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How to make a landing page that works

Creating a landing page that works is a subtle art. For those new to marketing it may seem like something only those with access to such wizardry can pull off, however we hope this guide will show it’s really not that complex.

Creating a landing page doesn’t have to be the dark art that some make it out to be. Rather, it can be as simple as following a tried and true formula that really just boils down to making your value proposition clear, and having a clear CTA.

Before we dive in, let’s do a little vocabulary lesson.

Value Proposition: What value does your product or service bring? Not ‘why you think it’s valuable’, it’s ‘why should your prospect care?’. A good framework for crafting a value proposition is:

<Your product> is a <answer what it is> which <answer what it accomplishes for the reader/allows them to do> for <audience you’re writing to>


CTA: CTA stands for ‘Call to Action’, generally it’s a button that brings the visitor to the next action you want them to take. This could be a signup page, a contact page, a demo request… etc.

Now that we’ve got those out of the way, let’s look at the basic template of a landing page. These should be fairly common at a glance, though we’ll break them down in the following sections as well as provide an example from one of our own pages.

  1. Navbar: The top of the page — where your logo and navigation links are.
  2. Hero: The main section at the top of the page, which includes your header text, subheader text, and captivating imagery.
  3. Social proof: Logos of press coverage or your well-known customers.
  4. Call-to-action (CTA): Your signup button and a concise incentive to click it.
  5. Features and objections: Your key value propositions fully written out.
  6. Repeat your call-to-action
  7. Footer: Miscellaneous links.

Navbar

Pretty self-explanatory right? On every page be sure to have a nav bar which captures your header and primary links. Generally I shy away from having every link in the primary menu as that provides many ways for page visitors to exit the page immediately. Still, having links to key sections of the page, or essential pages on your site can be helpful. Be selective here.

Hero

No not a super hero. We’re talking about a hero banner. You’ve likely seen them before, large banner images of videos, maybe with a fun gradient, and a clear and shiny button for you to click front and center. The hero should draw the visitor in immediately and contain a header and subtitle that captures your value proposition.

The goal of the hero, as it is the first thing your page visitors see, is to give readers a reason to scroll down the page and learn more. Therefore the text you choose is crucial.

The header

Your header should be eye-catching and provide the immediate value proposition to your site visitor. Really try to hone down and perfect your phrasing here as every word counts. Don’t rely on buzzwords or your own internal terminology. Speak as your prospect speaks.

The subtitle

Here is where you can elaborate a bit further. You’ve drawn the reader in with the header, now you need to truly hook them with your subtitle so that they are enticed to learn more.

Social proof

People like knowing that they’re in good company. There are many write-ups on product adoption though this one is pretty solid. Essentially, when launching a product or service you’ll have innovators (2.5% of your users) who are willing to try it out.

Next comes early adopters (13.5%) and the early majority (34%). That’s a sizable chunk that comes through the door all of a sudden – just because they aren’t first. Showing visitors your social proof shows them they aren’t alone in making the decision to go with you. Thinks like ‘join hundreds of users’ or including logos of recognizable names giving you business does a great deal to give confidence to your site visitors.

CTA

And now we get to it – the CTA. You’ve enticed readers to learn more about your company’s offering and showed them that they aren’t the only ones interested in buying. Now it’s time to encourage them to take action.

When choosing a CTA for the page ask yourself: what is the one thing we want a site visitor to do?

Sign up for an email list? Fill out a demo request? Whatever it is, the CTA should lead to that next action. For us, it’s the ability to create a free account – so naturally our CTAs on the page lead to our signup page.

Features/Value Proposition

Now, once you’ve put in all the above work, you can dive into your features. Why is this part last? There’s a fun adage in marketing: no one buys a quarter inch drill, they buy a quarter inch hole.

Let’s be honest, no one cares about what you’re selling but they do care about how your product helps them reach their goals. The reason that the features section comes last is because you should be putting the bulk of your effort into drawing your prospects in, making them feel a certain way, and then clinching the deal with what your product actually does.

List out your features in plain english, don’t use buzzwords no one will understand or ones that are so trendy they’ll be out of date in 6 months. Instead, echo your value proposition with each feature you present. How does it provide value to your customers? Why should someone buy from you?

Answering these questions is key.

Let’s break it down

Here’s an example of one of our own product landing pages where we put the above principles to practice.

Our header with wording our ideal customer will understand
Our value proposition and benefits to our users. Along with a clear CTA
Getting into the good stuff, features.
Final reiteration of our value proposition and CTA at the bottom.

There you have it – our guide on creating a landing page that converts site visitors into leads. Want to put this to practice? Drop us a comment with one of your landing page links and we’ll review it with you!

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