Landing pages are one of the most potent promotional instruments available to small companies looking for customers online. In many cases, they are created for a specific advertising campaign and can exist independently from your main website. You can even set up multiple sample pages to test various digital marketing ideas or promote your product to different customer categories.

From the SEO standpoint, landing pages are easier to find organically, since they can utilize more focused keywords. This dramatically improves the effectiveness of Google Adwords or similar tools in driving quality traffic to your resource. Landing pages also allow marketers to focus on a single product or promotional objective, making your targeting more specific.

With that being said, this also means that the right landing page is a combination of art, craft, and science. The uber-narrow focus means that it is easier to fail your campaign if the offering is not right, the design is not appealing enough, or your paid ads target the wrong consumers.

While getting it right may require some thoughtful experimentation and inspiration, some basic recommendations apply to all kinds of landing pages. Below you will find an ultimate checklist of the rules allowing you to succeed in this endeavor.

1. Is Your Call to Action Clear?

Most landing pages primarily rely on the ‘call to action‘ (CTA) instrument. The options of its use go beyond the apparent clickthrough tactics, instantly directing your visitors’ attention to the ‘Buy It Now’ button. Sometimes, you simply want to share the idea of a future product to see its potential attractiveness. In this case, a lead generation page can be more suitable. You seek to collect the email addresses of visitors, appraise the overall response to your call, and inform the interested users about the launch of your product or service later.

Some of the quality ‘hooks’ suggested by industry leaders include simple motivational phrases, such as ‘Try … for free’, ‘Learn more about …’, ‘Give … a try’ or ‘Start using … today’.

It is easy to notice that these calls to action emphasize a certain desired outcome reflecting consumer engagement. Some of the successful phrases also highlight the advantages of taking action immediately, such as the capability to enjoy the offered benefits immediately or experience some premium functions for free.

However, if you pursue the ‘pull’ marketing approach, it may be more reasonable to avoid direct messages, such as ‘Buy product X’ or ‘Check our new offering.’ Try to replace them with ‘View,’ ‘Find out more,’ and more neutral hooks, or mix these two options.

The optimal strategy may depend upon the customer awareness of your product and the potential readiness of prospective buyers to purchase it without establishing a quality relationship with your brand first.

2. Is There a Conversion Funnel in Place?

The visitors driven to your landing page by search engine outputs and online ads form the top of the so-called ‘sales funnel.’ All incoming traffic is transformed into leads at the middle level of this model. Afterward, highly interested consumers get ‘converted’ into buyers or subscribers down below. Your key goal here is to get your’ conversion rate’ as close to 100%. There are several tactics for achieving this result:

  1. Expand your exposure to drive more potential customers to your landing page. This can be achieved by selecting a broader targeting focus or investing in a higher number of ad impressions. While more visitors do not necessarily mean more purchases, better exposure builds ‘brand awareness’ and makes your resource ‘the word on the street’ in the selected market niche.
  2. The middle of the funnel can be expanded through the aforementioned calls to action, increasing consumer engagement. Generally speaking, the more details the visitors are ready to share with you, the higher their ‘investment’ in your relationship. Giving them some free materials, trials, and other ‘lead magnets’ is an excellent strategy to strengthen this link before making your offer.
  3. The bottom of the funnel is the place where conversion takes place. Depending on your hard or soft approach to marketing, you can directly offer to buy your product or suggest a trial period to gain credibility before closing the deal. The key takeaway here is to integrate your preferred funnel model into your landing page natively. Otherwise, you will be continuously losing your leads (and advertising money) without understanding why.

3. Are There Any ‘Leaks’?

A landing page is not an e-store. While the urge to place multiple offerings under a single URL may be strong, doing this will inevitably introduce the problem of distractions or ‘attention leaks.’

If you demonstrate various products or subscription plans on your landing page, chances are your consumers are going to leave your page and start Googling their differences.

While not all purchases should be spontaneous, a landing page must not provide too many options. The reason why this marketing instrument is so powerful is its capability to address consumer anxieties effectively.

Many prospective buyers view all purchases as high-involvement ones. Product comparison tools are omnipresent and usually increase your anxiety rather than make it clearer, which offers you should buy.

The primary purpose of your landing page is to alleviate these fears by showing a well-designed product or service and calming your prospective customers’ concerns.

As you gradually build trust, offer free materials, and finally grant a trial period to experience the offering without paying upfront, conversions come naturally. Your main goal here is not to distract your consumers.

4. Does It Look Good?

This question is not as straightforward as it seems. Before you pay for the next batch of Google Ads impressions, run a simple test. Open your landing page from your smartphone, your old laptop, your grandmother’s computer (preferably, a prolonged one), a cheap tablet, and a PC with a 21:9 monitor.

While this approach to user interface optimization may not seem reasonable at first glance, this chaos engineering strategy is widely applied by Amazon, Netflix, and other marketing Great Ones. When you try to break a system using it unconventionally, you can truly see its hidden problems and key limitations.

More than once, this test resulted in landing page elements being shown outside of the visible screen area. This effect can be especially annoying in the case of motivating pop-up messages that cannot be closed as a result and stop you from actually using the resource.

Another important goal is to make your landing page mobile-friendly and decrease its loading times to the 1.7-2.9 seconds recommended by Google. An excellent way to do this is to optimize the size of images and other visual elements and to minify your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript data.

5. Is Your Landing Page Trustworthy?

A landing page is your business card. You do not need to go full Patrick Bateman in this aspect, but you cannot rely on the perceived trustworthiness of your offering either. With thousands of cheesy landing pages on the Web promoting all sorts of scams or fake products, the bounce rates for landing pages are stellar. Let us consider some options on how to bring them down.

  1. Provide as many methods of contact as possible. Share your company name and show your physical address, phone number, email, or official website. For additional bonus points, say that company representatives are ready to answer any questions via these communication channels on a 24/7 basis or during your specified working hours.
  2. Avoid chatbots, pop-ups, and artificial scarcity timers. These tools have been overused by thousands of marketers and do not provide the desired effect (beyond mere annoyance). A blinking contact form in the screen corner that cannot be closed or a suddenly appearing ‘live chat’ window is the embodiment of the aforementioned ‘attention leaks,’ distracting your visitor from your offering and making your landing page look cheesy.
  3. Offer guarantees. Not all companies are ready to provide a 90-day moneyback to dissatisfied customers. However, you can still make a guarantee statement by sharing the statistics of satisfied users, repeat subscriptions, or security measures protecting your visitor data. Feel free to provide any metrics demonstrating that you are interested in a quality relationship with your prospective customers.

Most of the tactics described above do not require expert copywriting, design or SEO skills, and can be applied by most website owners. However, there also exists a ‘secret trick’ mentioned earlier that can maximize the effectiveness of these instruments manifold.

This strategy can potentially save you hundreds of dollars and let you get a first-hand practical understanding of how to create a successful landing page.

Instead of experimenting on a single product page, set up 5 to 6 test landing pages for your product or service. Use several keyword combinations and launch a small advertising campaign for each resource to see how many visitors these keywords attract.

Next, try multiple calls to action, ranging from reasonably aggressive to softer ones. Finally, experiment with your landing page design and layout.

If you complete these steps before launching your primary advertising campaign, you will get a good understanding of SEO tactics that work for your specific niche and the key mistakes made by your competitors.

You can also use the most successful version of your landing page later when you launch your real product.