Remember when you were a kid and bowling was fun? That’s because you had the bumper lanes. All you had to do was pitch the ball down the lane and watch. The ball was pretty much guaranteed to hit at least one pin; it was just a matter of which one and how many.
Fast forward to your adult days and the ball is going into the gutter left and right.
Switch over to your business and marketing without landing pages is like bowling without the bumper lanes—a pretty unpredictable and oftentimes frustrating experience (unless, of course, you’re a professional).
Landing pages serve as the guidance your customers need to stay on track with converting—with hitting those pins. You need them if you want to reach your marketing goals; if you want marketing to actually be fun. So in this guide, we’re going to cover everything you need to write great landing pages for your business and optimize them for conversion.
A landing page is a page that a visitor arrives (lands) on after clicking on a call to action (CTA) for an offer. The offer can be anything (a product, coupon, free guide, or a demo, for example) and the CTA can be anywhere (like a Google ad on the SERP or a newsletter signup button right on your homepage).
A landing page is specific to the offer and provides more details the person needs in order to make a confident decision.
Landing pages aren’t just important—they’re essential. They’re designed to improve conversion, which is ultimately one of your most important metrics. How so? Well, if someone clicks on an ad for your product and lands on your homepage, they’ll have too much information and too many choices for actions.
But if they are brought to an effective landing page describing the features and benefits of that product only, with a button or form to obtain that offer right there, think about how much more likely they are to convert. This means that landing pages lead to:
But it doesn’t just stop there. When you optimize your landing pages using the tips in this guide, you:
Understanding the difference between a landing page and a website can be confusing since there are different ways to create landing pages for your business. Some businesses create landing pages using their website builder (like SquareSpace) or content management system (like WordPress). In this case, the landing page is a page on your website; it lives on your website’s domain.
Other businesses use marketing automation (like Marketo, for example) to create landing pages. In this case, the landing page isn’t actually part of your website’s domain, but lives on a subdomain. So instead of the landing page being at website.com/ebooks/beginners-guide-to-saas, it might live at, say marketing.website.com/beginners-guide-to-saas.
There are as many types of landing pages as there are offers. There are event landing pages, webinar landing pages, product landing pages, newsletter signup landing pages, and more. But in general all landing pages fall into two categories: lead generation landing pages and click-through landing pages.
With lead generation landing pages, the offer is not your final product or service, but something higher up in the funnel, like gated content. By providing their contact information to obtain the offer, the visitor becomes a lead that you can now follow up with, via phone or email, to nurture through your funnel into customership.
Lead generation landing pages contain a form right on the page for the user to request the offer. Upon filling out the form, they are brought to a thank you page that confirms the next steps—such as that a person will reach out to you, that the guide has been sent to your inbox, or that you can click on a button to download the file.
With click-through landing pages, there is no form on the page. The page is dedicated to explaining the features and benefits of the offer, and when the user clicks on the CTA button, it leads them to a new page where the user obtains the offer. Click-through landing pages are typically used for bottom-funnel offers or sales, where the second step is the account creation portal, app store, or checkout window.
Now that know why you need landing pages, it’s time to start creating them. But before you start cranking out those 41+ landing pages to get those 600 leads, you have some homework to do. In order to make these pages purposeful, impactful, and specific, you need to ask yourself:
Once you’ve answered the fundamental pre-landing page questions, it’s time to write your awesome, persuasive landing pages. Landing pages should have a snappy headline, scannable body copy, a clear call to action, and a strategic thank-you page. Here’s how to write them:
Your product or service, of course, is your highest value offer. But you’re looking to capture leads, you need to make sure you have a lead magnet: something your audience feels is worth giving up their contact information for. This could be a high-quality guide, informative webinar, or even a discount on their first order.
A strong landing headline takes different forms, depending on the landing page, the offer, and the CTA that preceded it. In some cases, it’s the same as the ad headline so as to make the experience as seamless as possible and ensure message match. This is especially important for Quality Score in Google Ads.
In other cases, it’s something more creative or evocative to capture attention and express your brand voice. These emotional words and phrases can help you out with that.
Regardless, your headline needs to answer the one question your users have: What’s in it for me? When in doubt, a benefit-focused headline is a good first step. You can always A/B test and iterate.
Copy that sells is clear, concise, credible, and compelling.
If you’re creating a lead-generation landing page, you’ll need to add a lead capture form. Your form should capture enough information so that you can follow up in a customized manner, but not so much information that it takes extra time or thought to fill out. A good rule of thumb is to have seven fields or less. Name and email are a safe bet. Ask for a phone number only if it’s necessary. Then you may need to get additional details to qualify or score your leads.
The thank you page is essential. For one, it confirms for the visitor that they have completed all necessary steps. It also contains the instructions for obtaining the offer, such as checking your inbox or even clicking on a button right on that page to download the piece of media. And finally, you can use your thank you pages to introduce visitors to other resources or even a lower-funnel offer.
Follow the above steps, and you’ll have a good landing page. Follow the above and below steps and you’ll have a great landing page that converts. Here’s how to optimize your landing pages for conversion:
Generally speaking, each landing page should have one goal and one CTA. Additional links on the page—like navigation links, footer links, or social share buttons—all serve as secondary CTAs that reduce the chances of the user taking the action you want them to take. Remove these or keep them to a minimum.
If your landing page is long, you can have multiple CTAs placed throughout that all point to the same form or destination, as with the example below. Also notice how the main navigation is removed from the page, giving the user just one option.
As mentioned above, the information on your landing page should be prioritized so that the most important elements are visible above the fold (or before the user has to scroll), like the CTA, key benefit(s), and value proposition. The rest of the information should be presented in an organized, skimmable manner, with plenty of visual elements to balance it out (F and Z patterns are your friend). If you’re optimizing for SEO, consider using tab, drop-down, or accordion-style functionality to include additional copy without cluttering up the page.
These are crucial for landing page conversion, and there are lots of different types.
Before you make your landing page live, go through the process as if you’re a user. Read the page in full, fill out the form, and make sure the correct thank you page loads and the offer is delivered. If you have tracking set up, make sure the information makes its way into your CRM or database. Repeat this process on mobile devices.
Speaking of which, make sure your landing pages look and function just as well on desktop as they do on mobile. You may need to make adjustments on the back end of the page so that things appear differently on mobile.
There are several components to a landing page that influence your users’ behaviors. The headline, the image used, the button colors, even the button copy all have an impact. Test your landing pages regularly to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Ready to see all of the tips above put into practice? We’ve got some of the best landing page examples to better illustrate what makes a successful landing page that drives conversions.
This landing page example from CallRail is what I landed on after clicking one of its LinkedIn ads. Here’s what makes it great:
Scroll down and we see:
I ended up on Loomly’s click-through landing page after clicking on a Google Ad that appeared for “social media software.”
Here’s what makes it great:
This landing page from Lyft is a great example of very minimalist, clean design.
Here’s what makes it great:
This ecommerce landing page example is from Blk & Bold, a coffee subscription company.
Here’s what makes it great:
Our final landing page example is from Mr. Rooter, a multi-location plumbing company. Here’s what makes it great:
Now you have everything you need to create landing pages that convert. Let’s finish off with a recap of the steps to write an awesome landing page and optimize it for conversion:
Kristen is the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream, where she helps businesses to make sense of their online marketing and advertising. She specializes in SEO and copywriting and finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.
See other posts by Kristen McCormick
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