What is a landing page? Here’s how a goldfish can help you understand landing pages

With the internet expanding its influence and multiple websites vying to win the search race, landing pages are becoming the dollar jars of businesses. If you’re googling “what is a landing page” and are already being bothered by a lot of ads, it’s important for you to first know what a good landing page is before you make or choose one.  

A landing page is the face of your website and there is so much you need to understand before you build yours. In this post, I’m going to give you 7 tips for building a landing page at the expense of a goldfish.


Years of petting and playing with a goldfish has ultimately made us one. Incidentally, we now have the attention span of half a goldfish. Therefore, it’s important that we make a landing page fit for the same.

A Carleton University study shows that you have 5 seconds or less to impress and engage your visitors before they leave. Remember that a landing page is not your home page, it is basically that guy behind the samples table at an exhibition who collects your phone number so their team can contact you later.

Firstly, what is a landing page?

A landing page is a website that your ad leads back to. Your landing page is the buffer between marketing and sales. All the sleepless caffeine-induced nights your marketing department spent on running the right ads at the right places will mean nothing if you don’t have the right landing page.

Landing pages are of two types:

  • A click-through page, where you sell your product
  • A lead gen page, where you collect your visitors’ details

Regardless of the type of your landing page, the following tricks will easily make it stand out.


Make your landing page fit for a goldfish

You might have seen a lot of ads about website builders already if you’re looking for landing pages. Those builders are pretty neat, but how can you decide on which one is the best for you or your team? Keep the following rule in mind when you’re choosing.

One-line product description + a channel to collect user info + a big CTA button.

That is the recipe for a good landing page.

Goldfish can’t navigate properly (that’s why they end up in a bowl) so make sure your page is direct and to the point. Don’t distract your visitors with your company descriptions and other offers. Hide your navigation bar and your home button. Dedicate your landing page to your ad and use it just for that unless the extra context will help you achieve a lead.

Keep your content ABOVE THE FOLD. Your CTA button should necessarily be above the fold, so does your form and so does your message. Think of your landing page as a fancy, one-sided e-pamphlet (not the fish, I meant the brochure)

Landing page

The highlighted part is above the fold — this is the part of your page your visitors see when they reach your landing page.


Don’t forget the mobile users

An average person spends 40 hours a week on their mobile devices. That is equal to a full-time job. This means chances are that your customers are as likely to end up on your website from mobile as they are from a desktop. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and tablet-friendly. Ensure that your landing page is responsive and adaptive to different devices. Nobody likes pinching and zooming, unless it’s the profile picture of their tinder match.


Build the right form for your landing page

If someone lands on your landing page, it means they saw your ad, they liked what they saw, and are interested in what you have to offer. However, there is an epidemic that most landing pages face after this point. Not every visitor signs up with your product.

It is possible that your landing page followed every rule in the book and is the most beautiful belle of all landing pages, but there is something that is keeping your customers from signing up.

What could that be?

It’s actually not a big mystery. People do want what you’re selling but they don’t like the means to obtain it.

The form is where the drop happens. This is because of two things — the communication is one-way (there is no interaction) and the users cannot get their queries clarified. The second reason is that nobody likes giving their contact or personal details online. Not unless they get something in return at least. This might seem like bribery, maybe it is; but let us look at it from a better angle, let’s call it bartering. They give information, we give them something they might like.


Make your landing page more interactive

People like it when something is accountable. The option to scream at someone (or text them in all caps) if things go wrong is a bliss. Offer that to your visitors. Add tools like a live chat widget to your webpage so your visitors can interact (or scream) at someone (or at a chatbot) if they want to.

You should also setup triggered notifications which will go off if no activity is found after 3 or 4 seconds your visitors land in your landing page so you don’t lose out on them.


What should your landing page offer?

Offer something irresistible and useful for their data (a goldfish, maybe? ?) and more importantly choose something that only your target audience would want. For a carpet cleaning retailer, giving away free iPhones will definitely get them more leads than offering an ebook on carpet maintenance, but an iPhone will only attract iPhone lovers who will not be interested in your product and hence will be harder to convert. The ebook, however, will attract carpet cleaning enthusiasts who are more likely to buy your products.


What questions should your landing page ask?

Your landing page is an extension of your ad and not a nosy neighbour.  Make sure that you don’t stuff in too many questions.

Ask as little as possible. If you are a carpet cleaning retailer, ask only their email addresses and then let your sales representative ask them the tougher questions. It is never okay to ask someone their full address online. Ask instead for their area code. Concentrate on just generating leads through your landing page and mostly you only need their email address.

For example, our websites ask only for the visitors’ email address in return for a 30-day free trial (not even credit card information). As tempting as it did sound for us, we refrain from asking them what they had for breakfast or their great-grandpa’s shoe size. We ask those important questions later when they fall in love with our app.


Select the right CTA for your landing page

You’ve already put so much effort into your landing page and one tiny button might not seem that much important. But if your CTA is a tiny button, you’re already doing something wrong. Your CTA button is literally calling your customer to action. And despite what people tell you, size does matter. It can sometimes play the most important role in your landing page; so make your CTA button large and lively. Use an awesome colour; probably something that is in contrast to your landing page theme.

Unlike the rest of the webpage, you can’t get by using just the looks of your CTA  button; you also need to concentrate on what it says.

Your landing page CTA button is not like an email CTA or your tweet’s CTA button. Remember that you’re bartering a product/service with your visitors’ contact data. Here, you don’t boss them around; you remind them of the benefits.

Here are some pointers to what your CTA button should or should not say.

What is a landing page?

Note that all the buttons on the left talk about action and all the buttons on the right talk about benefits.

Keep your call-to-action button benefit-oriented.

This acts as a reminder for what they get and encourages them to sign up with you.


Should your landing page be short or long?

People arrive at a conclusion by means of two methods of thinking. One, an impulse decision governed by emotions (like getting a gym membership) and two, a deliberate decision governed by logic (like eating cake and sleeping in instead).

When your landing page deals with the former, it’s important your visitors aren’t distracted by a lot of backlinks or case studies. Keep your landing page extremely short and to the point. Hide your navigation pane, reduce the size of your company logo and make your product or service the only attraction in your entire landing page.

These kinds of landing pages are best suited for impulse purchases like in e-commerce sites or when you want to urge people to buy a gym membership.

But when your landing page deals with a product that requires a long-time commitment, you need to make sure your landing page is long with a lot of resource articles and case studies. Forty-two percent of customers said that case studies were one of the main reasons that enticed them to sign up with a brand. So in these cases, offer a lot of backlinks and resources that will help your customer make the choice. That being said, it is still important to keep in mind the importance of simplicity in your landing page and to use a large CTA button. You can keep all the extra resources below the fold.


Design pointers for your landing page

All the moral stories we read in primary schools told us “looks are deceptive” and our schools made sure we understood that. The same school also enforced dress codes and scared us about how we will never get a job if we have a face tattoo or even a beard.

The irony here teaches us that it’s always important for us to concentrate on appearances, especially when it comes to landing pages. Setting a theme is very important psychologically. For example, social media pages which are blue in colour perform better than the ones that aren’t (ask Google+ if you don’t believe me). Black suits if you’re going for luxury and red for food delivery places.

Follow a common theme for your landing page, or go full on colour-blast.


Run tests on your landing page

It is never the wrong idea to have more than one type of landing page. Experiment with your ideas and come up with multiple landing pages to see which one works the best and run tests on them.

Annoyingly though, you can’t test your landing page by grabbing a bunch of people and asking them to fill a feedback form because that will bias results and delay your launch by a lot.

So you can use CRO tools which will help you determine on the go with dynamic heatmaps and visual editors. You can also run A/B testing and see which version of your landing page performs better.


Use the full might of social media

Targeted ads are expensive; actually, all ads are expensive. And they are ads, so there is a high chance people will easily skip past it. But what if I tell you that there are marketers who work for free and have connections with the same kind of audience that you are looking for? Any idea who they are? They are your audience — the once who have already visited and liked your page.

There are currently 2.27 billion people using social media and when a person shares your blog, their friends and colleagues see that too. This is hands down the most successful targeted ad campaign you can ever get because it comes with the approval of someone they know.

Word of mouth is the oldest and perhaps the most trusted ad campaign you can ever run. Therefore always remember to include an option to share your page to social media and maybe reward them for it.

Let us know in the comment section if you know about any other tricks to make a landing page a goldfish would really love.

Happy fishing.

A big thank you to our star illustrator Sudheesh Chandran for the cover image.