5 common characteristics of high-converting landing pages

With a crummy 78% of companies unsatisfied with their conversion rates, we asked B2B marketers in-the-know to share their top tips on how to create landing pages that convert

No matter how bright and colourful your ads or clinical your mailing list, poor landing pages result in poor conversions. With the purpose of landing pages varying from acquiring newsletter sign-ups to e-commerce purchase, naturally there’s no universal approach. However, high-converting landing pages do share common characteristics. Here are five of them:  

1. Simplicity

It might seem unoriginal to say, but simplicity is the most important factor of a good landing page. As landing page optimisation is a relatively new idea, it’s no wonder that marketers who've had ‘the more contact information provided, the better’ drilled into them are tempted to do just that – and that’s the problem. 

Instead of going full-frontal with detailed descriptions and instructions, email address, numbers, and a list of actions, choose just a few components that work well together. (For a mobile landing page, be even more sparing.) Simply express what you want them to do, and what they're going to get.

2. A cunning call to action

In most cases, the call to action should be the most visible thing on the page; in all cases, it should be above the fold. Instead of causing a distraction, both the design and copy should help to draw attention towards this centrepiece – and it's becoming widely accepted that one option is usually best. After all, increasing the number of options for action won’t increase conversions; more likely the opposite is true. Whatever you do opt for, limit data capture fields as much as possible. 

One-click social sign-in through Facebook, Twitter and Google accounts is becoming a simple and accessible option for marketers, and all the more enticing for visitors.

3. The right copy 

Given the spatial limitations of a typical landing page, few words need to go a long way. It should be concise and sinewy, and make use of behavioural prompts and psychological triggers. 

First, it should be jargon free – ration the amount of technical language used or avoid it all together. Second, use copy to reduce any perceived risk – list the benefits, be open about the process, and address any doubts; how long will it take you to respond? What follow-up will they receive? Third, be human: avoid asking the visitor to ‘submit’ to anything. Use your company’s tone of voice to speak directly to your prospect or customer. 

4. Social proofs

An increasingly common way to boost landing page conversions is to have previous customers do it for you through testimonials. Even the most vigilant of marketers have the tendency to drift off into product-focused embellishment – it’s only natural, especially if characters are limited – so instead try encouraging your most satisfied customers to share their experiences. 

If the rave testimonial is coupled with an instantly recognisable logo, you’re more likely to win trust. In short, a social proof helps to convince visitors that you’re genuine. 

5. Testability

The beauty of landing pages is that small tweaks can have a huge impact. If there’s no such thing as a perfect landing page, we’re encouraged to continually iterate until we get as close to perfect as we can. A simple headline edit, for example, could instantly double conversions.

A/B is the most commonly used test for a reason: it works. It’s a simple process that enables you to split test minor iterations several times and measure results. Depending on your resources, it’s also worth experimenting with page layout adjustments and varying content for segmented audiences.

Thanks to Gareth Cartman, director of digital marketing, CLD; Amy Jordan, content marketer, POP Content; Laura Phillips, digital strategy coach; David Vallance, copywriter and digital strategist, Digital Impact UK; Lukasz Zelezny, SEO and social media speaker; James Foley, SEO Executive, iProspect.