Landing pages – one goal, one message, one action

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 now. For example, create multiple targeted landing pages based on the different user types rather than a one-cap-fits-all approach.

Make the body copy short, sharp and to the point.

Use a clear, concise headline to grab the audience’s attention quickly. Break the content 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 introduce the following paragraph quickly, allowing them to learn what information is to follow quickly. 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 helps validate my choices.

A/B testing the page will let you know the most successful choice. Test with users too. Unfortunately, though, your initial design may not always be correct, so be prepared to iterate.

Re-iterate based on your tests.

There is little point in having a stack of data that no 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, you will start from the beginning with each campaign you launch.

Put the important stuff at the top.

Visitors still scroll; of 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. So your primary message and call to action should be where most visitors will see it. At the top and repeated throughout, the page’s content is long. Some visitors will be convinced quickly, and some you’ll need to work harder. But no matter who, when they decide they like what you are selling, you should make it easy for them to buy.

Get social.

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. After all, most people will only share content with their friends if they think it’s relevant.

Be real.

If you have testimonials or references from real people, then include them. Recommendations are a trust element and help to build credibility. If your visitor has never heard of you, they might be sceptical. They will be even more suspicious if you have stock photography for testimonials. However, visitors are wise; 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, you would help.
I have purchased from one online store rather than another because they have a returns policy.

Be consistent.

The visitor should get what they expect. The experience should be seamless, from the advert to the landing page. Once they arrive on your page, they should know they are in the right place. Use the same images and messages throughout the campaign 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 search for it. For example, if you offer them a special sign-up rate, 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 while, 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 understands the message and interacts with the page as you intend them to.

Also, take some time away from the project, do something else, and then come back to it with fresh eyes. You’ll be surprised at the number of minor refinements you may see.

Check the page in all major browsers and standard 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. Ensure 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, headlines, and CTA’s. Record what works best, which will help inform the base point for future campaigns and designs. If you’ve got limited time, then prioritise your testing opportunities.