Have you been looking to create high converting landing pages? In this guide, I’ll go over the basics of landing pages, including how to make a better landing page design and tools to make the process of creating and testing landing pages go more smoothly. So let’s get started!
Just like it sounds, a paid search landing page is the web page where your visitors end up after clicking on a link or an ad. A high converting landing page normally serves as the first entry point for a prospect into your business ecosystem.
This web page is built with a specific (and typically singular) objective which sends your leads to the next step in the funnel. The most common objectives of high converting landing pages are
Sending your leads further down your checkout flow
Unlike a typical web page on your website, the landing page is NOT crammed with multiple links and navigation buttons. A landing page is a web page that is different from the rest of the pages on the website and has a single objective.
Whether capturing contact details or linking to a product page, landing pages can be used for various actions.
Many business owners assume that the homepage of the website is effectively a landing page, as that’s where the visitors first land. Although that does make sense, landing pages are usually linked to a paid campaign.
Suppose you own a luxury hotel with a high-end spa centre. Now let’s say you are running billboard ads for a free membership to the spa if users join today! You have this billboard posted all across the city, and you are promoting it. The issue is your spa is half a mile away from your main hotel reception.
So if you do not mention this in your ad, visitors will naturally come and see people at your reception only to find out they have to go elsewhere.
Some visitors might have to wait, and while doing so, they would engage with other attractions in the hotel, for example, the casino table next to the live football streaming. Some of the visitors might just leave as they wouldn’t want to make an effort to find the spa by themselves.
Now take this analogy and apply it to your website. If you are running paid Google or Facebook ads for a special offer or discount, would you send them to your homepage or a dedicated high-converting landing page that is relevant and assists the visitor to take action?
Learn more in detail: Landing Page vs Homepage: Key Differences Explained
The purpose of high converting landing pages is ideally to take a visitor from A -> B, although you could say the same thing about a website. However, a typical website has 20+ pages and also social media links etc.
Visitors can browse the website and end up in a different section of the website and get completely distracted. Even worse if they click on your social media icons on the website and check their last notification.
Effectively, on a normal website, a visitor can take various routes to get from A -> B. However, on a high converting landing page, there is only one route.
Web pages have hyperlinks that link to other internal or external pages. As landing pages are different, we do not want visitors to visit other pages or even find them. So to decrease the pathways, we tend to remove all the hyperlinks linking to external sites, including social media buttons and icons on a high converting landing page.
To show social proof, you can show social media counters instead. Social media counters indicate the number who either follow you on Twitter or like your page on Facebook. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a navigation menu at all. The answer is to have a menu system that only links to other sections on the homepage.
For example, here ‘how it works’ links to the ‘how it works on the same page. This reduces the chances that visitors might get distracted and change their journey.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of using high converting landing page for your business:
Moreover, a well-nurtured lead will likely check you out on your website or social media.
As a result, your leads or funnel visitors are more likely to take action.
However, a landing page with a single button makes it possible for you to measure traffic and conversion metrics accurately.
Split-testing is also easier and more conclusive. As a result, you can more easily determine the biggest things that are working right NOW for your business.
This is a very short account of the different benefits of using high converting landing pages. If you enjoyed reading this, you might want to check out our blog post, 11 Amazing Landing Page Benefits for Your Business.
To create high converting landing pages, you have quite a few options:
You can build a lean landing page using simple HTML/CSS. However, in order to capture leads, you will need a lead capture form. You can either convert the form into PHP and add a form or you can use a Form Builder app such as LeadGenApp, Wufoo, or Paperform.
There are a few pros and cons on why you should use pure HTML/CSS static pages.
Fat Load Time
Can be easily hosted
Granular control over responsiveness
Mobile pages can be converted to AMP ones
No editor capability
Requires coding skills
Rely on third-party apps or scripts to capture leads
Split testing the page could be a challenge unless you manually measure everything yourself
WordPress is one of the world’s favourite Content Management systems. We love it too. However, when it comes to high converting landing pages, we feel WordPress may not be the right tool for the job. Landing pages are snappy web pages that require less heavy lifting, plugins and code libraries.
Including a landing page inside a WordPress website could be overkill. Having said that, though, if done cleverly, you can leverage the power of WordPress and still build blazing fast high converting landing pages.
The WordPress community is huge; it’s easy to find WordPress developers, agencies and freelancers.
WordPress has many plugins that can be used for lots of fun and cool stuff, such as split testing.
Granular control over responsiveness WordPress pages are easy to edit.
WordPress has extensive lists of plugins. However, sometimes outdated plugins can end up allowing backdoor access to hackers and can compromise your website security.
You would need a proper tech person to deal with your WordPress landing pages.
You can use plugins to create AMP pages, but it would still need a lot of tech knowledge.
Back in the day, when I used Frontpage to “code” my first website, it felt lazy. It was almost cheating the system to come up with a website without actually writing any code. After about two decades now, website generators have evolved and, thankfully, about time.
Unbounce is our clear favourite. Unbounce is a tool that allows marketers like us to create fast high converting landing pages. Unlike other technologies, where business owners rely on seasoned developers, Unbounce editors can be used by literally everyone. I usually say to clients, if you can use MS Word, you can use Unbounce.
Although I feel more biased with Unbounce, I would like to mention that I have had my fair share with other builders. In our agency, we have used many landing page builders like Instapages, Clickfunnels, LeadPages and some others, but it has been a popular tool across all our dev teams.
Learn more in detail: How To Build Landing Pages Fast
Speed: You can get a landing page up and running in less than 15 minutes.
Configuration: DNS mapping is quick and easy. Unlike setting up servers, Unbounce is a walk in the park.
Desktop/Mobile capability: Unbounce’s easy-to-use editor has a simple switch to edit the desktop and mobile versions of your webpage.
Forms: Creating lead capture forms is easy. Simply drag and drop, and you are ready to capture leads.
Although there is a lot more we love about Unbounce, these are our top four reasons.
No support for the tablet version. Although tablets usually load up desktop versions, it would still be great to have a tablet view/editor.
Setting up multi-step forms is clunky and prone to error. We end up using LeadGenApp.io to create multi-step forms within Unbounce.
Reports / Charts are not configurable and can be exported as CSVs.
The mobile editor could sometimes get challenging to manage, especially when building complex landing pages. We end up hiding/showing layers as a hack to get around some of the layout issues.
I discussed why you need a landing page and how you can set it up, but I think it’s also necessary to understand how high-converting landing pages work.
There are two things to consider:
Landing pages are usually linked to paid campaigns, and I strongly recommend using separate sub-domains to host landing pages. If you have a WordPress website hosted on GoDaddy, for example, you can easily create a separate hosting account using your subdomain and use that space for your high converting landing pages. e.g. a URL for a sub-domain hosting a landing page could look like: https://deals.furniturestore.com/winter
Here “deals” is the name of the sub-domain, and winter could be the name of your landing page. There are three benefits to using a sub-domain approach.
Since the host accounts are different, if by any chance your WordPress site or main website is compromised, your PPC traffic will remain unaffected as these will be linked to a separate hosting account.
You can efficiently organise landing pages. E.g. a deals sub-domain could link to your special deals, whereas a downloads sub-domain could host all your free resources.
Ability to link sub-domains as CNAMES to third-party landing page editors like Unbounce. Once you point your CNAME to unbouncepages.com, you are all set. Unbounce will serve all your high converting landing pages. This helps marketers avoid infrastructure blockage and get things done quickly, which means that items get tested quickly.
High converting landing pages have one objective. If we break it down, here is the journey.
A visitor sees an ad on either Facebook or as part of Google’s sponsored search results. The ad has an eye-catching headline and a sub-heading/description, which usually makes a promise. The ad copy entices the user to click. When the user clicks the ad and visits the landing page. A high-converting landing page needs to do a few things.
The landing page needs to complement the ad copy. Users will bounce back if the ad text is irrelevant to the landing page. To avoid any ambiguity, you should match the headline with the copy of your ad copy.
Ad copies are enticing and set the stage where you make a promise to the visitor. Once the ad gets clicked, you need to fulfil the promise with your landing page. If a user clicks an ad to get 20% off on a product, they should see a landing page that exactly lets them get the deal. Many click-bait websites do not fulfil the promise and leave the visitors in anguish and disgust.
Chances are that visitors might not have heard about your brand. Your job is to build trust using the right elements; social proof, testimonials, partner logos and badges increase confidence. You can also use your social media like or follower counter badge to showcase your brand.
Whether it’s visitors signing up on a form or clicking through to a squeeze page, whatever the objective is set for the high-converting landing page, you need to track the conversions and have reports which give you the cost per conversion. This simple metric can calculate your return on investment if you know how much a lead is worth to you.
A great offer, a great landing page design and great copy are the three things that will dramatically improve your conversion metrics.
Nothing, I repeat nothing, is more important than your offer.
You won’t be able to market a bad offer even if you have the greatest copy and the greatest design in the world. When it comes to your copy, you must focus on building trust with your audience. This is especially true when you are reaching out to a completely cold audience who does not know you at all.
Messaging mismatch between the ad copy and landing page copy is another common factor that hurts conversions.
Learn more in detail: Landing Page Conversion Rate Optimization Tips: Clarity is Everything
It’s important to track how many visitors a) visit your landing page and b) do something. The do something part depends on what the objective is. If you are generating leads by capturing email addresses, you can track the number of visitors who sign up. Based on your number of visitors and the number of conversions, you can determine a conversion rate.
A conversion rate is a significant metric that you can use to create variations for your split tests. Split testing or A/B testing is a powerful system that allows marketers to test different variations of the same page.
For example, you can change the primary call to action button to orange from red. So effectively, you have two variations which you can test by splitting the traffic 50:50. After a set period and enough visits, you can determine what’s known as a vital significance. Although you can get quite geeky and play around with numbers, if you are just starting with landing page conversion, I would recommend using Unbounce, VWO or Optimizely.
To track conversions, you can also set up goals in Google Analytics, which we covered extensively in our previous post about optimising your website’s conversion rate.
We also use MixPanel to track conversions. Although you can achieve the same result in Google Analytics, in Mixpanel, you can create advanced funnels and track them. I find them very useful, especially when landing pages are on a different domain/web host.
It is hardly surprising that this is one of the most common questions that businesses and marketers ask us. As per Marketing Charts, 58% of businesses already use A/B split testing. Albeit, many of them are following a haphazard process that produces false, inconsistent results.
An A/B test consists of two main elements: the control and the variation. When you start testing, you must test just one variation at any given time. You must also define a clear conversion goal to conclude your split test successfully.
And if you don’t have the marketing budget for a paid campaign, you can even use free channels like your email newsletter to set up your split test. Now, once you have the necessary data from your split test, you will have to use the right analytics tool to draw conclusive results.
This is a very short, concise account of how to set up a split test.
If you are interested in detailed, step-by-step instructions, you might want to check out this guide: Landing Page A/B Testing Framework to Maximize Conversions
The landing page quality score is another vital but grossly neglected metric. A low-quality score means higher ad costs and diluted marketing effectiveness. A quality score is the system of measurement that search engines use in order to determine a business’s ad relevance and rank.
The Quality score ranges from 1 to 10. The highest score that you can achieve is 7. A score of 7 means that your advertising dollar will stretch much, much further.
One of the main reasons WHY most businesses have landing pages with a poor quality score is because they ignore the biggest needle mover - landing page experience.
All dynamic businesses deserve to get their hands on this detailed breakdown which dramatically shows you how to improve your landing page quality score.
Learn more in detail: How to Improve Your Landing Page Quality Score
Do you have a competitor who is beating you hollow with their marketing? Fortunately, there are a host of apps/tools (both free and paid) in the market that allow you to “spy” on the competition so that you can get some valuable insights to improve your overall marketing effectiveness.
If you are interested in any (or all) of these, you must use one of these spy competitor tools:
How much paid and organic traffic are my competitors generating every month?
What is their monthly ad spend?
Which are some of my competitor’s top-performing landing pages/web pages?
Which are the top-performing keywords for my competitors?
Which ads are they running on Facebook and Google right now?
If you are interested in learning about the best spy competitor tools on the market and what they can do, you might find this blog post particularly interesting: Spy on your Competitor Landing Pages: PPC competitive intelligence
What if your landing pages could show highly personalized content that is dynamically generated as per the visitor’s behaviour?
As per studies, this ability to use highly targeted messaging can result in a 3X rise in conversions. The landing page builder, Unbounce has an extremely powerful feature that allows you to create dynamic landing pages with ease.
At Apexure, we have used this powerful feature for many of our clients. Surprisingly, a large percentage of businesses are yet to discover how they can use this feature to multiply marketing gains.
Learn more in detail: How to Create Dynamic Landing Pages To Increase Conversion Rates
Websites and website homepages are full of distractions and lack laser focus. So next time you spend money via a paid campaign, think of landing pages.
The answer is yes, but think of high-converting landing pages as a 1-page website that has its audience linked to a specific marketing campaign.
If you compare that to your homepage on your website, well, it’s pretty public, and any user can access it. High converting landing pages tend to load faster as they are typically outside the website ecosystem.
If you are planning to capture emails in exchange for a free resource like an ebook or whitepaper, then email capture landing pages would be perfect for the job.
If you are planning to run a campaign and don’t want to send your highly targeted audience to your homepage, then the answer is - Yes you need a landing page.
If you are running Facebook ads and want to share an educational post and want the visitor to click through to the next page in your funnel, then yes, I would recommend an advertorial click-through landing page.
If you want to sell a specific product and want to focus on driving sales, then a landing page with a simple buy button will do the job.
Yes! You can either create a landing page directly on your main www root domain, or you can link your paid traffic to pages hosted on your subdomain. If you are worried that visitors would want to check out your website and you are still setting it up, the simplest solution is to have a redirect that links the www site back to the landing page.
In tools like Unbounce, for example, you can set up a naked domain, which implies you can host your Unbounce landing pages on the root domain. You will need to point both an ‘A’ record and a CNAME record to Unbounce. You can apply the same principle to the majority of landing page generators.
Having a website is great, but if you are a startup and want to test your idea by using a landing page as your MVP (Minimal Viable Product), then you can easily build a landing page without needing a proper dedicated website.
Learn more in detail: How To Create a Landing Page Without a Website?
A product page is an information-rich page that has been designed to inform the user about a product and/or service. Whereas the landing page presents the offer in an appealing, non-distracted way. Typically, a landing page has a single CTA (Call to Action) to prevent any funnel leakages.
Once you understand the difference between a product page and a landing page, you will be able to determine how to use both of them together to drive up conversions.
These are some examples of landing pages:
An opt-in page
A long-form sales page
A webinar registration page
To better understand this topic, you might want to check out our blog post, Landing Page vs. Product Page Debate
This is another question that our clients often ask us. The short answer is: It depends. It depends on your product and business objectives.
These are some of the questions that you must ask yourself as you aim to determine the ideal number of landing pages for your business:
Are you running multiple ad campaigns?
Are you building your list?
Are you selling an expensive product that requires extensive education and multiple touchpoints?
Are you marketing multiple products or a single product?
Click on this link to learn all the considerations for determining the ideal number of landing pages for your business.
While Landing Page Builders like Unbounce, LeadPages, and ClickFunnels are ridiculously easy to use, using Content Management Systems (CMSs) ensures consistency and an integrated marketing strategy.
The three big Content Management Systems that dominate the market are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
You can even build out your landing pages with a landing page builder and publish them through a CMS - thus getting the best of both worlds.
Check out our blog post to get to the bottom of the CMS vs Landing Page Builder debate: CMS for landing pages: Integrating CMS and Landing Pages
If you have a website and would like to rank for particular keywords, yes, I would recommend using dedicated landing pages for top keywords/ services/products.
If you search for iPhone in Google, the first organic result is the correct landing page for iPhone. Google understands and learns with the context that https://www.apple.com/uk/iphone/ is more relevant to iPhone than https://www.apple.com/uk/mac.
Some people might argue these are normal child pages on a website and shouldn’t be viewed as a landing page. I would say people who are searching for these keywords are further down in the buying journey funnel; they have a problem that they are trying to solve.
Learn more in detail: SEO Landing Page vs PPC Landing Page – Best Practices
There is much debate on whether SEO landing pages should be on the same server as the main website. Our take is to host the SEO landing pages on the same host.
Here are a few reasons:
-The link juice from the main site stays within site. This means the SEO pages will also rank and have the same Domain Authority as the rest of the website.
-If you move them away on a different server, then they act as “doorway” pages which almost borderlines the black hat SEO strategy overused in the early days of SEO
A sub-domain is nothing but an add-on to your root domain. For instance, while google.com is the main domain, docs.google.com and slides.google.com are sub-domains.
Setting up a sub-domain allows you to offer different functionalities without cluttering up your root domain.
If you want to run paid traffic to a high converting landing page, you might decide to set up a sub-domain. Additionally, it is common to set up subdomains that cater to audiences in specific geographic regions.
Want more information about setting up sub-domains? Check out our blog post now: When to Use Subdomains Explained With Landing Page Subdomain Examples
A click-through landing page is a particular page with one purpose - Make the user click through to the next page in the funnel. You might be thinking at this point, why bother?
Here are some reasons why you would want to have a Click-through page in your marketing funnel:
If you are running ads and promoting an e-commerce product, you can have a click-through page that links to the product where visitors can buy. However, at the click-through page level, you can address everything that will allow visitors to make a purchase decision.
Adding a video on a click-through can be very effective as it would educate the customers and can answer any objections.
We use click-through pages as part of online sales funnels. To generate awareness, we typically have a blog post. The post has an offer/freebie at the end of the post. The post has no other links on the page, so it acts as a click-through page. The page we link to is typically a lead generation page that gives away a free resource in exchange for an email.
However, to allow visitors to become problem aware and get more information about the product or service you are selling, you can further break the steps to establish trust, leadership and market positioning.
A series of click-through pages can help you achieve it.
Raising Awareness, Warming up Paid traffic visitors.
Lead gen (lead generation) landing page has a form to capture lead details in exchange for a freebie. A lead gen landing page can be used in various stages in the content funnel to generate leads. However, the most common element is to generate leads.
Email courses etc
At this stage in their journey, as you have already collected their email address, you can ask for further info like:
Company size, industry, and the contact details of the person who will book the free consultation/trial. There are some enterprises solutions available that help in enriching client data, e.g. Full Contact
Think of micro-sites as a bunch of closely knit landing pages. Microsites are powerful if you run a campaign and want to leverage 2-3 pages rather than just one landing page. However, these 2-3 pages are interlinked, and the visitor journey doesn’t link to the main website. Micro-sites are useful where you want to warm up visitors first, and once they build some trust and rapport, you can then send them to the lead gen page.
Here is a scenario where a microsite would work better than a full-blown website or a single website.
If you are running Facebook ads to an audience who might be problem aware but no solution/product aware, you can talk about the problem in the ad and point it to a content article on your micro-site. The content article can link to a lead magnet which could offer a free ebook/template/swipe file etc, and finally, the thank you page where you could link to calendly and your new leads to book appointments with you. All done within a micro-site completely independent of your main website.
Content page - Click-through page
Free Resource - LeadGen page
Thank you page - Convert a lead into a prospect by offering a simple solution to book a call.
The above pages, when connected, work as a landing page sales funnel, which you can tag using Facebook Pixel and know exactly where people drop off to fix the leaks.
Learn more in detail: 13 Types of Landing Pages: Which One to Use and When
You can hire conversion-focused web designers and developers. Although many designers build creative layouts, it’s sometimes a challenge to get them right. As landing page specialists, we specialise in creating landing pages. We use tools like Unbounce, HotJar, Mixpanel etc., to develop split tests.
We design all high converting landing pages from scratch. Every landing page is different as each page has a different objective, and when mixed with a business value proposition, you want a landing page that meets your goals and takes your message to your target audience.
Have you tried numerous ways and still don’t know why your landing page is not converting? Don’t worry;...
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