In the thriving days of the internet, when SaaS startups were springing up like mushrooms after the rain, a cry rang out over the mountains — a cry for clarity, differentiation, and quality.
From the mountain, 10 commandments came forth to guide a particular tribe of SaaS founders in all their conversion endeavors.
The landing page would no longer be a desert of confusion nor a sea of sameness.
Its goal would now shift to the effective persuasion of the prospect to take their desired action.
These are the 10 commandments of high-converting landing pages.
Bind them to your mind, let them flow through your pen…
1. Thou shalt not make visitors think
Let your page be a beacon of clarity and simplicity. Let the question, “What is it?” be answered with haste within five seconds of a visitor’s arrival.
Let your page be a path of righteousness, leading your visitors to the promised land of understanding.
But despair to those who would lead visitors astray with complexities and confusion.
If your landing page requires a visitor to use too much brainpower, you will confuse your visitor, who shall leave your site in disgust and anger.
Therefore, let your language be simple, and let your design be clear, that your visitors may find what they seek and rejoice in your offerings.
2. Thou shall not make the design an afterthought
Invest in high-quality design, for it shall be the foundation upon which credibility is built.
Let there be a clear hierarchy, and let not multiple elements compete for the visitor’s attention. Choose one design style and remain consistent throughout.
As the saying goes:
The devil is in the details.
Neglect the details, and risk appearing as a dilettante. Your prospects will flee to thy competitor.
Acknowledge the importance of design, and it shall guide you to success.
3. Thou shall not bore the eyes of a visitor
Let your page capture and hold the attention of your users, and be not dull.
But take heed!
Strive for visual interest without breaking conventions, lest visitors be confused, and conversions plummet…
Focus on fundamentals such as typography, colors, spacing, and high-quality images and illustrations.
But let every image and illustration enhance the copy and not simply take up space.
4. Thou shall make the page scannable
Thus, make it more scannable.
Be generous with white space. Rare is the instance of too much white space. Usually, there is too little.
White space reduces the cognitive load for the visitors and makes the page easier to skim.
Also, break blocks of text into bullet points, and use bold and italics to emphasize key points.
And do not forget about the hierarchy. The better you manage to provide users with a sense of visual hierarchy, the more scannable thy content will be.
5. Honor thy visitors’ time
Users are busy and impatient, so do not make them wait.
If they must wait too long, they will depart.
It has been said that for every second delay in page load, conversions can fall by up to 20%.
But if you make thy page fast as lightning, then Google shall reward you with a higher ranking and thy visitors with their coin.
Honor thy visitors’ time, and they shall honor you with their patronage.
6. Thou shalt always speak the truth
You are proud of your product and claim it to be the best in the entire realm.
But without proof, such claims are empty words.
And visitors care little for such claims, for they have heard many businesses tell the same old tale…
Therefore, bring forth the testimonials of your satisfied customers, and share the results they have achieved through the use of your product.
Back up thy value with data and tangible evidence.
7. Thou shalt strive for simplicity
You may believe that by impressing thy visitors, you shall increase conversions. So you may obsess over “creative” design, unique layouts, complex animations, and witty copy.
But this is not so.
Visitors do not convert because they marvel at thy design. They convert if they can answer these four questions:
What is it?
Is it for me?
Do I want it?
The design must aid the visitor in focusing and keeping them engaged long enough to answer these questions.
All else is but noise, distracting the visitor and harming thy conversions.
If thou desire conversions, strive for simplicity and follow familiar patterns and layouts.
8. Thou shalt not copy thy neighbors
The more mature and competitive a product category is, the more you must focus on standing out.
What unique features or attributes your product has that the category leaders do not?
What specific market segment could you target that is currently underserved but would value your offerings?
What story can you tell behind your product, brand, or founders?
It is difficult these days to differentiate on features, but none can copy your story or brand.
Do not copy thy neighbors, but be bold and make a new way.
If you just copy features and design, thy startup shall drown in the vast sea of sameness.
9. Thou shall evoke the right feel for the visitors
Make sure thou strategically pick the right personality for your design and messaging.
You do not want to appear too playful and not serious if you are selling thy product to CFOs of enterprise companies.
If you use emojis and language as if you are selling an online course about making money online, those CFOs will cringe and depart.
Choose your words and design carefully, that they may evoke the right feel and attract the right audience.
10. Thou shall always test thy assumptions
Stay humble and open-minded, for you do not know everything about building high-converting landing pages.
That is why you should test your design and messaging to discover if it is truly as good as you believe.
Evaluate your positioning, messaging, and design. Gain insights into what you may have missed.
Receive actionable advice on how to tweak your landing page to increase conversions and prosper.
Do not assume that thou know everything, but always test thy assumptions, that thou may continue to grow and improve.
Farewell, my fellow founder
Go forth now and take heed of these commandments.
Honor them on all landing pages. Disregard them at your peril.