A Landing Page Grade Sheet for Digital Marketers - dummies

A Landing Page Grade Sheet for Digital Marketers

By Ryan Deiss, Russ Henneberry

As a digital marketer, you will need to evaluate the effectiveness of your landing pages. Landing pages come in many shapes and sizes, from short-form lead capture pages to long-form sales letters, so some of the elements included here may not apply to the landing page you’re evaluating. For example, a long-form sales letter that sells a service is unlikely to use a lead-capture form.

Evaluate your landing pages based on the criteria that apply to your pages. The most important thing to keep in mind is that improving each factor in the following list that is relevant to your landing page will have a substantial impact on the conversion rate of your landing page.

  • Clarity: You have a matter of seconds to convince new visitors to your landing page that they should stick around. Use the headline, subheadline, images, and anything else immediately visible on the page to answer the following questions for them: “What is it?” and “What does it do for me?”
  • Congruence: Nothing sends landing page visitors scurrying away faster than a lack of congruence between wherever they came from and your landing page. The text, offer, and imagery on the landing page should match (ideally exactly) the text and imagery that was in whatever ad or referring traffic source that brought the visitor to the landing page.

For example, if you click an ad that states “10% off of winter apparel” and you arrive on a page offering summer apparel, you’re going to lose most of your traffic. Keep the visuals (colors, images, fonts, and so on) and offer congruent from the traffic source to the landing page and you’ll keep more traffic on your offer.

  • Visualization: Typically, an image or graphical representation of the offer increases conversions. Avoid using overused stock and royalty-free imagery that might make your offer appear cheap. Instead, wherever possible, use custom photography or graphics to depict your offer.
  • Number of fields: The number of form fields should be appropriate for the offer. For example, high-commitment offers have longer forms, and lower-commitment offers have fewer form fields.

Don’t ask for information that you don’t need! If you plan to follow up only via email, just ask for a name and email, at most. In fact, test dropping the name field, too, if you don’t plan to personalize your follow-up messages by including the person’s name. In general, having fewer form fields leads to a higher conversion rate.

  • Visible and compelling call-to-action button: People frequently debate button colors, but one constant is that the button color should contrast (not blend in) with the surrounding design elements. For example, if the background color of your website is sky blue, don’t use that sky-blue color as your call-to-action button color.

Second, use a compelling statement as the text on your call-to-action button. “Submit” is not good enough. Test button text that gives a specific command or speaks to the end result (such as “Get Free Instant Access”).

  • Professional design: The design of your landing page should be of professional quality. If you’re using a quality landing page builder tool, the templates provided will take care of most of the design and layout. Avoid making major changes to these tested layouts and designs until you get more comfortable building landing pages that convert.
  • Relevant trust icons: Reputable brands that you do business with or are affiliated with, “As Seen On” logos, and testimonials let your visitors know that they’re making a smart decision to give you their contact information or make a purchase.
  • Clear privacy policies: Not only are privacy policies and terms of service required to advertise on some sites (including Google), they’re also good for conversions.
  • Visual cues: The landing page should incorporate arrows, boxes, and other visual devices to draw the eye to the call-to-action area.