ImageAccording to a white paper published by internet marketing firm Lonely Brands, around 38% of internet users who click on paid search ads are led to homepages rather than tailor fit and optimized landing pages. What’s wrong with this picture? Well, studies have shown that homepages have a paltry conversion rate at less than 2%. In other words, homepages are ineffective in meeting certain business objectives.

Marketing Sherpa’s 2011 Landing Page Optimization Benchmark Report revealed that 43% of marketers who have hired web design experts to create dedicated landing pages for their campaigns rated this tactic as indeed very effective. Likewise, brands and companies who use multiple landing pages report higher success rate in terms of lead generation.

Drooling with these numbers? First, keep in mind that not all landing pages are created equal. Just like all the other facets of website design, there are elements that separate an effective landing page from an ineffective one. If you want the former rather than the latter, here are seven tips that you could follow.

Make Sure Your Landing Pages are Technically Optimized

Before web designers can actually create a landing page, a full team of SEO experts and web development professionals should make sure that everything is technically optimized. What does this mean? Essentially, when internet users run a query on search engines, you would want to let them know that clicking on your ad or link will direct them to the right place.

Technically optimizing your landing pages include the following: making sure that you are using the proper title tags, wisely using metadata, including relevant and high-converting keywords in your content, utilizing the appropriate URL composition and taking into consideration the platform or medium on which your audience is viewing your site (i.e. mobile devices).

Use Credibility Indicators Wisely

Trust is the stimulus of conversion and a good website design for a landing page should be able to build trust. Credibility indicators such as awards your organization has received, buyers’ ratings and social signals (i.e. Facebook likes) are good examples. However, testimonials are by far the most effective credibility indicator you can use. According to Kiss Metrics, one eye glasses and lens provider named ACLens experienced a 41% increase in conversion and 58% increase in value per transaction after incorporating customer testimonials in their landing page.

Develop Persuasive and Conversational Content

The content of your landing page should be straight to the point, but not so straightforward that it would sound too hard to sell. You should be able to leverage on your audience’s motivations – their fears, their needs, their desires, their curiosity – and use them to come up with persuasive copy that is short, crisp, but nevertheless, highly impactful.

Use Visual Elements to Your Advantage

The internet is first and foremost a visual medium and in fact, the practice of website designing is premised on the fundamentals of business aesthetics. According to a white paper by Lonely Brands, adding a preview image of your products or services can increase conversion by up to 300%. The key here is to use relevant visual elements without cluttering your page and distracting your audience.

Creating a Content Hierarchy and Putting the Most Important Ones above the Fold

This one is a no-brainer. You want your audience to find the most important information – your offer, your call to action, and your unique selling proposition – without the need to scroll down. It’s like putting your best foot forward to create the best first impression that you can.

Developing a Strong and Creative Call to Action

Your call to action basically tells your audience what you want them to do, whether it’s to buy your product, avail of your services, subscribe to your newsletter or download your white paper. A landing page can in fact have a primary and a secondary call to action. Make sure that you put your primary call to action above the fold. Also, in terms of how you craft your call to action, be more creative than the ubiquitous “Order Now” or “Subscribe Now.” Most of the time, people will respond not because of what you are saying, but how you are saying what you want to communicate.

Regularly Conduct

Just like any facet of online marketing, what defines a good landing page evolves and you should ensure that you landing pages are always optimized either for conversion or user engagement. It has been revealed that only 52% of those who utilize landing pages test their landing pages for conversion optimization. Creating a landing page is a branch of website design that is a science as much as it is an art. Constantly evaluate the effectiveness of your landing page by regularly running A/B tests.