A landing page can make or break your campaign.
You can have the best CTR, messaging, and targeting – but all that won’t matter when you can’t convert that traffic into customers (well, leads).
In this post, we’re going to walk you through step-by-step, section-by-section, of how to design a landing page that converts. Oh, and we’ll throw in a few bonus tactics you can test too.
So where do we start…well every high converting landing page functions on a few core principles…
1. Convey the unique value of your service
2. Provide support for these claims, and
3. Offer an immediate way to get started with your company (otherwise known as a call-to-action).
In the world of B2B landing pages, this call to action often looks like a signup form with 3-6 fields. Gating your eBook, webinar request, demo request (schedule or pre-recorded video).
Despite the relative simplicity of the landing page formula, you’ll need to account for limited attention spans.
Studies indicate the average user spends under one minute on a given web page, meaning you’ll have to quickly convey all of this essential information. So it’s more important than ever to have clear messaging, sound UX structure, cohesive narration, and clear imagery to convey your service.
This is where it’s best to “mind the cognitive load”.
First, Mind the Cognitive Load
In addition to limited attention spans, cognitive load can be a killer to an otherwise good landing page. Cognitive overload occurs when your brain receives more information than it can readily process.
In terms of landing pages, the frequent culprits of cognitive overload are messy, overpopulated design and too much text. This mental strain causes users to bounce. Landing page best practices all center around simplicity. Many SaaS companies products are often complex but that doesn’t mean your landing page needs to be.
To effectively design a B2B landing page, you’ll want to utilize a streamlined UX, one that logically flows––like a good story––from the introduction, conflict, and plot points, to an eventual resolution.
You’ll notice that all successful landing pages begin with a Hero section. This is the first thing you see upon opening the page. This section follows up with benefits, features and social proof, and then concludes by emphasizing the unique positioning and differentiators of the product. The order isn’t always exact, but you’ll typically find all of these elements present.
Here’s an example of Clickup’s Hero, which clearly communicates their offering, provides social proof and top 3 benefits.
Arguably the most important section of your landing page, the Hero is where you quickly communicate the what, why, and how. What does your SaaS product do? Why do they need it? And how can they get it? Effective Hero sections convey your value proposition in a matter of seconds, compelling your target audience to read on and click through.
Though small in terms of a page’s real estate, Hero sections typically contain several elements.
- Headline: In one sentence or less, what does your product do? This is what you’ll want to communicate in your headline.
- Sub Headline: Whether through additional statements or bulleted items, your sub-headline allows you to elaborate on your value proposition.
- CTA: The Hero CTA will be the first of several CTAs scattered throughout your landing page. This allows readers to get started with your company quickly.
- Visuals: Similar to the headline, your Hero visuals should work to communicate your value proposition. This component can also be a chance to convey your brand’s personality.
Additionally, your Hero could include testimonials or product ratings (or both!). The key, however, is to keep things streamlined. A cluttered Hero can distract from your CTA.
While each component of the hero is relatively small––at least in terms of word count––you should think carefully about how you compose them.
Hero Section | Headline
While each component of the hero is relatively small––at least in terms of word count––you should think carefully about how you compose them.
For example, this landing page for ClickUp has the headline: All of your projects, in one place. The strength of this headline is in its simplicity. With just a few words, we know who we’re working with––ClickUp––and what they offer––a solution for managing multiple projects.
Hero Section | Sub Headline
If the headline tells us what a company offers, then the sub-headline can elaborate by telling us the how or the why of your proposition. While the sub-headline will likely be longer than the headline, you’ll still want to keep things brief, using one or two lines at a maximum.
To continue using the ClickUp example, they provide the following sub-headline: ClickUp brings your team together to plan, track, and collaborate on any project––all in one place.
In effect, this sub-headline touches on the initial pain point––managing multiple projects––and explains how ClickUp addresses this. There’s also a subtle chronology at play in this subheader. By outlining the different stages of working on a project, from planning to collaboration, this sub headline shows how ClickUp provides support throughout the lifecycle of a project.
Hero Section | CTA
A good SaaS landing page is nothing without a visible and clearly articulated CTA.
Once you’ve conveyed your product and elaborated on its value, you’ll want to provide a way for your audience to enter the sales process. Depending on your acquisition model, this could be starting a free trial, scheduling a demo, or booking a consultation.
Here, ClickUp uses a simple purple button with the text, Get Started. While it’s unclear exactly where this page will bring the user, the adjacent text––Free forever, No credit card required––assures the user that there’s no harm in checking out the free resources.
It’s important to note that ClickUp has also included additional CTA links throughout their landing page. Not every user will be comfortable giving away their contact information at the start of reading, so it’s important to provide more than one opportunity to convert.
Hero Section | Visual Elements
With B2B SaaS, it can be difficult to discern which visual elements to include in your Hero. After all, unlike restaurants or fashion brands, software products don’t exactly make for compelling and legible images. That said, you have some options. Images could include photos of your team, photos of clients, or graphics that convey the voice of your brand. It can also contain a slideshow or a video playing in the background.
ClickUp keeps things relatively simple. Their hero contains a logo, sleek purple shapes, and an image of a grinning millennial holding a laptop. Notably, they also include a screenshot of the software’s dashboard, providing the viewer with a glimpse at how ClickUp might work. Additionally, they include a screenshot of a five-star review to begin establishing social proof.
Landing Page Features and Benefits Section
After introducing the problem you can help fix, the next section of your landing page will further demonstrate how your product delivers solutions. In this portion of your landing page, simplicity is key.
Laid out in three simple sections, this features section harps on the primary benefits of QuickBooks:
- Partner with a bookkeeper
- Start with a clean slate
- A full financial story
Notice how these benefits succinctly articulate the value of QuickBooks. With a few phrases and sentences, the user now knows what they stand to gain by using this software.
While you could undoubtedly populate an encyclopedia with the mechanisms of your software and other services, you’ll want to convey the key points to your audience.
You’ll want to keep in mind:
- Who are your site visitors and where are they coming from?
- Does your software serve a particular industry or style of business? You’ll want to consider which functions of your product they’ll understand and which knowledge gaps you’ll have to strategically fill.
- What problems are you addressing?
- In most cases, your software will address more than one issue for your clients. Articulate and focus on which pain points your product solves.
- How does your product solve it?
- In addition to stating the problems you solve, you’ll also want to mention how your software accomplishes this. Again, you don’t want to get too technical; rather, it’s best to explain the uniqueness of your solution at a higher level.
Social Proof Section
Displaying social proof on your landing page isn’t just good practice it’s absolutely essential. Even for early-stage startups, with little traction, anything helps to let your prospective customer know that this product is worth their time.
The main forms of social proof are typically reviews, ratings, awards, accomplishments, and anything else that builds trust with your audience.
Below we have an example from Shopify that combines both a “brag bar” of brands using their product along with a quote from the leader of a recognizable e-commerce brand (their core audience).
In another example from LiveChat, we have a few more social proof components at play.
First, we see an itemized list of noteworthy clients.
Notice how they include client logos that encompass a broad range of industries, from furniture to airlines and media. All of them, however, are large successful brands that any viewer will be familiar with.
Additionally, LiveChat data points to show the volume of chats, countries (where it used), and the number of support reps. All ways to show that this tool is in broad use across the world.
Lastly, they leverage quotes directly from customers pulled from the web. This is a great way to provide social proof in its organic placement (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) that tends to reinforce testimonials validity.
Some other types of social proof include:
- Client lists: A surefire way to convey your authority is to provide a list of past and current clients. Be careful, however, to include only names of recognizable companies. Otherwise, this section will do little to help you.
- Review ratings: Whether through Google, Yelp, or another independent outlet, posting numerical ratings is a succinct way to convey your track record of success.
- Testimonials: Similar to review ratings, testimonials can help boost your credibility. Try to post client testimonials that explicitly address the unique selling points of your software.
- Awards: Certifications from G2 and Capterra, among others, can help bolster your reputation as an established industry player.
- Press coverage: In addition to awards, favorable quotes from press outlets––particularly those read by your audience––will generate interest in your services.
- Case Studies: While you shouldn’t include an entire case study in your social proof section, adding links to detailed case studies will demonstrate to your audience the actual processes of your software, its implementation, and its outcomes. Highlighting the main outcome of your case study will be important when crafting this section.
“Why Us” Section
As the name implies, the Why Us section should take time to explain to your audience why your company is the best choice. If you’re using a paid search, then users who land on your page have likely come across other solutions to their problem. Because of this, you’ll need to utilize this section of your landing page to differentiate your company and articulate your secret sauce, that is, the unique aspects of your product that set you above the competition.
It’s best to be clear and concise here. You’ll want to articulate what makes your business special and compare it to your competition. Comparison charts are one effective way to accomplish this task. Especially if you’re targeting keywords from your competitors, having a detailed comparison will help your visitor get the answer they want faster.
Novo, a business banking platform, provides a detailed comparison to traditional business bank accounts. Notice how the lists of benefits, combined with green check marks, do some rhetorical heavy lifting to demonstrate how Novo stands out.
Comparisons aside, your Why Us section should uniquely answer customers’ problems with your solutions. This could mean you provide dedicated support, faster onboarding, affordability, or anything else that makes your solution enticing.
This is where you can provide more detail about the features and benefits of your product. Most often placed at the bottom of a landing page, FAQs are an effective tool to answer any objections or lingering questions a prospect might have about your product. Often, they pertain to fee structures, onboarding processes, and any other points that create barriers to conversion.
ActiveCampaign, an automated marketing tool, addresses the topics of cost, comparisons to other tools, and contact information.
Generally, you’ll want to limit this section to 5-7 questions. Since most people are scanning your page anyways, we don’t want to bog it down with a laundry list of FAQs. Additionally, since most users will be on mobile devices, this is the sweet spot number for making it mobile-friendly and not cutting off questions.
Here’s a sample from Active Campaign which tackles the most important questions first, like “How does the Free Trial Work?” and “How much does ActiveCampaign cost?”
Bonus: Lead Capture or “Takeaway Content”
In addition to the standard sections on your landing page, you might also consider incorporating pop-ups. For example, an exit-intent popup will track the mouse movements and scrolling behaviors of users. When a user bounces from your page, it appears, reminding users of an enticing offer or presenting another benefit to remaining on your page.
At First Spark Digital, we believe in providing value and giving away free content if they visit the page, even if they aren’t interested in your product right away. Since we focus on running PPC and paid social ads, we want to maximize the experience of each visitor we get.
Here’s a solid example from GetGuru, offering 195+ Free Business Templates, an offer that’s value-heavy and related to the needs of their target audience.
Additionally, you could include a chatbot window. These services, often contained in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, allow users to instantly connect with an automated system that can answer key questions regarding your services.
Whatever you’re providing as a “takeaway resource”, test and find the right mix for your business. After all, you spent all that money getting them to the page in the first place, so it makes sense to do everything you can to capture their information. Even if they aren’t interested in your product today – they may be soon and now you’ve got their email 🙂
While these components don’t constitute sections in of themselves, they can help you better understand the ways in which clients interact with your page.
The Importance of Testing
Above we’ve addressed the structural components you’ll need to design a landing page that converts. And while B2B landing pages employ a similar format, there are many ways to effectively wield this format. And if you want a high-performing landing page, you’ll need to be testing continually.
So what do you test? Tweaks to the primary form, wording, visuals, and placement of page elements can all have an impact your conversion rate, and the only way to understand which particular combination of those elements are – is to experiment.
What to Test
With a B2B landing page, the abstract nature of software leaves a lot of creative freedom when it comes to visuals. For example, while you could include photos of your team, you could alternatively utilize branded illustrations. For depictions of people, you can also consider the demographics of people: age, gender, race, and styling. Depending on the makeup of your target audience, certain visual representations may perform better.
Additionally, you’ll want to consider the colors of backgrounds and text. The usage of colors, their legibility, and how they’re used to emphasize key page elements are tantamount to effective UX.
Headline and Sub-headline
Though relatively brief, your headline and sub headline can change drastically with the addition of only a few words. With these landing page elements, you’ll want to consider experimenting with:
- Tone: Think about how you want your audience to feel when reading your headline. Do you want to make them laugh or generate excitement? Do you want to dispel a common conception or appeal to a sense of frustration? Whatever your goal, you’ll want to ensure the tone of your words conveys this
- Urgency: Is your company offering something (perhaps a free trial) for a limited time? Deals like this appeal to a reader’s sense of urgency, compelling them to take immediate action.
- Specificity: Some landing pages like Shopify offer little in terms of details, instead opting for one sole benefit. Alternatively, you could consider listing several core strengths of your business.
- Support: Your landing page will undoubtedly contain supporting details beneath the header, but it’s worth testing the benefits of including support in the Hero. For example, Shopify bolsters its headline with a sub-headline noting their vast network of clients.
- Length: There are an infinite number of ways to present your brand, some of which take more words than others. To find the optimal length of your headline and sub-headline, consider deploying multiple different versions. We typically create multiple versions to test, and will make variations based on the ad campaigns themselves.
Form and CTA
Regarding your CTA, you’ll want to experiment with a number of options, as two people won’t necessarily respond in the same way to your CTA. Consider testing:
- Form field length: Generally, shorter forms tend to work better; however, longer forms can allow you to gain information beyond email addresses for more intimate contact. Zendesk successfully breaks up their signup flow, initially asking for an email. Upon providing your email, you’re then directed to additional pages that request your name and phone number. By dividing the signup between multiple pages, they prevent users from getting overwhelmed.
- Form field questions: You’ll want to consider different types of ice-breaker questions. For example, do questions around pain points work more effectively than questions related to objectives?
- Form CTA buttons: Phrasing, color, size, and placement of your CTA button can have drastic effects on conversion. Additionally, you’ll want to test the language you use on the button. Discrepancies between “Submit” and “Send Me a Demo” can have surprisingly drastic impacts on conversion rates. In general, stay away from generic “Click Here” CTAs, and instead focus on a benefit-oriented action button that emphasizes what they are actually getting when they submit.
To increase conversions, you’ll want to study how each of these elements impacts your visitors. You might even find that different types of users convert more with specific CTAs.
B2B prospects are going to want to see a mix of several social proof components. As such, you’ll want to conduct A/B testing to determine which layout of social proof works best. Here, it’s also important to consider the role of visuals. Awards, ratings, client lists, and press coverage can all be succinctly displayed with images and outbound links.
While LiveChat used their social proof section to note a history of illustrious clients, Semrush focuses on accolades their software has received.
Features and Benefits
When it comes to landing page optimization, consider A/B testing these features:
- The use of images versus iconography.
- The use of numerical data versus textual statements.
- The exact number of features you highlight.
- Three is a general minimum; however, some successful landing pages feature upwards of six.
Gusto, a payroll and HR platform, notes six different benefits; however, they keep things minimal with simple icons and 2-3 word descriptors.
Despite the formulaic nature of high converting landing pages, there are nearly infinite ways in which you can accomplish the goals of each landing page section. Despite the possibilities, you’ll want to remember:
- Effective landing pages are simple and streamlined. They address short attention spans by getting to the point quickly.
- Through a headline, sub headline, CTA, and visuals, your hero section communicates the problem solved by your SaaS.
- Your features section succinctly explains how your product delivers results.
- A social proof section illustrates a history of success, both in your words and those of satisfied clients.
- Use the “Why Us” section to differentiate your solutions from those of competitors. Comparison charts are a great way to accomplish this.
- FAQs can address user queries without them having to seek answers elsewhere.
The key to figuring out the best method for your business is to develop several landing page iterations and conduct a regimen of A/B testing, tracking which section configurations deliver more leads and a greater customer experience. And remember to QA the landing page layout so your mobile landing page doesn’t look drastically different than you desktop landing page.
To learn more about creating B2B SaaS landing pages that convert, download the First Spark Digital B2B Landing Page Guide.