Building your first landing page? Here are the first 4 steps to making it stress-free and easy.
After you finish this article, you’ll end up with a 4-step framework for creating landing pages.
When I first started out freelancing and got my first real client, I remember totally freezing up.
I mean, where do you even start in a project like that?
There were so many factors to keep in mind that everything ends up meshing together in your brain.
Even though I had the swipe files and templates to base the page on…
And I had a decent good idea on the marketing aspects needed for it to convert…
And I knew what the page needed…
Knowing about something and actually using your knowledge to make decisions and actively build something are two completely different things.
So to avoid letting that happen to you, here’s 4 steps you can take that will make creating your page a lot easier.
Pre-build landing page steps:
- Find out where your leads will come from and where they will go after converting.
- Decide what most-common landing page sections you want to include on the page (templates help a lot).
- Come up with any and all objections/barriers that could stop your lead from purchasing/opting in/downloading your offer.
- Make sure every necessary objection/barrier is addressed or unarmed in at least one section of your page.
And voilà, you have a basic outline and idea of what your landing page will show and do.
Although you might want me to dig in a little further…
Let’s do that.
1) Find out where your leads will come from and where they will go after converting
If you have a client, ask your client! People don’t just come to your landing page, they’re lead there. The question is, what will lead them there and where will they come form?
Will leads drop in from social media? Articles? Paid advertising?
What was the ad or hook that made them click? What drew them to the page?
Without this, you can’t even start.
This also makes coming up with a headline easier, since you’ll have an easier time imagining what the user is expecting when they land. (Which makes things less stressful on your end)
On the flip side, it’s also important to understand where users will go after they convert.
Will they land on a purchase page? A “download my offer” page? And what about after that?
Your responsibility isn’t to just make a page.
Knowing this makes building a lot easier.
2) Decide what most -common landing page sections you want to include on the page (templates help a lot)
If you can find a good template, sweet. This is always better since page templates (usually) come well tested to convert.
This lowers the amount of work on your end and makes your chances of having a good, well designed and high converting page go pretty up there.
Template or no template, you should know that landing pages have become kind of a “fill in the blanks” sort of job. (Heck, there’s AI out there that can spit one out in seconds)
That means that there’s very common blocks or “sections” that are very effective and serve a purpose on your page.
So it helps to understand what are the most common sections and why each one works so well…
Buuut we don’t have that time to go deep into that today, so for now I’ll just mention them:
- Navigation bar (Usually considered a no-no, but helpful if your links only scroll around anchors on the current page. Never to other pages unless you have a good reason)
- Hero section (Usually contains main headline, sub-headline and the infamous hero image)
- Sign up form
- How it works (Can be formatted into a 1–2–3 step process explanation)
- Testimonials from past clients/other users
- Past clients section/excuse to use other company logos section
- Video sales letter (VSL) or Video section
- Sexy big number (+) (A section that is used for social proof that talks about your offer’s x number of happy users, features or successful projects. e.g. 100,000+ users and counting. Infamously used with a plus sign after it to avoid giving an exact number that would need to be updated every few years/months.)
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Benefits section
These are the most common elements you’ll find and they always serve some sort of purpose for being there. They can even be combined if you’d like!
And as an add on, here’s an article I made on how to decide the order you give each section.
But hey, it’s your first landing page so go easy on yourself. Grab the list and just exclude the ones you think you don’t need.
3) Come up with any and all objections/barriers that could stop your lead from purchasing/opting in/downloading your offer
To be fair, this is one of the hardest things to do. It helps to find what are the most common objections/barriers and that…
Is out of scope for this article. Sorry 😅
(The list itself would be pretty long. Not to mention what’s considered “common objections” can get pretty generic. It’s like saying “price” or “understanding of your product”. It’s not that helpful unless you dig into each one more, something you and me don’t have time for right now.
Although if you do, I have scratched the surface on the topic before though)
But if I had to give you some direction, the secret is sitting down and asking yourself this:
“What are some things that can stop a person who would be interested in this offer from opting in?”
Some of these could be:
- The offer is a little hard to understand and the benefits for me aren’t clear.
- I’d need to trust the company more and the offer behind.
- I don’t see enough benefits for me to justify the opt-in.
- I don’t see the return on investment (ROI).
- I’m just not ready to buy yet.
Some of these, like the first 4, can be dealt with by being clear, using good design and being savvy with your messaging.
And that’s where benefit sections, testimonials, videos and solid design principles can help.
In the case of the last one though, if somebody says that then it probably means your marketing strategy needs a little bit of tweaking.
Remember that the people you bring to the page should (mostly) be made up of people who are ready to opt into what you’re offering.
If that isn’t the case, then you have a targeting issue.
4) Make sure every necessary objection/barrier is addressed or unarmed in at least one section of your page
Okay, so you have your list of most common objections. And you have a list of the sections you’ll use in your page.
Now you get to play a little game.
Match each objection to one or more sections that will in some way address and unarm those objections.
Of course not every one. Just the ones you deem necessary to tackle now.
This serves 2 purposes:
- This gives you an idea of the purpose of each section and makes writing and building for each one simpler. If you know what each section is supposed to do, it’s way easier to think of what each section has to say or how it’s designed.
- If there’s an objection you know you need to address but it isn’t disarmed in any section — then guess what? Now you know there’s a new section you have to add! Go back to the most common section list above and add the right one in. Huzzah! your page is better now.
By the end of this 4-step process, you should end up with a page structure that outlines exactly what you’ll need to say and where.
Now it’s just a matter of sitting down and getting the work done 😎 (hopefully with a lot less stress)
You can get a landing page swipe file that outlines real-life examples of all the sections I mentioned in point #2
My free landing page swipe file includes annotated examples and studies from real landing pages on the web.
You get it as a bonus for signing up to In One Snap: a weekly newsletter that delivers insights for marketers, designers and devs who want to increase conversions on their landing pages. You can check it out here.