A good landing page takes its readers on a journey. Long or short, its elements must combine to bring each visitor to the same final destination – a conversion. How the landing page is formatted either eases their way or throws up roadblocks. You want everything on your landing page to reduce the friction that might slow visitors down on their way to conversion.

The Basic Elements Every Landing Page Must Have

There are five basic elements that must be laid out on every landing page:

  1. Headline + subHeadline
  2. Feature/Benefit subsections
  3. Credibility builders
  4. Call-to-action (CTA) button/form
  5. Bottom line summary

The two most prominent elements on your page should be the headline + subheadline and your CTA. The first gets your visitors in the door and the second gives them (and you) and the pay-off. Of course, the bottom line summary goes exactly there – the bottom of your landing page.

Your CTA should appear in multiple places throughout your landing page.

Between headline and bottom line, you can arrange and present the feature/benefit subsections and various types of credibility builders in an infinite variety of ways.

Above the Fold

Landing Page Conversions - Design

“Above the fold” on an online page is everything that can be seen without having to scroll down. In this area, your visitor should see your headline + subheadline; this is the copy that draws them in with a promise and delivers the key benefit of your offer.

If your offer isn’t complex and/or the typical reader is already very familiar with you, it’s probably helpful to place your first CTA button/form right near the headline + subheadline above the fold. In other words, everything a motivated visitor needs to validate their decision for coming to your landing page in the first place is front and center. They don’t need to search around to take further action. They came. They saw. They clicked. Reduce the friction – make it easy for them.

Your most basic landing page conversions questions answered!

1 column or 2?

The conventional wisdom is to use only one column on your landing page. In one A/B test, the one column version significantly outperformed the two column version, boosting sales by 680.6% and sale value by 606.7%. It doesn’t mean a two column layout could never be the better performer, but one column is the place to start. If you feel your content or offer requires two columns, this is a variation you can A/B test.

Present your logo in the same place across all your landing pages. This consistency lets your visitors know they’ve come to the right place. However, don’t let it overwhelm the elements you want them to notice first. Remember those? Those are your headline + subheadline and your CTA button/form.

You can also use your logo as a starting point for making decisions about colors and fonts used on your landing page. They don’t need to be the same ones you use in your logo, but they shouldn’t clash.

OK, so how do I pick the right colors and fonts?

Before you pick either, keep in mind the general rule that you only want to use two main colors and two different fonts, otherwise the page starts looking messy. The one very important caveat to this is that your CTA button/form should be a third color; one the contrasts greatly with the main color scheme and isn’t used anywhere else on the page.

As for the specific colors, a great deal has been written about the psychology of colors, and the psychology of colors in marketing and branding. It’s worth considering that aspect of color choice, in addition to the simple aesthetics of choosing visually pleasing colors. There are also cultural differences in how we respond to color. If you have different feeder sources pulling primarily from audiences in different areas of the world, using different color schemes for their separate landing pages may improve conversions.

You forgot about the fonts…

Sorry. Good font pairings is another issue that gets discussed often.

In addition to selecting two fonts that complement each other, pay attention to how they reinforce or detract from your brand or message. Some fonts have a more industrial look, some evoke a certain era, others may be associated with specific feelings. So give the message your font selection is sending some consideration as well.

This is all a lot to include – the more the merrier, right?

No. Landing page design clutter is confusing and gives your visitors nowhere to focus. Don’t include anything on your landing page for decoration. Every word and every design element should have a clear purpose for being there.

You also want to pare down your page to the essentials so design and copy elements don’t fight with each other for attention. Bright red arrows pointing to your CTA button can be great. However, if you also use bright yellow arrows to point to your testimonials on the same page, it all becomes a bit of a mess.

White space is your friend.

So my landing page should be short?

I don’t know. The point above is that everything on your landing page should have a purpose. This may result in a long or short landing page.

A good rule of thumb to follow is the greater the ask in your offer, the longer your landing page may need to be. A landing page asking visitors to download a free ebook won’t need to make as strong a case as a landing page asking them to buy $3000 coaching program.

Likewise, the less familiar your brand is to your audience, the longer your landing page may need to be as well.

In any case, the debate between short or long form landing pages will continue. Have you seen a difference in conversion rates on your landing pages based on whether they were long or short? I’d love to know what your experience has been; you can share below in the comments.