Ah, the landing page. It’s almost like the skeleton key in the marketer’s toolbox. Need to spread the word about an event? Throw together a landing page. Trying to drive downloads for a new eBook? Host it on a landing page. Want to have a place where prospects can sign up to receive different types of emails? You can create a landing page for that.

Whatever the situation, the goal of a landing page is simple (or at least it should be): To provide a webpage with a singular focus that drives visitors to take some sort of action.

However, landing pages have taken on a life of their own. They’ve become difficult for marketers to stand up and often get cluttered with multiple offers as a result. But in order to be truly successful, landing pages need to remain simple, both in terms of what it takes to build them and what goes on the page itself.

10 Steps to Build a Landing Page That Converts Visitors

With the goal of simplicity in mind, what exactly does it take to build a landing page that converts visitors? Here’s what you need to know:

1) Maintain an Ultra Narrow Focus

Your landing pages should have an ultra narrow focus (e.g. to sign up for an event or download a specific resource), and everything on the page should align to that focus. Remember: A landing page is not like the homepage of your website. You don’t need to tell visitors everything about your business. Quite the contrary, you should keep things short, sweet and to the point.

2) Make the CTA Clear and Concise

Every landing page should have a call to action, as the goal of landing pages is to drive some sort of conversion. Your CTA needs to be clear in terms of what it asks of visitors and what they can expect to get in return. That return should be clear from the CTA language as well as from the entire landing page, since it should have an ultra narrow focus that centers around the CTA. An important part of this clarity is making your CTA concise, for example by keeping any forms as short as possible.

3) Place Your CTA Above the Fold

If the whole point of a landing page is to drive conversions, then you need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to do just that. In fact, the more you can hit them over the head with it, the better. With that in mind, it’s important to place your CTA above the fold so that it doesn’t get buried on the page. Further, putting the CTA in a place where visitors see it immediately can also help them understand the point of the page faster.

4) Pay Attention to Your Copy

In the age of dwindling attention spans, it’s easy to think your copy doesn’t matter, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, people are more prone to skimming, but the right copy can still pack a punch. When it comes to landing pages, you want to keep your copy tight, as you need to get your point across in an engaging and concise manner. Most importantly, your copy needs to be action-oriented and aligned with your overall brand voice.

5) Highlight Your Hook

When developing both your CTA and your copy for landing pages, think about the “hook” for your offer and highlight that. For example, can you create a sense of urgency around limited time or space? Can you offer authority by way of exclusive expertise or influencers? How about superiority by offering something that’s best-in-breed? You might even consider some light “peer pressure” by noting other companies similar to your target audience that are already on board.

6) Think About Your Page Design

At the end of the day, we all like when things are easy on the eyes, and landing pages are no exception. The design of landing pages is extremely important, and this design extends to everything from colors, images and video used to CTA placement and even the layout of the copy (think headers, bullet points, etc.).

7) Make it Responsive

Arguably the most important aspect of landing page design is responsive design, as people now use mobile devices for nearly everything. You need to make sure your landing page is responsive so that it renders beautifully for any screen size, since no one will (or can) convert on a mobile device when the CTA is cut off.

8) Think About Shareability

While you don’t want to crowd your landing page with competing CTAs, adding social buttons for shareability can go a long way. That’s because if you get one visitor who likes the page and its offer, you want to make it easy for them to share it with others. And that personal recommendation can go a long way toward bringing in new visitors, especially ones who are more likely to convert.

9) Deliver What You Say You Will

If you’ve kept everything on your page, including your CTA, your copy and your design, specific to your narrow focus, then you most certainly need to deliver what you promised. Matching the actual offer to everything promoting it is of utmost importance to building and maintaining trust with visitors so that they will continue to engage with your company and convert on future landing pages.

10) Always Test for Improvements

Finally, don’t be afraid to try new things. Look for opportunities to improve your landing pages on a regular basis, for example by testing new designs, new copy, new CTA language or anything else. Once you have an idea, be sure to try it out with an A/B test to see whether the change will actually pay off. This type of testing and performance monitoring is critical to understanding if your landing page is performing the way you want. And while it may sound intimidating, the right data analytics tools can make this type of testing an easy (and potentially fun) exercise.

A Landing Page Your Visitors Simply Can’t Resist

If you can follow the steps above, you’ll be well on your way to having a landing page that visitors simply can’t resist.

But before you sit back and watch the conversions roll in, remember that you still have to attract visitors. With that in mind, make sure you think about your on-page SEO and overall promotion strategy so that you can get people there to start converting, because if no one comes, it doesn’t matter how amazing your landing page is.

Once you nail that down, you might just find that the old adage is wrong and you can in fact lead a horse to water and make it drink.

Want some inspiration for landing pages? Check out these resources: