Throughout my 14 years in the design industry, I’ve used countless tools to work on my design projects. One of the first tools I used was the venerable design workhorse Adobe Photoshop, and it became my favorite tool for web and print design back in 2004. In the early days of my career, I considered Photoshop to be the most complete tool in terms of web design and mobile application design. Challenging Adobe’s dominance, Sketch arrived in 2010 and in my opinion revolutionized the UI/UX design process for Mac users. I loved Sketch and used it whenever I could for my web projects, but its lack of compatibility with PCs proved to be an inconvenient limitation in mixed-platform environments.
I went fishing the other day and all I caught was a good UX lesson for you.
Here’s the deal: my daughter entered the neighborhood annual fishing derby. For a decent UX guy, I’m a terrible fisherman. But I do know how to bait a squirming worm and unhook the slimiest of fish.
Minutes went by… no fish. More minutes… no fish.
Then I realized my 8-year-old had been fishing without a sinker on her line! The worm was just floating at the surface, not 12 inches down where all the fish were hanging out going about their fish business.
Where am I going with this? Your webpage may not be getting your message through to your customers. And if your page stinks like a warm scaly bass, you’re not getting any conversions.
Key Elements of a Landing Page
Let’s back up. First, I want to talk about your set-up. Your landing page needs to have a few key elements or it’s not catching anything. It’s internet flotsam. It’s a waste of digital space.
You’d do better off posting a video of cats falling off a table.
Here’s what your landing page needs:
- Catchy Headline: The bait. Be bold, clear, and concise. Start at the top left and grab the reader’s interest enough for them to read more. You succeed or fail right here.
- Intro Copy: The sinker. The weight. This is where your unique selling proposition tells readers what sets your product apart from the competition. Be succinct and give the reader something personal to care about.
- Body Copy: The line. This is the working part. It supports the hook, sinker, and bait, and reaches the reader with identifiable, personalized info. It gives them a reason to care and keeps everything in place with features and benefits that describe what’s most important.
- Call to Action: The hook. It’s the driver of this whole program. You can have the best bait but if you don’t get it in front of the fish and drive them to bite, you’ve got nothing.
Main Headline Best Practices
It’s the first thing your readers see so it’s kind of important, right? It’s meant to clearly state your case and draw your fish’s attention in as few of words and cognitive effort as possible.
- Be Succinct: Aim for 10 words or fewer
- Make It You-Focused:Your headline should be a you-focused statement, as in “You need to try this widget before calling a repairman.”
- Add a “Because”: Like, “You need to try this widget because calling a doctor is expensive!”
- Use a Subheading: Add any key details you didn’t fit in the main headline
Intro and Body Copy Tips
Your user experience depends on good, useful copy. Don’t clutter your page with a wall of text.
Format your body copy elements with user attention – or lack of – in mind. You want to use bulleted copy, subheadings, and highlighted (bold) text that permits scanability. Easily-consumable writing allows the user to skip words and paragraphs yet still learn.
Use this writing style and the user will decide how much they want to read, or not. Your goal is to give even the most attention-deficient fish a chance to grab some meaty takeaways. Give something for everyone – every little bit counts in the end.
Note: don’t ever underestimate the power of images, testimonials, and other callouts in your body copy. They are a scanner’s dream.
How to Set Up Conversions
You how know fish can’t refuse a worm? That’s how you need to look at your calls-to-action. It’s a set of conditions the user can’t refuse.
First, you want to have an easily identifiable but action-oriented call-to-action. A strong phrase combined with an action-oriented button is the perfect formula.
See the Evernote CTA below for a great example.
Here’s what it does well:
- Gives you strong benefit statements
- Uses the ultimate bait: something “FREE”
Here’s one from Netflix.
Here’s what it does well:
- Disarms you with opt-out information
- Provides an action-oriented phrase in the button (not just “Continue”)
Dollar Shave Club involves your emotions and senses.
Here’s where it succeeds:
- Hits upon your aspirations
- Adds the words “risk-free” and “today” to satiate your urgencies
- Get Started isn’t the strongest button, but it’s supported above by strong copy
You can see how brands work the CTA to their best advantage. Anything is fair in love and fishing so keep the user’s emotions and desires in mind when setting your bait.
- Landing pages need 3 strong elements to succeed: headline, intro and body copy, and the CTA
- Headlines should be powerful, succinct, and you-focused
- Intro copy should feature your unique selling proposition
- Bulleted copy, subheadings, and highlighted (bold) text permit scanability
- CTAs require a strong phrase combined with an action-oriented button
In case you were wondering, we rectified my daughter’s missing sinker issue in a hurry. (Can you say 2019 top fisher-girl?)
Our expertise is only as good as our ability to share it with you. Here are the latest thoughts and ideas from our team.
When I tell people that I’m a user experience (UX) designer, most people nod politely as their eyes glaze over for a second, and they try to move the conversation along. Early in my career I thought they were completely uninterested, but over time, I came to realize that many people simply don’t know what UX is and might feel awkward about asking. On behalf of misunderstood UX designers everywhere, please allow me to introduce you to the wonders of quality UX and why you should care about it.
What is a visual brand identity, you ask? It’s only one of the most important things about your business. Branding is far more in depth than aesthetics. It delves into the core of why you exist as a business. It requires hours of research and analysis to ultimately cultivate something visually appealing that communicates your message: your visual identity. A visual identity is comprised of a system of external expressions such as a logo, color palette and texture, typography, iconography, illustration, photography, motion principles, and composition.
From Google and Dropbox to Slack and Airbnb, big brands made custom illustrations a rising trend in 2018, and 2019 doesn’t show any signs of this trend slowing down.