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Elements of a Landing Page (Creating One That Doesn’t Suck)

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Written by Houston
Founder & CEO, BAMF Media
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Landing pages are critical for a lot of digital sales funnels to work.

The problem is a lot of them suck.

We're serious.

There are some elements of a landing page that you absolutely need to make sure that you get a conversion.

And, in this article, we'll take a look at all of them.

Are you ready to create landing pages that actually work?

Let's do this.

Picking a Striking Theme and General Design Notes

First, keep things simple.

You want to highlight your headline and your hero image, so don’t go for a neon theme that distracts your prospects.

The trick here is to keep things calm and let the other elements do their work.

You can never go wrong with a plain background.

As per the text elements, you want to make the people read it sequentially.

So, you have to design accordingly, make sure that the first parts that they have to read are bigger, higher, and well-defined.

Then, move on from there.

Always provide adequate spacing between text to make things lighter on the eyes.

And, lastly, always optimize for mobile first.

Everyone is aware of the big shift to mobile, so it has to be a priority.

You Need That Hero Shot

Images are great.

They help you sell without having to put down too many words.

However, you don’t have to put a lot of them.

In fact, keep them to a minimum so that you don’t distract your prospect too much and concentrate on getting your hero image right.

So, what exactly is a hero image?

It’s the main image.

elements of a landing page, Elements of a Landing Page (Creating One That Doesn’t Suck)

It could be a photo of you holding up the product while smiling intently at the camera or a photo of the product in all its glory.

This is where a prospect should be drawn to and it makes all the difference.

Make sure that the picture relates to the solution you’re selling.

Person vs Object

We’re read a lot of studies about this.

The gist of it is smiling people are the best images to use.

Why?

Because people relate to people.

And, smiles are pretty disarming.

Also, think of it this way, if you’re aiming to be an influencer and wear your brand on your sleeve, this is the best chance to do it!

Learn how to bring in real leads with our solutions.

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The Headline (And, Subheading)

Apart from company or brand name, the next piece of text that their eyes will naturally wander to is your headline.

And, it has to be catchy.

Think of it the same way you treat your LinkedIn headlines.

The headline has to do three things:

  1. Match the anchor text of the page that they’re coming from.
  2. Provide information about the product in the fewest words possible.
  3. Intrigue the prospect enough to want to check out the rest of your landing page.

The first two points are easy to build on, but the third might get tricky.

elements of a landing page, Elements of a Landing Page (Creating One That Doesn’t Suck)

This is where creativity has to stick in.

A good way to capture attention is to tell the prospect of the benefits of the solution that you’re offering.

However, it has to be a direct benefit.

You can also opt for a joke or a one-liner, but it might be a little difficult to get those right. It’s easy to get carried away.

The Subheading

Now the subheading is optional, but it can make for a great section on your website.

It can either be a continuation of the benefit that you mentioned in your headline or it could highlight the next best thing about the solution that you’re offering.

Use it wisely.

Do we advise more than one subheading?

It really depends.

At most, we use up to two headlines only. That’s unless we want to turn the landing page into a full-blown product page.

The trick here is to keep things simple so that you can get the prospect to convert or go through with the next step in your pipeline as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The Copy Matters a Lot

Landing page copy is critical.

Once they’ve clicked on your page, read your headline, and taken in the overall theme, you know they’re ready to convert.

It’s time for the copy to do its job.

Now, we cannot stress this enough.

Don’t just include the specifications and features of your solution, you want to talk about the tangible benefits that their business can gain.

This makes the solution relevant to the prospects that land on your page, and it makes it relatable.

Here are other pointers.

  • Optimize for mobile. Don’t use more than three lines per paragraph.
  • Keep it short, you don’t want to intimidate or – worse – bore them with the copy that you have.
  • Group the most important features of your solution together, keep the copy punchy.
  • Utilize just a little storytelling, don’t go overboard. The role of a landing page is to make the prospect move on to the next step, not keep them locked in the copy.
  • Optimize the text for people in your target audience.

If you keep these pointers in check and make sure you’re focused on showing people the benefits of your solution, you should be good to go.

Get Your Forms Right!

There are a lot of ways to create better forms on landing pages, but sadly a lot of marketers still end up with forms that do nothing to help push a prospect to fill them out.

At the very least, they should be as short as possible.

Why?

Because you’re asking them to do something for you.

Think about it, if someone you didn’t know, online, asked you to do something for them and you agreed, would you want that task to be long?

No, you don’t.

The shorter the form, the less intimidating it is, and the easier it is to fill up.

The trick here is to make the prospect’s life as easy as possible.

Next, what you want to do is to make sure that your form only asks for information that isn’t too personal.

Names are alright and so are email addresses.

But, the moment you start asking them when their birthday is or who they had a crush on in junior high, you could freak out the lead and lose them altogether.

Forms can come in all shapes and sizes, but they should take a prominent position in your landing page.

Preferably above the fold whenever you can.

This way you can get people who are just casually browsing through to sign up quickly.

How About Longer Forms?

Okay, this is a tricky question.

The best course of action would be to get on a meeting with them so that you can ask them additional questions.

But, if you absolutely need to squeeze more information from your lead, the best way to do it would be to use breadcrumbs.

Make them accomplish a smaller form.

Then, another smaller one afterward or in the next part of the funnel.

This makes things less intimidating for your prospect.

Forms are scary.

Even for marketers.

Always keep that in mind.

Keep Your CTAs in Check

At the end of a form, you’re going to need a CTA.

We’ve written an entire guide on how to create B2B and SaaS CTAs.

There are different ways to create a CTA, but here’’s what you need to keep in mind.

They need to make people click on them.

First of all, let’s tackle design.

Your CTA has to be in a color that stands out from your usual theme. It could be a contrasting color.

If you have a predominantly blue page, use red or orange for your CTA; if your theme is pink, then use green, etc.

As for size, make sure that it’s large enough so that your prospect can see it with their peripheral vision when reading the copy.

You want to make it large enough so that it has its own “pull”.

elements of a landing page, Elements of a Landing Page (Creating One That Doesn’t Suck)

Finally, you need to think about the wording.

Anything below five words should be enough to get people to click.

Remember, this is not a sentence, this is a call-to-action, if it’s too long you lose people's engagement with it.

You can’t let that happen.

Once you’ve gotten all of this stuff nailed down, you’re good to go.

Don’t put links on your landing page if you can avoid them.

Here’s why.

You don’t want something else distracting your prospect from what you want them to accomplish on the page.

If you do want to have links you can place them on the bottom.

Make sure that they’re not highly visible or in contrast with your theme so they don’t easily get clicked.

Personalization

You can’t just have one landing page, even if you’re running just one campaign.

It limits your opportunities to personalize and create pages that resonate with your different target customer profiles.

However, it doesn’t have to be massive personalization.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Personalize via industry - switch out some of the words or figures that you’re using with ones that focus on the target’s industry. However make sure you include some general information just in case another target prospect accidentally stumbles on the landing page.
  • Personalize via channel - you can add a LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter badge somewhere.
  • Personalize via geographical locale - you can add a picture of where their general area is at. Photos of attractions in their state for instance.

These small personalizations can do a lot for your campaign.

Remember. people want to relate to the things that they’re looking at.

That will give you the push that you need for your landing pages.

Social Proof

Are people raving about your product?

Do you have videos of clients who want to talk about how you’ve helped them?

Good.

Now is the best time to use them.

Testimonials, reviews, client videos, ratings, etc. are all great ways to show prospects that have landed on your landing page that you actually have real results that are backed by real people.

Social proof is a critical trust signal.

Back in the day, a lot of affiliate marketers would fill pages upon pages with reviews. And, to this date, blackhats even go to great lengths at manipulating reviews.

Do you know why it works?

It’s because people want to relate to other people.

They want to know the experience of others who have actually bought into your solution.

What’s strange is that they don’t even have to know the people themselves. Think about how often we have to rely on reviews when we buy off of Amazon.

But, here’s what.

Make sure that the social proof on your landing pages is from people who mean something in the industry.

If you’ve got a big-time client that works in a renowned corporation, you want to mention that.

If they have other worthwhile achievements, you need to put them down as well.

This helps reinforce the trust that you can build on your landing page.

Other Trust Signals

Don’t just let social proof do all the heavy lifting.

You need other trust signals.

A good trust signal to use is “trust by association”.

elements of a landing page, Elements of a Landing Page (Creating One That Doesn’t Suck)

These can be anything from mentions of bigger brands that happen to be your clients or even including their logos on your landing page.

Since prospects are probably more familiar with your big-name clients than yourself, they tend to associate your brand with the clients and build trust based on that relationship.

In their minds, is the simple fact that if a larger brand can trust you, they can probably put their fate in your hands.

Another good use case of trust by association or trust logos is in payment pages – which sometimes feature prominently on some landing pages.

And, no, we’re not talking about Visa and MasterCard’s logos, we mean third-parties that secure transactions online.

By the inclusion of a logo of a third party, they feel more confident in a transaction with you since there’s a watchdog in place.

While we’re at it, we’re three decades in from the year 2000, make sure you’ve gotten yourself an SSL certificate.

For the cherry on top, you can even include links to your privacy policy for FAQs so that they can be comfortable with your transparency and commitment to accurate information.

SEO Elements of a Landing Page

Landing pages can get a LOT of backlinks.

And, everyone knows that backlinks can boost the ranking of not only the page, but also your entire domain.

In reality, an aged landing page that’s getting a lot of hits and links is a powerful page to have and you shouldn’t forget about optimizing it for SEO.

Now, we won’t get into crazy details here.

But, here’s what you need.

Keyword optimizations, find out what your landing page is ranking for and what else you want it to rank for.

Optimize if for these keywords.

Get your headers in order, not just your title. You need H2s, H3s, and please, don’t forget your alt-text for your images.

Make sure that you have a catchy title tag and a meta description to boot.

If your landing page is also an informative page, make sure it has a link or two going to other places on your website.

Now Track That Page!

What do we always say at BAMF?

“You can’t growth hack if you don’t track.”

Tracking your landing page is very, very important.

You need this information to make sure that you’re doing an efficient job with your elements and that you’re effective with it.

From the very beginning, you should have different UTM parameters for each of your other web properties that are linking out to your landing page.

This lets you track which channels are working well and it feeds this information to Google Analytics.

It should also help you if you’re A/B testing and looking for the best page to put out. 

Don’t just stop there.

You can also take it a step further by using heat mapping software to find out how people are interacting with your page and improve it accordingly.

Takeaways

Without a proper landing page, you could be losing leads.

We’ve seen it happen before.

Great products, great marketing, and great pipeline all destroyed by a bad landing page.

But, here’s the thing.

Not all landing pages are built the same.

In fact, we’ve seen highly effective ones that don’t incorporate all of the essential elements of a landing page and still work.

But those are rare cases.

If you follow this guide, you can’t go wrong with the next landing page that you build.

If you need help getting more leads to go through your pipeline, why don’t you hit us up.

We’re more than willing to help you out.

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About the Author

The name’s Houston Golden. I’m the Founder & CEO of BAMF ― a company I’ve grown from $0 (yes, really) to well over $4M in revenue over a span of 3 years.
How did I do it? Well, it’s quite simple, really. I’ve helped hundreds of business owners and executives get major traction (because when they win, we win). I tell you how on this blog.
Growth hacking is a state of mind. Follow along as I explore and expose the unknown growth strategies and tactics that will change the way you think about marketing.

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