Landing pages are one of the used tools by businesses to persuade prospective users and convert them into highly qualified leads or even customers.
As they are one of the primary sources of conversions, they are often termed as money pages also. If the landing page is poorly designed, obviously in terms of UX, then it is good for nothing.
But if you are hearing the term ‘landing page’ for the first time, let us make it simpler for you. A landing page is a page on your site that is designed to inform and convince a user to take the desired action. The action could be to direct the visitor to fill up a contact form or provide just an email address or mobile number in exchange for a valuable piece of content. This content can be in the form of an eBook, a cheat sheet, a whitepaper, a template / a set of templates or even a free trial.
The landing pages are designed in such a way that it avoids other distracting elements and has only one call to action. Due to this, they are often referred to as squeeze pages also. But what makes landing pages so effective?
Why are landing pages so effective?
Humans can focus only on one thing at a time. Landing pages help in achieving this. A business’s main website may have several distracting elements such as images and videos popping up, has links to other content, and has multiple calls to action buttons. But, landing pages keep these to a minimum.
Landing pages have highly focused pieces of content that communicate the value of the product or the service in a very clear, concise manner to a highly targeted audience. The visitors after doing thorough research, click a relevant call to action button on the website which leads them to the landing page. Therefore, they are primarily used to drive traffic from the marketing campaigns.
This audience is primed and is highly likely to purchase your product or service. Hence, landing pages are used at the consideration stage of the funnel where the prospective clients give up their contact details and are now considered as leads. After that, it depends on the talent and effectiveness of the sales team to convert these leads into customers.
But there is more to this. Though landing pages have highly focused content, a poor user experience will render them useless. So let’s see how good UI/UX design positively affects the conversion rate and boosts sales.
UI/UX Design Principles for Design of Landing Pages
The goal of any UI/UX designer is to offer a simple yet beautiful solution to the problem faced by the target audience of a business. Hence, all the design elements should be user-centric, and keep the user journey in mind.
Landing pages are a challenging project to deal with as UI/UX designers have to kill two birds with one stone – (i) Help in achieving goals of users i.e. to get the solution for their problem and (ii) Help in achieving goals of business i.e. to lead the user towards making a purchase.
Following are the core UI/UX design principles of great landing page design:
1. Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy determines which page elements engage the visitor first and which elements they interact with (and in what order) while on the page.
With differences in design, you can strategically draw your visitors’ eyes to marketing messages that are central to driving conversions — your value proposition, your product’s benefits, and the call-to-action, for example. These attention-grabbing strategies form the “visual hierarchy.”
Visual hierarchy can be achieved using the following techniques:
Scale: Different sized elements will guide the user’s attention — larger elements draw more attention compared to smaller elements.
Colour: People are drawn toward bold, contrasting colours.
Contrast: Colour shifts can be used to grab attention. Contrasting the colour of one element against another draws focus.
Alignment: Columns and grids can create alignment between elements and make the visitor take notice.
Proximity: This helps separate and group certain landing page elements together (or apart) to help distinguish between them.
Page scanning patterns: Eye-tracking studies show where visitors focus their gaze once they arrive on a web page and where they proceed throughout the page. F and Z patterns are the two of the most popular patterns.
F – Pattern
The F-pattern dictates that visitors first read the page in a horizontal direction, mostly along the upper part of the content area, then move down the page and read across a second horizontal line. Finally, visitors scan the left side of the content in a vertical movement.
In the example below, webflow has effectively managed to incorporate the principle of visual hierarchy, where it uses larger fonts to highlight its USP, then a brief description is provided why it is different from other service providers and has a clear call to action.
A user would read in it this manner:
1. The headline has the largest font on the page so that is likely seen first.
2. Then the subhead below the headline.
3. Finally, the user scans left to right viewing both the CTA button and the main image.
It is a proven use of an “F” shaped pattern and Webflow has aced it.
Z – Pattern
The Z-pattern layout is typically used on pages that are not content-heavy. Its design mimics the route the human eye travels when it reads — left to right, zigzagging top to bottom:
Mailchimp has organized the content of its homepage and the users would normally read in a Z pattern.
Users first scan from the top-left to the top-right, forming an imaginary horizontal line. Next, they scan down and to the left, creating an imaginary diagonal line Lastly, they look back across to the right again, which forms a second horizontal line.
2. Clear and Single Call to Action
The overall goal of CTAs and landing pages is to generate qualified leads for your business that eventually turns into revenue.
One of the key characteristics that separate landing pages from other pages of the websites are that it has a single and primary call to action (CTA). This grabs the users’ attention completely and does not provide an incentive to the user to get distracted with other CTAs or elements.
These are certain best practices that you should follow while placing the CTA buttons on your landing pages:
- Action should be clear
- It should be paired with the value of the offer
- Keep the CTA button above the page fold
Swiftybeaver, a native Mac application whose target audience is developers, uses a concise copy to communicate clearly what it is meant for and asks users to enter their email in exchange for free access to their platform.
3. Colour Palettes
The colours you use affects visitors’ behaviour, their mood and emotions i.e. the entire user experience. It is therefore important to select the right colour scheme for your landing page. Now, how do you go about it?
There are three parts to a colour scheme: background, base, and accent. When it comes to distributing colours amongst them, you should follow the 60-30-10 rule.
Your background takes up the most visual space on your landing page, so of the three colours you choose, this will be the dominant one. Dedicate 60% of colour to your background, and stay away from bright, bold, pure hues. These are best used on your CTA buttons.
Instead, opt for duller tones, more subtle tints, or darker shades to create contrast between your page elements. White is still used widely as a background colour for most landing page designs.
Your base, the second-most prevalent colour on your landing page, should take up 30% of visual space. You can go with the triadic technique or try picking split complementary colours. This colour is going to be used in your header, on your form, and a minimalist footer if you have one.
The accent colour is the most important – it’s the colour of your CTA button. This is where you want a bright, bold, hue. Scientifically, we’re wired to remember things that stand out, so pick something complementary, on the opposite side of the wheel from your other two colours in your scheme.
In this example, Hootsuite uses consistent colours to emphasize the free trial option. Had it used varying colours for professional, team and business pricing, the page design would look too awkward and confuse users. The bright green colour of the CTA button instantly captures attention. It communicates one and only one message and leads to the completion of one goal i.e. prompting the user to start a free trial.
For best results, you should conduct A/B testing to see which colour most appeals to the target audience. In our article on A/B testing, we have highlighted the importance of carrying out A/B testing and popular tools available for the same.
4. Use of bullet points
Last but not the least, using bullets and lists is a great way to highlight the key points you want your readers to see. Also, it can serve as a great way to catch and focus a user’s attention. Information presented in the form of bullets and lists is more easily perceived.
Bullets have the following advantages over a standard paragraph or lines of text:
1. As they make the reading process easier, they help in increasing the readership. There really is no other way to convey so much information in a small area without overwhelming the eye with paragraph text.
2. They are “eye candy” for your users. They provide a way for you to aesthetically emphasize specific text simply by putting it in bullet points. The skimmer’s eye will have a reason to dig in and read every word of your benefits or offerings.
Bluehost highlights all of the advantages that the user will get if they start a $2.95 per month plan. This enables users to take the decision very quickly and compare it with other competitors’ offerings. If these advantages have not been listed, the user won’t know about them and would eventually turn to another competitor who has listed them well.
5. Trust Signals: Testimonials, Clientele, Achievements and Quality Standards
The basis of establishing trust with your target audience is to include customer testimonials, showcase your achievements and highlight the quality standards that you maintain.
Let’s have a look at each of them.
a. Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials are solid proof of how other customers have benefitted from using your product or service. They help in building trust and credibility with your audience for your products or services. They essentially encourage visitors to take the next step in your sales funnel, which results in a higher conversion rate.
These testimonials can come in various forms. Some of the most widely used formats are:
- Simple, text-based testimonials
- Video testimonials
- Case Studies
- Twitter Cards
If your client portfolio includes reputed and well-known companies, it adds to the trust factor that your product or service would be highly worthy. They are highly authoritative sources and can persuade a prospective customer to buy your offerings.
c. Achievement and Statistics
Has your product been sold over 10,000 times or is it featured on the top of the fitness app category? If yes, then why not brag about it? Showing your achievement on your landing page is also an effective way of social influence.
You can highlight your as well as your customer’s achievements on your landing page and it really works like a charm.
d. Quality Standards
If your product or service has been accredited by leading quality standard organisations like ISO, BSI, TUV-SUD, etc., then mentioning it on your landing page immediately builds trust in the mind of your prospective customer and gives extra incentive to buy into your product or service.
Designing a landing page seems to be one of the greatest challenges for marketers as well as UI / UX designers. It is a carefully crafted masterpiece that is tried and tested several times after thorough user research, A/B testing and follows the principles of great UI / UX design.
Without these principles, it is not possible to design a highly converting landing page. And if the landing page is not converting well enough it is a wasted opportunity.
Always craft a landing page keeping users’ needs in mind, what are the key points they are looking for, and whether these key points will help them in solving their needs. If yes, then bingo! You have successfully managed to create a landing page that converts. But a great UI / UX design will make the user experience much more memorable, easier and faster.
Hence, landing pages should be meticulously crafted, often with the help of an experienced UX consultant, like Octet Design Studio.
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