For eCommerce store owners, landing pages are among the most important pages you can create. A landing page is an excellent way to promote a particular resource, package, or deal.
But how do you create a high converting landing page that achieves your business goals? In this guide, we’ll go back to basics and explain:
- What a landing page is
- How it’s different from a home page or product page
- How to use landing pages and the benefits you can get
- How to design, create and test landing pages
Ready? Let’s begin with a landing page definition.
What is a landing page?
So, what exactly is a landing page? In essence, it’s a destination page that provides relevant information for visitors on an offer or deal in exchange for their email address or contact details. In eCommerce, landing pages can also be shoppable, meaning they can offer a way to purchase a product or group of products.
Landing pages are an important lead generation tool. The most important thing to know about a landing page is that it’s targeted. It’s promotes a single item to a specific audience and has a single purpose or goal.
A successful landing page will convert traffic into leads. You won’t put all your lead magnets onto a single landing page. Instead, you’ll have a landing page for each offer and audience.
For example, if you sell e-bikes, you might create a landing page offering a free buying guide in exchange for an email address, and then create separate versions of that landing page targeted at different audiences (e.g., families, commuters, wholesalers, etc.) Or if you sell software, you might create a landing page to advertise a deal packaging up your best selling apps for a discounted price. Another common use of landing pages is to get people to sign up for an event or webinar.
What’s the difference between landing pages and home pages?
People often think of home pages as landing pages—and yes, many visitors to your site do land there—but they’re not the same at all. Here are some key differences.
The home page is the main page for your site (e.g, yourdomain.com), while a landing page is a sub-page (e.g., yourdomain.com/landing-page).
The audience for your home page isn’t as targeted as the audience you send to your landing page, because you never know who’s going to find you. (You can affect that with SEO, but that’s another story.)
For the same reason, your home page often won’t have single, a specific goal. Instead, you’ll want to make sure anyone who lands there can find what they need. That said, your homepage might have one goal that you want to push most visitors toward, especially if you sell a single product or small number of products.
Unlike an ultra-specific landing page, your home page will include:
- An overview of your business
- Navigation to different parts of your site
- Links to your external profiles, such as social media
- More content aimed at a wider range of visitors
In other words, even though visitors land there, a home page isn’t a landing page. It’s just not specific enough.
For example, Amazon’s home page for logged out users has links to some of its most popular categories to lead people further into the site.
While this Amazon landing page for the NVidia Shield product line is more focused on talking about the merits of this specific product line. This page is targeted at shoppers who have searched for or clicked on an ad for the NVidia Shield and its purpose is to educate, not sell. (Even though it’s about a product, this isn’t a product page, as we see below.)
We’ll talk more about Amazon’s landing pages—which often break some of the key landing page rules—later, and go over what they do well and what they do poorly.
What’s the difference between landing pages vs. product pages?
Another important distinction for eCommerce retailers is between landing pages and product pages.
Unlike landing pages, product pages don’t have a single audience. Though the ultimate goal of a product page is to push visitors toward purchase, a product page may try to do multiple things overall. A product page will:
- Give information on a product or product range, including product photos
- Provide detailed product descriptions to keep visitors interested
- Include links to areas of your site with more information (like product options, customer reviews, and related products)
- Include multiple calls to action (for example to explore product options, customize products or add products to the shopping cart)
For example, the Best Buy product page below includes two calls to action (add to cart and save for later), product customization, and related products.
It’s worth noting that there’s sometimes an overlap, because you can also use landing pages to generate sales of a specific product.
How do you use landing pages in eCommerce?
For all eCommerce sites, the ultimate goal is to turn visitors into customers, but you can’t always do that straight away. You have to start by building a relationship, and the first step is often to encourage people to give you their email address so you can start building that connection through email marketing.
An eCommerce landing page is the perfect place to target information to your audience, and get them to start engaging with you. If you get it right, sales will come later.
So your eCommerce landing page might:
- Ask people to subscribe to your newsletter so you can keep them up-to-date with offers and deals
- Offer a freebie that solves a problem for them, like an eBook or other digital download—this is your lead magnet
- Dangle a coupon as a carrot to entice people to shop
- Persuade visitors to buy something specific
- Offer a free trial or product demo
- Offer an upgrade to a product or service they’re already interested in
- Personalize an offer for people coming from particular referral sources (like social media sites, online ads, or a previous email)
And you will see later how to create landing pages that make people want to opt in.
Benefits of landing pages
Beyond generating leads and sales, landing pages offer several other benefits to eCommerce retailers, including:
- Making sure your marketing is attracting visitors
- Delivering value to visitors and customers
- Improving SEO
Let’s look at these in more detail.
Making sure your marketing is attracting visitors
If you’re promoting a single product, a landing page is a great way to see how effective your marketing promotions are. And if you’re using multiple methods, like email marketing, social media marketing, and pay per click advertising, you can check which one works best.
This is easy to see when you look at analytics data, which will show you referral sources for your site.
If you want to track data for a single page, you can use segments and filtering to see just that data.
Once you know what works, you can increase your use of the most effective marketing method for that page. This won’t be the same for every page, though; you’ll have to check each one.
Delivering value and gathering information
Paying attention to whether people visit your landing page, and how they interact with it, can help you identify what’s most interesting to your target audience. This helps you deliver what they value not just on that page, but across your site. So a landing page can help you improve your content strategy. Remember, the valuable resource you deliver today can help interest people in becoming customers later.
Hubspot is a great example of this in action. The company offers tons of free resources, each with its own landing page. And when you’ve downloaded one, they’re quick to suggest a related resource that might interest you.
While they’re at it, they collect information from you, a little more each time. In this example, they’re collecting the basics.
But if you grab another resource, the next form might be longer, like the example below.
Getting your content seen in search engine results pages is all about being relevant. And you can’t get more relevant to individual search terms than a landing page. (Specific purpose and specific audience, remember?)
So if you optimize your page titles and descriptions to reflect that specificity, and you optimize for a relevant keyword phrase, you’ve primed the page to keep bringing traffic to your site for months and years to come. And the more people visit your landing page, the more relevant that page looks to Google.
What is a landing page conversion rate?
One common question people have about landing pages is “what’s a landing page conversion rate?”
A landing page conversion rate is the number of people who take the desired action, expressed as a percentage of the number of people who arrive at your landing page. So if 1,000 people come to your landing page, and 50 sign up for your email newsletter, then your landing page conversion rate is 5%.
Another common question is “what’s a good landing page conversion rate” or, to put it another way, how do you know your landing page is working?
There are two answers to that.
First, the average landing page conversion rate varies widely by industry. And, according to ImpactBND, it depends who you ask. Some studies show the average landing page conversion rate is 2.35%, while others put this as high as 5%. However, the top 10% of sites can convert at 11.45% of more.
The second answer is the question you really should be asking is: what’s a good landing page conversion rate for my store? Benchmark data can’t tell you what’s right for your own eCommerce business.
Think about whether you are meeting your marketing goals in terms of leads, and if enough of those leads are becoming sales to meet your financial goals. Again, analytics will help you determine this. You can track email signups via your email marketing software, and you can also track conversions via Google Analytics goals.
OK, so now let’s break down the key elements of a good landing page. These are:
- The lead magnet or item you’re promoting
- Landing page design
- Your landing page copy (including headlines and subheads)
- The opt-in form
- A compelling call to action (CTA)
- Social proof
We’ll look at these elements in more detail in the rest of this guide.
Getting started: know your audience
Like all marketing, creating a great eCommerce landing page starts with knowing your audience. Landing pages are extremely targeted so every audience will need its own page. If you’re selling clothing, your marketing will vary by gender, age, location, and more. It’s the same with landing pages.
If you’ve already got customer personas set up, you’re ahead of the game. If not, look at demographics and interests reports in Google Analytics, and social media analytics to see who’s already interacting with you.
Part of building a picture of your audience, which is what a persona is, is figuring out what matters to them. This will help you create the right lead magnet and landing page content. You can find this out by paying attention to search terms that bring them to your site via Google Analytics and Google Search Console, or by using a specialized tool like Ahrefs.
Even simpler, ask them. A survey, or a social media poll, or even an on site survey or popup is a quick shortcut to testing lead magnet ideas to help you steer your landing page in the right direction.
Here’s a landing page example from Amazon, promoting its wedding registry service.
Although it breaks some of the key landing page rules (there are a bunch of links to relevant Amazon services), here’s what this eCommerce landing page does right:
- It includes an image of a couple to suggest a honeymoon and create feelings of happiness
- The headline is simple, clear, and includes a benefit
- The copy highlights what Amazon offers in terms of product range
- The main call to action is clear (“Create your registry”)
On the other hand, it does a few things sub-optimally:
- It has links to lots of other internal Amazon pages
- It has a secondary CTA that’s very different from the primary one (“Find a registry”)
- The traffic to this page might not be as targeted as it could be (i.e., are the visitors couples creating their registry or wedding attendees finding a registry for the people getting married?)
Decide on your lead magnet
Once you know your audience and the key issue they need you to solve, it’s time to create your lead magnet. At the start, this doesn’t have to be an intensive process. You could create a checklist related to a piece of content you’ve already published.
It’s also essential to know how you will deliver the lead magnet. This can be a direct download, an email, or both, if it’s a digital product. If it’s a product demo or free trial, send access instructions by email. And that applies to webinars, too.
Having everything ready in advance will speed up the process of creating your landing page.
It’s also important to note that with eCommerce landing pages, instead of a lead magnet designed to gather customer information, landing pages can also be used to sell a specific product. You could use a landing page to target a specific demographic coming to you via search or paid ads, or you could use a landing page to promote a specific deal or bundle.
Design your landing page
Assuming that your landing page is part of an existing site, the best way to start is by creating a new page, then editing out all the stuff you don’t need. Since landing pages are focused, it’s important to get rid of anything that gets in the way of their mission of winning conversions.
Depending on your website setup, you may already have a special landing page template. For example, many WordPress themes include a page layout with no sidebars.
But if you’re creating a landing page from scratch, here’s what you need to remove:
- The navigation bar
- The sidebars and footer
- Any ad banners
For example, here’s what the main 1-800 Flowers site looks like:
And here’s their eCommerce landing page for business. It’s much less cluttered, and there are no navigation bars.
The point is to make sure people don’t wander off and follow another link. Ideally, when people are on your landing page, you want them to stick around until they’ve converted (i.e., taken the desired action you want them to take).
Once you have your blank canvas, here’s what you do next.
Grab attention with the headline
The headline is your first chance to either grab your audience’s attention, or lose it forever. How you write it will determine the outcome you get. Typically, landing page headlines:
- Are short—no more than a few words
- Highlight a pain point
- Offer or tease a solution
Here’s an example from the landing page for The Farmer’s Dog. In a five-word headline (where one of the words is “A”), they highlight the pain point, offer a solution, and differentiate their company.
Show your value with the subhead
Of course, that’s a lot to cram into only a few words, which is why the second most important part of your landing page copy is the subheadline. This gives you more room to expand on the issue and the solution. Often it will:
- Emphasise how quick or pain-free the solution is
- Tell you a bit more about the tool or resource being offered
- Highlight an additional benefit or social proof
- Foreshadow the CTA
This is basically your value proposition, which cements the reason why people should take what you’re offering. In the example below, Shopify highlights two benefits for customers in the subheadline.
Beachbody’s subhead hits all of its key jobs in supplementing the headline. It states the killer sales pitch about how quick and pain-free the solution is with “LOSE up to 9 lbs. In 14 days.” And it reinforces the call-to-action: You can get started immediately, for free.
Include an image to support your offer
In our article on conversion optimization, we mentioned the importance of images in getting people to look at your content. The right image can hold the attention of people who may be wavering. And if you use images of people, the direction of their gaze can guide visitors to look at exactly what you want them to see. You can use this to subtly highlight your opt-in form, for example.
In this example from Bluehost, the person is looking toward the offer, making us want to look, too. Since the person is happy, this subtly reinforces the idea that Bluehost’s web hosting service is great. The bullet points outline what you get, and there’s a clear call to action on the green button. Note that Bluehost does not include a subhead on this page, however, so there is potential room for improvement.
In addition to people, you can also include:
- An image of your digital product, like an eBook cover
- A glamour or “in-use” shot of your physical product
- The title slide of your webinar
- A photo that underlines your key point or reinforces a specific brand value or the feeling you want to evoke (e.g., an outdoor gear company might use a picture of an awe-inspiring vista on a landing page for an eBook about hiking)
Expand on the benefits with landing page copy
Next, it’s time to think about your landing page copy. This is where you get to say more about what’s on offer and how it will benefit your visitors. For example, your copy may:
- Directly address the audience you’re targeting
- Repeat the issue your product or lead magnet solves
- Include bullet points showing benefits or solutions
But—you don’t want to overwhelm your visitors. They want to know what they get or what your product or lead magnet will do for them, not the technical details. Make sure your put enough emphasis on benefits.
Check out all of the body copy Blue Apron uses on its landing page to walk prospective customers through each of the signature features of their food delivery service. These are short sections, just a headline, a few sentences, and a picture—just the right amount of text to explain the benefits quickly and easily.
Another part of your landing page copy is the offer you’re making to visitors. Again, you’re focusing on what’s in it for them. This will lead naturally into your opt-in form and call to action (CTA).
Landing pages vary in length, so for a long landing page, you’ll likely include longer versions of all the elements we’ve already outlined. For example, you could spend more time describing each benefit, instead of just having short bullet points. Even for a long landing page, though, you’ll likely include short copy at the top of the page for those who want to get straight to the point.
A good way to make sure you get your landing page copy right is to check out the language people are using to talk about products or services like yours, and mirror that in your copy. Also pay attention to what your customers tell you when they reach out to you for pre-sales or support questions, and survey them regularly to get and idea of what resonates with people who already buy from you.
You know what’s a good way to encourage people to opt in to your landing page? Help them to trust you with social proof. It’s all about letting them know others like them have made the same choice.
You see this on Amazon all the time, where they display the number of customer reviews. That tells everyone that thousands of customers have purchased a product, and have given it a high rating (or the opposite).
Types of social proof that work well include:
- Customer testimonials
- Customer reviews and ratings
- Numbers that show you’re good at what you do
- Numbers that show how many people have opted in
Casper is trying to convince people to buy a mattress online, in most cases without lying down on it and trying it out. Social proof is key in that endeavor—after all, if you see that tons of other people are wildly satisfied with their Casper mattresses, it makes you more likely to believe you’ll be wildly satisfied too. To that end, Casper repeatedly hits social proof on its landing page. There are three examples right here at the top of the page: The headline of “America’s #1 Rated Mattress”… the first icon noting it’s “Loved & trusted by over 1 million customers”… and then the awards from four prestigeous publications.
But the social proof doesn’t stop there. About halfway down the page, there’s an entire section devoted to glowing customer reviews.
There’s one more trust builder to include on your eCommerce landing page: trust seals. If your landing page is for a purchase, people want to know their money is safe with you. After all, not trusting sites with financial information is a major reason for cart abandonment.
And it’s also worth including a privacy statement, and letting people know how the information they enter will be used. Not only is this good for compliance with the EU’s GDPR rules, but it makes you a good guy for everyone.
Alternatively, or in addition, offer some sort of guarantee to put potential customers at ease and make it more likely for them to make a positive purchase decision. For example, offer a money-back guarantee or a no-hassle exchange policy.
Write your CTA
The call-to-action (CTA) is a crucial part of your landing page, or of any marketing copy. It’s where you tell visitors what you want them to do. Sometimes, you’ll tell them why, too.
Typically CTAs will do some or multiple of the following:
- Use action words, like get, download, shop, or buy
- Create urgency, using words like now or today
- Make it clear when an offer is risk free—that works when offering something free or cheap
- Make people curious, for example when offering a resource to help them learn or do something
Sometimes it helps to get personal. An Unbounce case study shows that changing the CTA text from “me” to “you” boosted conversions by 90%. That’s the approach Industrial takes in the eCommerce landing page below.
You CTA will usually appear more than once on a landing page. For example, it might be:
- Near the top, for those who are already convinced they want to act
- After the benefits, for those who needed more persuasion
- After the social proof, on a longer landing page
- At the bottom of the page, for folks who got all the way to the end
- In your opt in form
- In a persistent header that stays always visible as the user scrolls
Typically, it will be either a button or a link or, sometimes, a combination of both. Check out some more call to action examples on Hubspot.
Create your opt-in form
Finally, there’s your opt-in form. This is where people actually enter their details to take up your offer. At the very least, your opt-in form will include a field for the visitor’s first name, and email, and a CTA button. It may also include a brief privacy or anti-spam statement for additional reassurance.
But some landing page opt-in forms also include:
- Additional fields to collect more information
- An image
- A restatement of the key benefit
Many people say that if you keep forms short, you’ll get more people to sign up. This is true in most cases, but you should also test this with your audience. As we’ve seen, Hubspot typically includes several fields in their landing page forms, and they seem to be pretty successful.
In the example below, H. Bloom collects all the information needed to deliver their offer of a custom floral arrangement design consultation. Note that this landing page still includes distracting navigation items. The image is attractive and relevant, with the blooms pointing towards the optin form as a subtle cue. However, the headline doesn’t show up well against the background image.
There’s definitely room for H. Bloom to do better here, and one way to optimize your landing page is to…
A/B test your landing page
The secret of success with any marketing is to test best practices with your own audience. The term “best practices” is sort of a misnomer, because everyone’s audience is different. What works for one retailer might not work for you. However, best practices offer a great place for you to start and then test and iterate based on the data you gather. You’ll want to see:
- Which headlines and subheads are most effective
- Which CTAs lead to conversions
- Which design elements help your landing page succeed
The best way to do this is with A/B testing. This lets you test a couple of versions of page elements against each other so you can see which works best. Keep doing this, and your landing page should be more and more successful at winning conversions.
Ready to create your own eCommerce landing page? The information and ideas in this article will help. Here’s one final tip: make sure that your eCommerce email marketing solution plays nicely with your landing page, so you can turn your landing page into an eCommerce lead generation machine.