Articles by Month: October 2017
Examples of Effective Landing Pages & Tips
When you discover a new website, whether on your own or through a web search, consider the first page you usually end up on. That’s easy to imagine, right? Because you — and almost everyone else — likely land on the main, front page. Many refer to this as the landing page, for obvious reasons.
The landing page is people’s first impression of a website, business or individual. If performance is shoddy or the images look sub-par, that’s going to reflect on the associated brand or business. If the fonts are tough to read, or the content is riddled with grammatical errors, you’re going to assume the team behind the site is also plagued by these issues.
The simple point we’re trying to make here is if you’re going to ensure any page on your website is the absolute best it can be, put extra effort into your landing page. As the first place both new and loyal customers go when they begin your carefully crafted customer journey, it’s the doorway to all your other channels. It may even be the first — or last — introduction an audience has to your business or products. Did you know 53 percent of mobile users abandon a website or portal that takes longer than three seconds to fully load?
So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to get serious and improve your landing page with some best practices. What better way to do that than to look at real-world examples of web design and innovative content in action?
1. Appearance and Visual Fidelity
It seems silly to have to say this, especially with today’s emphasis on technology and digital content, but the look and feel of your landing page matters. If your page is ugly, has a poor design, experiences slow loading times or anything of the like, your audience is going to have a negative outlook on your brand or business.
Mobile devices can now display high-resolution images and video, with little to no loading times experienced. That’s important, because in the past you largely designed a desktop version of your site with high-res, high-quality media, and dumbed everything down for the mobile version. Today, if you don’t directly design for mobile, you likely develop something called a “responsive design,” which scales the media and content to match the resolution of the device users are visiting from.
Mobile delays and poor performance make audiences more stressed than the average horror movie. How’s that for tanking a reputation?
Take the MECO landing page, for instance. It doesn’t matter what device you’re browsing on — you’ll see incredibly vivid and colorful imagery, and captivating, yet clear, fonts. Scroll down the page some more, and there’s even some fantastic animation to go along with everything. Nothing on the site is too taxing, even on mobile. The visual fidelity and performance are there, and it’s stunning all around.
2. Colors and Fonts
Yes, we touched on the appearance and visual aesthetics in the tip above, but colors and fonts deserve their own section. Both a stark color contrast and an ugly font can cause serious damage to the reputation and bounce rates on your site.
Colors are important because even without images, you can use them to present beautiful and striking backgrounds and accents. Gradients, for instance, which have two colors merging in a unique style, offer an incredibly stunning appearance to the background of a content section or page.
Of course, if you slap poorly selected fonts and even font colors over a background, it can make the content difficult to read, or even frustrating for your audience.
Naturally, both the colors and fonts you select for your landing page need to mesh well, adhere to positive user experience standards and be convenient, yet attractive. Half of Us has some amazing use of colors and fonts on their landing page. Pay attention to the smaller background elements, especially with how nicely the fonts and colors play together.
3. Keep It Simple
Menus and navigation exist to direct your audience to other important areas of your site. The landing page is for quick, striking introductions. For that reason, you should keep the elements, media and content as minimal as possible.
Get straight to the point, and provide your audience with the tools or options they need to move to the next step in your customer journey or experience program. For example, Hello Bar has a single URL tool on their landing page. The company promises to help you “convert more visitors into customers” with their innovative product. Rather than waste time telling you about it, they simply offer encouragement to give it a try, and it works. You land on the page, and you’re more inclined to submit a relevant URL. Bam, you’re in, and you’re hooked.
4. Existential Musings
Who are you? Why do you exist? What do you do? What can you do for your customers and audience? As quickly and efficiently as you possibly can, state this information and or present it to them right on the landing page.
Yes, many of the customers visiting your site know who you are already. A large majority of your audience, however, is going to discover your business via web search, affiliate links or even typing your domain name into their browser. They have no idea who or what you stand for, so just tell them.
In line with the tip above, keep it simple, consistent and brief. Bloom, a web design agency, does exactly that on their landing page. What’s the first thing you see? The company name and a brief, yet effective, description: “An intuitive graphic and web design studio for purpose-driven entrepreneurs.”
They explain who they are, what they do and exactly the kind of customer they engage or assist. You can find your own colorful way to do this, but always make sure new customers and audiences know who and what you are. Furthermore, tell them what you specialize in. If you make home goods products, talk about what you offer. If you’re an advertising agency, list some clients or showcase a few portfolio pieces.
5. Give Your Visitors the Power
Your audience and customers are going to do what they want, when they want to. That’s the entire concept behind mobile web and modern design. Customers now have the power to engage exactly when they’re good and ready. Your landing page is the way to facilitate this relationship or engagement.
Right from the start, you need to give customers the power to achieve whatever you want them to. Because that sounds broad and confusing, let’s focus on one element you already know: the call to action. This step involves a button, statement or design element that compels your audience to do something.
You may want them to make a purchase, subscribe to an email newsletter or even reach out to a brand rep. Whatever the case, you deploy a call to action to get them to follow through. A prominent call to action is one common way of giving your visitors the power.
Apple’s smartwatch landing page is a unique portal that relies on this concept entirely. When you first arrive, you see the usual suspects: a top-seated navigation bar with various options and sub-menus, and a visually appealing background that shows the product. Right away, you can follow through to learn more about the product, or you can just jump to a portal to buy it. From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, the power is in your hands.
Need more reason to provide a call to action? Consider that consumers now spend 68 percent of digital media time on mobile, and 35 percent of online purchases also happen on mobile. Giving your visitors the power, especially on mobile, is the way to boost conversions and engagement.
6. Tactile, Interactive and Real Experiences
Through concepts like parallax design, virtual reality and even chatbots or AI assistants, web experiences are becoming much more tactile, interactive and real. Customers have learned to embrace these new concepts, too.
Honu for iPhone has a vivid, bright and ideal website that exhibits this concept. Through parallax and brilliant imagery, you get a true feel for their product and what it does. More importantly, you can admire the attractive design and aesthetics, mirroring a real-world demo of the item. You know how sometimes it’s better to see a product in person? That’s exactly the kind of experience you’re looking to deliver online.
Your landing page is the first impression that needs to go well. Always look at your site from a user’s perspective. Applying the strategies above will not only provide insight into your business but it’ll lead to loyal customers.
Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She enjoys researching the latest design trends and always has a cup of coffee nearby. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
Win 2 “Big Ticket VIP” Passes to HOW Design Live 2018
Go Media’s Arsenal is so excited to be hosting this HOW Design Live 2018 Ticket Giveaway thanks to the folks at HOW Design Live. HOW Design Live, happening this April 30 through May 3, 2018 in Boston, is one of the largest annual gatherings of creative professionals in the world. It’s a career-changing, life-altering experience that provides you access to up to 100 educational sessions and keynotes that will change your thinking, radically improve your work and build business and marketing skills essential to your job. During the event you will:
– have access to up to 100 educational sessions and keynotes that will change your thinking, radically improve your work and build business and marketing skills essential to your job
– hear powerful keynotes representing some of the best creative minds in the world
– experience a truly global happening, with nearly 4,000 attendees from every state in the U.S. and from dozens of countries around the world
– have an exclusive opportunity to preview new tools, technologies and products in the industry’s largest exhibit hall
– become part of a creative community that embraces every attendee, validates your work and empowers you to do great things
What you get if you win:
The Big Ticket VIP Pass (onsite ticket price of $2,959) is the highest level ticket to HOW Design Live and includes: all the benefits of the Big Ticket
- Access to all breakout sessions, Keynotes, Exhibit Hall and receptions for all four days
- Plus, you’ll receive audio and video recordings from many of the sessions included free with your registration“Plus” as a VIP, you will have access to a special Sunday night program just for Big Ticket Plus attendees, a VIP lounge to relax and recharge, VIP seating for all keynotes to assure you get a good seat and a pre-conference concierge service to answer any questions related to the conference. The winner will receive 2 of these Big Ticket VIP passes.Please take the time to learn more about HOW Design Live here and follow them on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn
Here are the rules for the HOW Design Live 2018 Ticket Giveaway: Enter to win 2 Big Ticket VIP passes to the upcoming HOW Design Live – Boston: April 30 to May 3, 2018. Simply enter your email address and like Go Media on social media for your chance at the prize. You may enter once per email address and must be 21 or older to enter. By entering the giveaway, you will be automatically entered into our Arsenal and Weapons of Mass Creation Fest email mailing lists. You must be an active subscriber to both at the time of the drawing win the grand prize. Share the giveaway! For every friend that also enters, you will receive 25 bonus entries. You may also receive 5 extra entries when you visit the WMC Fest Facebook page when prompted. Contest ends on November 28th at 8 a.m. EST. At this time, Woobox will randomly select a winner for us. We ask that our winner send us a photo of them at HOW Design to share on our social media. Best of luck everyone!
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Connecting with Other Creatives
Welcome to Episode Two of our new video series, My Top Three. This video series introduces you to creatives of all kinds who have knowledge to share about their particular industry. Episode Two features Heather Sakai, Arsenal Manager here at Go Media and Event Director at Weapons of Mass Creation Fest. In today’s My Top Three, Heather will talk about her Top Three Tips for Connecting with other Creatives. Please enjoy the video below and connect with Heather @sakaipower on Twitter.
SEO and Web Design
When it comes to web design, not a lot of webmasters see how much it can benefit SEO efforts if it’s completed right. Ultimately, a good web design can provide an excellent user experience and that’s something more and more search engines are requiring. The last thing a search engine wants is to display results to pages that offer visitors no value whatsoever. If you’re trying to get a small advantage over your competitors, it’s important you concentrate on your website from the bottom up, starting with your web design. Here are some of the web design additions/alterations you can make to increase user experience and thus, improve search engine presence.
Take Advantage of HTML5/CSS3 When It Matters
Improving user experience these days is all about increasing page loading times so users don’t have to wait. That can be done by avoiding the use of images where possible. With HTML5 and CSS3 now working together nicely, there’s plenty you can do to avoid using images altogether. Of course, when you have complicated gradients or background images of landscapes, you don’t have any other option. But, if your design is simple and pleasing to the eye, you can usually get away with using just a couple of images or even some simple lines of HTML/CSS code. One or two images less might not seem important, but it could be the difference with a customer growing impatient of waiting for a page to load. If you’re really looking to make everything count when it comes to SEO, invest in an SEO technical audit so you know what else you can do to improve both on-page and off-page SEO efforts.
Opt for a One-Page Design
One-page designs are increasingly growing in popularity thanks to the user experience benefits they provide. But, not only do they give users access to all content of a website on one page, they also use fewer images which could increase page loading times further. One-page designs are also perfect for mobile optimization and it makes it very easy to increase speeds on several other devices, too. Of course, mobile devices are used much more these days when it comes to surfing and shopping, so ensuring the user experience is perfect for those visitors is just as important as anything else.
Minimalistic HTML Forms
Another good way to increase user experience is to design your HTML forms with a minimalist feel. The problem some websites/businesses have these days is that they try to get too much information from a user without really needing it. It might only make a small difference in terms of speed and user experience, but the fewer fields you have in your forms, the more chance you’re going to build new relationships. Minimalistic forms use less code, increase user experience, and could make the difference in securing new customers.
There’s plenty you can do regarding web design if you want to improve SEO, and the above are just some of the simple features you can implement to ensure your site provides the best experience for your visitors.