Still my landing page design checklist
I first read Web Design for ROI by Lance Loveday and Sandra Niehaus in 2010 or 2011, in my first years of digital marketing. After all these years, I still use chapters 4 and 8 as my checklist for evaluating and fixing conversion-driven landing pages. Below is the cheat sheet.
1. Does the landing page answer the visitor’s questions?
- Is this what I expect to see? Company logo! Alignment of headlines and pics from ads — “scent”
- Does this look credible and trustworthy? Client logos, testimonials, press mentions, professional associations.
- Does this look interesting enough to spend more time here? Speaking to the pains/gains/jobs to your target visitor. Copywriting: clarity not cleverness.
- Hmm… that’s intriguing. How do I learn more? Design mostly for Short Attention Sam, but put in the details for the rest. Answer this with headers.
- I’m interested, what now? Clear Calls-to-Action.
- What if I’m uncomfortable doing that? Secondary CTAs. Privacy.
- And if I have more questions? Secondary CTA: contact us, pop-up.
2. Are the conversion goals clear? Is each element designed toward those conversion goals?
Here’s the template I fill-out to ensure that each element of the design and copy is aligned to the conversion goals, and a filled-out example for a growth workshop targeted to businesses in the Netherlands.
3. Technical Quality
- Site load speed
- Tracking pixels for analytics and advertising
4. More Guidelines
- Establish credibility
- Use a professional, industry-appropriate design
- Include those excellent references
- Ensure everything works (check for broken image references, misaligned displays, typos, and broken links, etc)
- Simplify and separate (don’t let the standard layout of your website dictate the design of the landing page)
- Reduce or eliminate navigation
- Reduce branding and other standard site elements
- Make the landing page an extension of your ad
- Provide what the ad promised
- Match the wording of the ad’s call to action
- Use consistent graphics or illustration
- Maintain language and tone
- Offer segmenting options for different audiences
- Personalize to the visitor
- Use fewer, better graphics
- Choose the most effective media type for your offer
- Create interest and desire with compelling copy
- Speak the customer’s language
- Engage the visitor with benefits, reasons, scenarios they can relate to
- Include only the most important points
- Accommodate different reading patterns
- Include the right amount of copy
- Provide a clear call to action
- Be clear, obvious and concise
- Avoid intimidating or unclear language
- Provide a secondary, “Safety Valve” Call to Action. Examples:
- Keep forms clean and simple
- Ask for the minimum amount of information you need (conversion rate is inversely proportional to number of fields in the form)
- Make buttons easy to find
- Make buttons look like buttons
- Make important buttons more prominent
- Use clear, concise, inviting button labels
- Be clear about what’s coming next
- Place buttons intuitively
Forms should answer the following questions toward its completion:
- Where do I start?
- Does it look easy?
- Will it take a long time?
- Are there lots of steps in this process?
- Is the outcome worth the effort?
- Is this page secure? Is my browser “lock” icon visible?
- Does it ask for a reasonable amount of information?
Guidelines on forms
- Focus attention on the form area
- Use a clean, simple layout
- Be ruthless: remove unnecessary fields
- Overcome hesitation with benefits
- Use clear, descriptive field labels
- Consider using active verbs
- Consider using sentence completion (eg, I am ____)
- Consider using a complete question
- Provide help and contextual answers
- Allow estimated answers
- Prefill as many needs as possible
- Clearly indicate the steps or time involved
- Provide security and privacy reassurance
My pet peeve: prioritize the user’s ease vs the organization’s efficiency
For examples, more explanation and more context, check out the book.