Research shows that visitors to a web page take between 2 to 8 seconds to decide whether they have come to the right place. Your landing page can either hold their attention in those precious 2 seconds or watch them click away from it. If they stay, you now stand a better chance that they will go find what they came looking for by following through on the call(s) to action you set for them. What this means is that a mere 2 seconds is all the time you have to achieve conversion or face failure.
Now that is a tough challenge. One that you should be fully prepared for. An important part of being prepared is knowing the best practices and avoiding common mistakes in landing page design, content and implementation.
Landing Page – A Gateway to Your Brand
First impressions count, so make sure they’re great!
Similar to a store’s window display or signage, a landing page is often the first touch point for your brand. A potential customer’s impression of your landing page goes a long way in determining and influencing his or her experience with your brand. It’s up to you to ensure that this impression is a positive one, because you can be sure, it will be a lasting one!
From a design planning and layout perspective it helps to keep in mind that:
- A majority of users will quickly scan a landing page like a magazine or book cover – left to right, diagonally across and down the page and back to the top.
- A strategically designed landing page will have the main message front and centre at the top of the page.
- The call to action or conversion tool (form, button, coupon, etc.) will be also be very close to the top on the right-hand side.
- The main body text will be above the fold and neatly formatted for easy scanning.
These are the fundamentals that can help optimize the results of your landing page
To know more about the essentials and best practices for landing pages, read the WSI whitepaper titled Landing Page Design – Common Mistakes and Tested Techniques.
Will Your Landing Page Work?
There’s only one way to find out – Test, Test, Test Again!
Now if there was a single way to ensure that every landing page designed following best practices would deliver the same great results, business on the Internet would be a piece of cake.
But that isn’t the case. Audiences of landing pages are living, breathing, thinking human beings with changing needs, wavering emotions and often unexplained behavior that is beyond anyone’s control!
What’s the solution then? TESTING. Every landing page, no matter how expertly designed and cleverly crafted should be tested to arrive at a variation that works best and facilitates maximum conversion.
A Landing Page Does Not Have to Be A Final Destination
If they have landed, they must travel, explore, discover and experience!
Be aware that if your visitors have stayed beyond the 2 seconds you can do much more with their mindshare. Not every visitor may convert right away. Many will want to know more about your company and products / services. There are some that will linger, click on the link(s) to other pages of your website (so make sure you have some good ones in there), take their time to get more information before clicking on your form or call to action button on the landing page.
Let there be no confusion that the focus of your landing page should still be on that one important message and lead to a single, strong call to action. Too many images, verbose copy, confusing and cluttered calls to action will simply distract visitors and drop your performance levels. However, it pays to think beyond the short-term objectives of a landing page and integrate your online strategies for the long term. Return on investment or ROI is not a one-time gain; there are ways to keep it ongoing and incremental.