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How to create a better website landing page so you get more leads

What makes a good landing page for an online service or application? I decided to look at the home pages of three successful online services and pick out the things that seem to represent good practice.

These are the sites:

The overall design (graphics, layout and text) of your landing page or homepage is critical. You want to convert visitors into enquiries, sign-ups and sales. That means getting your bounce rate down as low as possible (% of visitors who come into your site on a page and then leave without going anywhere else) and then persuading your visitors to fill in a form, pick up the phone or make a purchase.

10 things I picked out that might improve your website:

  1. Graphic design matters. Good quality images, icons and other graphics keep people on the page for longer. It's really hard to turn around a poor first impression.

  2. Good landing pages have a clear benefit statement at the top. The benefit statement comes first followed by a short, direct sentence that explains what the software or service does.
    benefit statement

  3. A call to action - 'Start my free trial' - in the top part of the page - no scrolling required.
    call to action

  4. A call to action near the bottom of the page - no need to scroll back up.
    bottom call to action

  5. Numbers mean credibility. Numbers of customers, customer satisfaction ratings, visits to blogs etc.
    Numbers mean credibility

  6. A live chat widget. This might be optional because some people think they are annoying. I’d set this up, run it for a while, capture some data and see if it generates more leads.

  7. Evidence of real customers - very short testimonials and logos. One or two pictures of real customers together with quotes are good.
    customer quotes

  8. No pricing on the landing page. The three examples I looked at had clear ‘Start my free trial’ calls to action. Pricing is on another page.

  9. It’s ok to list features but descriptions should be very short - a short sentence with two or three bullet points per feature. Link to other pages for more detail. Another clear benefit statement across the top of the feature section is good.
    Describe features in short sentences

  10. A footer section at bottom of the page with links to other part of the site. Two of the three also had sign-up buttons in the footer. That made me realise that it’s ok to have 4 or 5 ‘Start my free trial’ or ‘Sign up’ calls to action on the same page.

Those three pages are deceptively simple. The trick is to get the words right - emphasize benefits, keep descriptions short (just a few words) and invite people to do things. Remember to sell the sizzle and not the sausage.

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