There's quite a bit of misunderstanding about what a landing page is because they take on so many different forms - let's see if we can't clear that up.
Some landing pages are "short and sweet" while others "detailed and data rich." Is there one best way one to create the perfect landing page? Of course not; only you (hopefully) know your audience and only you will know what works best to motivate them to continue their digital journey and move further through the conversion funnel.
That being said, there are a few essentials that belong on each and every landing page and the following checklist not only identifies what they are, but also shows how they can be used.
If you have spent any time at all developing landing pages (or even if you haven't) then most of the best practices should be well known. Essentially, you don't want to overwhelm users and you want to maintain a single aim or focus for the user to follow. Too many options won't drive an increase in conversion, but rather abandonment of the page itself - and that just won't do at all.
What's important to remember is that if the aim of landing pages is to get visitors into the funnel, then you need users to provide information with which you can use to market to them in the future.
Formulate an the Offer
There are an endless number of things (discounts, coupons, upgrades, free stuff, etc.) that can be used as the landing page theme, but the art of landing page development is not in what is being offered, but rather how. Poorly conceived offers, or those that simply aren't in demand, will produce very meager results even when every other element on a landing page is perfect.
State the Case with Headlines
Headlines are what draw people in, they are the first element of the landing page that users experience and as a result, needs to be incredibly engaging. The best way to achieve that is to be very specific, in some cases very dramatic or surprising, and always (always) benefits driven. What is a visitor going to receive?
While headlines describe what is being offered, subheadlines can go into greater detail about the specifics while still making the case to the visitor about why continuing is a good idea. It's the first, but certainly not last, way to showcase the specifics of the offer and why moving forward benefits them.
Go with Images & Graphics
Landing pages help end-users visualize the benefit of completing the offer - making whatever is being offered relevant to them, providing the necessary social proof and capturing their attention (they can even draw users' eyes closer to the calls to action, which is really the ultimate aim). Images and graphics make experiences tangible - something essential on the visual Web.
If you're not going to concentrate on the call-to-action buttons on the landing page, you might as well not develop a landing page at all as they are the single most important elements of the digital experience. So much so, in fact, that a great deal of research has been conducted on the optimal colors, placements, size, wording and more about what motivates users to actually take the immense step of hovering their mouse over it, and ultimately clicking that buy now, learn more or download button.
Often when we talk about building websites, what we're really talking about is developing an entire, whole digital presence. Sometimes however, that's just overkill. You don't really need a content management system (CMS) for every single project, aren't going to deploy a customer relationship management (CRM) for a small audience and you sure as heck aren't going to need anything more than a landing page in most instances.
Fortunately, there are quite a few good solutions out there that can take your dormant domains and put them to good digital use. Two of the most popular are Instapage and LeadPages. Let's take a look at what separates this solutions and which might be a better fit for your landing page project:
Instapage: A very popular offering that enables users to build and deploy rather complex landing pages, through a drag-and-drop interface, without any coding experience. The solution features some 20-plus integrations (e.g., CRM, email, social and optimization), and can be deployed on WordPress, GoDaddy and others with ease. The solution even provides the tools to conduct A/B tests, track visitor behavior, compare conversion rates and pick the best performing landing page. Pricing ranges from $29 to $79 per month.
LeadPages: Another strong option for those looking for an easier way to create landing pages. The solution enables users to build attractive pages (or use one of the many templates) that working on desktop and mobile. The solution also stands out with its LeadBoxes (popup boxes) feature and LeadDigits offering, which allows enterprises to capture email addresses and phone numbers through SMS text messaging. Pricing ranges from $25 to $199 per month.
There are numerous alternatives of course including those from Kickoff Labs, SumoMe and Unbounce. Keep the aforementioned advice on landing page development in mind, however, and you're sure to generate the response you're looking for from the assets you end up developing.