If you don’t have a good landing page, you might as well close up shop and find another business to be in.
Landing pages are what people see first when they come to your site – hence the name. When visitors see a well-designed landing page, they are more at ease, things seem intuitive, and visitors are enticed to sign up for an offer or make a purchase. With that said, designing a good landing page isn’t easy. Simplicity is actually quite difficult because most webmasters are obsessed with doing something “cute” or “neat.” You have to be willing to commit image suicide if you want your visitors to convert into cash. Here are some excellent examples of companies that know what they’re doing:
Jacob Nielson is the king of usability on the Internet. He has devoted his entire website to making other peoples’ websites more usable. His own site is an example of the principles he teaches. The reason his landing page works is because it’s simple. There’s not a heck of a lot of choices on his site. When you land here, you can browse through what he calls “permanent content” and “news.” The “news” section is obviously recent updates while the “permanent content” is stuff that is evergreen. You can also search his site, but oddly enough the search feature is almost invisible. Maybe he thinks it’s just “conveniently out of the way.”
The page is also divided by color. It’s very easy and clear where each section of the site is. By redesigning your site to follow Nielson’s example, you’ll end up with a very simple site. You don’t have to make it ugly, necessarily. Simplicity and ease of use are the takeaways here.
Apple has a knack for creating beautiful and user-friendly products. However, they also have good web designers. Apple’s site is a model of simplicity. What makes this site works is the centerpiece of the landing page. With every update, the center image on the site changes. This center image is dominant and showcases the company’s latest product offering. The image is also always clickable, taking you to a dedicated page where you can learn more about the product or service. This is something you can incorporate into your website very easily. Make the most important element of your site stand out. Users will notice.
Twitter has overhauled their landing page so that it’s pretty obvious what you’re supposed to do. The reason Twitter’s landing page works is because they really only give you two options: sign up or log in. This works for a site like this because Twitter’s draw is really inside the site. Showcasing how cool it is isn’t really that important at this stage in the game. If your company is well-known, you could implement a variation on this type of design. It will force people to do one of two actions or leave your site. People who leave are probably not great candidates for your product or service anyway.
Market Samurai is an SEO tool that’s used to help users uncover profitable keywords for their niche. The site’s landing page works incredibly well because it places the sign up form dead-center of the page. It does have other link options on the site, but these are not as prominent as the red lettering and the sign up form. Also, users can read more info by scrolling down the page. However, at the bottom of the page is another sign up form. This is key. If you have information that you need to present to users, offering two opportunities to sign up may increase opt-in rates. Users often have short attention spans or might be too lazy to scroll back up to the top of the page (as hard as it might be for you to believe). Having two opt-in forms means that you have two opportunities to capture their name and email rather than just one.
Guest post contributed by Peter Nevis, on behalf of Orange Line Marketing. Peter contributes to various websites, he’s a marketing expert and enjoys writing articles about SEO & online marketing strategies.