20 Best Tips for Building Landing Pages That Actually Work

20 best tips for building landing pages that work cursive content marketing
I admit it: I judge books by their covers. And not just books. Websites. Landing pages. Emails.

Judge, judge, judge.

It’s human nature to judge based on first impressions. Our first impression gives us a gut feeling about a piece of content’s authority, trustworthiness and value. That’s why landing pages – which are often the first impression a new customer has of your branded content – need to give the right impression. Because the impression you give can either increase or decrease the likelihood that your viewer will follow through on your call to action.

So how do you build the ultimate landing page? Here are the top 20 tips from the landing-page gurus we love.

Let’s start with the basics:

1. “First you need to ask yourself, “What’s the purpose of my landing page?” Confusion is one of the great conversion killers. The more you ask your prospects to consider, the more likely they are to end up doing nothing at all.” Michael Lykke Aagaard for Kissmetrics

2. After defining the purpose of your page, you need to consider your audience, and tailor your page accordingly. “Who is in your target audience? Are they the type who would prefer an animated explanation or would they rather see the CEO on camera speaking about it? Do they need to see a personality or just know the facts?” Eric Hinson for Kissmetrics

3. Remember: “If you fail to do that – if your headlines are borrowed or your images generic – then you’ll wind up with a landing page that addresses everyone but appeals to no one.” Derek Moryson for Unbounce

4. “Think about not only what kind of target audience it is, but also what kind of reader are they as well. You can optimize your landing page to appeal to each type of reader. By looking at the behavioral psychology of different viewers and how they consume information on the web, you can create an effective landing page that will result in the most conversions.” Shane Jones for Kissmetrics

Next, focus on the content, and your information hierarchy.

5. “The size of the headline is critical. It should be larger than any other font. But don’t assume that size and position are the only factors. The copy itself is equally, if not more, important.” Neil Patel for Kissmetrics

6. Quality over quantity is critical. “Appeal to skimmers. Most people won’t read your web content word-for-word, so you want to ensure your landing page is structured for skimmers. Make use of headers, sub-headers, bold text, bullets, and white space. You should also consider red graphics, such as arrows or buttons, to draw a reader’s eye toward your call to action.” Rachel Foster for Content Marketing Institute

7. Keep your page lean and sleek, and think about what you’re including.This isn’t your home page, so remove your main navigation. Simpler pages almost always work better for lead generation. In eye-tracking studies, the navigation draws attention away from your offer and conversion action. Worse, each link is an invitation for the visitor (which you paid for) to click away instead of converting.” Lee Odden via Top Rank Blog

8. “Provide a credible reason to work with you. Why should someone choose you over a competitor who sells a similar product or service? Establish social proof with testimonials, case studies, and a list of impressive clients.” Deep Footprints via MarketingProfs

Consider your call-to-action. Carefully.

9. “From the prospect’s perspective, clicking on your link is easy and doesn’t cost (them) anything. In contrast, converting and becoming a lead requires them to invest their time and energy to understand your offer and fill out your form — not to mention risk unwanted marketing since you require they share their contact information.” Lee Odden via Top Rank Blog

10.“If your landing page includes a form, make sure it’s only asking for the most vital information. If you’re trying to get visitors to sign up for an email newsletter, make sure you’re just asking them for their email address. Anything more than that decreases the chances that they’ll finish and submit the form.” Cameron Chapman via Kissmetrics

The last of the basics? Send your viewers to the correct landing page!

11. “Not all traffic should be directed to the same landing page. Each page should be topic-focused and highly relevant to the ad someone clicked to get there.” Cara Harshman for Kapost Content Marketeer

Along with good and consistent copy, tailored images are your landing page BFFs.

12. “Present your data in a form that makes it beautiful and engaging. And add layers of meaning by choosing photos or textures that communicate your message.” Pamela Wilson for Boost Blog Traffic

13. Generic images can be ineffective and may reduce the legitimacy of your page and brand. “When you’re in a pinch, buying stock images for your landing pages may seem like a good idea, but it’s unlikely that they’ll resonate with your target audience in a meaningful way.” Derek Moryson for Unbounce

14. For example: “Airbnb pays professional photographers to photograph the vacation properties listed on their site – without charge to the property owners – because they understand the importance of beautiful photographs in creating desire.” Aaron Beashel for Unbounce

15. However, keep in mind that not everyone has the newest computer or the best monitor. “That means the overall visual picture you see on your big HD monitor might be very different from what your customer is seeing. Keep the most essential parts of your message – logo, headline, call to action, a supporting visual – in the center top of the screen, with supporting messaging lower down on the page.” Beth Morgan for Kissmetrics

After all of your hard work creating a beautiful, functional and effective landing page, make sure it works. Test, test, test!

16. “Landing page testing is the best accelerator of your business that you have available. It should not have a fixed budget. The economically rational thing to do with any marketing activity is to keep spending money on it as long as it produces a positive ROI. Setting fixed budgets is the same kind of silly logic that some companies use when driving traffic. If you have a fixed pay-per-click budget and you could buy more profitable traffic above that threshold, you are just throwing profits away.” Lee Odden for Top Rank Blog

17. When testing your page, make sure your CTA is loud and clear. “Your landing page doesn’t need to sell your product, service, or company. It just needs to sell your offer. Focus your page around a single call to action, such as a free whitepaper or demo.” Lee Odden for Top Rank Blog

18. “Also, be sure to test your landing pages to determine which copy and graphics give you the best results.” Rachel Foster for Content Marketing Institute

19. And remember to test your word choices. “Create multiple calls to actions using different words. For example, “Try” versus “Join.” You’ll be surprised how much difference one little word can make!” Neil Patel for Kissmetrics

Once you convert visitors, use them to make your future landing pages work even harder.

20. “When online travel agency Sunshine.co.uk wanted to increase conversions, they used SurveyMonkey to find out what customers liked about their company and how they’d describe it to a friend.After analyzing the data they collected in their survey, they zeroed in on four benefits that customers found most attractive. They used these four key benefits to distill their messaging to resonate with future prospects.” Aleksander Czyz for Unbounce

Need help crafting landing page content that converts? Learn more about our content development services, or check out our Email Marketing & Landing Pages Pinterest board.
[question]About The Author: Cursive’s fall intern Colleen Sweeney is a senior at Fairfield University, majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Integrated Marketing Communications and a minor in Communications. She has a passion for marketing and advertising, specifically understanding consumer behavior.[/question]


Tell us what you think, or ask us any questions. We’re here to help!

  • “When online travel agency Sunshine.co.uk wanted to increase conversions, they used SurveyMonkey to find out what customers liked about their company and how they’d describe it to a friend.”
    I love that! It’s good to A/B test elements on the page but you can learn so much from customers feedback. Once you find what makes customers chose you over competitors, you’re on the path to success.
    Thanks for the awesome collection of quotes 😀

    Aurelie Chazal - January 28, 2015 at 7:55 am
  • Glad you found it useful, Aurelie! Thanks for sharing!

    Emily Cretella - January 28, 2015 at 12:19 pm

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