In this chapter I’m going to walk you through the basics of landing pages.
What they are.
Why are they important.
And how a landing page can increase conversions on your site.
What Is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a page that’s designed to facilitate a single desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, signing up for a free trial or entering an email address.
It’s called a landing page because it’s a page where users “land” after clicking on a link in a Facebook post, Google Ad, email newsletter or any other traffic source.
How Is a Landing Page Different Than a “Normal” Webpage?
A normal web page tends to have several different desired actions.
For example, take your average homepage.
Most homepages have multiple goals and several different calls to action (CTAs). For example, you might want homepage visitors to fill out a contact form. Or learn more about your features. Or sign up for a free trial.
And it’s the same story for blog posts, about pages… and most other pages on your site. You’ve got lots of competing CTAs going on.
(Which is why you rarely want to send Google Ads traffic to these types of pages).
But with a landing page, there’s usually ONE goal and ONE consistent CTA.
Why Do Landing Pages Convert So Well?
There are two main reasons that landing pages are GREAT for increasing conversions:
They have a focused CTA.
They’re targeted to a specific group.
Like I just mentioned, landing pages CRUSH normal pages because they’re 100% focused on a single CTA.
But that’s not the only reason that landing pages convert super well.
They also convert because you can target them for a specific group, type of customer or offer.
Your subheadline is designed to add more details to your offer, including what it is and why it’s valuable.
Here’s an example:
The headline that we used is a good start. But it’s still not 100% clear what you’ll get when you sign up. Which is where the subheadline comes into play.
Your email signup page should have a “Hero Image” that shows off what they’re going to get.
Remember: an “email course”, “report” or “weekly newsletter” are SUPER hard to picture in your mind.
And your Hero Image makes your offer more tangible and real.
Above The Fold CTA
I recommend using your first email sign-up form way above the fold, like this:
If your headline and subheadline are strong, the majority of your conversions will come via this form.
If someone scrolls down past your first form it means that they need more info before signing up.
Enter: The Feature List.
Here’s where you dive more into why your offer is worth trading for someone’s email address.
The exact list of features depends on what you’re giving away.
If the Squeeze Page is for a webinar, you might have a bulleted list of the top things someone will learn.
If it’s a report, you should outline the strategies that you’ll cover.
If it’s an email newsletter, list out exactly what you’re going to send them.
For example, the Exploding Topics about page has a thorough “How It Works” section that walks people through how the newsletter is developed, packaged and sent.
Like any landing page, social proof can help boost your squeeze page conversion rate.
This can be the number of people that have already signed up.
Or testimonials from a handful of happy subscribers.
I recommend adding a second CTA at the very bottom of your page.
That way, your visitor ends their scrolling directly on top of a CTA and signup form.
Sales Page Template
Here’s a template that you can use to sell online courses, one-on-one training, premium newsletter subscriptions, live event tickets and more.
The main goal of your sales page headline is to grab someone’s attention with a CLEAR benefit.
Here’s an example from one of my long-form sales letters:
If you’re at all interested in YouTube marketing, that’s the kind of headline that makes you want to stay on the page and learn more.
The First Paragraph Hook
Follow up your benefit-driven headline with a hook in the first few lines of your sales page.
Here’s an example:
Again, this is pretty “salesy”. But we’re targeting a specific person (small business owners that are serious about marketing their business on YouTube). Which is why this hook works despite coming on stronger than most leads.
The Background Story
Here’s where you tell the story behind your product: the problem you have, how you solved it, and why you decided to offer this particular product.
The Big Reveal
Here’s where you introduce your product… and list out what’s included.
You want to sprinkle these throughout your sales page.
Buy Now CTA
You want to have at least two clear “buy now” CTAs on your sales page.
Outline what your guarantee is and any restrictions you have (like a 30-day window).
Don’t skimp over this section. It’s one of the most important parts of your sales page. So I recommend writing a long, detailed outline of your guarantee.
For example, the guarantee section on one of our sales pages is 228 words long.
SaaS Free Trial Page Template
The main goal of your SaaS Free Trial landing page is to get someone into your sign up flow.
This is a little bit different than a Squeeze Page. With a Squeeze Page, the conversion actually happens right there on the page. But with a SaaS page, you usually push them towards another page where they actually sign up.
With that, here’s the template:
Plain English Headline
This is something a lot of B2B SaaS companies struggle with. Instead of a straightforward headline, they write some nonsense like this.
Instead, I recommend a straightforward headline, like this one from Help Scout.
“What We Do”
You just established a clear benefit. Now it’s time for you to give a high-level overview of how your software gets people there.
Concept Hero Image
Back in the day, SaaS companies would use a screenshot of their software for their hero image. And this can still work.
The issue with that approach is that it’s tough to understand what the software does based on a screenshot.
Which is why many SaaS companies opt for illustrations that show what the software actually does for people.
For example, Woven’s hero image shows groups of people meeting up.
Get Started CTA
This is an above the fold button that usually takes people to a signup page.
Nothing fancy here. Just a list of 4-5 of your software’s best features (and benefits).
This can be a customer testimonial, number of customers, big name businesses that use your product, or all three.
It never hurts to add a CTA to the bottom of your landing page.
Lead Gen Page Template
A lead gen landing page is similar to an email signup page, with two major differences:
A lead gen page usually asks for more info (to qualify prospects)
Leads usually get a follow-up phone call or email soon after signing up
With that, here’s how to structure a landing page designed for lead generation.
Remember: with a lead gen page you’re not just asking for someone’s email.
You’re also asking someone to fork over their name, address… and sometimes even their phone number.
So whatever you’re offering (whether it’s a quote or lead magnet) better be amazing.
HubSpot might have the world’s best lead gen pages. So let’s take a look at an example from them.
That’s a great, straightforward headline. And if they send targeted traffic to that landing page (people that want to learn more about Facebook marketing), this headline is perfect.
Just like with a Squeeze Page, it never hurts to have a visual of what someone’s going to get.
HubSpot uses a “download for free” button as their first CTA.
And when you click on that button, a form appears with a bunch of fields.
This approach makes total sense. It’s super intimidating to see that many fields on the page. This way, HubSpot is only showing those fields to people that already took an action (clicking on the button). Plus, it takes advantage of The Zeigarnik Effect.
The Key Details
Here’s where you outline a few key details about your offer. A few benefit-oriented bullets work well here.
The Fine Print
Because this is a lead gen page, you want to be SUPER transparent about what’s going to happen next.
So if someone’s signing up for a quote to get vinyl siding on their house, you want to let them know that you’re going to give them a ring. That way, there are no surprises.
Here’s an example from HubSpot.
The Last Chance CTA
Like any good landing page, you want to have a final CTA at the end of your lead gen page.
Chapter 3:Amazing Landing Page Examples
This chapter is a list of some of my all-time favorite landing pages.
I’ll not only provide you with a bunch of awesome landing page examples, but I’ll also show you WHY each page works so well.
(And how you can replicate the same approaches on your landing pages).
With that, let’s check out the examples!
SaaS Landing Page Example From Confetti
Why It’s Awesome:
Crystal clear headline
Subheadline adds context
Multiple CTAs throughout the page
Sales Page Landing Page Example From Nerd Fitness
Why It’s Awesome:
Newsletter Signup Landing Page Example From Ramit Sethi
Why It’s Awesome:
Clear and direct call to action
Social proof in the form of media mentions
No distractions or competing goals
Lead Gen Landing Page Example From Zillow
Why It’s Awesome:
Forms only appear after the user clicks on the “start today” button
Nice illustrated “fine print” section
Ecommerce Landing Page Example From Casper
Why It’s Awesome:
Multiple CTAs up and down the page
Page is optimized for Facebook traffic
Super well written feature list
Chapter 4:How to A/B Test Landing Pages
Creating landing pages using the strategies I’ve outlined so far should set you up for a high-converting page.
But you have to test your page in the real world to be sure.
And in this chapter you’re going to learn exactly how to run A/B tests on your landing pages.
Test BIG Changes First
If I could give you one piece of advice for split testing ANY page it would be this:
Test BIG changes. Especially early on.
This is a mistake that I made a lot back in the day.
I’d test a slightly different headline. Or change my button color from red to green. And none of these changes made ANY difference.
That’s when I realized something:
If you want big improvements, you need to make big changes.
For example, my friend Larry Kim used to offer a “free trial” on all of his landing pages.
And no matter how many minor changes he made, the page was stuck at 2%.
So he decided to do something drastic: change the offer.
Instead of a free trial, he offered people an “Adwords Grader”.
Another example: we’re currently testing two different pages at Exploding Topics.
Version #1 (the control) is a super long page that explains what the newsletter is, has tons of social proof, and more.
Version #2 is the same page… with 80% of it chopped off. It’s literally just the above the fold area now.
Which one will do better? I have no clue. That’s why I’m testing it. But I’m showing you this example to highlight the types of changes that you want to A/B test.
Use Heatmaps to Figure Out Why a Landing Page Isn’t Converting
When someone lands on your landing page and doesn’t convert, what happened?
It’s hard to say.
It could be your headline. Or your offer. Or it could be that your site looks weird on Safari.
Heatmaps won’t tell you: “Here’s exactly why people aren’t converting and how to fix it”.
But they DO give you some objective data that you can use to figure things out.
For example, we run heatmaps for Exploding Topics. And I’m constantly surprised at how people actually interact with our landing pages.
These heatmaps give us insight on how we can improve the site’s UI. And things to A/B test down the road.
Let The Test Run For At Least Two Weeks
I’m super impatient. So, for me, waiting weeks for a split test to fully do its thing is like watching paint dry.
In fact, when I was brand new to this whole conversion rate optimization thing, I would stop a test the MINUTE that it reached statistical significance.
As it turns out, this was a mistake.
Instead, you want to run your tests for several weeks. And you want to continue running the A/B test even after hitting 95% confidence.
Peep Laja explains the math better than I can (math isn’t my strong suit). But it comes down to the fact that most “wins” that you see from split testing are flukes.
So to be SUPER confident that your “winner” is actually a winner, you need more conversions than you probably think (and more than most A/B testing software estimate). You also need to run your tests for long periods of time to iron out any flukey stuff like holidays and weekends.