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Analysis

The 6 Best Landing Page Designs and Why They Work

If you're frustrated by decreasing online sales numbers, fight bounce rates and get inspired be these effective, conversion-inducing landing page designs

Todd Wasserman
August 09 2018

We have all been enticed to visit a brand’s website and then stymied by a poorly designed landing page. Then of course, we bounce. It’s a frustrating experience for consumers, but it’s even more vexing for marketers. They know that to get to the point of visiting a landing page, the consumer has already committed to a “micro-conversion.”  In other words, the visitor had already started climbing the “yes ladder.”

The landing page is crucial to this process, but marketers don’t have much time to make their case. The average visitor stays on a landing page just eight seconds, though others estimate the figure is as low as three seconds. Since the landing page can derail this process, marketing experts have looked closely at landing page data. While each case is different, patterns have emerged that can help marketers avoid the pitfalls of bad landing page designs and emulate designs that work well. Here are a few examples of bravura landing pages and why they worked so well:

Boostability. Why? Single calls to action have higher conversion rates

Ever wonder which firms come up when you search “SEO”? One of the top paid search ads for that term is Boostability’s. The SEO firm doesn’t waste the opportunity. Its landing page works because there is just one call to action, “Yes, I’d like a free consultation.” According to research from Unbounce, pages with a single call-to-action have an average conversion rate of 13.5 percent. Pages with five or more have a 10.5 percent conversion rate. Marketers can sweeten such offers by emphasizing the free nature of their service. Netflix’s landing page, for instance, beckons readers to “Join free for a month.”

Progressive. Why? Less copy equals higher conversions

Marketers often feel tempted to underscore every possible product attribute when making their case to consumers. But just as website visitors would prefer one CTA, they’d also prefer to avoid being deluged with copy. This Progressive site, which comes up after you search “car insurance,” is a marvel of brevity. Just five words — “Find the best savings easily” — entice the reader to enter their ZIP code. Then nine words for an additional pitch — “Save 5% or more on auto — just add property” — account for all the non-boilerplate copy on the site. Unbounce’s research shows that 29.5 percent of landing pages have too much copy. When marketers cut the word count, the conversion rates rise from 11.1 percent to 14.3 percent.

A research paper from the Informing Science Institute also found that a landing page with shorter copy had a 37.62 percent higher conversion rate than one with longer copy.

Codecademy. Why? Social proof can push visitors down the funnel

One of the consumer’s major considerations on the path to purchase is whether this particular product or service is a fit. One way to address this fear is by offering social proof. In Codecademy’s case, the company promises to teach coding to people who have never done so before. Naturally, the reader will wonder if the people who have learned via Codecademy had some programming savvy before they started. But the company includes testimonials on its landing page from Patrick Stapleton, a co-founder of Y Combinator-backed Tipe.io and Jackson Hardy, founder of Webside.io, that clearly illustrate that both had little programming background before Codecademy launched them into new careers. Using social proof like this on landing pages can increase conversions by 10-30 percent.

Exactdata. Why? Scarcity provides another reason to take action

Not many landing page calls to action are time-sensitive. But in early July, ExactData made a big deal about the fact that a deal for 15 percent off was about to expire. The site encouraged visitors to “lock in your pricing now.” In one experiment, adding time sensitivity tripled the conversion rate for a campaign. A 2017 research paper from the University of Twente professors also found that scarcity has a significant effect on purchase intent.

A snapshot of Exactdata’s website (currently down)

Allstate. Why? Personalization matches the visitor’s mindset

The days of directing users to a catch-all website are gone. Consumers searching for flood insurance will have different needs from those looking for boat insurance. Allstate caters to this need with dramatically different landing pages depending on whether you’re looking for either of those or car or home insurance. That’s a simple way to personalize. Others have tailored landing page content based on where the visitor came from (like “Redditors for Obama” during the 2012 presidential campaign) or geotargeting or search history. For instance, if a user was searching “sweaters” and later visited an apparel site, the retailer could fill the landing pages with pics of sweaters. Such personalization can improve brand lift by 10-15 percent.

Salesforce. Why? Video is another lever that marketers can pull

Video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80 percent. Neil Patel, the SEO guru, also claims that putting video on his landing page converts at 56 percent. The brain processes video 60,000 times faster than it processes text. In general, consumers are watching more video online. Some 65.1 percent of Internet users say they will watch video regularly this year, according to eMarketer.

There are infinite variables that marketers can employ to improve their landing pages including color, images, page design, positioning and the length of the opt-in forms, among others. The best way to determine success is by performing A/B testing for various iterations and going with what works. As smart marketers know, that’s the most effective way to build the yes ladder.

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Todd Wasserman

Todd Wasserman is a journalist with 25 years of experience. He has been freelancing full time since 2015. Before that he was the business editor for Mashable from 2010-2015. From 1999-2010 he worked at Adweek's Brandweek, starting as a reporter and ending as editor-in-chief (2007-2010). He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, The Washington Post and The Economist, among other publications.

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