Website Landing Pages that Work
23 February 2012

Website Landing Pages that Work

Designing an effective website landing page will increase the number of site visitors that take the desired action. Below we discuss the web design and content factors which make a good landing page. It's worth first quickly defining what we mean by a web landing page. From  the standpoint of the website owner, it is a web page that asks the user to perform a specific task, such as making a purchase or subscribing to an email newsletter. From the users perspective it's a web page that they see after clicking a link on another website (e.g. google searches, a URL in a tweet, email newsletter link etc).

Guidelines for effective web design of a landing page

The Important components of good website landing page design include:

Call to Action

A call to action very clearly asks and compels the user to take a specific, desired action e.g. "Subscribe to our mailing list".

  • Be clear. Clearly state the action and the result.
  • Limit the number of call to actions so as not to confuse/overload the user and to focus on the desired course. 
  • Use buttons for actions requiring a click. Not only is this clear and intuitive for the user, it also draws attention to that element withoin the overall web page design.
  • Have supporting information ready and close by. Users need to be compelled to take action, make sure you have things on the landing page that encourage them to perform your desired action.


An effective landing page requires a strong headline. This should emphasis the main message of what to expect from that web page and lets the user know they are in the right place. When crafting your headline, ask yourself: Is this headline interesting enough and does it make the visitor want to keep reading?

  • Keep your headline short and direct. 
  • Use design to grab the viewer’s attention. i.e. utilise a large font and prominent positioning.
  • Consider using relevant keywords. Use keywords and phrases that a search engine user might use to find your page.  


The design of website landing pages should be simple. If the landing page is too complex or overcrowded, the web site visitor might not be able to see what they are looking for and so leave the web site. The more complex a landing page the less chance the user will go on to perform the desired action.

  • Every element on the web page should encourage the user to take your desired action. Remove needless elements of design and content.
  • Have only one primary call to action. Keep your landing page’s objective simple. Pick a task you would like the user to take, such as downloading your software or signing up for your mailing list, and limit it to just that.
  • Use ample amounts of whitespace in the design. If things are too cramped together it becomes confusing visually.

Eye Flow

To ensure that the visitor encounters all the web page elements that will help them to take your desired call to action, the eye flow should be well-thought-out.

  • Arrange web page components in a logical visual hierarchy. Determine the order in which you want the viewer to look, and design your websites landing page to support that order.
  • Use graphical elements to your advantage. Arrows, icons and attractive images can help direct the eyes of users towards an area of a web page.
  • Use high-contrast foreground colours on certain web page components. If an element has a bright colour relative to its background and surrounding elements, it’s likely to garner attention.


Every visitor comes to your landing page from a specific source. The landing page has to be relevant to that source. For example, if your ad says that by clicking on it, the user can buy iPads for half the price, then your landing page better be selling iPads for half the price. If the user is taken to your homepage and has to hunt for the ipads you are losing customers at every step.

  • Consider designing and creating website landing pages for each marketing campaign. For example, if you have a Facebook marketing campaign, create a landing page that caters to Facebook users.
  • Customize the landing page depending on the source. Add special content, discount codes and call to actions depending on what site the user is coming from.

Reduce the Risk for Taking Action

Internet users are often (quite rightly) concerned about security, privacy and of being scammed.

  • Offer a compelling guarantee. e.g. a way of getting their money back should they be unhappy.
  • Anticipate any concerns that the user may have and address them.  Offer a free trial (where possible). For example, if the landing page’s goal is to ask users to subscribe to one of your paid plans, consider allowing users to try it before they need to provide credit card information.


One way of designing a website landing page that work is by creating a sense of scarcity. For example time specific deals.

  • Use convincing copy that conveys a sense of urgency. For example, clearly stating that the special discounted price will end.
  • Provide dynamic information that conveys scarcity. For instance, if you’re only selling 100 units, on your landing page, display how many units are left whenever someone purchases a unit.

Trust Elements

Ensure all your landing pages contain trust elements to reassure users. One way is to provide social proof. Social proof can be in the form of displaying tweets about a product, testimonials from previous buyers, and positive reviews on third-party/non-affiliated sites such as review sites and blogs. Other ways include displaying certificates and badges from third-party companies.

  • Provide social proof data from reputable and well-known web services. For example, displaying the number of Facebook Likes.
  • Locate your trust elements close to the call to action. 
  • Be honest. Don’t publish fake testimonials and bloated social media follower counts.
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