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Landing Page Wisdom: Clarity Trumps Clever

When it comes to beautiful experiences, no one beats Apple – and apparently this extends to even the lowly landing page.

Apple-Watch-Landing-PageWe love the simplicity and focus of the Apple Watch launch campaign landing page, highlighted at left.  The headline, “The Watch is Here” is certainly straightforward, and the subhead puts context to it that is aligned with the brand position, “Our most personal device yet.”  The call to action is implied in the headline – “It’s here. Buy it now.”    That kind of minimalist storytelling will certainly work if you are Apple and have a cool new product that has been hyped for months in the national press and by Wall Street. Yet, we all know the results here – the Apple Watch generated a lot of buzz and website visits (the marketing worked!), but sales were not as projected.

Even if your product is not as anticipated, we can all aspire to effective conversation.  Here’s a four ingredient checklist for effective landing pages, and it will surprise no one that they are built from the “simplicity, clarity and alignment” mantra that guides everything we do here at TopRight:

  1. Focus on value – Clicking on an online ad is an act of faith – “Will this deliver the experience promised?”  The landing page is the first step to building trust with people.  Landing pages must have compelling copy and a clear value proposition to articulate the value of what is being offered and establish credibility for your business.
  2. Context Alignment – A successful landing page matches the visitor expectation and addresses a real need based on their previous interaction with an ad, social media, or other initial channel.
  3. Easy access – Be sure the design of your landing page limits the number of actions a visitor has to take on the page, and make it incredibly easy for them to convert.
  4. Lather, Rinse and Repeat – Test everything.  Especially the buttons, the clarity of the call to action, the symmetry with the advertising offer that drew them here and the form.

Success stems from having a relentlessly curious attitude.  Be sure to spend as much time with the landing page as you do with the ads or product design.  Experiment with landing page elements like the headline, the button placement and message tone.   Test if emphasizing benefits works better than asking a question.  Typically, we follow the 1-1-1 Rule: One value proposition, one message, and one call to action for each landing page.   Too much on one page will only distract users from the action or offer.

Basecamp landing pageA design tip that makes a lot of sense is having a visual cue toward the form or action step.  This example at right from Basecamp is great – the cartoon man captures my heart in how powerfully he guides the eye (and hopefully the hand!) toward the form.   Note that his presence is even more important because this screen shot is ony the top half of the full landing page which is very rich and detailed including product details and testimonials.  This is a great example of how the design of the landing page has to be thought out almost as if it was a campaign on its own.

It’s true that small changes can make a big difference.  A headline or button change is often credited with a huge increase in conversions.  However, a focused, purposeful approach to landing pages as an essential and fully aligned element of the campaign – and not an afterthought – is the most effective way of earning predictable results, and helping your business #StayTopRight.

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