A great land­ing page can lead to more clicks, more qual­i­fied leads, and more pay­ing cus­tomers. But what makes a land­ing page great? Is it the graph­ics, head­lines, copy, call to action—or some mys­ti­cal com­bi­na­tion of all these ele­ments, plus a lib­eral dose of luck?

Read on for some of the secrets to a suc­cess­ful land­ing page. As you imple­ment these, remem­ber to ana­lyze as you opti­mize. Adobe Tar­get includes pow­er­ful test­ing tools to mon­i­tor and mea­sure results.

What a Land­ing Page Is—and Isn’t

Land­ing pages are spe­cial online sales tools with a sin­gle pur­pose. Your land­ing page might be designed to col­lect email addresses for your mail­ing list, give away a free resource to boost your author­ity or mar­ket your paid offer­ings, or even sell a prod­uct or ser­vice (usu­ally at a discount).

A land­ing page is not:

  • A longer ver­sion of a ban­ner ad
  • Another page of your busi­ness website
  • A dig­i­tal work of art
  • The place to list your entire cat­a­log of prod­ucts or ser­vices, in the hopes that vis­i­tors will just buy something

Highly effec­tive land­ing pages are clean, pre­cise, and focused on a sin­gle target—your unique call to action (CTA).

What Belongs on Your Land­ing Page

To cre­ate a high-conversion land­ing page, start by pin­point­ing exactly what you want your vis­i­tors to do. This is your all-important CTA, and it will deter­mine what makes up the rest of your land­ing page. Your CTA may be a deep dis­count on a pop­u­lar or newly launched prod­uct or ser­vice, or sim­ply an incen­tive to sign up for your mail­ing list. What­ever it is, all other ele­ments on the page should con­tribute to that goal.

Once you’ve iden­ti­fied your CTA, make sure to include these must-have elements.

Catchy and rel­e­vant head­lines. As a mar­keter, you know your head­lines have to grab attention—but too often, land­ing pages try to cram every detail into the head­line, only to end up with a con­vo­luted, unat­trac­tive mess. Keep it short and snappy, leav­ing peo­ple want­ing to learn more. Addi­tion­ally, make sure your head­line is rel­e­vant to your mar­ket­ing mes­sage. What­ever was adver­tised to get peo­ple to click through should be reflected in your land­ing page. Your ban­ner, pay-per-click (PPC) ad, or pro­moted social post is a promise that your page must keep.

Com­pelling copy (with bul­lets). Just as with your head­line, it’s impor­tant to keep the copy on your land­ing page short, sweet, and to the point. Briefly explain what you’re offer­ing, and use bul­let points to high­light the ben­e­fits of tak­ing action. Con­sider using dif­fer­ent mes­sag­ing for var­i­ous seg­ments; this tar­geted con­tent will con­nect more effec­tively with audiences.

An amaz­ing deal. If you’re offer­ing a dis­count, make sure it’s enough to make it a real bar­gain. If you’re giv­ing away a free resource, such as a white paper, report, or case study, ensure that it’s truly valu­able. The bet­ter your deal, the higher your con­ver­sion rate. Again, it’s best to test var­i­ous offers to deter­mine which appeals most to your audience.

Promi­nent call to action. Make it impos­si­ble to miss your CTA. Your land­ing page is the place for the Big Red Button—but skip the bland “Get Offer” or “Click Here!” text. Instead, use a few well-chosen words to rein­force exactly what your vis­i­tors will receive when they click. Con­sider test­ing mul­ti­ple CTAs with A/B or mul­ti­vari­ate test­ing (MVT) to deter­mine which gets the most clicks and con­ver­sions. For exam­ple, you could do a sim­ple MVT on your CTA but­ton, to gauge the effec­tive­ness of its place­ment or design.

What Not to Include on Your Land­ing Page

Just as there are some ele­ments that will boost con­ver­sions on your land­ing page, oth­ers will drive vis­i­tors away. Avoid these com­mon land­ing page blunders.

Dis­play­ing social media but­tons. Imag­ine this: A vis­i­tor arrives on your land­ing page and sees the famil­iar blue “Like us on Face­book!” but­ton. They click through and like your Face­book page. Then they see a noti­fi­ca­tion from a friend, decide to respond, and your land­ing page becomes a dis­tant mem­ory as they mean­der through Facebook.

Unless your land­ing page’s CTA is to get more likes on Face­book, it’s a good idea to avoid link­ing to social net­works from your page.

Mak­ing vis­i­tors jump through hoops. Some mar­keters go nuts on the required infor­ma­tion on land­ing pages in order to get the deal. Com­pli­cated forms ask for the visitor’s full name, job title, com­pany, address, and phone num­ber, and might even require a sur­vey, or the cre­ation of an account with a user­name and password.

The trick to an effec­tive land­ing page is to request as lit­tle infor­ma­tion as possible.

Most peo­ple don’t want to give out their per­sonal infor­ma­tion online, even in exchange for some­thing free. If pos­si­ble, require only a name and email address to max­i­mize conversions.

Show­ing your website’s nav­i­ga­tion bar. Even if your land­ing page is hosted on your busi­ness site, it shouldn’t con­tain a nav­i­ga­tion bar. Links from your traf­fic cam­paign should lead directly to your land­ing page, and the only link on that page should be your CTA. The more dis­trac­tions, the more likely you’ll lose visitors.

Cre­at­ing a high-performing land­ing page is about includ­ing the right ele­ments and avoid­ing the wrong ones. When you under­stand your audi­ence, tar­get the con­tent accord­ingly, and test through­out the entire process, your page will become a con­ver­sion machine.

In my next post, I’ll talk more about using A/B test­ing to opti­mize var­i­ous com­po­nents of your land­ing pages.