Landing page design holds the power to convince consumers to take important steps on the path to purchase. Yet, in most marketing campaigns, landing pages are an afterthought. Many of us spend ages toiling over keywords, selecting target demographics, and writing slick, lead-generating ad copy. But few marketers take the time to ensure that we are driving those leads to a destination — or landing page – that is up to the task of converting them.  

Why does landing page design matter?

As defined by landing page software provider Unbounce, a landing page is “a standalone web page, created specifically for the purposes of a marketing or advertising campaign.” When visitors click on an ad or call-to-action, the landing page is where they first arrive.

The proper landing page design will propel those visitors to the next step of their buyer’s journey.

A lackluster landing page design will send them bouncing.

Here are seven secrets to a landing page design that can help you optimize for the former.

1. Choose a goal

When your landing page is little more than a gleam in your web designer’s eye, take a step back to consider what it is you’d like to achieve. Do you want to promote lead generation or just encourage people to learn more? Would you like to fuel free trial sign-ups or do you just want visitors to buy now? Your goal will lay the foundation for the landing page design, call-to-action, and messaging that follows.

2. Optimize for your keyword

Whether your landing page will be used for paid search, display advertising or organic search efforts, it should be designed with a specific keyword in mind. When you include the keyword in the page title, URL, body copy, and image alt text, it will both optimize your landing page for organic search results and improve your Google Ads quality score which can increase your ranking in paid search results, too.

landing-page-image3. Eliminate distractions

Now that you’ve set a goal, every aspect of your landing page should be designed to support that goal. Eliminate outbound links to web pages on or off your website. Consider removing navigation menus which, many studies find, can decrease landing page conversion rates. Try to include everything a visitor might need to convert right then and there. With the attention spans of goldfish now outpacing those of human beings, your landing page has no time to lose in convincing visitors to take the next step.

4. Think above-the-fold

Be sure that your landing page design hierarchy places critical information above-the-fold. Try to keep any key messaging, CTAs, and forms visible immediately without hiding them behind sliders or forcing visitors to scroll down. Below the fold is where you can include any supporting content, graphics, badges or video to reinforce your conversion goal.

5. Demonstrate proof points

Did you know that 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business? The advent of online reviews has made it more important than ever to establish trust with consumers. Include proof points like customer videos, testimonials, news stories, and trust badges to demonstrate credibility and discourage visitors from researching your brand or product elsewhere.

6. Get personal

According to the Harvard Business Review, “personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend, and can lift sales by 10% or more.” Focus your landing page on the unique goals, objections, and pain points of the very people you are targeting. When you’re landing page tries to be all things to all visitors, it entices no one.

7. Make use of forms

Lead capture forms turn anonymous visitors into qualified leads. If you drive web traffic to a landing page with no form, you miss out on the potential to capture information about your prospects – information you can later use to create tailored campaigns designed to meet the needs of those leads and accelerate their buyer’s journeys.


8. Make it responsive

This one should go without saying but be sure that your landing page is accessible across a variety of devices. In 2017, mobile internet traffic accounted for more than 50% of global online traffic. That number will grow. Enough said.

9. Always. Be. Testing.

While our guidelines are based on well-researched best practices, your mileage may vary. Everything from your target market and CTA to your brand awareness and product differentiation can impact your results. The only way to know with certainty what will work for you is to see what works for you.

You can do that by testing elements of your landing page –  from your logo placement all the way down to your footer text. Whether you conduct simple a/b tests or full-scale, multivariate analysis, experimentation can help you decide once and for all what works.

Do you have any landing page design tips we missed? Share your killer landing page tips in the comments.

(Updated July 2018 to reflect Google’s change of Google AdWords to Google Ads.)