If you have been working on the Internet for any time at all – and if you have been paying attention to other marketers’ landing pages, you know that visual appearance can make all the difference. Formatting and design are as important as the words in attracting customers and selling products/services.
The way your landing page looks is a critical factor in whether your page does what it is meant to do – or not. So, let’s take a close look at the visual components of a page and the importance of leveraging images and formatting.
Font and Font Size
There are many strong opinions about fonts among professional designers. It all boils down to this: The page should be easy to read on all devices – from a mobile device to a desktop monitor.
Some fonts are simply easier on the eyes and were designed for online reading. Knowing the difference and choosing wisely is paramount. In addition, the font size must fit well within the overall design. Good selection comes with testing. You may have to try different sizes until you find the perfect fit. As a general rule of thumb – your headline and call to action fonts should be large enough that they will stand out from the body copy.
- Courier New, Courier
- Trebuchet MS
For online use the sans-serif* fonts are preferred and easier to read.
*A category of typefaces that do not use serifs, small lines at the ends of characters. Popular sans serif fonts include Helvetica, Avant Garde, Arial, and Geneva. Serif fonts include Times Roman, Courier, New Century Schoolbook, and Palatino.
White space also, called negative space, is the empty space on the page. There must be a visual balance between the images and the words. If the page is too busy or visually heavy, it will overwhelm your visitor and they will click away. Below is a great example of good visual space. (Sample from GetResponse.com)
This next one is an example of a landing page that is so busy, you have no idea where to start reading. There is a big yellow “start here” with a red arrow; but, it gets lost in the morass of information, etc.
Bullets or Numbers
Bullets or numbers draw the eye to key points you want visitors to see. They make it easy to immediately access the information they are seeking.
In the screenshot above, the designer used both bullets and check marks – but in three different places, which is overwhelming rather than effective.
The colors you select should relate to your business niche. For example, blue and/or gray are typically used for software and financial companies – while health and nutrition sites use green.
Again, balance is important. Colors should be well-balanced with the use of text and white space. Make sure your font colors stand out clearly against the background color so the text is readable. NOTE: We do not recommend a white font on a black background.
The click through landing page below is well-designed.
The colors are representative of the healthy food niche. There is a nice balance between the white space and the text; plus, they have cleverly used an image on the ereader as a means of conveying the benefit of the Paleo Diet as well. The button on the page is large enough that cannot be overlooked; yet, it blends in nicely with the page design.
Forms and Text Boxes
When the visitor clicks on the “Buy Now” button in the above example, there will be a form to complete. In many cases it will only be an email signup form. However, if you are inviting someone to request a free trial and your goal is to convert leads into customers, you may want to ask for more information.
With any online purchase you will probably want to gather a little more information from the buyer. Two rules to remember: 1) Ask for the minimum amount of information you need and 2) position the “ask” strategically. Be sure it is clearly visible. In the visually cluttered landing page we looked at earlier, the form blended into all of the other information and could easily be missed.
In the “Top Marketing Trends” example above, the form is clear and easy to find. Notice that it doesn’t ask for pages and pages of information, just enough to help the sales team learn what they need to know about the prospect.
K.I.S.S. is the message of the day!