How to Create a Landing Page that Generates Leads or Converts

Why do visitors stop by, look around and leave without completing the action you want them to take? Maybe your landing page isn't built to generate leads and conversions. We'll share what it takes and even give you a checklist to help you get it done.

Written By Matthew Martin

July 20, 2020

I can do something a lot of people can’t. When I do it, some people look at me like I’m nuts. Others think it’s a little like a superpower. 

I can look at a landing page and instantly, accurately predict whether it generates leads or converts. I can also tell you what landing pages will fail to get results. 

There’s nothing mystical about it, I’ve just had a lot of experience creating high converting pages for clients and fixing what wasn’t working about their old pages.

In this article, I’m going to share with you what I know so you also understand what it takes to create a landing page that generates leads or converts. I’ll even give you a downloadable checklist you can keep as a reference.

What’s A Lead Generation or Conversion Optimized Landing Page?

A landing page is a web page designed to get people to take a specific action. It’s generally connected to an ad, email marketing link, social media post, or other source intended to drive traffic toward accomplishing your digital marketing goals.

For example, let’s say you have a new product, the doomaflatchy, and you want people to buy it. You or your web developer create a landing page where the singular goal is to get people to buy as many doomaflatchies as possible.

You place ads on social media and Google with links to your landing page. When people click on your ad, they “land” on the page designed to get them to buy.

When they take the action you want them to take, it’s called a conversion. You might also use landing pages to get them to sign up for your email list, call for more information, or book a service. Sometimes that conversion is a sale, other times it’s information you use to follow up (lead generation). 

How Is That Different From a Regular Web Page?

You may be clicking through your existing website and saying, “all my pages have a goal and actions I want visitors to take. So are they all landing pages?” Here’s the biggest difference.

Successful landing pages have one goal. All the buttons, forms, and links on that page help visitors to accomplish that one goal.

Your home page might list multiple product categories or links to all your different services, with the option to subscribe for more information or get directions to visit you in person. Your blog posts might have links to other blog posts, external links, and a form for a newsletter sign-up. 

When you create a landing page that generates leads or converts, it doesn’t have all those options. It doesn’t offer any distractions. Landing pages are so powerful because they:

  • Are directly linked to an explicitly stated business goal, so their effectiveness is easy to measure
  • Make a great first impression when promoting new products and services
  • Get right to the point, removing ambiguity and providing a focused message
  • Improve brand awareness and increase search traffic
  • Generate leads and conversions

15 Features of a Landing Page That Generates Leads or Converts

Like many things in marketing, just the presence of a landing page isn’t enough. So what does every landing page need if you’re going to accomplish your business goals? Here’s what you need to do.

Grab Attention With a Callout

Humans all do the same thing when they arrive somewhere new for the very first time, whether that’s a social event, a new job, a retail center, or a website. They surreptitiously, automatically check for cues they’re in the right place. It’s like we can’t focus on accomplishing our goal until we have the security of knowing we followed the right directions and arrived at the correct destination.

When users click on a link and land on a page, they automatically scan it to verify that they’re where they intended to be. It’s understandable since we’ve all clicked on a link for one thing and found ourselves looking at a website we would never have intentionally visited and that doesn’t match our intent.

Use a callout to immediately focus their attention and reassure them they’re about to find what they’re looking for. Use a recognizable image, circles, and arrows, pull quotes, the word “Attention,” or other callouts to basically say, “welcome, you’re in the right place, now look here.”

Make Your Message Crystal Clear Right Away

Remember a landing page that generates leads or converts has one goal, one message. State that message in as few words as possible right off the bat. Don’t make visitors read all the way through to the bottom before they know what you want them to do. If you want them to buy a doomaflatchy, just come out and say, “Buy doomaflatchy Now.”

Craft a clear value proposition that conveys what visitors stand to gain. Use as few words as possible to confirm the solution to their problems is within reach, on that landing page.

Write an Irresistible Headline

Put your message, your value proposition in your headline. If possible, use an image to add meaning to your headline so you can use less text to broadcast more meaning. 

People process images faster than print. If you can explain your product or service with an image, your headline can be briefer. One way web designers successfully combine headlines, value statements and images is to combine those in the element known as the hero image.

Offer an Immediate Call to Action

Maybe there are a lot of great things about your products or services, and you feel like if you could just get people to understand every single one of them in great detail, they’d be won over. You want to offer evidence your offer is extremely valuable, but a lot of people aren’t going to read a bunch of text. They won’t scroll past the fold, that place content ends along the bottom border of a website window when your landing page first loads. 

Place your strong call to action above the fold. You can repeat it later, but don’t take a chance on losing visitors because you didn’t give them a chance to act when they were ready.

How do you write a strong call to action? Use these tips:

  • Use strong verbs like buy, start, subscribe, activate, and join to clarify what action visitors should take.
  • Convey urgency or scarcity. Put a time or quantity limit on what’s available so they have to make a decision.
  • Reassure them with a guarantee.
  • Speak to their pain points and offer value.

Focus on the benefits of what you’re offering, not the features. In other words, don’t list its seven handy features. Instead, illustrate how using it will give them peace of mind or success or lasting happiness or whatever it is they’re really after.

Hook With a Hero Image 

No, we don’t mean something from Marvel or DC. A hero image is the big banner image at the very top of your landing page or other web pages. The large visual element grabs immediate attention. It provides visual information about your product or service. 

Use your hero image to help visitors preview benefits, evoke emotion, and to build trust. Deliver your headline as a text overlay and make your call to action a button or hyperlink.

An image of your product, service, or offer generally increases conversions, but not always. Test landing pages with and without hero images to identify what works best.

Match Text and Imagery to Source

Use some of the same language on your landing page people saw on the ad that brought them there. If there was an image or other creative associated with that ad, use that on the landing page as well. You’ll signal the landing page’s relevance to that ad and confirm for visitors they’ve arrived where they wanted to be.

Make Super Simple Forms

Figure out the least amount of information you need to help visitors reach their goal and use that to create forms that are easy to complete and don’t create friction. The number of fields in your form is directly linked to conversion rates.

When inbound marketing software giant Hubspot looked into it, their experts reviewed contact forms for more than 40,000 customers. Data showed conversion rates almost doubled when they went from four fields in a form down to three.

Taking away just one form field increased conversion rates by almost 50 percent. 

Reduce what you ask users to input, and make completion user friendly. Don’t make them put parenthesis or dashes on phone numbers. Remove optional fields completely, or at least clearly mark them as not required. Stay away from old captchas that ask users to verify their humanity by entering hard to read text.

Stay Consistent With Branding Materials

Landing pages are standalone pages, so there’s sometimes a temptation to see them as separate from and outside of the look and feel of your brand. That isn’t the case. Everything about a landing page that generates leads or converts should be consistent with your core brand identity. Elements include:

  • Typography – Use the same fonts on landing page titles, headers, captions and text as you use on your website and in other branding materials.
  • Colors -Stick with the same primary, secondary and tertiary colors you use elsewhere to increase recognition.
  • Your logo – While it doesn’t have to be on every landing page, it’s part of your brand identity. Use it where appropriate.
  • URLs – Make landing pages SEO friendly by publishing them to a subdirectory or subdomain of your brand domain.
  • Fundamental page structure – A/B test layouts to find the best basic structure, then stick with that for consistent conversions.

Direct Traffic With Visual Cues

Viewers don’t look at everything on your page in sequence from top to bottom. They scan. When we create landing pages, we work with clients to use contrast and emphasis to direct viewers to the most important information and to keep their attention until they’ve accomplished the goal.

First, we grab attention with elements like the strong hero image or another dominant visual element. Then, we give other elements varying visual weights with color, size and shape, depending on their importance to the overall message. 

If everything has the same amount of emphasis, nothing stands out. It’s better to be judicious with emphasis so the eye is almost irresistibly drawn from one important element to the next. We might use arrows, color, the illusion of movement, or the human face to move page visitors inexorably toward the goal and help them achieve it.

Implement Social Sharing

This small tweak can reap big benefits, but so many people miss it. When people find something new and amazing, they love to share it. Landing page visitors have extensive contact networks of friends and family members who may have never heard about your brand or your offer. 

Add social sharing buttons to landing pages so visitors can talk about their experience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media feeds. Then they can help spread brand and product awareness with one click.

High Contrast Button Color

People ask what is the best color for buttons that convert and get leads. Some people say red is better, others swear by green. Red advocates point out there’s psychology involved, and that red promotes a sense of urgency. Green fans point out it’s the color of money, the environment, and health, all positive associations.

In my opinion, they’re both wrong. But they could also both be right. You see, it’s all about finding a color that makes your button stand out. 

Avoid any color that blends with the rest of the page. A dark blue button on a light blue background doesn’t stand out. An orange button on blue says, “Look at me!” 

When people press buttons, it’s a commitment. They’re placing a call, submitting information, or completing a transaction. You want that final step to stand out and for them to feel comfortable taking it.

Craft Action-Oriented Button Text

Use large text in an easy-to-read font and keep messages short. Sometimes “submit” is enough if visitors are turning in a form, but it’s better if button text connects with their goal. Here are a few examples:

  • Create My Account
  • Get Free Sample
  • Save Now
  • Take the Tour
  • Read Report
  • Calculate Savings
  • Start Trial

You get the idea. In the beginning, you made an offer and called them to action. Your button text allows them to do so. It’s satisfying to be able to accomplish their goal.

Offer Social Proof

Users need evidence you’re not the only one who thinks your offer is great. We’re all suspicious of advertising, so no matter how compellingly you present your case, visitors are going to question the veracity of your claims.

Offer testimonials from people who took advantage of your offer and had positive things to say. Display logos of companies with whom you do business and trust icons like BBB accreditation or third party endorsements. Accepted payment badges and safe checkout badges also reassure visitors if you’re asking them to share their payment information.

Minimize Navigation Choices

Look back at the one goal, one message you started with when you began designing your landing page. Visitors should only have one or two navigation options, and they should be directly tied to that goal. 

Resist the temptation to ask if they’d like you to contact them with more information (unless that’s the one goal of your landing page.) Don’t offer to send them to blog posts that support buying your products or link to a page with your other services. 

This really drives some people crazy, and I get it. There’s a tendency to think that maybe the visitor was interested, they just need to know more about your company, or maybe they didn’t want the new doomaflatchy, but they might buy a whatnot. But if you put all those choices, you’re diluting the effectiveness of your landing page. 

Plus, if you’re using paid ads to drive traffic to your landing page, each click costs you. You want every click to end up following through with the desired action, not getting distracted by all the choices, and never getting around to actually reaching the goal.

Make them choose right or left, and take away all the other options. Either they take your offer or leave the page. You’ll be amazed at how drastically this one thing increases your success rate.

Display Your Privacy Policy and Terms of Service 

International privacy laws require you to have a Privacy Policy if you collect any type of personal information. Within the U.S., if your business interacts with California residents, you need a Privacy policy in compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act. You’ll also have to have one for things like advertising on Google or owning a business Facebook page. 

A Terms and Conditions page explains the rules of using your website. It’s not required but could limit your liability if a consumer decided to take you to court, and it can also protect the information and content you worked so hard to create for your website.

Post a link to your privacy policy and terms and conditions on your landing page as an additional trust factor. Place them in webforms, contact forms, signup forms, checkout forms, and within mobile apps.

Getting Consistent, Reliable Results

If you do all of the above, your landing page will generate more leads and conversions. We’ve created a checklist to help make it easier. You can download it here.

As you can see, it takes a lot to put all the pieces together. If you’d like to talk about how we can help you grow your company in spades, schedule an online consultation and we’ll be in touch.

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