26 Landing Page Best Practices

Working with the team to create landing page templates we can share with new clients or for new projects. I thought through some basics, ran through a few resources to jog my brain, and compiled this list. I’ll probably add to it later. And yes, some of these are super basic. Like enough that you wouldn’t think they’d need to be said but I really, truly am seeing senior designers make these mistakes.

  1. Treat the content like a conversation. If you wouldn’t talk in that voice and the sections wouldn’t flow cohesively in a conversation, change the style. Hint: get Google Translate to read it out loud to you. If it sounds like sales copy being read then try cleaning it up.
  2. Create a linear flow, easily moving from one idea to the next. If you include spots that move outside of this flow, plan out how to reconnect them, whether it’s back to that page or just recreating the rest of the flow on the new page.
  3. Do not propose marriage on the first date. Match the CTA to the user’s state of mind when they are reading that section. i.e. “Enroll now” when the user hasn’t seen the plan details is the wrong CTA.
  4. Avoid jargon and fluff. If any sentence makes you say “well duh” when you read it out loud then it’s going to fall flat with the reader. Things like “X is fun.” or “Y is very important to you.”
  5. Content needs to include emotional resonance. It should understand what the visitor is feeling, what you want them to feel, and then reflect that.
  6. Make sure the message on the site matches the ad.
  7. Long versus short content will depend on the page. Testing is the best way to go. Whichever way you go though, it should be direct and clear with no filler. The rule of thumb is: the more complicated of expensive it is, the longer the copy should be. And free offers typically convert better with shorter copy.
  8. No navigation on landing pages and minimal on microsites.
  9. Have minimal conflicting CTAs and, if they are necessary, use a very clear hierarchy. One is usually best.
  10. Think “attention ratio”: the ratio of interactive elements on a page, to the number of campaign conversion goals (which is always one). Closer to 1 is better. -Oli Gardner and Princeton neuroscientists
  11. “The user is drunk” principal. If I can’t figure out the features, value prop, and next step blind drunk then it’s not clear enough.
  12. Headline should be clear what is being offered, intriguing, or create empathy for a specific problem the value prop solves. Clear is easiest and most often effective. If the headline is intriguing or empathetic, the value prop should be immediately discoverable (5 second rule).
  13. Immediately answer: “where am I?”, “what can I do here?”, “why should I do it with you?”
  14. The amount of value you offer should be at least equal to the amount of effort/information requested to get the offer. In the case of a form it’s best practice to highlight what the user is getting in proximity to the form.
  15. Creating urgency or a clear problem-solution correlation helps easy form friction.
  16. Use single column forms. – Peep Laja
  17. Put field titles above the fields, not in the fields.
  18. Post conversion is just as important because you still need to convince them to buy from us. A smooth experience should tell them next steps, what to expect, and reassure them along the way.
  19. Do not insert a negative suggestion anywhere near the CTA. Things like “We will never spam you” or “no gimmicks” create hesitation.
  20. Use contrasting colors for your CTA. “Button color is irrelevant: button contrast is what matters” – Oli Gardner / the user is drunk
  21. Place CTA above the fold.
  22. Use white space.
  23. Limit use of obvious stock photos or at least make them match the message the page is sending.
  24. Unpolished photos often increase credibility. – Oli Gardner
  25. Add trust elements (social proof). Testimonials > social likes/shares > empathy sections (about us) > ratings sites > security certifications. Include at least one of the most impactful ones above the fold.
  26. Needs to be responsive and optimized for mobile.


This is fun: https://unbounce.com/landing-pages/perfect-landing-page-recipe/

Everyone should watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2CbbBLVaPk


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