Know the business objective of the page, and what problem you are trying to solve.
Send your visitor to a relevant, targeted page. They are on your page for a reason, so don’t let link leaks creep in. You do not want them to get distracted and end up somewhere else. Do not stray from the core goals of the campaign.
Get to the point quickly.
Concentrate on giving them information that is relevant to what they searched for. Sure you might have lots of great features, but focus on what you are trying to sell them at that moment. Create multiple targeted landing pages, based on the different user type, rather than trying to use a one cap fits all approach.
Make the body copy short, sharp and to the point.
Use a clear, concise headline as you need to grab the audiences attention quickly.
Break the content up into sections, and use headers above these sections to give the visitor a clue about what you are about to start discussing.
Use headers throughout the page, to give a quick introduction to the following paragraph, allowing them to quickly learn what information is to follow. Visitors scan.
This will enable you to measure what is the most successful. As a designer I like to test because, sometimes, just sometimes, the client doesn’t agree with some of the design decisions I’ve made. Subjective opinion can sometimes get in the way of the delivery of projects. But it’s easier to make a choice when looking at the facts. And for me, having learnt from past projects, it helps to validate my choices.
A/B testing the page will allow you to know which choice is the most successful. Unfortunately though, your answer may not always be right. However, with more experience, you’ll be right more of the time.
Re-iterate based on your tests.
There is little point having a stack of data that know-one has the time to analyse, or you don’t have the time to make changes based on the results.
If you don’t analyse and edit, then you will be starting from the beginning with each campaign you launch.
Put the important stuff at the top.
Visitors still scroll, course they do. But they need a reason to scroll. if there is nothing of interest to them at the top, they won’t bother to waste their energy scrolling down. Your primary message and call to action should be where most visitors will see it. At the top, and repeated throughout the content if the page is long. Some visitors will be convinced quickly, some you’ll need to work a little harder for. But no matter who, when they decide that they like what you are selling, then you should make it easy for them to buy.
Post information about your page/offering on your twitter or facebook. Include share links to twitter and facebook (for example) on your page. Should your visitor wish to share your page, you gain a whole new audience in their followers, or friends. Afterall, most people will only share content to their friends if they think its relevant.
If you have testimonials, or references from real people, then include them. Recommendations are a trust element, and helps to build credibility. If your visitor has never heard of you before, then they might be sceptical. They will be even more sceptical if you have stock photography for testimonials. Visitors are wise, and chances are they will have seen the same image on 50 other sites already.
Offer something for free.
Another trust element. Be confident in what you are selling. eBay listings with a return policy often score higher than those without. It builds confidence with the audience that if something were to go wrong, then you would help.
I myself have purchased from one particular online store, rather than another simply because they have a returns policy.
The visitor should get what they expect. The whole experience should be seamless from the advert, to the landing page. Once they arrive on your page, they should immediately know they are in the right place. Use the same images, and messages throughout the campaign in order to reinforce the message.
Pre-empt the questions that you think your audience is likely to ask.
Tell them the answers without them having to go search for it. For example, if you are offering them a special sign up rate, then inform them what they will be charged once the promotion has finished.
Show the page to someone else.
If you’ve been working on something flat out for a period of time, you can get lost in the detail. Show it to someone else, and look over their should to see if the message is still clear, and that the user is understanding the message, and interacting with the page as you intend them to.
Also – take some time away from the project and do something else, then come back to it with fresh eyes. You’ll be surprised at the number of small refinements you may see.
Check the page in all major browsers, and common screen resolutions.
Just because you are looking at the page on your 27″ thunderbolt display doesn’t mean that all your site visitors will be too. Make sure that everything functions as expected, and is in the right place on all common browsers, screen sizes and resolutions. Make sure there is graceful degradation with all the fancy HTML5 + CSS3 tricks you’ve built in.
Perform more A/B or Multivariate testing.
Make a test plan and test different graphics, different headlines, different CTA’s. Record what works best, and this will again help to inform the base point for future campaigns and designs. If you’ve got limited time, then prioritize your testing opportunities.
Tags: landing page, UX, web design