Once you have your concept nailed down, you can start thinking about the design elements of your landing page. Here are some things to take into consideration:
- Use effective visuals. Don’t bother using irrelevant lifestyle shots, such as the tired visual clichés of the generic businessman on a computer or the smiling call center worker fielding customer inquiries. The images you choose should serve a purpose other than just filling space on a page. They should complement or enhance your content (e.g., a cover shot of the white paper on offer), not distract visitors from your main message or call to action. If your visuals are not directly related to your landing page’s content, consider changing them or eliminating them altogether.
- Make it easy on the eyes. Choose easy-to-read fonts that look clean and professional, and NEVER USE ALL-CAPS or excessively underlined text. [See how terrible it looks??] Minimize your use of multiple or unusual font colors; for example, yellow text is hard to read, and neon colors hurt people’s eyes and can imply a manic sense of urgency that you might not have intended to convey. Abandon the outdated “Web 1.0” design philosophy–blatant attention-grabbing elements such as animated cartoons, flashing graphics, and scrolling banners–in favor of a more modern streamlined look.
- Minimize the need for scrolling. Your landing page should offer a quick, clean path to conversion for your website’s visitors. Save the lengthy content and large visuals for your homepage. If you can’t say what you need to say within the confines of a standard webpage window, you risk losing visitors who don’t feel like scrolling down to see the page in its entirety. This may seem like a small step, but it can really make a difference in the way visitors view your landing page.
- Establish credibility and maintain privacy. Make it clear that your company can be trusted. Include a basic statement about what steps your company takes to protect prospect data and how you will never share or sell their information. Post any third-party seals, certifications, or awards that your company has earned. Use client feedback to bolster your credibility. Security badges like VeriSign or TRUSTe, along with ratings from consumer agencies like the Better Business Bureau, can also really put visitors’ minds at ease, thereby making them far more likely to convert.
Pardot’s intuitive drag-and-drop landing page builder lets you create landing pages that are consistent with your company website’s look and feel without requiring the use of code. The user-friendly WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) interface is as simple to use as familiar word processing programs. It allows you to drag and drop elements into the header and footer of your landing page as well as the main content area, where you can easily format using HTML, rich text, built-in image hosting, and other formatting options to match your branding and maintain consistency with the rest of your website. You can utilize existing marketing assets by dragging the files into the builder. You can also further customize the look and feel of your landing pages by entering your own CSS.
Pardot’s customized templates allow you to create reusable templates with custom layouts that are best suited to your marketing team’s needs. These templates can help maintain consistency with your campaigns by letting you pull styling and HTML from an existing page when creating a new landing page. Pardot’s powerful templating language allows for dynamic content and lets you format forms and site search results in addition to landing pages.
After you’ve addressed these design elements to determine what look and feel you want your landing page to have, you can move on to building appropriate forms. The next installment in our landing pages series outlines some best practices for forms, as well as some tips for discouraging form abandonment.