The eCommerce Guide to Designing the Perfect Landing Page
by Ron Dod
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Scores of eCommerce store owners find themselves unable to wrap their minds around how to create an effective landing page. Many don’t understand the purpose of landing pages while others feel as if they take too much time to build. However, learning to craft these destinations is vital to eCommerce success.
A study from HubSpot revealed that brands that employ 40 or more landing pages tend to generate 120 percent more leads than those using five or less.
More recent examinations have found that site visitors who land on landing pages visit 42 percent more pages per session. Moreover, that same study showed that landing page visitors convert at double the rate of product page visitors, while also spending about double that of the latter category.
Landing pages are often the first point of contact for prospective customers. These pages provide new visitors with a brand’s voice, expertise and offerings while coaxing them to dig deeper into the site.
Landing pages tend to be standalone pages, uniquely crafted for specific marketing pushes. Most often, these pages are built to:
Generate qualified leads
Increase email subscribers
Boost sales for a product
However, creating landing pages that effectively increase conversions is no simple feat. To do so, it is necessary to include key components that will help harvest the desired results.
To help merchants construct profitable landing pages, we have compiled eight essential elements that every eCommerce landing page must possess.
Ready to increase your store’s income? Read on.
A Powerful Hero Image
Upon arriving on a landing page, visitors should immediately be met with a visually-stunning hero image. For eCommerce retailers, this will most likely be of a specific product. A great hero image often clearly demonstrates what an item does or its benefits.
In the era of Instagram and YouTube, compelling visuals are a necessity for hooking a user’s attention.
To craft an alluring landing page that will convert effectively, begin with a large, high-quality image placed above the fold.
This image is the starting point from which all other elements are built.
Headlines That Hook
Overlaid on the hero image should be the landing page’s headline. This caption is the element that will urge visitors to stay on the page and learn more about what a brand has to offer.
A compelling headline should immediately arrest a user’s attention while also providing them with a foundational understanding of what a product is or what it does. The headline should be as succinct as possible, so try to keep it under ten or so words. Additionally, the headline should complement the image and help explain what consumers are seeing.
The goal here is to have landing page visitors understand precisely what is offered before they scroll down the page.
When crafting headlines, don’t try to be clever. This sort of dexterous wording can often confuse consumers and end up sending them away. Instead, aim for crystalline clarity.
In addition to crafting a compelling headline, merchants will want to create an effective sub-headline. This element will live just below the main headline and provide a little bit more information. The sub-headline can go slightly more in-depth and should also include persuasive elements to entice visitors to scroll down or click the page’s call-to-action (CTA).
While we are on the subject of CTAs…
While all the landing page elements listed here are essential for earning conversions, a tempting CTA is potentially one of the most critical factors.
A well-crafted CTA lets landing page visitors know what action they should take next (hence the name). This button should be prominent enough to stick out to visitors immediately, without detracting from the rest of the page elements.
When landing page visitors are unsure of what they should do next, they will most often leave. When a consumer doesn’t know where to go, they tend to go back to Google or social media.
“As a human being, your visual cortex is programmed to look at the most salient objects in a scene. It’s not a psychological thing, and it’s not influenced much by culture, preferences or demographics. It’s the way the human brain is wired based on evolution to make it easier to rapidly detect potential prey, predators, or mates in a cluttered visual world.”
Concerning CTAs, contrasting colors draw a person’s attention immediately. Moreover, this juxtaposition gives rise to psychological unease, driving users to click the opposing color. This phenomenon is exactly why most websites and landing pages use bright, dissimilar-colored CTAs.
The bottom line here is that CTAs should pop off the page.
However, the language retailers use for this button matters as well. The best use of verbiage is to craft actionable and benefit-oriented phrases such as “Add to Cart and Save 20%” or “Download Your Free Gift Guide Now.”
Phrasing CTAs in this manner will help to drive consumers to take the desired action.
Optimized Copy Length
Landing pages can vary in length dramatically. The amount of copy used is wholly dependent on what is offered through the webpage.
Lengthy, in-depth copy tends to be reserved for products that are expensive or complex in nature. As these types of products evoke more profound thought and analysis, detailed content gives merchants the opportunity to present visitors with explanations, examples, evidence of effectiveness and other necessary elements.
Shorter copy, on the other hand, is often used for items that are relatively inexpensive or even free (such as an eBook). With these types of landing pages, the copy should be as concise as possible while driving consumers to the purchase page.
All of a landing page’s elements should be optimized to flow, ultimately leading visitors to various conversion points along the way.
When a consumer hits a landing page, they should first see the CTA, take notice of the hero image and read the headline. From there, they might read the product’s description. Afterward, they are met with another CTA, bringing them full circle.
Placing CTAs at various points on a landing page (at the top, near the copy, at the bottom) allows consumers to convert in a frictionless manner, thereby increasing the chances of a sale. Therefore, merchants should craft a linear pathway on landing pages–one that leads directly to a purchase page.
Reviews or Testimonials
Every retailer is (or should be) aware of the power of reviews and testimonials.
These assessments provide social proof to potential buyers and give a product some much-needed credibility.
Reviews and testimonials are an essential element in building trust with landing page visitors.
A Clean Design
While many merchants fail to realize this, landing pages should be clutter-free.
To avoid overwhelming page visitors, ample amounts of white space (areas of the page that are unmarked) is a necessity. Using plenty of white space allows page components to breathe and enables the user’s eye to drift across the page and intuitively find where it is supposed to go next.
Often, when it comes to landing page design, simplicity is key as it accentuates what a consumer should be looking at instead of overwhelming them with images, text and other elements.
Mobile sales have been increasing exponentially for the last several years. As consumers become increasingly comfortable with mobile commerce, merchants must ensure that all of their site elements are optimized to accommodate small screen visitors, including landing pages.
As for features to add to mobile landing pages, retailers should utilize large fonts to avoid forcing consumers to zoom. Moreover, the entirety of the page (especially the CTAs) should be accessible with a single finger, meaning that consumers don’t need to move their hand to click-through.
While employing the above tips, always ensure that landing pages appear just as stunning on mobile devices as they do on desktops.
It is important to remember that all “best practices” are more like guidelines than rules. Certain landing page elements that worked for competitors may not be effective for all stores. For that reason, it is essential to A/B test all of a page’s elements to ensure that peak design and performance is ultimately reached.
A/B testing is the single best way to obtain better landing page resultsand increase conversion rates. So, while these guidelines are an essential framework, never forget to test and ensure that landing pages are producing desirable results.
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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