With the release of WordStream’s new landing page grader tool, we can’t get landing pages out of our heads! Surfing the wondrous web, landing pages are everywhere – both good and bad. We’re taking today to show some real-world landing page examples, so get ready for some breathtaking brilliance and miserable monstrosities.
Before we get started, it’s important to remember that landing pages aren’t just about the page itself. Process comes into play as well – what did visitors click to be brought to your landing page? If it was an ad, what did the ad say? If it was a newsletter blast, what links did they click? The “landing” process and movement through the funnel is just as important as the physical page design.
In the spirit of competitive analysis, I spent some time Googling around and comparing the best and worst landing pages that I saw for those Google searches. In this post, we’re going to evaluate and grade a few landing page examples from each Google search, as well as take a look at some innovative landing page designs that break the mold.
Let’s take a look at the landing pages we find when we search for “photography lighting kit.”
The first landing page example comes from Kaezi.
This Kaezi landing page looks great – it’s showing me a bunch of studio light kits I might be interested in, and I can click an individual set for more details. There are also some appropriate related categories in the left-hand navigation bar I also might be interested in. Overall the design is clean and I can see the “add to cart” buttons above the fold.
Next is the photography lighting kit landing page for Cowboy Studio.
The first huge problem is intent – I clicked an ad for photography lighting kits, and this is what I get. This isn’t any kind of kit – it’s just one strobe light. As a consumer chances are pretty good that I’d back myself right out of this landing page disaster and find a page that is better at meeting my needs.
The intent is way off, and the design of this page is a mess. There is a lot of wasted space with the social share buttons and enlarge photo/email a friend buttons taking up way too much prime real estate. The info I really want (details on the product) is lost way below the fold. This info should be bulleted and sit right beside the main product image.
What’s really frustrating is that this site does have what I’m looking for – they just make it hard to find. A little meandering around the site helped me find some actual photography lighting kits, similar to what Kaezi showed.
That was a pretty bad landing page, but it does actually get worse. Hide your kids, hide your wives, things are about to get really ugly with this “photography lighting kit” landing page example from Fovitec.
Immediately upon arriving at this landing page, as a visitor I am completely disoriented. Where the heck am I? I clicked an ad for photography lighting equipment, so why don’t I see anything even remotely photography-oriented? The only hint that I haven’t accidentally clicked a random pop-up ad is the Fovitec logo featuring an aperture icon in the “O” (although whatever camera allusions the word “Fovitec” is supposed to conjure are lost on me).
Even if I stick around long enough (and the vast majority won’t) to explore, none of the navigation links near the top seem to help me with finding lighting kits. Remember: Don’t make your visitors search for what you want them to buy! Make it as easy as possible for them to convert. A landing page tool would be helpful, here!
Next we’ll try another Google search, this time for “dog beds,” because we all love our dogs and want them to be comfy ‘n’ cozy.
Orvis does a pretty solid dog bed landing page – their landing page features a wide selection of dog beds, and an eye-catching photo of a happy, napping pup. The large product photos are also appealing, and you can filter the selection by color, feature, shape, fabric, price and more. Since “dog beds” is a pretty broad query, this meets the intent well, allowing the visitor to browse and find exactly what they need. (By contrast, if I’d googled a long-tail query like “large memory foam dog bed,” I’d expect the landing page to be more specific.
Next up is Big Barker Beds, a business selling orthopedic dog beds for larger dog breeds.
This page is a struggle because it does a lot of things right, but the things it does wrong are pretty damaging. The biggest problem with this landing page is its size. It scrolls down for… get this…. 38 pages. Yup, 38 pages, because the text is HUGE. There’s some really awesome content in there, but it’s lost in the sheer quantity of info.
There are a ton of great Amazon reviews featured on the landing page, and while I love how they used the red underline to highlight key points, there are waaay too many reviews (40+). In all fairness, this landing page about XL dog beds does everything in a BIG way – the text, the reviews, everything. You can’t say the page isn’t consistent.
They have 3 reviews that talk about how easy the bed is to clean, 7 about how the beds are good for arthritic dogs, 5 about how attractive the bed is, etc. It’s absolutely fantastic that so many customers love the product, and it’s really smart to showcase those good reviews, but instead of drowning the visitor is XL print, I’d recommend that there be one shining review about how easy the beds are to clean, one about how they are good for arthritic dogs, etc. Visitors already see that these beds have a five-star Amazon rating (which is a clever trust signal to promote above the fold). If potential buyers want to read more reviews from customers, they’ll go to the Amazon page. Putting every great review on your page only overwhelms web visitors.
While the trust signals up top are great, the first chunk of text below the headline could be a lot more scan-friendly.
This bulleted text found when you scroll down should really be up above the fold where it can be more useful and provide visitors with a better snapshot about the dog beds.
There’s some great info on this page about why this type of bed is recommended for older, arthritic dogs (the info was especially interesting for me as owner of an senior canine) but a lot of this great content gets buried because of the sheer enormity of the page.
Some simple rearrangement of content and text resizing could help this landing page out a lot. (Caveat: I don’t know this company’s conversion rate, so it’s possible that alllll that text below the fold actually helps the page. Stranger results have happened with A/B tests.)
Next up is Pottery Barn. Pottery Barn’s “dog beds” landing page gets a solid fail – clicking their dog bed ad brings me to a landing page for décor accessories. I see pillows, blankets, and slip covers, but nothing dog related.
What’s really silly is that after searching for dog beds with the site search tool, I find that Pottery Barn does offer dog beds. So why didn’t my landing page look more like this?
Pottery Barn doubtlessly has a hefty advertising budget, so why such careless work when it comes to landing pages? This is a real missed opportunity on the part of Pottery Barn. The Pottery Barn brand is well known and has a solid following – I’m sure many consumers would choose PB dog beds over others, but driving PPC clicks to the wrong landing page is throwing away potential purchases.
Let’s look at what landing page examples we get as we search Google for “silk flowers.”
This landing page starts off with a big flyer talking about all the cool crafts I can make with silk flowers.
That’s cool… I guess. Really I already had an idea in mind and just want to check out the flowers. There they are down below the fold, thrown together in a hodge-podge manner.
What’s interesting is that when I do click on that flyer about the DIY crafts I can make with silk flowers, I’m taken to this page.
Hey, it’s your most popular silk flowers! This is a much better landing page than the one I was taken to initially. Here we see a wide assortment of silk flowers sorted by name and bright, colorful photos. This is a good landing page – it would have been perfect for my initial search for “silk flowers.” However, in order to get here, I had to click a link talking about DIY silk flowers crafts. I don’t see any craft info here. Sounds like this site really needs to focus on intent and think about where they really want to direct visitors.
Our next silk flower landing page example comes from eFavorMart.
This is another unattractive landing page that’s reminiscent of early 2000s. This landing page isn’t doing much with its headings, and the boring, lengthy (and small-print) content is riddled with very obvious cases of keyword stuffing. This page comes off as spammy and damages any potential trust the brand might have earned (and really, any website that starts with a lowercase “e“ or “i” already raises suspicions).
Let’s take a peek into the landing pages we come across in a Google search for “email marketing software.”
Hubspot comes up at the front of the pack, which isn’t a huge surprise. Their landing page lacks any strong imagery to retain the visitor’s attention, choosing instead to focus on its impressive awards and accolades.
Many other landing pages struggle to rope in and condense their copy, but this Hubspot landing page gets straight to the point. There’s also more convincing copy with social trust signals and customer testimonials below the fold:
This is a solid landing page example, but could still use some touching up. I’d suggest messing around a bit with the button colors. At the moment the buttons are the same color as the background with a subtle orange outline – not irresistibly clickable. Higher contrast is almost always better. There’s also something lacking with that first above-the-fold page. It’s devoid of any energy or excitement and might benefit from some more color or pop.
Next up is Zoho Campaigns. Zoho also has a strong landing page design that could benefit from a few adjustments.
Most of my criticisms are small, and may even seem petty, but truly good landing pages do require an almost scientific exactness and perfectionism. The Zoho heading should probably fit on to two lines instead of three. The main image is confusing – is this a glimpse of the product itself, or are we supposed to be drawn to the colorful designed templates Zoho offers against the bleak and dreary templates offered by other companies? It’s not clear – a different image choice could really improve this landing page.
While I like the small icons explaining the core components of Zoho campaigns, the colors are a bit too light. Shades of grey text can be preferred to black, usually used to delineate focus (darker text = more important). These icons should demand more attention, as they tell the key benefits of Zoho. There’s also just a little too much white space present. If I’d have to choose between a landing page that’s too crowded or too spaced out, I’d absolutely choose the spaced out page. However, a second testimonial or an extra icon line of features could be added while still maintaining a sleek, attractive design.
While the customer recommendation is good to have in there, it may be better to choose a recommendation from a more recognizable brand or client (and add their logo to the testimonial). Granted, Cathy of Forum Group Events Ltd. might be their top client, in which case, fine (no offense Cathy, nothing personal).
Next we’re looking at SAP. Boy howdy, this is one hideous hog of a landing page. It looks more like a resources page than a product landing page (and an ugly resources section at that). I clicked an ad that appeared for “email marketing software” and the word “email” is nowhere to be found.
It’s a shame because I don’t doubt that some of this is valuable content; it’s great that SAP is trying to create original, helpful content to share with visitors, but this isn’t the time or the place. Some serious visitor intent brainstorming is desperately required here.
Our last landing page example is from Infusionsoft marketing software.
This landing page is quality stuff.
The headings and text are well chosen and placed, with text color variation to indicate levels of copy importance. The colored icons on the right draw the visitor’s attention to the key benefits offered by the product. The trust indicators in the upper right hand corner are discreet but noticeable. The button color and text are appropriate, and I like how the central-positioned form draws the visitor in.
A few things I would change: I might consider moving the testimonials that exist below the fold up higher and swapping out the bottom left text chunk, but it’s not the end of the world.
I am irked a tiny bit that the first name form field doesn’t align with the one below, and that the button isn’t perfectly centered between the form fields, but those are easy fixes. I see a free trial offer as a better incentive than a demo, but maybe Infusionsoft has great success with their demo – each company has their own folder of testing research that can influence certain elements of their landing page. Remember, you know your company best, and it’s very possible that not all general landing page best practices will apply to you.
I believe this might be my favorite of all the landing page examples we’ve looked at.
Do you agree with my grading? What grades would you give?
Let’s move on to look at some of the innovative landing page designs some companies are exploring. In an earlier blog post about great landing page designs, we discussed recommended best practices for obtaining an optimal landing page. However, plenty of sites are interested in sacrificing landing page standards for the sake of experimentation.
One growing landing page trend involves scrapping nearly all text and instead relying exclusively on large, high-quality images to get the page’s idea or product across.
Square Space takes up the entire landing page with one gigantic image. It’s a bit of a risky move as it’s not entirely clear how Square Space plans on making my website better. Are they helping with design? Site management? Square Space is getting enough notice these days that they might be trusting that visitors already know what they’re all about. While some might call that a dangerous assumption, the design is certainly captivating.
Falcon Social, a social media management software, has a landing page that looks remarkably similar to Square Space’s, right down to the color pallet. Falcon Social leaves out the vaguely philosophical catchphrase and gets straight to the point – social media management for enterprise.
Manpacks also dips a toe into the water with this image-oriented strategy. The landing page is centered around a large image while still maintaining some standard landing page practices with testimonials and trust signals.
Social Safe also uses the image focus approach, but throws in a video element as well. (More on video landing pages here.) It’s not entirely clear what Social Safe’s value proposition is – why would I “save” all my social networks to my computer? What does that even mean? More explanation is needed here, which is why the explainer video is especially necessary. The question is, will visitors stick around and watch the video for a better understanding, or simply look elsewhere for a landing page that spells out the benefits for them in a quick, scan-friendly design?
We hope this adventure into landing page examples and designs has helped you gain a better understanding of what makes a good landing page and has given you ideas about how you can go about building a landing page and improve it incrementally. If you’re wondering how your landing page stacks up, be sure to try our free landing page optimization tool.
Have you noticed any new landing page trends you like or dislike? What do you think of our landing page examples? Do you have a landing page hero or horror story? Let us know in the comments!
Megan Marrs is a veteran content marketer who harbors a love for writing, watercolors, oxford commas, and dogs of all shapes and sizes. When she’s not typing out blog posts or crafting killer social media campaigns, you can find her lounging in a hammock with an epic fantasy novel.
See other posts by Megan Marrs
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