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Content Marketing & Design

12 best landing page elements to lift conversions

Published July 5th, 2022

First impressions matter everywhere, but most importantly, they matter on your landing page, which is why companies spend upwards of USD$3000 on building a high-converting PPC landing page. When it comes to landing pages though, more than making a good impression is at stake. It’s what comes after that is more important – conversion.

Paul Posea

UX and SEO Specialist


In the digital marketing space, the rubber meets the road where prospects become leads or customers. A good landing page makes this happen by leading visitors to take the action you want them to take – be it purchasing a product, or signing up for a newsletter.

There are other benefits of having a great landing page…

Benefits of a successful landing page

The main benefit of creating a landing page is lead generation, but there are other secondary benefits. Here are some of them:

  • Increased leads and sales
  • Better insight into your target market
  • Breaks you into highly competitive markets
  • Justifies marketing efforts
  • Creates and strengthens customer relationships

Landing pages might be must-haves for lead-gen, but only when they’re high-converting ones. Many businesses record high traffic on their landing pages but still struggle with low conversion rates.

If that’s you, don’t freak out.

Having a high converting landing page is a common problem that all businesses deal with, which is why the average conversion rate of a landing page across industries is merely 4.02%.

There are just too many moving parts in the process. Ask the wrong questions, tweak font spacing, rearrange your words, change your button color, switch images, or be a tad slower and you can (negatively) affect your conversions.

Creating a winning landing page

The process of designing a landing page that converts starts from market research, advances to strategy through to traffic generation, A/B testing, and then on to conversions. Little wonder most businesses fail at creating an optimized landing page that converts. If you’ve tried a lot of things and yet your conversion rates keep tanking, this article is for you.

After examining scores of landing pages, we've come up with a list – arranged from most to least important – of the 12 core landing page elements used in successful websites. That’s not all, we also guide you on how to use them to increase conversions on your landing page.

Is this list a prescription for success?

Sadly, there are no hard and fast rules for the order in which you design (or write) your landing page. Use the tips that best fit your audience, conversion goal and landing page style, as well as making sure you solve the pain points of your customers.

Ready?

1. A punchy headline

Your landing page headline has two functions -

  • Grab attention
  • Keep it

Having an optimized headline is essential to the success of your landing page, because it’s the first thing that visitors see and it influences how much time they spend on your page.

According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, and only 2 out of 10 readers will read the rest of your landing page.

This goes to show that you only have a small window and a dozen words (at best) to convince visitors that you have something worth offering.

However, when done right, your headline might just be the greatest asset on your landing page. Even David Ogilvy, a marketing great, says that you've spent 80 cents out of your dollar once you’ve written your headline.

How to write a successful landing page headline

So how do you write a successful landing page headline?

There are two aspects to consider:

  • What to write
  • How to write

A successful landing page becomes easy to write when you know how it should look. All great headlines are also compelling headlines, and by that we mean:

  • Relevant
  • Empathic
  • Clear

Here’s an example of a headline that understood the assignment.

www.rackspace.com

Rackspace’s headline (see above) makes for a clear, relevant, and empathic headline. Companies already have a hard time getting maximum value from their data, so the headline, “Get more value from your data” does the following:

  • It directly engages that problem
  • It signals to companies hoping to improve their products and processes by managing their data, that they're in the right place.

By understanding the problem and addressing it in a clear concise manner, this headline fulfills the three pillars of a compelling headline.

What to write in a great headline

A good headline answers the visitor’s search intent, so before you put together a couple of witty words, there are questions you have to ask:

  • What are my target audience’s pain points?
  • How do my services provide solutions to their problems?
  • What do they want to see?

It's not just enough to write a catchy headline, you need to write a catchy headline that your target audience would appreciate. And a good way to know what that looks like? Scope out your competition.

How to write a great headline

On how to write a headline, there are three easy rules:

Rule one, keep it simple.
The Rackspace headline shows a perfect example of a simple headline. The words are short, easy to understand and convey a clear meaning.

Rule two, keep it short.
Your headline should be a dozen words at most. The trick is to have a headline that people read before they consciously know that they’ve read it.

Rule three, keep it bold.
The font, size and color of your headline should be chosen carefully to grab attention. It should be so obvious that visitors can’t help but see it first. Use contrasting colors, legible font, and a large font size to achieve boldness.

You can't ethically get anyone to do anything that doesn't benefit them. So use your headline to tell them why they should stay on your landing page.

The internet is full of options so if your headline doesn't speak to your customer's needs in 8 seconds, they'll leave. Therefore, your headline has to be clear. And maybe if your buyer experience is consistent, you'll create enough trust and warmth so that they’ll buy from you.

  • KEEP IT SIMPLE
  • KEEP IT SHORT
  • KEEP IT BOLD

2. A supporting subheadline

With the headline restricted to a word count of no more than twelve, there’s limited chance to really grab your reader’s attention. The supporting subheadline gives you that opportunity.

If the headline’s duty is to snag your attention, then the subheadline’s job is to make you want to stay.

A supporting subheadline is the block of text usually found directly below the headline, that offers complementary information on the headline. It’s part of the headline, and also a standalone element… because of the role it plays in the conversion process.

What does the subheadline do?

The purpose of including a subheadline is to provide greater depth on your services. Where the headline answers the question, ‘what?’, the subheadline answers ‘how?’

Subheadings don't just increase reader engagement through scannable content. They help you highlight product and service features, as well as customer benefits and encourage readers to take action.

Importance of a good subheadline

  • Complements the headline and keeps visitor’s attention
  • Highlights some of the key services offered
  • Shows benefits
  • Is engaging

Take another look at Rackspace's landing page (above). Their subheadline shows visitors how they can help prospective companies manage their data… by moving data between different cloud services cheaply, securely, and with better governance.

Examples of subheadings done well

Squarespace’s subheadline (see below) is a perfect example of a good subheadline. It complements the headline and provides more information on the services they offer.

Visitors to the Squarespace site know that when they use the leader in website design to create their own professional website, portfolio or online store, then they’ll stand out as well.

www.squarespace.com

Helpful tips for writing subheadlines

There are no firm rules for writing a subheadline but these tips can help guide you:

  • Use actionable words (refer to the Squarespace and Rackspace example subheadlines)
  • Don’t include too much information
  • Reference your Unique Selling Point (USP)
  • Choose benefits that complement your headline
  • Make it longer than your headline but not too long – 10 to 30 words is ideal.

The next key landing page element to consider (after headlines and subheadlines) is the USP – the unique selling proposition.

  • Use actionable words
  • Don’t include too much information
  • Reference your Unique Selling Point (USP)
  • Choose benefits that complement your headline
  • Make it longer than your headline but not too long – 10 to 30 words is ideal.

3. Your unique selling proposition (USP)

Your USP is the core benefit you're offering businesses, and it should be echoed everywhere on your landing page – from the headline to throughout the copy. It tells visitors three things:

  • Why you’re different from the competition
  • Why they should use your services
  • Your best offering (be that a product or service)

Finding your USP

Your USP is what makes your product, company, or brand different from others and it’s essential, because it forms the foundation for all the copy on your landing page.

To find your USP, you need to do thorough research of your market and analyze your competition's marketing campaigns. The purpose of this research is to to understand how your target market sees your product or service and also involves putting yourself in your target audience’s shoes – to understand what they want.

Once you’ve found your USP, you then layer it throughout your landing page copy. Its work starts in the headline, where it filters your traffic so that only those interested in what makes your offer different, read on and hopefully buy.

Finding your USP may be time consuming (and sometimes difficult), but when you do, it forms the foundation for a landing page that converts. But as vocal as your USP is about your services, an image is just as essential.

4. High-quality images

According to a study done by Venngage with hundreds of marketers, most were spending 5 to 6 hours producing visual content for their campaigns because they knew that visuals improve content engagement. On a landing page, a well chosen picture can communicate everything in less than 8 seconds. How? Well for starters, it’s a visual representation of the promise of your product.

There are two types of images you can use for your landing page.

  • A carousel
  • A single hero image.

Both types of images are effective, although the hero image is more commonly used because it’s a more effective way of focusing the attention of your website visitors.

Your carousel images, on the other hand, introduce visitors to multiple offers or ideas, while utilizing the same small space. For examples, check Squarespace for a hero image carousel and Salesforce for a single hero image.

Choosing images for your landing page

Landing page images only come out right when the marketer or business owner has done their homework. Ask yourself, 'what’s the dream of your customer when they buy my product?'. Use market research and customer feedback from both sales and customer support to guide you towards the right answer.

Here are three additional tips for an effective landing page image:

  • Use an authentic image, like original photographs. Stock images are difficult to relate to and generally have lower conversion rates
  • Use high contrast and clear images
  • Use SEO optimized images to improve page load time

Examples of websites with high-quality hero images

This landing page for Salesforce (see below) has a single, authentic hero image of a happy customer – and his product review is part of the CTA on the left side of the screen. This image is super effective because visitors relate to the image, and more importantly, they can see how they’ll be satisfied with Salesforce’s services.

A hero image carousel is what Squarespace (second slide) features on their landing page. This carousel is made up of three images that show different websites designed with Squarespace. Just like Salesforce, images that show positive results are relatable and help to make visitors want the same results.

5. Videos

Landing page videos can do wonders for your conversions:

  • They're good at helping prospects connect with complex products
  • They capture attention and retain it They're flexible, as they can be products or offers in themselves
  • Visitors are more likely to consume large quantities of information from videos than text

Guidelines around using a video for your landing page

  • Should be mobile-friendly
  • Shouldn't play automatically
  • Should be > 1
  • Should be short
  • Should be tested

6. Clear, concise CTA

A call-to-action (CTA) is quite possibly the most important element on your landing page, because it’s the lead generation tool. Every other element on the page makes it easy for visitors to your landing page to interact positively with your CTA.

A call-to-action is a short instructional phrase that requires an instant answer. Common CTA phrases include:

  • Free trials
  • Join our newsletter
  • Get a free consultation
  • Sign-up
  • Buy now
  • Download
  • Install

Call-to-actions are important because they should inspire customers to take your desired action (buy, try, sell, subscribe etc). Whatever that desired action is, it should be your CTA phrase.

How do you choose the right CTA?

First off, you rarely know the exact CTA that will unlock the floodgates of leads or customers for your business. CTAs are one part of the whole landing page puzzle that requires testing, reiterating and retrying on an ongoing ‘rise-and-repeat’ cycle.

The most effective tip in finding the right CTA, is testing. You have to find the right combination of words, color, and button size. Something as little as using the word 'submit' in your CTA button can drop conversion rates by 3%. But once you've found it, don’t rest on your laurels – keep testing, because every marketplace is in constant flux.

CTAs and the honey approach

One rule of thumb to help your CTA convert more, is to use the ‘honey approach’. Generally people are wary of joining another newsletter or mailing list, but if your CTA only has a generic “subscribe to our mailing list,” on the button, then you won’t be getting a flood of conversions.

The ‘honey approach’ uses the enticement of a lead magnet – something that the visitor would love to have. It’s usually an ebook, free course, trial or consultation. In these cases, the CTA phrases read like offers:

  • Get your ebook now
  • Get a free trial
  • Get a free consultation

With these CTAs, more people are willing to drop their email addresses to get the offer. The best part? They don’t feel cheated and are hopefully less likely to unsubscribe.

Perfecting your landing page CTAs

  • Use the emotions of your customers – like anger, fear, desire
  • Use short and actionable words and phrases
  • Use bold, legible fonts
  • Use bright, comfortable colors

If you’re looking for a guide, HubSpot’s “ start-free-or-get-a-demo” button in white, or Semrush’s “Start Now” are an excellent reference for a great CTA. Also take a look at this CTA on Setka that provides two options guaranteed to still end in lead generation – it gives visitors a choice that still ends in you getting leads.

7. Short, clear engaging copy

It’s easy to focus a lot of your energy on the design elements of a landing page and skip the content elements, namely copy.

But the truth is that copy converts.

You can have the best images and videos, but without compelling, actionable copy you still won’t have high conversion rates.

What is copy?

Copy is written to improve brand awareness and persuade people to take action.

Bottom line? Your landing page needs copy. And not just any copy, it needs persuasive, actionable copy if you want to convert leads.

Here’s a few tips on how to write compelling landing page copy:

  • Focus on the benefits of your product
  • Use simple actionable words
  • Evoke emotions
  • It should be persuasive

Compelling landing page copy isn't just creative words strung together. It should be a concise reflection of your customer's view of their problem and solution.

All of your testimonials, competition analysis, customer and prospect interviews provide you with insights into how your product fits into your customer's world. Now convert that into copywriting that’s short and simple. Address one problem per landing page and consider creating different landing pages for different types of customers.

8. Bulleted list of features and benefits

Your landing page is a mini-product page that sells your services to visitors. So, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to know that a features and benefits section is one of the key elements of a landing page.

First things first, what’s the difference between a feature and benefit?

The features of a product or service refer to the components of your product that provide value for your visitors. Benefits, on the other hand, refer to the positive impact the user experiences while using your services.

The features and benefits section of your landing page is a chance to make your product or service meaningful to your prospects. Take a list of all the features for your product and beside them, write why your customer values that feature, and how they’ll benefit from each one.

How to write a compelling features and benefit section

Here are a few tips on how to write features and benefits that convert:

  • List your features and benefits
  • Follow up your features with the value that they offer users
  • Present your benefits as solutions to the problems of users

If well written, the features and benefit section is highly effective at converting leads.

The features of a product or service refer to the components of your product that provide value for your visitors.

Benefits, on the other hand, refer to the positive impact the user experiences while using your services.

9. Irresistible above-the-fold content

Don't know what that means? No problem…

Above the fold content is a mindset of putting your most attention-grabbing (and important) content in front of your reader as early as possible.. It's a term that originated with editors putting their juiciest stories on the exposed top half of their folded newspapers, to attract more foot traffic to the newsstands.

The context of this practice may have changed, but the game is the same. Website traffic usually sees the top half of your landing page before the other. Your most important asset:

  • Headline
  • Subheading
  • Lead Form
  • Unique Selling Proposition

Show these assets before engagement possibly drops off on the lower end of your landing page.

10. Testimonials and social proof

At least 86% of consumers say that testimonials and social proof are key in making buying decisions online. And according to Search Engine Watch, 72% of consumers would only take action after reading a positive review.

But the benefits of testimonials go beyond helping consumers.

They also help create trust between your company and website visitors, which ideally increases return purchases in the future. Reach out to your current customers and ask for testimonials – they can come in two formats –- video or image – with the later type being more commonly used. Here’s some great testimonials on SurferSeo (see below), that reinforce the key benefits of using the product.

11. Optimized lead form

Optimizing a lead form is especially important when the goal of your landing page is to generate leads. Lead forms are built to capture information for further marketing. And depending on your intentions for that data, lead forms can be…

  • Registration Forms
  • Newsletter Sign-ups
  • Ebook Opt-in/Downloads

The positioning of your lead form can increase your landing page conversions. The best position is center stage, right after your headline and subheading – either at the top or to the side.

The design of your lead generation form is equally important and having a style that stands out is a must. Fortunately, it’s easy to create beautiful graphics for your form with online tools, all you need to do is follow some basic design principles.

Lead generation forms are effective, but you can lose out on so many conversions because you asked too many questions on your form. So, before you start to design it, test to see how much information your prospects are willing to give. Also highlight fields that are of importance (ie mandatory to complete) with an asterisk, and use three lead forms on your landing page as Hubspot found it to be the most optimal number when testing.

We asked Zach Grove, a former employee at landing page building platform Leadpages, how your lead forms can boost conversion rates, and here’s what he has to say.

One of the best a/b tests I've seen to boost landing page conversion is switching from a 1-step form (all of your fields on the same form) to a 2-step form (where you ask for half the fields upfront, with a "Continue" button that leads to a second step with the remaining fields).

This makes your landing page look less intimidating to start filling out. Once visitors start, they have the momentum to keep going and complete the remaining fields.

12. Reinforcement statement

The key element on your landing page is the reinforcement statement – it’s a second headline that sits halfway down the screen, below the fold. The main purpose of using a reinforcement statement is to combat the drop-off in engagement as readers enter the second half of your landing page. A reinforcement statement supports the headline message and keeps attention on your USP. In short, it retains attention, builds trust and boosts sales.

The whole idea behind having a reinforcement statement is to keep the message of the headline fresh in the reader's mind even when they’re below the fold and can no longer see the headline.

Wrapping Up

The effectiveness of your landing page in converting leads, is a function of the various landing page elements and design used.

Each of the above elements are core to a landing page and play a vital role in persuading visitors to convert. More than that, they also work together to form a cohesive landing page structure. If you have these elements already, you might want to A/B test them for enhanced efficiency.

Want this look for your posts and pages?

Get a Setka demo from our Customer Success team,
or try Setka for 14 days, free.

author

Paul Posea

UX and SEO specialist

Paul is a UX and SEO specialist and loves tweaking things to perfection in his CRO experiments. In his free time, he can be found piloting a drone, hiking, or shooting traditional Japanese bows.

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