8 Elements You Need to Nail for a Top-Performing Landing Page

by Sharon Hurley Hall

Last updated on August 22nd, 2017

Want to nail landing page conversion? It’s not rocket science. If you follow some tried and true optimization practices, you can get more from any landing page.

We’ve isolated eight elements that, when done right, can all but guarantee better results.

But honestly, you shouldn’t take our word for it. You need to test, so you get the best possible outcome on your website, with your audience. These tips will get you started. Regular A/B testing will drive up your conversion rates.

So what are the eight elements you need to get right? Let’s begin.

positionly - placeitSource: Placeit.net

1. Do Audience Research

Before you create a landing page, you need to know who it’s for. In other words, identify your audience. The chances are, you’re already collecting data to help you to do this, especially if you’re using analytics software. (You ARE using analytics software, aren’t you?)

Universal Analytics includes demographic data so you can find out the gender, age and interests of your audience, and you can get location, technology and more from other reports within your account.

target yours landing page with this insight on your readers

That’s a good starting point, but remember to check out statistics from your advertising campaigns so you can see who’s responding to your marketing and pay per click (PPC) keywords. Put that all together and you will be able to create landing pages that surprise and delight your audience.

Learn more in this presentation from KISSmetrics: How to do Better Market Research.

2. Set Up Measurement

It may seem premature to think about measuring results before you set up your landing page, but it isn’t. It’s essential to know which marketing initiatives are driving traffic to your landing page so you can tweak your strategy when needed. After all, when you know what’s working, it’s easy to deliver more of the same. Using UTM tags helps you figure this out by tying links to campaigns.

Find out how to set this up for your landing page with CrazyEgg’s Google URL Builder tutorial.

3. Align Your Branding

As a web user, there’s nothing worse than following a link to a landing page and being unable to see how it relates to where you have just come from. This can happen if your branding is not aligned across your online presence.

The more cohesive your brand, the easier it is for people to trust you. Your landing page needs to include contact information, social proof (more on that later), and external validation through trust seals and testimonials. If people are visiting from social media, they will expect to see branding, tone and messaging similar to what’s on your profiles, too.

Here are 10 ways to build trust on your landing page, courtesy of UX Movement.

landing page trust elements

Testimonials and association with big brands build trust.

4. Pass the “So What?” Test

You only have a few seconds to make a good impression. Less than 5, actually. That’s not a lot of time to make people care about what you have to offer.

Sure, people who have followed a link from your social media profile or an article you have written are a little bit interested, but when they get to your landing page, you have to grab their attention by showing why your offer is important to them and what they will gain. In other words, you need effective landing page content that demonstrates value, credibility and authority. If you don’t, your audience will say “so what?” and be gone forever.

Check out these tips from Neil Patel on compelling landing page design to help your visitors stick around.

5. Showcase your USP

You know what you absolutely must show in those 5 seconds? Your unique selling point (USP) or value proposition. This is about how product or service is different from any other product or service your audience could choose. As Unbounce points out, this isn’t about you, but about what your visitors need.

An excellent headline followed by a showcase of features and benefits will help highlight your value and improve landing page conversions. If you can’t explain in a few well-chosen words what makes you stand out, go back to the drawing board till you can.

landing page value proposition

Speaking of Unbounce, here’s how they present their value proposition.

6. Use Images and Video

Images and video are red-hot social media currency, and they can make your landing page even more effective. While you don’t want to overdo the technique, getting the right image or video can be a shortcut to delivering your message and building trust.

Video keeps people on your landing page longer, which means there’s more time for them to check out your offer. Short, high-quality videos can give your landing page some much needed oomph. Check out this KISSmetrics guide for tips on harmonizing your videos with your landing page.

7. Include Social Proof

As mentioned earlier, social proof is a proven conversion booster. Anyone who visits your landing page wants to know that other people (especially people like them) have found your offer compelling.

Social media shares, external reviews, testimonials and video testimonials are all examples of social proof that can make a big difference to the effectiveness of your landing page. And if you can also attract some influencers and get them to endorse your product or service, your landing page will be even more compelling. In the end, it comes down to building trust.

For more on social proof and conversions, check out:

8. Nail the CTA

Get the call to action (CTA) right and your landing page succeeds. If people take the action you want, then your landing page works. If they don’t, it doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.

All the elements above lead people to the point where they click, download, buy or take whatever action you want them to take.

It could be text-based, blending into the rest of your copy like this CTA from Bottom Line Publications:

text based CTA

Or summarize your presentation, like this one from Digital Marketer:

cta - digital marketer

The key is to tell people what to do next while reminding them of the benefits of taking action and minimizing the risk.

There’s a lot of advice on CTAs right here on the Crazy Egg blog, covering everything from button design and psychology to examples and tests. You can also find out about color, timing and more in this article from Quicksprout.

Bonus Tip: Do it All Again

By now you should know who you are targeting with your landing page, what your USP is and have a great CTA, plus using headlines, images and video to reinforce your brand.

The final step is to launch your landing page then test and measure to see if it’s as successful as you hope. If not, come back to this guide and start over—you’ll soon have a landing page that works.

What have you done to improve your landing pages this year?

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sharon Hurley Hall.

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Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer, university lecturer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website.

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  1. Mitchell Allen says:
    March 6, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Hi Sharon,

    When I see coverage as comprehensive as this, I sigh and check my bank balance: there is no way I’m going to do this — well — on my own. Instead, I will use this as a checklist and quality control template for the expert who I’ll end up hiring to do my pages.

    So, thank you! LOL

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • Sharon Hurley Hall says:
      March 7, 2015 at 9:39 am

      I hear you, Mitch. At least now you know the right questions to ask. 🙂

  2. Gina Davis (@customgrowthgrp) says:
    February 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Good to meet you, Sharon.

    I have started working on my landing pages. Great points.

    • Sharon Hurley Hall says:
      March 7, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Good to meet you too, Gina. Hope this helps you tweak your pages effectively.

  3. Sharon Hurley Hall says:
    February 23, 2015 at 10:31 am

    @Jogara @Meg – thanks for your comments.

  4. Meg says:
    February 22, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Value proposition is the most important.

  5. Email Marketing Solutions says:
    February 22, 2015 at 5:46 am

    Thi9s is really great to get this information. This will be really so much helpful for one to get proper and perfect marketing.

  6. Jogara says:
    February 20, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    These are really amazing elements. For me, if you want to gain more followers and leads, you need to provide free knowledge or useful insights in exchange for their personal data. Happy weekend!

  7. Anonymous says:
    February 19, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I have failed because i missed a couple of your key elemements in my landing page success.
    Aligned Branding and “So What”. I am going to include the cross branding technique along with showcasing WHY the offer is important to THEM!. Thanks Neil.

    • Sharon Hurley Hall says:
      February 19, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Hope these strategies work well for you.

  8. Brian says:
    February 19, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Just getting my site up and running – nice digest of what’s truly important! Well done, Sharon!

    • Sharon Hurley Hall says:
      February 19, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Glad you found it useful, Brian. 🙂

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