Landing Page Optimization

How To Create A Landing Page : The Playbook Marketers Wish They Had

Knowing where to start when deciding how to create a landing page can leave the door wide open for input from different departments and stakeholders.

Attention can quickly divert from the primary conversion goal of the page to what people “think” should be on it.

As a conversion rate optimisation company, landing pages are a big part of what we do.That’s why we created our Landing Page Design Playbook. It’s basically a step by step guide on how to create a landing page from scratch.

Each and every time we create a custom landing page design, we use our playbook which acts as our blueprint on how to create high converting landing pages.

This is much more effective than trying to guess what will work the best.

In this post, i’m going to cover the exact process we use at HelloClicks when creating landing pages from scratch.

If we’re performing conversion rate optimization (CRO) rather than create a new page, then we’ll follow a slightly different process which involves much more of a research phase.

Want to know more about CRO? Check out our detailed guide – What is CRO?

Who Is This Post For?

This post is for anyone that’s creating landing pages, whether that’s creating a custom landing page design or using a tool like Unbounce or Instapage.

What We Will Cover :

  1. The Pre-Design Audit
  2. Decide On Your Information Hierarchy
  3. Write Your Value Proposition
  4. Write The Copy
  5. Wireframe
  6. Design Your Landing Page
  7. Test and Optimize

1.) The Pre-Design Audit

First up we need to form a foundation for our landing pages and build a picture of the “types” of users that are going to be using them.

We will try to answer the following questions :

  • Who are the users arriving on the landing page?

It’s important to know “who” you are creating your landing page for.

If users are predominantly 20 – 30 year old males, they are going to have a different view of the world compared to if you were creating a page targeting 60 – 70 year old females.

Understanding this early on can really help.

  • What are they expecting to see when they arrive?

You also need to find out how users arriving on the landing page.

This includes any banner ads that users are clicking on, text ads and the keywords they are searching for.

For instance, if your users are searching for “Enterprise CRM Software” and the ad copy matches that but the landing page leads with “CRM for lifelong customer relationships” then there’s going to be a disconnect and a message mis-match.

But instead if the headline and page copy matches what the user was searching for or expecting to see after clicking on a display ad, then there’s going to be a much better chance of the user to buy.

Therefore it’s important you know how users are arriving, so that you can create a landing page that’s relevant to what they are expecting.

  • Where is the user coming from?

The source of where the user is coming from plays a big role in how you create your landing page too.

If a user is clicking on a link in a newsletter they are already going to know who you are and what you do.

But, if they are clicking on a banner ad, it’s highly likely that they have never heard of you before and won’t know what your business does.

Each of these examples will for example require different levels of persuasion.

For our copy to be successful, we need it to answer common questions, motivate users and lower any barriers.

To do this, there’s a group of people that are the best people to talk to find out what these are.

They are your sales team and your customer service team.

If you have a small team this will be easy for you to do or you may be able to answer the questions yourself.

2.) Decide On Your Visual Hierarchy

Hopefully by now, you have some pretty valuable information and it’s up to you to decide how to create your landing page and structure your content.

This doesn’t just mean that you put everything on to the page that you can without a second thought.

You need to decide what are the most important aspects of your research and then decide how they will be included on the landing page.

This is your visual hierarchy. The prioritisation of the elements on the page.

We want just enough information to sell our product or service, but not so much information that we lose users attention.

When deciding on what to include, you should display the most important information as far up the page as possible and work your way down.

Here at HelloClicks, we like to draw out this step so that we can start to give us some idea as to what the structure of the page will look like and we can make adjustments as we go.

More information on visual hierarchy can be found here.

3.) Create Your Value Proposition

Now we have a structure of the page, it’s time to start writing the copy and your value proposition is the place to start start first.

Your value proposition is the foundation of your landing page, if you can get this right then you will be in great shape for creating a page that gets results.

Your value proposition is the promise of value that the user is going to receive by using your product or service.

Within seconds of a user arriving on your page a user should be able to tell :

  • What your product or service does.
  • What makes you different from your competitors.
  • What you are asking the user to do.

If you want to know more, we’ve written thorough guide on how to write a value proposition.

4.) Write The Copy

Before we even think about how the page will look aesthetically, we want need to write our copy.

The copy should always lead the design rather than the design leading the copy.

The copy is what is going to do most of the selling so it’s really important that it’s given the ability to just that.

Copyblogger is one of our favourite sources of information on copy and they have this great guide on writing landing page copy is a good place to start.

5.) Wireframe

Once we have written our copy we’re ready to start the first stage of design.

The wireframe.

This is a drawing of how the layout of the page is going to look visually and it usually looks like this :

Landing Page

This is where you are going to decide what elements you are going to include on the page. We use Balsamiq to create them.

Here are some to get you started :

  • Value Proposition
  • Call To Action
  • Social Proof
  • Images
  • Features
  • Benefits

This is a really important step in the process. This what the designer is going to use to create the finished product, so you will also need to include notes and reference points for them to use.

*Expert tip : Try not to tell the designer directly what to do, they are creatives after-all.

In our experience, if you give some gentle direction they can usually figure it out.

If you start telling them what to do, you will lose some creativeness and your design will suffer because of it.

Creating your wireframe will allow you to make adjustments as you start to see what the layout looks like which you wouldn’t have been able to pick up in earlier steps.

Here’s a video we created which showing us creating a landing page wireframe :

6.) Design Your Landing Page

By now we have done our research, we have written our copy and created a wireframe for the layout. Now’s the time to design the landing page.

There’s going to be no need for landing page design inspiration as we’ve already outlined exactly what’s going on to be on the page.

Also, as mentioned above, you don’t want to be telling the designer what to do. You will simply be giving them direction.

We would recommend providing a creative brief for the page which will contain the following :

  • What the conversion goal of the page is
  • Who the target audience is (based on what we found in our research)
  • The wireframe
  • The copy
  • Which elements are most important

With all of this information, the designer will have a good idea as to how to create the page but it still giving them some room for their creativity.

And there you have it.

Hopefully by now you will have a beautifully designed landing page which has a customer-first approach rather than a design-first approach.

Remember to always test your landing page using a range of devices, operating systems and browsers in order to make sure it works and functions as expected.

7.) Next Steps : Test and Optimize

Landing pages aren’t really a set it and forget it kind of thing. You should really be trying to continuously improve them using a/b testing and optimization.

Doing this can help you improve on what you have created already to generate a better ROI for your marketing campaigns.

I really hope you have enjoyed this article and you now have a better idea on how to create a landing page from scratch.

I hope you have found it informative!

What’s one thing that you struggle with when creating landing pages?

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