Almost all landing pages that convert well do so because they’ve got the fundamentals down.
the structure of a landing page should align to persuasion and there are elements that help with that. By understanding these elements of a landing page, and by making sure you stick to these rules, you’ll ensure that you are converting. Then you can find unique and clever ways to optimize the heck of it.
No two landing pages are the same. That said, there are five core elements that every high-converting landing page must have:
A unique selling proposition (USP)
A hero image or video
The benefits of your offering
Some form of social proof
A single conversion goal (or your call to action)
1. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your unique selling proposition is the element that sets your product or service apart from the competition. It’s the answer to, What makes this offer so special? Don’t get hung up on the whole unique thing. Think of your USP as how you position your offering as different from all the rest.
Landing pages need to communicate this proposition so that your visitors immediately understand what makes your product or service appealing. A series of page elements tell the story of why your offering is unique. There are 4 parts to the USP.
1a. The main headline
Your headline is the first thing that your visitors will read. So it’s critical that it clearly describes what a visitor stands to get from your product or service. Keep your headline punchy and be direct about your USP.
1b. A supporting headline
Since headlines need to be short and sweet, sometimes you can use a subheading to provide extra info. Don’t get carried away here either, though. As with the headline, shorter is better. A supporting headline can take two approaches:
It can act as an extension of the headline, by essentially finishing the thought.
Or it can offer additional value or convey a secondary message that’s still related to your headline.
1c. A reinforcing statement (optional)
If your landing page runs long, it makes sense to remind visitors of your USP with a reinforcing statement toward the middle of the page. When writing one, consider what your reader knows that they didn’t when they first clicked. What do they know now that they didn’t before?
1d. A closing statement (optional)
A closing statement backs up your unique selling proposition and gives your visitor one last chance to be converted.
A strong closing statement might provide a little urgency or it could remind the visitor why they’re there in the first place. For a clickthrough page, it should also repeat your call-to-action (see below) to eliminate the need to scroll back up.
2. The Hero Image
First impressions are important, and the hero image or background video is the first visual element of your landing page that visitors see.
Ideally, a hero image should show the context of use. If you’re running a SaaS company, this could be your killer app running on a device. Or, if you’re in ecomm, it could be someone blowing a massive bubble of your vegan chewing gum.
If you can show emotion by using real people, and avoid using goofy stock images that’ll ring false.
Your landing page needs supporting copy beyond the headline to persuade most people. The key here is to describe specific benefits along with features.
A feature is a specific quality of your product or service, while a benefit describes a positive impact that the feature has.
Sometimes you’ll hear people say you should write benefits, not features. If you’re looking to drive more conversions, though, it’s usually smart to show off features and benefits together—but lead with the benefit when you can.
4. Social Proof
Social proof is the influence that people around us have on the decisions we make. It’s the reason suddenly everyone buys an Instant Pot, or why you might regret that butterfly tattoo that Cindy talked you into.
On a landing page, social proof is shown in many ways
Direct quotes from customers
Case studies (or links to case studies)
Video interviews or testimonials
Logos of customer companies
Review scores from sites like Yelp, Amazon, or Capterra
Social proof is one of the most powerful tools, but there are two practices to keep in mind.
First and foremost, you can’t fake it! If people smell a lie, you many not be able to win them back. And, second, be specific when possible give them who, what, when, why, and how of your customer’s experience. A testimonial will be most effective if your prospect can identify with the person giving it.
5. A Conversion Goal (Your Call to Action or CTA)
Last but not least, a landing page should be focused on just one conversion goal—or else its not a landing page. To your visitor, this is presented as a call-to-action (CTA), which can be either a button on a page or a form on a landing page designed for lead generation.
There are all sorts of resources about creating CTAs, but here are three fundamentals to get you started:
Avoid bland button text like “CLICK HERE” or “SUBMIT.” Use conversational language and let your visitors know exactly what they’ll be getting for their precious clicks.
Keep forms as short as possible and include a privacy statement to provide reassurance that their data is safe
Since small differences can have a big impact on your conversion rates, CTAs are always strong candidates for A/B Testing.