6 Principles of High-Converting Landing Pages

landing pages
landing pages

High-converting landing pages are one of the most important components of your brand’s web presence.

They’re often the equivalent of your first impression with potential customers, and they’re your best opportunity to capture leads. Without them, most of the web traffic you earn ends up lost because visitors leave without taking any further action.

Get this: brands that heavily utilize landing pages as part of their conversion strategy (have 30-40 landing pages) get 7x more leads than those that don’t (1-5 landing pages).

Depending on the size of your company and website, 30-40 landing pages may not be realistic or even make sense, but the key takeaway is clear: high-converting landing pages drive results for brands that use them.

So, what exactly is a landing page? How are they different from other pages on your website?

Landing pages are specifically created to convert your web visitors into viable leads. They drive user action using lead-capture tools that offer users something valuable (like exclusive content or purchase discounts) in exchange for their contact information. They’re often connected to a specific campaign or program that draws interest in your brand.

The primary goal of your landing pages is to compel your target audience to convert. For this reason, it’s extremely important that your landing pages are designed strategically. They should include a clear, compelling message that motivates visitors to act.

In this post, we’ll cover 7 principles of high-converting landing pages that you can use as a guide when creating a new landing page, or a checklist to make sure your existing landing pages hit the mark.

Let’s get started.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Headlines are a top determiner of whether a web visitor will stick around long enough to really see your offer.
  • High converting landing pages focus on value first, then brand.
  • Landing pages should always be visually clean and simple, with the most important messages prominently displayed.
  • Social proof is a top motivator of consumer behavior and can be incorporated on landing pages with testimonials and reviews.
  • Lead magnets and other effective conversion tools are the most critical component of landing page performance.

7 principles of high-converting landing pages

Have a killer headline

Did you know that you have about 10 seconds to make an impression on your web visitors? After that, people are leaving your website to keep browsing — unless you capture their attention and pique their interest with a great headline.

Your headline is one of the most critical contributors to landing page success. Today, web users are moving fast and without a clear message that grabs their attention right away, they’ll move on before you can blink.

When crafting your headline, think first about your value proposition. What are you offering your web visitors that will motivate them to stick around? Make it prominent in your headline so there’s no chance that people miss it.

Here are some other easy and proven tips for writing headlines that get attention:

  • Use numbers – Headlines with numbers are the most preferred and most clicked type of headline, and they also convert at the highest rate. Highrise, a CRM software company, found that their landing page converted at a 30% higher rate when its headline included a number.
  • Use Negative Language – This sounds counterintuitive, but it’s really effective. Using words like “never” or “no more” call your customer’s attention immediately to the problem or need they want your brand to solve. Seeing you promise to do just that right in your headline keeps them around to learn more.
  • Don’t Be Wordy – Studies have shown that headlines with fewer words (usually somewhere between 5-10) perform better. Keep in mind, too, that Google only displays 60 characters of your headline, which is about 10 words.

Take a deeper dive into great headlines with marketing guru Neil Patel:

Killer headlines aren’t just about keeping people around in the beginning, either. Research has shown that 90% of people who read your headline will also read your call to action (CTA) — the message that tells users exactly what next step you want them to take.

Focus on your value, not your brand

Unless you’re Coca-Cola or Amazon or Disney (and even if you are, really) you can’t lean simply on your brand name to get results. Landing pages are meant to drive prospects to specific offers and programs, not to tell them about your company in general.

High-converting landing pages focus on value first, not brand. Your value proposition should always be reflected in your headline and above-the-fold copy.

Here’s a great tool for crafting a value proposition that’s clear and accurate:

Always be sure the value proposition in your landing page messages matches the one you included in your ads, headlines, or CTA buttons that lead them to your landing page in the first place. People don’t want to feel misled or like they’re wasting their time visiting a page that’s different from what they expect.

Be specific! Tell your visitors exactly how the offer will provide value for them, whether it’s through content that will help them solve a problem or a discount offer that will save them money.

And remember: people care first and foremost about fulfilling their own needs. That’s almost always why we search for things on the internet! We all love our own brands, but the best way to make others love it too is by clearly showing how it can make their lives better or easier.

Keep it clean and simple

You can’t include everything on one landing page and trying to do so will severely impact your page’s performance. In fact, research shows that including multiple offers on one landing page decreases conversions by more than 200%!

Remember when we covered how brands with more landing pages convert more than brands with less? This is likely a big reason why!

The right strategy is not including more content on one landing page, it’s creating more landing pages that each focus on one specific campaign, program, or offer.

The keep-it-simple rule applies to design, too. Visuals are important (more on that later) and so is compelling copy. But including too much of either will clutter your page and make it harder for visitors to find the most important message.

When it comes to high converting landing pages, less is usually more. The goal is to make it as quick and easy as possible for your visitors to take the next step.

Focus on the most important things you need to communicate to prospective customers and prioritize them. Aim for a page design that is visually appealing but never busy, helping to call out important content rather than hiding it amidst too many visuals or design components.

Use Social Proof

There’s one strategy that works more effectively than any other when it comes to convincing consumers to do something: social proof. Social proof is the phenomenon by which people copy the actions of others. They want to do what everyone else is doing.

This is nothing new, right? We all get FOMO, and it applies to consumer behavior too. A whopping 92% of consumers trust both peer recommendations and those from strangers. To boot, the average consumer reads 10 reviews before making a purchase.

Social proof is at the core of building consumer trust, and you should use it on your landing page to drive home the value of your offer and show visitors how others are already benefiting from your brand.

A few easy ways to incorporate social proof onto your landing page is by including a testimonial (or a few — but remember not to make your copy cluttered) prominently on your page. You can also link your social media feed or customer review page so visitors can go directly to the source to see what others are saying about your offerings.

Test your landing page’s performance

Never assume that your results have peaked. No matter how many best practices you follow, it’s never a good idea to settle for your current results. Instead, continually test and measure your landing page’s performance. Look for opportunities to make small tweaks and improvements to increase performance.

The best way to do this is utilizing Google Analytics or another performance data platform (but we really recommend Google — it’s free and user-friendly) to look for insights from data about site speed, visitor demographics, time spent on site, click through rates and more.

Here’s what the Google Analytics landing page report looks like. You can see it provides critical information like number of total sessions, number of new users, and average session duration.

google analytics landing page report

Image Source

Alt-Text: google analytics landing page report screenshot

Work periodic performance analysis into your content strategy and plan to ensure you’re always finding ways to optimize your site. You can also make educated decisions about where you can A/B test to maximize every part of your site. Some commonly A/B tested web components are CTA copy, CTA positioning, headlines, and form fields.

Use an effective conversion tool

Last but definitely not least, every high converting landing page needs an effective conversion tool to capture contact information.

If your message is strong and your visitors are already interested, your value proposition will likely capture leads effectively. Many landing pages take this route by promising high-quality content through a subscription, offering a discount to those who sign up for email updates, or making a similar type of offer.

But you can also up the ante with lead magnets.

Lead magnets offer something specific and high value (and usually downloadable) to anyone who follows a landing page’s CTA to complete a form or sign up to receive emails. Lead magnets offer something more valuable than your standard free content. They usually aim to solve a specific problem or challenge your visitors likely have.

Common types of lead magnets include PDF checklists and how-to guides, video webinars, ebooks, and whitepapers. They are extremely effective, increasing opt-in rates by up to 85%.

Create content that converts

Marketing Insider Group’s team of writers and SEO experts can deliver you optimized, ready-to-publish content every week for one year.

Check out our Content Marketing Services to learn more or schedule a quick consultation with me today!

Erin McShea is a full-time writer with Marketing Insider Group. She specializes in topics covering content marketing, technology solutions, and financial services.