The ultimate guide to landing pages

Essential landing page elements

Chapter 06

It’s not what you include—it’s what you don’t include. For best results, keep your landing page laser-focused on a single point of conversion and strip everything else away. If you find you’re trying to include too much, that could be a tell-tale sign that your audience and offer may not be an ideal match.

Two landing pages rarely ever look the same, but they’re often made of the same set of basic ingredients. Here’s what to include on a landing page if you want to see the success your business deserves:

5 essential landing page elements: selling proposition, call-to-action, offer, strong visuals, supporting evidence
  1. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
    Your USP should be evident throughout your page, but makes its primary debut in the headline and supporting headline.
  2. Your offer
    The details of your offer should (ideally) combine both features and benefits using a benefit statement, bulleted lists, and/or descriptive summaries.
  3. Visuals (imagery & graphics)
    From the hero image that headlines the page to videos and iconography, any multimedia you include should provide context and compel a visitor to take action.
  4. Call to action (CTA)
    Your call to action is typically in the form of a button placed (at least once) on the page, guiding visitors toward an opt-in form.
  5. Supporting evidence (social proof)
    Increase your trust factor and further persuade your audience by including testimonials, reviews, social signals, trust seals, awards, etc.

Once you master these basic elements and understand the strategy behind each of them, you can confidently construct the perfect landing pages for any and every campaign.

Let’s dive deeper into each of these essential elements.

1. Your USP: Putting the benefit in big bold letters

The headline is the first impression customers will have of your landing page, so make it a good one. Your landing page headline tells visitors why they’re on the page and gives them a reason to keep reading. It invites them to learn more about what you have to offer.

Your headline should work in two ways: 1) pique the curiosity of the visitor so they’ll be engaged and interested, and 2) make them instantly want what you’re offering.

You do this by stimulating an emotional response with your headline. In most cases, the best way to spur emotion on your landing pages is by describing the customer’s pain point or pointing them toward a positive future vision.

For example, let’s imagine that you sell yoga clothes made from bamboo and your audience loves eco-friendly workout clothes. The headline should then emphasize this key benefit while also engaging them.

Here are some not-so-great examples:

  • Bamboo Leggings Made For You
  • Eco-Friendly Workout Clothes

Here’s a better example:

  • Bamboo Leggings that Will Save Your Wardrobe, Wallet, and World

The second example demonstrates the product’s top selling points in a meaningful, concise way that is customer-centric (not product-centric).

Learn how to create an engaging headline and write more compelling landing page copy here.

2. Your Offer: Make it too good to pass up

Landing pages are generally used to generate leads or sales.  In both cases, the success of the page rides on the irresistibility of the offer.

Successful offers are those that:

  • Are easy to understand
  • Are tailored to a unique audience
  • Can be expressed in both features and benefits

In the case of lead generation landing pages, most businesses offer a piece of free content, known as a “lead magnet” because it attracts (and magnetizes) potential leads. This strategy is one of the best ways to generate leads because you offer some sort of value in exchange for the customer’s contact info.

Before sending your lead magnet out into the wild, try infusing it with these three elements:

  • Unexpectedly High Value: Because your lead magnet is often your first interaction with a new prospect, you have to over-deliver in value. If you can solve one of your audience’s problems for free they won’t be able to resist clicking and converting.
  • Specificity: Be as clear and specific as possible. If your visitors aren’t able to quickly understand (1) what you’re offering and (2) why it matters to them, they won’t take action.
  • Urgency: Few things are as compelling as the fear of missing out. Layer in a sense of urgency or scarcity to encourage visitors to take action now, rather than waiting.

3. Your Visuals: Setting the scene

Landing page design is equal parts art and science. You want to visually engage your audience while also creating a cohesive experience that carries them through the first click on an ad to the final close of a thank-you page.

Incorporating multimedia into your landing page—with video, graphics, icons, photography, and more—is an excellent way to support your offer and provide additional context or details.

Here are a few tips:

  • The hero shot should visually engage your audience and provide context for your product or service (pulling back the curtain on the lifestyle of your brand).
  • Iconography should be intuitive and meaningful.
  • Photography/Imagery should enhance the visitor’s understanding of your offer and illustrate the primary benefit.
  • Fonts should be consistent across your brand and be kept to a minimum on landing pages (aim for no more than 2-3).

Creating a compelling visual experience requires that you resist the urge to clutter or introduce too much variety. Use a landing page creator that emphasizes minimalism and clean design.

Learn the specifics of creating a beautiful landing page design here.

4. Your Conversion Goal: Bring it home with a powerhouse CTA

The goal of a landing page is to get your visitor to take action (give an email, download an ebook, complete a purchase, etc.). This means you need to tell visitors exactly what action you’d like them to take. They won’t know what to do next unless you make it clear.

A call to action (CTA) is a button where the visitor is directed to take a specific action. Feel free to get creative with the language you use, but never at the expense of clarity.

For example, if you’re offering a free guide in exchange for an email address, your CTA button might read: Yes, Send me the guide!

How to make a strong CTA button:

  • Be specific: Avoid generic CTA text such as ‘buy now’ or ‘submit.’ Instead, increase your conversion rate by speaking directly to your audience’s next action: ‘Start Learning French Today,’ for example.
  • Be concise: Keep it short and sweet. It’s a button. Not a paragraph.
  • Use a high-contrast color: The CTA button should be a bold color that contrasts the background of the page so it will stand out. You might also consider making the CTA button bigger than the text around it.

Remember that the CTA button is where you make your conversions. Optimizing the call to action button is critical to your landing page success. That’s why we highly recommend you perform A/B testing to ensure your CTA button is attracting clicks.

5. Your Supporting Evidence: Prove your worth

The best landing pages also include testimonials or reviews from former clients or users. These testimonials provide social proof that helps convince and convert your visitor. They reassure people that what you’re selling is worth the opt-in or purchase. Including a section of real-life customer reviews is the best way to make your landing page soar.

The perfect landing page isn’t just your business talking about how great it is— it has real-life customers and clients praising your value.

Bottom line: Don’t get bogged down when thinking about what to include on a landing page for your campaign. Focus on the following elements to see major success: an engaging headline, compelling offer, supportive imagery, strong call to action, and reassuring testimonials.