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There are tests that show both long and short form landing pages that win more conversions. Landing page length has previously trended toward short form with everything pushed above the fold.
Today we’re moving toward longer form landing pages, where you no longer have to squeeze everything into the top to score that conversion.
Here’s an example where Highrise completed an A/B test that resulted in 37.5% more conversions on the longer landing page:
“Today’s business buyers independently seek out information about products. During the awareness stage, buyers rely on search, vendor websites, and newsletters/emails as their top channels to find information. Once they’re ready to buy, they opt to connect with a sales representative.”
This isn’t to say longer landing pages are the preferred case every time – it’s a trend and the important thing, as we know, is to always be testing.
The simple and minimalist design trend has been around and is here to stay. Design principles that keep your pages clean and uncluttered still matter. It’s a way to keep the cognitive load small (Usability Testing Tip #26) and a way to avoid having your visitors think too much.
Businesses are smartening up and doing all the heavy lifting for visitors by keeping things super easy to ingest.
Specifically, the simple and minimalist design trend includes things like:
Here’s a clutter vs. clean example, test conducted by British Gas:
This one’s less common and likely trending because it also takes on a smaller cognitive load and spotlights the headline. By using a split screen design, information is visually categorized into large encapsulated buckets of info that make it easier to process.
This makes it easy for the brain to process various types of info. Here’s an example from Stitch Fix where visitors can quickly look left for the visual explanation and look right for the readable content:
This trend visually cleans up the landing page and allows you to better achieve your 1:1 attention ratio goal (best practice #2). It’s a recommended best practice to exclude distracting navigation bars and footers on landing pages.
Bonus trend: For homepages, businesses are using “if you really want it” navigation instead. Also known as the “upside down landing page,” the nav bars are at the bottom of the page. Leaving any nav bars out of the first fold especially keeps your visitors focused on the landing page goal.
Videofruit’s Bryan Harris popularized this idea and claims his email subscriber count went up by 35% as a results.
No longer are the days of evasive salesy euphemistic headlines. Businesses are using super clear and obvious headlines that speak to the basic needs of their visitors.
The trend is to answer in the actual headline’s larger font: “I want to…” as if the visitor is thinking or speaking the headline. This is a direct way to explain your unique value proposition and from the perspective of your audience.
Here’s what Close.io does:
This trend goes one step further and differentiates from the classic headline ways even more. The artless non-fancy (yet trendy) way to display your landing page headline is by making the headline message so clear it doesn’t feel like a headline.
Here’s an example from Dakwak where the headline consists of a question and a direct answer about the solution:
There’s a build-up of mobile users that we can no longer ignore. The trick to reaching these visitors is to have your offers live where your visitors hang out on mobile.
Since we have this many people hanging out on mobile nowadays:
It’s becoming popular to create landing pages that are specifically designed to reach your audiences hanging out on social media platforms. It’s no wonder because your visitors feel and behave differently on social media so you want to address that and tailor your designs and message.
Here’s an example of Plate’s social media ad:
Usability is such a big deal in general, and making sure the experience is functionable on several devices is a must these days.
Most businesses are at least using more responsive landing page designs with better performance, however the trend of using a dedicated mobile experience that’s only optimized for mobile traffic is the more effective trend.
According to Maximiliano Firtman at Smashing Magazine:
“People convert more because their experience on mobile devices is now better and faster than whatever solution was in place before (whether it was a crude mobile version or a crammed-in desktop layout).
So, yes, responsiveness is better than nothing and better than an old mobile implementation. But a separate mobile website with the same design or even a smarter solution done with other techniques would achieve the same conversion rate or better.”
For those that can afford it, this trend is proving to be an effective way to communicate to visitors. Explainer videos are becoming widely adopted by business. Tell your story through your landing page video.
Beyond the standard video, autoplay full-screen video is also a latest hit. The video file loops in the background with an overlay so your landing page content can still live on top and be featured center stage. The full-screen video gives off an interesting living dynamic on your landing page.
CoSchedule uses a full-screen vid below their overlay:
“Contextual videos help set the mood for the conversion. Your customers are triggered emotionally with the subtle imagery and are persuaded to click the CTA button. With full screen videos, you get to include more than a single image on your page, which means you get to have more than one conversion opportunity to make an impact.”
The days of using stock photography are disappearing and keeping it real is in. People want to see unique real humanistic images and experiences that they can relate to, so it’s no wonder custom photography is a landing page trend.
Here’s what AutoPilot does:
Another way to stand out is to evoke emotion. This landing page trend of including an evocative background image is emerging. It’s a way for companies to visually communicate to their visitors without taking up too much landing page real estate. The copy and other written content can easily glide over the background image.
Here’s what Creatrix does:
Illustrations are trending now and give companies a chance to be more creative and unique. Illustrations offer a quirky alternative to using images are another artistic way to customize your brand.
Here’s an example of how KlientBoost’s own designer Olivia Taylor improved our client’s landing page:
According to Cubet:
“Flat design is characterized by the eradication of the elements of realism leaving behind a simplified design.”
Some pros of flat design according to Cubet:
Plus, remember this trend?
Putting your offer into context for users is thankfully a trending landing page element. Showing your visitors and prospects social proof through imagery makes it easy to show off your unique value prop without having to use words.
Here’s an example of an ebay golf shop:
The use of cards is a trending concept on landing pages and better organizes info on the page by encapsulating content. On ecommerce sites, this works especially well for showing your product options and direct links to them.
Here’s an example of a Clarks case study:
Pop-ups and welcome mats are becoming more popular. It’s an animated way to engage your audience after they’ve already arrived at your page.
Tip: Depending on the content of your landing page, make your entrance pop-up offer relevant to the stuff on that exact page.
You’ll see more interactive design and interactive opt-in processes on landing pages. It’s a way to get people to initially engage and then move them deeper into the opt-in process.
Check out the impact of passive vs. interactive according to Demand Metric and Ion Interactive:
“BuzzFeed has generated millions of Facebook shares through interactive quizzes such as ‘What State Do You Actually Belong In?’ and ‘What Career Should You Actually Have?’ that have broken social sharing records.
In fact, all of BuzzFeed’s top 10 stories in January were quizzes.”
This trend features animation that simply demos your product offer. This makes it easy for visitors to gauge their expectation.
Here’s an example from Languages that combines the mobile app trend (Landing Page Trend #8) and a product demo GIF:
Storytelling through an animated GIF can make your offer come alive on your landing page. This can also double as the imagery-of-product-being-used trend (Landing Page Trend #17) or the GIF-for-product-demonstration trend (Landing Page Trend #21).
Here’s a pretty obvious example on the Lix Pen page:
Especially as fancier interactive designs hit the mainstream, this trend becomes increasingly necessary while people wait for landing pages to load.
Here’s an example from Food of the Food:
What’s out: bland unclear CTAs like submit, click here, sign-up, register.
What’s in: CTAs that speak to the user experience and are typically action-oriented and a whole phrase (even short ones).
Here’s an example from Instapage:
This trend goes against the best practice of having one single goal per landing page, however if done properly, the two CTAs trend can have a tortoise and hare effect.
Each CTA is presented as if it’s addressing a different step. One’s for the exploring visitor that’s still researching options. The other is for the visitor ready to engage.
Here’s an example from LanderApp:
This trend works well with the above two-CTA’s trend, where you have your ready-for-action CTA as the dominant button and the exploratory CTA as the ghost button.
Here’s what Quill does:
More businesses are opening up to the multi-step forms idea, where you increase the number of form fields and increase the number of form steps.
Here’s how Danielle Olivas describes the trend:
Without giving the farm away, businesses are offering a glimpse into their products and services through sneak peek visuals.
Images of real people using your real products, and better yet, images of happy people benefiting from using your products, is a trend that can help you entice more users.
Here’s how WeWork’s Santa Monica landing page uses the trend:
Being very clear and obvious with your value proposition can be accomplished through the step-by-step structure trend. This one has to do with outlining how easy it is for your visitors to use your product or service.
The simpler and cleaner your directions, the better. Think paint-by-numbers easy, like here:
This trend speaks to our psychological need to “try before you buy.” By offering your visitors free explanations of how your offer works, you can more easily sway them to use it. Plus, by taking them through the demo, it’s as if they’re already playing the client role, helping with the priming process. Keep that relationship dynamic going.
Hubspot uses an interactive self-guided tour format:
Tapping into your visitor’s sense of reciprocity has proven to be beneficial, and you can see this as businesses are catching onto this trend of offering free tools. Free tools is a big one if you can afford the development cost.
Mayo Clinic offers a free BMI calculator on their site:
This a fun trend on the rise. There’s no better way to express your benefits and value proposition than to do it through storytelling. Even better, make it an animated storytelling session, so your visitors really don’t have to do any of the thinking.
Here’s an InfoQuest example with an interactive animated storytelling page:
The trend is to be more human and to use conversational elements when you have the opportunity on your landing pages.
Here’s how KlientBoost’s Olivia Taylor upped another conversion rate using this trend:
Social proof has been around a long time. The takeaways to use in today’s landing pages – keep it real. Using real people and real influencers vs. overpriced celebrity endorsements, with more detail is the latest and greatest way to use testimonials.
Remembering that the Thank You page is also part of the landing page experience is a good thing to have trending. Too often companies have forgotten to close the loop and think the hard works stops after the conversion happens.
Just because someone clicks on your offer doesn’t mean the user experience is complete. In fact, quite the opposite happens. Now that you’ve persuaded someone to engage in your offer, prove to them your awesome qualities and show them how great it is to be your customer.
Here’s what Orbit Media Studios does:
So which trends are here to stay? Let’s find out. Give these landing page fads a whirl and let us know which ones tested the best for improving conversion rates.
Then we can figure which of the hits make the landing page best practice list and add them to our ammo of CRO tools.
When it comes to PPC, the first person I turn to is Johnathan Dane. He and his team cut through the bullshit and get straight to the point with the goal of making you more money. Work with him."