How to Build a High Converting Landing Page

Written by on February 21, 2019

A landing page can make or break your business.

For example, a few years ago, using a landing page and a few emails, Conversion Rate Experts increased Moz’s revenue by $1M.

On the other hand:

There are many entrepreneurs and marketers out there who still cram “People are clicking on my emails but I don’t know why they’re not taking my offer.”

Can you tell me, what’s the biggest difference between Moz and these complainers?

Of course, Moz is big but the biggest differentiator, in this case, is the landing page.

So if you want to be on the same side where Moz is, you better have a landing page that converts.

And how do you get one?

Well, this is exactly what I’m going to show you in this post.

We’re going to walk through the 5 easy steps you can take right now to build your own high converting landing page.

And the best part?

You don’t need to be an expert copywriter, coder or even designer!

Sounds exciting?

Let’s get straight into it.

1. Start with a landing page builder

The headline is the first thing people notice when they come to your landing page.

But can you tell me what’s the second thing that goes under the lens?

It’s the overall design.

In fact, this study by 99design shows how a mere design upgrade helped Cloudsponge improved their conversion by 33%.

Not too shabby, ha!

Now if you’re a design geek, you can easily take care of the designing part.

But if you’re not, then…

How do you make sure your landing page doesn’t look like a middle school Photoshop assignment?

Answer: Landing Page generators.

Landing page generators are tools that help you design, edit, and host landing pages.

All you need to do is drag and drop images and texts, select design template, form and boom… you’re ready to play the conversion game.

Now there are dozens of options available like Unbounce, Launchrock, or Leadpages, but I’d suggest using Instapage because of its dead-simple interface and robust set of features.

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As the above picture shows, every feature is mentioned in the top ribbon. All you need to do is select the appropriate option and you’re good to go.

Here’s a closer look:

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Now a key thing to remember is:

While choosing a design template, go with a simple one that contains lots of white space. Because white space makes readability easier for visitors

So, it is best to opt for a simple and clean design. And if you want some inspiration, see Motley Fool:

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2. Write a killer headline

Remember the Copyblogger stat that says, 80% readers read your headline but only 20% proceed to read the whole article?

That applies on landing page too.

Even David Ogilvy once famously said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy”.

So, if your headline is kinda ‘meh’, people will leave your page faster than they clicked.

Want further proof? Here it is…

A study by Marketing Experiments saw as much as a 10% boost in conversion when they changed a boring headline to a catchy one.

However, before you jump in to write your headline, keep in mind, it should directly convey your offer to the visitors.

And to come up with a compelling offer, you must know your audience and their pain-points better than they know themselves.

So, if you’ve done your user research properly, then 50% of the work is already done (If not, read this detailed guide by Smash Magazine).

Now, before I show you an easy way to write effective headlines, take a moment to admire the landing page of Headline Hacks.

They’re offering 52 hacks to write headlines and this is how their headline looks like:

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Simple yet so effective, right? Let’s see how you can write one for your own landing page.

How to write a magnetic headline

See, there are many fancy formulas to come up with great headlines. But I like using a simple one that works for me EVERY TIME. It’s:

Problem+Offer+Power Words+Numbers (optional).

  • Problem: Identify what’s the biggest problem your target audience is going through.
  • Offer: What do you offer to solve their problem. This offer/solution is the core of your headline.
  • Power Words: Words that create emotions. Like fast, easy, killer, best etc.
  • Numbers: Though it’s optional, research shows including numbers in your headline improve engagement by 73%.

Now let me show you how it works:

Let’s say, you’re a keto diet expert. You know most of the people struggle maintaining that diet with a busy schedule.

So you can come up with something like, “A simple keto plan that helped me gain 20lbs of muscle in 2 months (without sacrificing my daily schedule).”

Or you can go as simple as a ‘how to’ headline like Bot Academy:

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To further polish your headline, use headline analyzers like CoSchedule’s. It gives you specific suggestions on how you can improve your headline. Like this:

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And finally, to learn more about writing awesome headlines, I highly recommend taking a dig at these three resources:

3. Talk about the benefits

Give and Take is a universal principle of this world that applies to everything, including your business.

When people click on your ad, they expect to get something from you in exchange for their contact info or money.

And when they don’t get what they want, they not only hit the back button in 0.0001 seconds, it also leaves a bad first impression on them. Making them less likely to click on your ad again.

So, how can you avoid it?

Simple, give them what they’ve come for i.e. benefits.

And you don’t need to do anything fancy like using copy hacks (though it’d be good if you can), just mention the benefits clearly using bullet points like this:

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Moreover, don’t be afraid to point out all the reasons why visitors should take your offer because a study by Beem Digital says, a simple tweak on BettingExpert’s webpage to show value proposition to the users increased their conversion by 31.54%.

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Now the question is:

What should be the ideal length of your copy?

Let’s find out.

Short copy vs Long copy

It’s been a topic of debate for a long time among marketers whether they should use short copy or a longer one.

But this experiment by Flint McGlaughlin of MECLABS clears all the doubts.

TL;DR?

Short copy works best when the commitment is low or you’re offering something for free like a free eBook or a free trial.

On the other hand:

When your ask is big or it involves money then it’s better to use a long copy for more conversion.

For example, Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You To Be Rich is known for his premium courses, and his sales pages are massive (take a look at the one for The Finisher’s Formula).

Finally, when using long copy, keep it simple and conversational – as if you’re talking one-to-one with your reader. Because no one wants to buy from a robot, right?

4. Show social proof

Have you ever wondered, why do you go to the same coffee shop every time when there are many coffee shops out there?

Or why do you buy flowers from the same shop when there are dozens of other shops in your area?

Because we tend to buy from people we trust or like.

But in this world of digital marketing where everyone and their dog is calling themselves expert; how do you make people place their bet on you?

Simple, by showing that there are other folks who are placing their bets on you as well.

In short, show social proof.

Similarly, there are 3 more ways to build credibility:

Using customer reviews & testimonials

Customer reviews or testimonials are the opinions of people who have used your product or service. And adding reviews is one of the fastest ways to build trust and get more people to opt for your offer.

For example, FigLeaves, a UK based online lingerie store, increased their conversion rate by more than 35% by adding reviews on their website.

Now, let’s get back to the Bot Academy example I used in the “write a killer headline” section.

Take a look at how Andrew Warner used social proof on his landing page to up his trust factor:

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Using mentions in famous publications

Bloggers have been doing it for decades.

For example, have you ever thought why almost every blog has a “featured on” section like the one below?

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It’s because when we see someone featured on the leading publications like Forbes or Inc, we instantly think of them as an expert, and get curious to know more about them.

So if you don’t have ravishing reviews to back your words, try using the “as featured on” formula on your landing page.

Mentioning the brands you’ve worked with

Mentioning you’ve worked with Nike may seem like bragging to your friend, but it’s certainly not for your audience (who probably never heard of you before).

When they see you’ve worked with a prominent brand in your industry, you instantly come off as an expert to them.

As a result, it raises trustworthiness and makes new visitors more likely to take your offer.

Your favorite companies have been using it for years to build authority.

5. Use a clear Call To Action (CTA)

A good call to action aka CTA is like the last nail on the coffin.

But what if you didn’t hit the nail properly? Of course, the mummy comes out.

Okay, okay I know it was a bad joke but what I want to say is, after putting so much effort on design, headline, and other things, the last thing you want to do is use a loose CTA.

However, writing a better one is not rocket science. Just focus on 3 things:

Use a single CTA

Having more than one call to action can distract your visitors and get make them wonder whether they should do task a or b or c.

For example, take a look at this landing page

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This page ask the visitors to do multiple things like download an ebook, subscribe to the blog and follow the company on social media platforms.

On the other hand, take any high converting landing page and you’d find the most common thing among these great pages is that they ask their audience to take ONLY ONE action.

Additionally, a study done by Marketing Sherpa solidifies this theory. It shows how simplifying their landing page design and having only one call to action got the Weather Channel 225% more premium subscribers.

Make it relevant to the headline and use words that show value

When it comes to better CTAs, relevancy is the key and this Copyhacker test proves it right.

A few years ago the Copyhacker team decided to replace the CTA button of Dressipi’s home page with something that was more relevant to the headline.

Earlier it was a generic “Sign Up Now”.

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They replaced it with ‘Show me outfits I’ll love’.

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The result? Their eyes were wide open after finding the new button got them 123.9% more clicks with 100% confidence.

And if you look at the second image carefully, you’ll find that Copyhacker used another clever technique by making the button copy show more value.

Because it’s proven by a study on Fitness World that when button copy was made more relevant and valuable, conversion shoot up by 213.16%.

So instead of using lame words like ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Submit’, use words that show value like:

  • ‘Get the cheat sheet’
  • ‘Download your ebook’
  • ‘Send it right now’
  • ‘Yes, count me in’ etc.

Use big, bright color buttons

Why?

Because big buttons are easily visible to visitors and a case study on SAP showed that using big CTA buttons on your landing page can boost conversion by 32%.

And with that, we hit the final nail properly.

Bonus Tip: Conduct an A/B test

Firstly, congratulations on making an amazing landing page. Yeah, you deserve it, friend.

Now, what most of the inexperienced marketers do is they start using their landing pages right away.

But what if I tell you there’s still one more step left that can take your landing page from “Aha” to “Oh yeah!”?

Any guesses?

Okay, this not so secret step is A/B testing.

What is A/B testing

In simple words, A/B testing is an experiment where you compare two versions of webpage to see which one works better.

In this test, 50% of your audience is randomly shown the first version (also called A or Control) and the rest 50% the second one (called B or Variation).

The version that shows more engagement and clicks wins.

Let’s see why testing your page is important.

Benefits of A/B testing

A/B testing prevents you from leaving money on the table by showing you the most effective version of your landing page.

Here’s an example of our customer Exotel using A/B testing to experiment with their CTA messaging.

By simply dropping the word free, they were able to achieve a whopping 16.67% increase in signups.

Resources to learn A/B testing

So you’re all pumped to split test your landing page?

Here are some resources you would want to consume before running your first test and get the most out of it:

  • If you’re using Unbounce or Leadpages for creating your landing page, then you don’t need to worry about the technical tantrums. They’ve their own A/B testing features. Watch this video for Unbounce or read this blog post for Leadpages.
  • Otherwise, check out this ultimate guide to learn all the ins & out of a split test.

Conclusion

Sometimes, a good landing page is all you need to see some wonders in your business.

And nowadays when we’ve software for almost everything, it’s not that hard to build a landing page even if you lack any of the key ‘essential’ skills like copywriting, designing or coding.

All you need is an easy-to-use landing page builder, and then heat it up with a steamy headline, add some benefits, toss it up with social proof and finally garnish it with an actionable CTA.

And voila! your masterpiece is ready to rock your business.

Now over to you:

Let me know in the comments, what would you like to change in your landing page (if you have one)? And feel free to ask if you’ve any questions.