So far, 2016 has been a wild ride. A heated race for the US Presidency, Britain’s puzzling move out of the EU, and the world-shaking emergence of Pokémon Go have already made this year a memorable one.
In the world of landing page design, things have been thrilling as well. As it’s become abundantly clear that careful landing page design is crucial to the success of any company’s online presence, there’s been an ever greater focus on best practices. The online marketing gurus at Kissmetrics report the following figures regarding the most common landing page design tactics:
- Updated design can increase conversions by 33%
- Making copy action-oriented can up conversions by 93%
- A more prominent Call-to-Action can achieve up to a 591% conversion boost
Though companies looking to design a landing page should know that simple changes can have profound effects, they must also recognize that the major trends and visitors’ reactions to them ebb and flow. Just as quickly as new trends emerge and delight, older webpage trends become sources of annoyance. Consider early Flash design in the year 2000, which was easily identified by its use of color-changing navigation, neon, and 3D buttons. Back then, Flash was huge, but just like in music and movies, oversaturation means a loss in value, and Flash soon steeply declined in popularity. All the landing page how-tos will tell you it’s key to stay on the bleeding edge of optimization design in order to entice visitors and increase conversions. Now that we’re more than halfway through 2016, we can look back and reflect on the 6 landing page trends that best converted and will likely continue to convert visitors into customers:
It comes as no surprise that many people find video more engaging than text. The combination of pictures, sound, live action or cartoon renderings simply allows for more info to be absorbed quicker, which is ideal in most visitors’ fast-paced lives. In fact, users are 27.4 times more likely to click through online video than a banner of text. Well-crafted, compelling video content on a landing page entertains as well as informs your target audience. According to EyeView Digital, top quality video content can even increase conversions up to 86%. That’s why many landing pages have begun to greet visitors with full-screen videos, which play automatically in the background. Given that they are more complex than a single image, videos can create a fuller, more absorbing story than the typical hero image.
If you’re offering software or an app, it can pay to give your visitors a small taste of your product. Offering a free sample, limited subscription, or tool on your landing page can act as a showcase of your product’s artistry and potential and can whet your visitor’s appetite. Through the free tool, they learn more about the product on offer and are hooked on a more subconscious level. Why do you think Costco sets out all of those free samples on their floors? Free samples drive sales on the warehouse floor, and it’s no stretch to believe that this applies to landing pages, too.
Let’s face it, popups are the bane of the internet. No one debates that. Surprisingly, though, on a landing page, they are incredibly effective. As Authority Hacker shows (note: they use a popup!), popups can increase landing page email subscriptions by up to ten times the norm. Because of this, there’s been a major trend towards placing a Call-to-Action in an on-page pop up when a visitor clicks a certain link, scrolls, or moves their cursor over a different browser tab. Serving up your CTA on a platter in this manner focuses the visitor’s experience and can even create more landing page conversions than a traditional CTA button.
With parallax, the content in the background and foreground scrolls at different speeds, creating a professional, engaging 3D effect. Users have become accustomed to pages with traditionally placed navigation bars and so, through the use of parallax, a page can set itself apart by providing visitors with a unique experience. Due to the use of the background and foreground, more storytelling content can fit into the page and create a heightened interactive experience without making it longer or denser, as well. It’s also just plain fancy, and will bring legitimacy to your landing page.
Navigation bars are out. That’s settled. But what if you can’t afford the content creation and design work necessary for parallax scrolling? Go Zen and practice minimalism with a Hamburger nav bar. The Hamburger, which functions as a flyout menu, is signified by three stacked horizontal lines (bun, patty, bun) often placed in one of the top corners of a webpage. If you use Google Chrome, you can find one in the top right of your browser. On a landing page, it hides internal links to other parts of a site, so that the landing page itself is not cluttered with information that may distract the visitor and steer them away from your desired experience for them. There have been many arguments against it since its initial appearance in 1990 and recent resurgence, but, depending on your landing page’s goals, the Hamburger can drastically increase online revenue.
Ever wonder why those The New Yorker covers are so much more memorable than their competitors’ (e.g. The Atlantic or Harper’s) covers? Since 1925, every New Yorker has featured custom illustrations, many with a consistent set of characters and within the bounds of a trademark style, whereas The Atlantic and Harper’s tend towards photography which isn’t as iconic. Illustrations on a landing page help to create appealingly humane images, and content creators can exact a more measured control over their medium. They are so effective in relaxing viewers that the FDA is worried cartoons are too manipulative for prescription drug ads.
Landing page trends come and go, but regardless of their ephemeral nature and internet user’s whims, it’s essential to know what will lead to conversions right now and what has already grown stagnant. Do you know of any other landing page trends that are hot in 2016? Share your comments below!
header image courtesy of Agnese Lo