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Landing Pages from a Development and UX Perspective

Guide
by Andrew Tebbott Developer

No matter how much you try to optimise your web pages, you don’t really have much say in which ones visitors are sent to from search engines. Landing pages are a completely different proposition, however. Email, social media and traditional media can all send visitors to a specific page, which gives you a great opportunity to provide a focused, purposeful message that really performs. And how well it performs depends largely on your UX and development. Let’s have a look at what that means.

Landing page basics

One thing most experts agree on is that a landing page should be focused on its purpose. If you’re running a promotion for a certain product or service, a landing page can exist solely to inform customers about it. That way you can accurately measure how well the campaign has performed, in terms of incoming traffic and conversions.

For that reason, your landing page should be stripped down to the bare minimum. You should get your creative minds working on effective copy, graphics and layout to guide your visitors towards one discrete destination: the place where conversion happens. 

A landing page can therefore be a standalone page, rather like a microsite, with its own look and feel that doesn’t necessarily follow those of the main site. If you’re retailing a product from a third party, for example, it would be fine to go heavy on that product’s branding rather than your own. You can even do away with your menus and other design elements in your quest for focus.

Landing page UX

From a UX perspective, a landing page is pretty straightforward. The visitor will know why they are there as they will only ever get there via some kind of prompt, so there’s no need for lengthy explanations about who you are and what you do. As soon as they land, the user will expect to be guided towards the offer advertised, so the job of UX is to satisfy those expectations.

That means expert use of layout, colour, imagery and copy to leave the visitor in no doubt where they are heading. As soon as you bring more elements into the page than are necessary, it’s inevitable that the message will be diluted, and that will result in fewer conversions.

So essentially, you’re confirming to the visitor that they’ve come to the right place and sending them off to where they can convert. If that can be done in one or two steps, your landing page has served its purpose.

Landing page Development

As for the developer, the task is just as straightforward: apply the specifications laid out by the UX team, and ensure the page loads quickly on all devices and that every visit is tracked so conversion rate can be calculated.

Page load speed is a known factor in conversion, so anything that can be done to reduce it is a bonus. Since the developer might be building a page from scratch (i.e. not using the standard CMS for the site), they should have plenty of opportunities to create an HTML page that’s devoid of the things that bloat normal pages. A simplified, responsive page with tracking and links to the target product is all that’s required.

Keep it simple and reap the rewards

Simplicity is the keyword on a landing page. You’re not too worried about search optimisation as you’re in control of the inbound traffic much more than you are with your normal pages.

Remember that your potential customers are busy and are probably clicking out of interest, so you might only have a few seconds to convince them to keep on clicking or tapping. Grab them with a simple message, give them a clear pathway to conversion and then it’s down to the benefits of the product itself to decide whether they take the next step. By then, the jobs of the UX and dev teams are done.