Knowing the technicalities of building a landing page isn’t in your job description as a marketer, executive or business owner.

But having the ability to articulate what good design means can help you effectively communicate with your team to create high-converting marketing assets that maximize your return on investment (ROI).

Here’s a primer on conversion-centered design and a step-by-step framework to help you create landing pages that not only look good but lead to conversions.

What’s Conversion-Centered Design?

Conversion-centered design is a framework that incorporates persuasive design techniques and psychological triggers to entice visitors to take the desired action on a landing page, such as signing up to your email list or making a purchase so that you can increase the conversion rates.

The design framework goes beyond making a visually attractive landing page. It allows you to understand why it looks good and improve a design to increase conversions. Such knowledge helps marketers and business leaders better communicate with their design teams and create campaigns that can effectively achieve business objectives.

Conversion-Centered Design Framework: 8 Principles

Here are the 8 core principles to follow when designing a landing page:

1. Establish a Single Focus

The confused mind says no. The more options you give the visitors, the more likely they’ll get confused, become distracted, fail to take the desired action and click away without converting.

To create an effective landing page, you need to define a focus that aligns with a single campaign objective. The page design should then revolve around the one action you want visitors to take so you can achieve the campaign goal.

2. Define Hierarchy and Structure

The elements on your landing page should be positioned strategically to take the visitors from point A (e.g., the headline, customer pain points) to point B (e.g., the call to action, the solution.)

List out the content you need to include and create an information hierarchy for the page. Then, arrange the various elements in an F-pattern or Z-pattern, which is how most people read in the western culture (i.e., top to bottom, left to right) to guide the visitors down the narrative.

3. Stay Consistent with Your Brand

A landing page is one of the many components along the entire customer journey and should align with other touchpoints, such as your online ads and website.

For example, you can create a consistent brand image using the same fonts, color palette and copywriting style across all channels to deliver a seamless customer experience that will help you build trust and increase conversions.

4. Demonstrate Benefits with Visuals

A picture is worth a thousand words. You should tap into the power of visual content, such as photography, illustrations and videos, to connect with your audience at a deeper level and communicate your product or service’s emotional benefits.

For instance, use images of real customers interacting with your product whenever possible. They’re more convincing than stock photos as they show visitors what they can expect from your offering.

5. Capture Attention and Pique Curiosity

The visuals and copy of your landing page need to draw your prospects in and guide them to the CTA. Use design elements to direct attention to particular points of interest on your landing page and lead visitors to take the desired action.

For example, create contrast with a bold color palette and use negative space to highlight key components. You can also use contrasting typography to emphasize important information.

6. Direct Visitors to the CTA

Everything on your landing page should ultimately direct visitors to the call to action (CTA). Use images in which the model is gazing toward the direction of the CTA button, which should be prominently displayed on all devices.

Use large fonts, contrasting colors and action-focused copy (e.g., start with a verb) to capture attention and drive action. The CTA should be placed above the fold to minimize scrolling, especially for mobile users.

7. Build Trust with Social Proof

Testimonials can help you build instant trust. Use high-quality headshots of your customers and include details such as full name, job title, company name and the specific results they have achieved with your product to make the testimonials relatable and credible.

You also can post multiple testimonials to amplify the trust factor and add other types of social proof such as videos, awards, ratings and client logos if appropriate.

8. Reduce Friction with CRO Tactics

Make it easy for visitors to take action by implementing conversion rate optimization (CRO) best practices.

Simplify your forms so they’re easy to fill out while still allowing you to collect the necessary information. Experiment with multistep forms to make the task less daunting. Moreover, make sure the page is mobile-friendly and the load speed is optimized so you can maximize the number of visitors who stay on your page.

Conversion-Centered Design Is Key

Many elements contribute to a landing page’s effectiveness. While market trends and consumer expectations will evolve, the conversion-centered design framework taps into human psychology and behaviors so the core principles can stand the test of time.

Your landing page is an essential component within the larger picture of your customer journey. Therefore, the design should always take a user-centric approach and focus on how customers experience your brand as a whole.

Finally, validate your landing page design and continue to make improvements by tracking metrics and conducting A/B testing as incremental changes will add up to significant improvements over the long term. You can apply the insights to inform the design of other customer touchpoints such as emails, online ads, etc., to create a high-converting customer journey.