The first time you look at designing a landing page, the task may seem daunting. If you aren't familiar with the finer points of design, form creation, content creation, or search engine optimization, it feels like looking up a tall mountain you need to climb.
Don't worry though – we're going to take you from the mountain base to the summit (no climbing gear required!). Let's get our footing first by starting where every good landing page does: content.
Crafting strong landing page content
When designing a landing page, many people assume the physical look is the first piece you need to establish but that simply isn't the case. Creating content around the focus of your landing page will provide more insight into what you want users to do, which will aid in the design process.
Say you're looking to gain RSVPs for an upcoming event, you should begin by writing down all of the information the user would need to know. This would include the event's title, location, entrance fee, event date, and time. Now that you've gotten the basic items out of the way, start building around that information: why should someone come to the event? What will they get out of it? What have others said about the event in previous years? If this is the first time the event is being held, why is it being held?
To each of these questions, answer with a concise and clear sentence. Try to use as few words as possible while still getting the point across. If you write and end up using a wall of text, not only will it deter readers but will affect your RSVP conversion. This topic goes hand-in-hand with part of your landing page mountaineer: landing page SEO.
Designing a landing page with SEO in mind
The moment you're going to put pen-to-paper (or hands-to-keyboard), you should find out what keywords you will be using to attract website traffic. Essentially, keywords are words or phrases that people often search to find information on a topic. Simply put, they help users find your landing page if it is indexed by search engines and helps improve digital ad scoring if you're seeking to do online advertisements.
If you were holding a free puppy social in your city, for example, you may look up and use keywords such as "puppy social," "local puppy social," and "free puppy social."
While writing, or after having written your content, find these keywords and insert them into your content wherever it seems natural. Bonus points if it is at the beginning of paragraphs, in your landing page title, and meta description.
Once you've gotten that done, it's time to for the next part of the climb: creating a form.
Designing a landing page form
Whether you're booking demos, taking orders, or getting those RSVPs, forms are essential for gathering the data on customers and leads. How that form is built, however, can severely affect whether you get 100+ submissions or fewer than ten.
The first action you should take is writing down the mandatory information you are seeking to gather from contacts. Their name and email are obvious choices, but what else do you require from them? When you've got it all written, cut it down to as few questions as possible. Unless the information is something you desperately need, wait to ask the question later.
Have very clear fields for your questions, and if asking for opinions, use either open-ended language or a rating matrix to get the best answers possible. If you're unsure of how to create open-ended questions, simply develop types of questions a user cannot answer ‘yes' or ‘no' to. For example, instead of asking "Did you enjoy your meal?" ask "What did you enjoy about your meal?"
Rating matrices can help simplify answers and create more quantifiable data. Take our previous question of whether someone enjoyed their meal – instead of having a written answer, rate the meal from 1 – 5. From the submissions, you can quickly track how many ratings you received and know whether someone did or did not enjoy their dining experience.
You've surmounted another part of the mountain with this section, but there is still one more element to touch on: designing a landing page that is visually pleasing.
Visually designing a landing page
You've almost finished designing a landing page (and reached the summit of the mountain!). This last part is extremely important as it is literally about what your contacts will see and if it doesn't look polished, they will quickly click away.
Good news: you don't need to be a seasoned designer to make a visually striking landing page, you just need to know your brand!
Start by putting your organization's logo in a visible location on the page, along with a link back to your website. Make sure your font and any colors you use are consistent with your brand identity. Place a header image at the top of the page with resources you're using to promote the purpose of the landing page such as flyers, an event invite, or a sale banner.
When designing a landing page visually, decide where you want to put your main content and form, should you have one. People naturally read and look at a website in an "F" shape, so having your text on the left side of the page and your form on the right is a traditionally good method. Try color blocking the content section by adding a background color and changing the text to a color that matches your brand and makes it stand out. For example, if your main logo color is bright orange, the box could be bright orange and the text could be white. In contrast to this, have the color of your form white with orange text to make it stand out.
When you're getting close to done, ensure the landing page is mobile-friendly either by testing it yourself or keeping the page width below 500px.
Once you're pleased with the look and feel, you can sit back and give yourself a hand. You've hit the mountain summit and designing a landing page will start to feel like second nature.
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