How to Build Landing Pages That Convert

Every business out there needs “conversions” [Meaning results, in plain English). Learning how to build landing pages that convert is the first step towards that goal.

The issue, you ask? Too many opinions floating out there.

Plus, pre-conceived notions, marketing managers who think they know it all, and adamant small business owners who insist on derived expertise (based on 3 books or 12 blog posts they read).

You don’t need opinions to succeed with digital marketing. Opinions won’t help you build landing pages that convert. What others think (including your CMO, yourself, or anyone else) about landing pages won’t make landing pages any better.

Assumption: You are a small business, content creator, blogger, individual business owner, or a bootstrapped business trying to keep costs low. Further, you have a bias for taking action and getting results. That’s it. That’s the assumption.

First, without letting me drift too far into a rant, here’s what you should not do when it comes to landing pages:

  • Don’t go fancy with design (and tools): Avoid using fancy tools like Balsalmiq, Sketch, Figma, and Photoshop to create landing pages. Also, there’s no need to create designs in HTML, download a PDF, and then recreate everything in HTML/CSS or use any of those design tools for landing pages. Just use one of the many landing page software available for you to use (I highly recommend Unbounce, Leadpages, or Instapage).
  • How landing pages look is not the same as how well a landing page converts: Earlier, I wrote on how Conversion Rate is the ultimate moment of truth. The only thing that matters — and allows you to do decide whether or not a landing page is worth it is when you consider the conversion rate of a landing page and how it improves over time. Everything else is nonsense.
  • Design first, Tweak later: Most marketing managers, agency managers, business owners, and almost everyone else is so focused on the “design” that it makes it look like you get awards for the design itself. You forget that you are in the business of running your business. Design landing pages first (ugly pages are absolutely fine). Put them out to test and then tweak based on the data you get (Say hello to data-driven marketing)

With these critical inputs out of the way, let’s learn how to build landing pages that convert:

Get the objectives down (on paper? Even better)

I am hoping that you are past the stage of “Why Landing pages”? You can practically create dozens of landing pages whether you keep off your main web platform or even when you use platforms like WordPress, Shopify, Webflow, or any of the several website builders and landing page builders.

That’s not the hard part.

Because it sounds like “I am too good for worrying about nonsense like objectives”, it’s easy to miss the basics. What are the basics, even before you start thinking landing pages?

It’s your marketing “objectives”. It’s all about thinking about the big “Why” — credits to Simon Sinek for this one.

Think about general aspects of campaigns — Why exactly are you building these landing pages? What’s the one single purpose that each landing page you build should achieve?

Starting from there, move on to questions like:

Are you launching general purpose landing pages built to get both organic traffic (from call-to-actions and prompts inside your blog posts or other content assets)?

Planning paid ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, Quora, LinkedIn, or elsewhere?

What types of campaigns are you planning to run? — Organic campaigns (leading with blogging, SEO, content marketing, and others). Or inorganic campaigns (paid ads) for lead generation? Reach? Sales-oriented eCommerce-specific campaigns with a need for specific eCommerce landing pages for marketing your eCommerce store?

Are your campaigns a part of an elaborate pre-launch strategy or are your campaigns built to receive some much-needed pre-orders? Or do you already have products and services and you have a need to grow your email list?

Local stores might need a better presence on Google Maps listings along with precise ads (including maps to drive footfalls into stores). ECommerce stores might need visitors for customer acquisition which then leads to sales, increase in average order value, and a healthy customer lifetime value.

Large organizations need consistent campaigns to build brand equity, drive sales, and more.

Don’t even launch campaigns of any kind, start off on a lifetime’s worth of content marketing, or run marketing campaigns without getting objectives right — objectives can be multiple, objectives can vary (even with each campaign), and you can change objectives anytime.

Having objectives though? Don’t start without it.


The Ultimate Landing Pages Guide

Know Your Benchmarks (& Your Competition)

There’s no point shooting in the dark. Knowing what kind of conversion rates to aim for, the Industry averages for the usual conversion rates, and other benchmarks are a must so that you know what level to get to (and then beat those levels big-time).

Thankfully, it’s not that hard to know how other landing pages and campaigns created by other businesses perform. The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report is a great primer for you start with.

The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report digs deep to help answer questions such as the average landing page conversion numbers (sorted Industry-wise). You also get to know what resonates with your audience(s), where your visitors come from, campaign conversion rates by industry, and and more.

Additionally, keep an eye out for your competition as well. Learn who’s doing what, the type of campaigns they run, spy on their email marketing campaigns, and geek out on their social media presence. Several competition benchmarking and analysis tools are available for you to grow your superpowers.

Landing Page Basics, Covered

Every DIY enthusiast knows that foundations matter — proper bed of sand (levelled) before laying out artificial turf or grass. Precisely measured holes to drill into (and then add screws) before mounting anything on the wall. It’s not too different for landing pages (except it’s much easier than DIY with hardware and tools).

The Basics of landing page design is not too hard to wrap your head around.

Implementation of basics, however, is usually ranges from horrendous to outright ridiculous.

Here are landing page basics, covered in a single paragraph: Use simple, drag-and-drop tools to build one or many landing pages. Design and launch the landing pages first. Measure results. Test, tweak, and measure again (in that order). Repeat.

You don’t need validation on Twitter to get high-converting landing pages. You need results that your business truly benefits from.

Results that improve over a period of time.


The Anatomy Of Landing Pages: Key Elements Explained

Mobile-first Landing Pages First

According to Oberlo, there are more than 6.8 billion smartphone users worldwide. An average American spends 2 hours 55 minutes on the smartphone.

More than 69% of Internet users prefer to use the phone to read reviews on online (about products, mostly). Or use the phone to check out a landing page and “opt-in”, “Sign up for a Webinar“, and so on.

Garret Hughes and Banafshe Salehi of Unbounce explain (better than I ever can) on why mobile landing pages are a must:

“We’re also tired of junky mobile landing pages. We want to celebrate the pages that do mobile right, with easy-to-follow copy, super-sleek designs, and crazy-fast load times. And since it’s our blog, that’s what we’re going to do, goshdarnit.


“Mobile landing pages help drive conversions and clicks because—like all other landing pages— they’ve got a single call to action (or “CTA” if you’re feelin’ lazy). Mobile landing pages are distraction-free, designed to keep mobile visitors super focused on the one thing you want ‘em to do.”


13 Mobile Landing Page Examples That Seriously Set the Bar

25 Best Landing page Examples From Top Brands For Inspiration

Use AI to Create Landing Pages

Thanks to all the variables associated with landing pages (with different points of view, and too many cooks to spoil the broth), AI-driven landing page design can help cut out the noise. All major landing page tools such as Unbounce, Leadpages, and Instapage now have AI-driven landing page design or AI-generated copy or both.

Using AI takes away bias (we humans are blessed with it). It speeds up everything — from landing page design to copy; from implementation to integrations.

More often than not, AI-driven landing page design is far better at creating landing pages at scale (if you need multiple landing pages for any of the hundreds of campaigns you’d like to run).

There’s no need to wait on designers, developers, and marketers.

Push buttons instead.


How to Use AI to Create Outstanding Landing Pages

Marketer’s Guide to Generative AI

The “One Action Per Page” Rule

Ask for a single action that your visitors, potential leads, or potential customers should take on a single landing page. The Call-to-action on the landing page — there should be only one CTA (Call-to-action) per page.

Case in point: You have an eCommerce store and you sell sunglasses. Your objective is to get new leads for your eCommerce business. You launched a lead generation campaign on Facebook (Meta) or Google.

Ad says: Get Sunglasses.

Landing Page says: Get Sunglasses.

Number of Call-to-action buttons on landing page: 1 or more — each saying “GET 20% OFF NOW “

What you don’t do (on a single landing page):

  • Get 20% off, Browse our Collection, Our Loyalty Program (Read more), and so on.
  • Add social links on landing page (which makes people click on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter buttons and trail off into another world, completely ignoring your eCommerce store).
  • Add other tabs like “About us”, “Gallery” — those are for your main store or website.

No ifs. No buts. No wild experimenting.

No way you’ll add 3-6 different call-to-action buttons. It’s good to add multiple Call-to-action buttons on the same page for the same “action” you want visitors to take — such as “Book a Demo”, “Request a Call Back”, or “Book an Appointment”.

One page. Only one thing a visitor can do now (take it or leave it).

Add Video(s) To Landing Pages

The “default” that most businesses (including any of mine, if ever) is to design landing pages with just an image. Building landing pages with a video out there goes a long way to help boost conversions.

Using videos can immediately boost landing page conversions by around 34% or more, according to the Aberdeen Group and Vidyard. Meanwhile, at last 60% of both B2B and B2C marketers use videos in their marketing campaigns (but just not boring videos), according to Content Marketing Institute

With modern-day tools like Descript, making videos is easy, fast, and rewarding.

Your video could be a part of the hero section on the landing page. Or next to the main landing page headline.

  • Don’t “auto-play” videos on landing pages, unless its a silent looping video or a GIF image
  • Videos should be specific, to-the-point, and less than a minute or so. Anything longer should be on your YouTube channel or in a live stream.
  • The video’s focus is to convince visitors to sign up (for the one Call-to-action you have on the page).

Lead Form Above The Fold (Optional: Repeat Lead Form]

Landing pages should have a headline, a sub-heading that supports the headline, a video (recommended), and a lead form.

The form itself should be ultra short (pick up any additional details later after people sign up and are engaged with your email list).

Do ask for the first name (helps with personalizing campaigns later). You’ll ask for email address.

Some businesses might need to ask for valid phone numbers (understandable).

Anything more you ask is an overkill.

Unbounce calls it “form love”. Long-forms are unnecessary, cause friction, and make people run for the trees.

The form itself is the conversion point. Tools like Unbounce, Instapage, and Leadpages even allow you to make this as a conversion (and then measure it to improve it).

People who sign up using the form are your new leads. You’ll then send them automated emails that deliver what you promised (a coupon, more information, a PDF document, content upgrades, white paper, or other lead magnets).

Landing Pages + Email (That’s How It Works)

Landing pages, by themselves, are great. Real results often don’t come through on first contact though. Leads sign up, and then what? Usually, it’s just crickets. Dead silence.

You’d want to let your prospects and leads know that they are “subscribed”. Or maybe deliver on one of the lead magnets, coupons, free demo, more information about the call they just booked, and so on.

Email marketing allows you to do that. Automated emails go out to each person who subscribers to the offers you put out.

Book a Call? -> Call confirmation (with prompts to add to calendar) –> Email: Here’s more information about the call

Download lead magnet -> automated email delivery of the actual lead magnet -> follow-up emails -> sales emails (later).

Download coupon (for eCommerce) -> Put leads through automated workflows -> sort, segment, personalize, send

See how that works? That’s what a sales funnel is all about.

Use the likes of MailerLite, Moosend, Convertkit, Mailchimp, Klaviyo, and any other email marketing platform. Most major landing page creation tools work with email marketing tools.


5 Steps to Creating Sales Funnels That Work

Simple Sales Funnels That Work: Stunning Examples

How are you going to go about it after learning how to build landing pages that convert? How will you change the way your campaigns perform?

Tell me all about it on Twitter, LinkedIn, or my LinkedIn Brand page.

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