor has pulled together our top 11 considerations—whether you’re launching your first landing page, or need a refresher checklist on key components.
Landing Page Checklist
To start, let’s look at the structure of your landing page—debatably the most important aspect to get right. By having the fundamentals of a landing page solidified, you can both increase conversions and find ways to optimize your page. Regardless of your audience, goal or campaign type, the structure and elements of your landing page will help with persuasion. We follow Simon Sinek’s format of WHY, HOW, WHAT for designing all landing pages.
- Define your WHY. Before anything else, it’s crucial to start with the “WHY”. This is what sets your landing page apart from competition. Start by answering a simple question in your headline: “Why does your business or service exist?”
If you’re not sure where to start, a great place to look is customer research documentation. This will help identify details on the campaign and subsequently what’s interesting for your audience. Some questions you can ask to help frame your WHY:
- Are you sharing a new offering?
- Are you sharing feature parity that makes your product on par with the competition or does it leapfrog over them?
- Does this update make life easier for your customers or partners?
If you have access to customer interviews, reference those, too—as speaking in the voice of the customer is a great way to make sure your copy resonates with your audience.
- Define your HOW. Once you’ve solidified your WHY (and subsequent headline), you can move to your HOW—specifically, how is this accomplished? Whenever possible, use benefit statements to help the visitor understand what’s in it for them (the unique value proposition). This is an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition.
To start, look at each feature, and determine the problem it solves for the customer. For example: The feature could be heatmaps and the problem you’re trying to solve could be knowing if people are actually seeing important information on my landing page. Your benefit statement will then be: Hotjar’s heatmap analysis tool* helps you understand user behavior on your site through an intuitive and visual interface
*Hotjar is an analytics tool that visualizes how users are engaging with your page—from the distance they scroll on the page, where users click on the page, and where users hover on the page. For more on implementing user experience, check out our article here.
- Define your WHAT. This is where you explicitly outline what you do. What is the product or service you’re providing to the user and what other resources augment a user’s understanding of your offering.
What this looks like in action: Page layout should follow the following structure:
- Reduce the amount of decision making. When reviewing the copywriting, ensure that you’re not asking the visitor to debate between too many options - remember the paradox of choice:
"The paradox is that consumers are attracted to a large number of choices and may consider a product more appealing if it has many capabilities, but when it comes to making decisions and actually using the product, having fewer options makes it easier for people to make a selection"
This means that you should try to limit your navigation pane to a few options and aim to have no more than two CTAs on the page. In the wireframe featured, you’ll notice the absence of a navigation bar, and two options for moving forward in the lead space: Learn More + Get Started.
- Show, don’t tell. While stock photography works fine, it’s great to have supporting imagery that shows how the product or campaign element is being used. Wherever there’s an opportunity to show (think: product screenshot or :30 second video), use an interactive visual aid instead of a static image, such as product tutorials, video benefits or animated gifs.
- Leverage the voice of the customer. In addition to clear copywriting, the next element to strengthen your value proposition is customer validation. Even the most impactful copywriting can benefit from social proof in the form of customer advocacy. Customer testimonials are an important aspect of social proof, as they can increase conversions on sales pages by 34% (Impact Plus Stats).
- Use supporting marketing channels to promote. Similar to a product launch (read our piece on that here), consider all the owned channels you already have to help drive traffic to the landing page. Your website homepage, email signature, and social media handles are all great places to cross-promote by including webinar links and CTA.
- Ensure ads (or any supporting launch materials) are cohesive with the landing page. To get the highest conversions on your landing page, make sure that all of the supporting materials—specifically ad units—match the call to action and landing page text. While ads and social posts offer a vehicle to be creative, if they’re misaligned to the landing page offer, they’ll most likely result in customer confusion, a high bounce rate and a poor user experience.
- Set-up reporting. As the advertising adage goes, “If a landing page is launched and no one sees it, did it launch at all?” We can prevent that by keeping a close eye on metrics, such as:
- Page views
- Bounce rate
- Form fills
- Scroll depth
- Conversion rate
At Manual Labor, we use a combination of Google Analytics for large-scale metrics, and Hotjar as a heatmap tool for insights on how users are interacting the page. Combining the insights from both tools helps you understand user behavior and areas to test in the future.
- Review your landing page: Here’s a quick checklist our Director of Product, Sameehan Patel uses when working through a landing page.
- A/B Testing: You’ve successfully formatted your landing page, set-up key reporting, reviewed the draft, and published. Great! Equally as important is to monitor performance and know that less-than-ideal conversions doesn’t mean you have to toss away the page and start from scratch. By implementing an A/B testing schedule, you can narrow down elements of your landing page and re-examine conversions accordingly. This is part of a broader growth and nurture strategy that is critical to the success of any campaign (and landing page).
A few test ideas to get started:
- Headline copy
- CTA copy
- Changing imagery to video
- Changing video to gif
- Form fill placement to above the fold
To keep your team and stakeholders updated, we suggest using a simple Google Sheet with key fields:
When building out landing pages, it’s important to keep in mind that they shouldn’t be treated like website pages. Ultimately, these pages will have one goal: getting conversions. The way you get those conversions is by focusing on one offering and encouraging visitors to convert. While it can seem like a daunting task to undertake, these 11 considerations will help drive towards this goal.