Landing pages are an extremely critical component of lead generation in inbound marketing. Are your landing pages optimized to their best visitor-to-lead conversion potential? If there’s any question in your mind about whether your landing pages are up to snuff, take a look at following cheat sheet. Does the anatomy of your landing pages include all of the following crucial elements? If not, it might be time to conduct a few landing page makeovers…

The Anatomy of an Effective Landing Page

Effective Landing Pagelanding page example

1. Headline: As the first thing your visitors will likely see when they ‘land’ on your landing page, having a clear and concise headline is critical. Use your headline to sum up your offer as clearly as possible. If it’s an ebook, say it’s an ebook. If it’s a webinar, say it’s a webinar. What kind of ebook or webinar is it? What will visitors who convert on your page receive?

2. Hidden Top/Side Navigation: Reduce friction as well as your landing page’s bounce rate and increase the chances your visitors will stay on your page by hiding any top and side navigation bars from your page. The last thing you want is for something else to catch their eye and distract them from completing the form.

3. Context: Below your main headline, consider using a sub-header to provide a little bit of information about the benefits and value. If your visitor decided not to read further, would it be enough to entice them to complete the form anyway? Next, add some context to your offer. Whyshould this offer be valuable to your visitor? In our example above, visitors discover that landing pages are effective for 94% of B2B and B2C companies. This should help them to understand why they are important and why they should learn how to build effective landing pages, setting them up nicely for the ebook offer.

4. Value: In many cases, your sub-header and context won’t be quite enough to motivate your visitor he or she should download/register/sign up for your offer. Use the rest of the text on your landing page to explain the value of your offer clearly and simply. Use bullet points to demonstrate clear takeaways and break up large blocks of text, and keep it brief and to-the-point. What will the person get out of your offer? Will they learn how to do something? Become more knowledgeable about a specific topic? How will the information be presented to them? In our example, visitors will receive a “26-page guide.” No question about it!

5. Image: It’s always wise to include a relevant image on your landing page. Try to match that image with the offer. For example, if you’re offering an ebook or a webinar, show a cover of the ebook or a screenshot of the webinar’s presentation cover slide. This will give your landing page visitors a tangible idea of what they’ll receive: “If I complete this form, I’ll get a 26-page guide that looks like that.” Images can also make a landing page much more visually appealing.

6. Lead-Capture Form: This is the element your landing page simply cannot function without. Your lead-capture form is the place where your page visitors will supply information in exchange for your offer. It’s also what converts those visitors into precious little sales leads. As a best practice, only ask for information you need from your leads in order to effectively follow up with and/or qualify them. It’s ultimately up to you to decide how many or how few form fields to include. Generally, longer forms will result in fewer but more qualified leads, and shorter forms will result in more but less qualified leads. Determine what works best for your business by testing and solving for your specific lead generation goals. Just keep in mind: visitors are very protective of their contact information, so the more form fields you require, the less likely people will convert.

7. Privacy Policy Link: Include a link to your business’ privacy policy on your landing page or directly within your lead-capture form to give your visitors peace of mind. As we just mentioned, visitors are protective of their personal information. Providing them with information about your company’s privacy policy will help to quell any fears that you’re not a trustworthy source or that you’ll sell their information to other vendors. This should positively impact the performance of your landing page.

8. ‘Submit’ Button: At the bottom of your lead-capture form (and as the call-to-action at the top of your form as well), use specific action words so your visitors clearly understand what they have to do to obtain the offer you’re presenting. On the button they click to submit their information, avoid using a general word like ‘submit.’ Eliminate any vagueness, and instead indicate exactly what action your visitors must take. If they’re going to receive an ebook, use a word like ‘download.’ If visitors are signing up to attend a live webinar, use a word like ‘register.’ Will they be receiving a free product trial? Try using the phrase ‘sign up.’

9. Social Sharing Buttons/Links: Enable visitors to easily share your landing page with their connections, too by including social media sharing links or buttons for social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter! Don’t miss out on this simple opportunity to extend the reach of your landing page and the content it offers beyond your direct network and reach. More visibility will lead to more landing page traffic and, ultimately, more leads!

10. One Single Call-to-Action: It’s important to understand that your landing page should be focused around one single offer. Including calls-to-action for other offers on your landing page is a sure-fire way to confuse and distract landing page visitors from completing your form.