How to Build a Landing Page

The Basics
of a Landing Page

Nikita Obukhov
Tilda Founder and CEO
This is the first chapter of the free landing page course from Tilda. The course consists of five chapters. If you study them and complete the practical tasks, you'll be able to design a landing page from scratch. This course will be useful to anyone who wants to develop design skills and who would rather not hire a design agency. You'll be capable of designing landing pages even if you don't know how to draw designs, create page layouts, or conduct research.
Introduction
A landing page is a website with a call to action (CTA). It encourages visitors to complete a specific task which can be anything: sign up for a newsletter, buy a conference ticket, download a presentation, etc.
Unlike a regular website, landing pages suggest taking a single action. Lots of different people could be visiting your website. Some are there to find out about the company, others want to read up on its products and services. However, only those looking for a job will go to the recruitment page. If the "We are hiring" page is designed according to certain principles and contains a call to action inviting people to apply, it is also a landing page.

These pages target a specific audience. They are effective when used in advertising and when you have a single purpose in mind such as making a sale, providing information, or inviting to sign up for a newsletter.

If you have a business or you work with people, you may need a landing page.
Nikita Obukhov
Tilda Founder and CEO
Almost any website could be a landing page. It doesn't have to be a one-page website. Take a barber shop website, for example. It can include several pages, yet its purpose is clear: to encourage people to book appointments. That's why you can also use landing page principles when designing a multi-page website.
Nikita Obukhov
Tilda Founder and CEO
Almost any website could be a landing page. It doesn't have to be a one-page website. Take a barber shop website, for example. It can include several pages, yet its purpose is clear: to encourage people to book appointments. That's why you can also use landing page principles when designing a multi-page website.
Welcome to a five lesson course on creating a landing page
Here's what to expect:
Chapter 1: The Basics of a Landing Page
Chapter 2: Steps to Create a Landing Page
Chapter 3. Landing Page Anatomy: Functional Elements
Chapter 4. Landing Page Design Principles
Chapter 5. How to Improve Landing Page Performance
In this course, you'll learn how to analyze your audience, write convincing copy aimed at your target audience, find the right arguments, and put together a narrative for your website.

In this chapter, we will walk you through the landing page basics, you'll learn how landing pages work and when you should use them.

What is a Landing Page

Let's imagine that you work in marketing. You're scrolling through Facebook and see an ad inviting you to attend a marketing conference.
You don't know what this conference is about, but it piques your interest. One click, and you are on a website. From now on, people behind this website have just a few seconds to capture your attention and convince you that the conference is worth its $20 admission and 4 hours of your time. Otherwise, you'll immediately go back to Facebook, as it's more interesting there.
The first image and text attract your attention. Wow, it seems like a really useful marketing conference, you're thinking.
A famous marketing guru is the keynote speaker. This is good stuff!
Five more speakers are featured in the program. They're marketing directors at mid-sized enterprises and stores. Ok, no fairy tales about multi-million dollar campaigns are expected.
Here are several testimonials from last year's participants, nice folks just like me. They all say it was worth it.
Well, okay. You sign up for their newsletter. May be you'll buy a conference ticket later. Then you return to Facebook.

You've just visited a landing page and did exactly what you were supposed to do.
Call to action can be anything. You can sell concert tickets or discounted watches, ask for a donation, or offer to sign up for a newsletter.
If your value proposition can be conveyed by a button, you need a landing page.
You come, you get the message, you take an action: this is a typical landing page visitor behavior. To make it work, you need traffic and a call to action button.
Traffic. The landing page is there to attract specific people, those who're interested in this particular offer. Your audience determines how you'll present the product.

Say, a bank launches a credit program "Your first business". Its main clients are large businesses but this product is aimed specifically at start-ups. The bank changes its formal tone of voice to a more human approach. Instead of publishing their top clients success stories, the bank tells about regular people who started a business.

Call to action button. A landing page is driving visitors to take a specific action. For a regular website, it's enough if the user reads and remembers some pieces of information. This doesn't work for landing pages. There's no lading page without a button.

Let's come back to the bank and its program "Your first business". Visitors are invited to leave their phone number several times while scrolling the page. Later, a bank manager will call them back and tell what kind of documents are required to apply. It's a simple, low-risk call to action. Leaving a phone number is easier than filling an application form.
The traffic and call to action button are landing page essentials.

Unfortunately, such websites have a poor reputation. People don't know how to design them correctly and often create nonsense. Perhaps you've seen websites we're talking about, the ones with intrusive calls to action, contrived issues, countdown timers... Such developers erroneously believe that these cheap tricks are magic formulas that will bring them clients.

Landing page design formulas

There're some classic formulas for creating a landing page:

AIDA: attention, interest, desire, action. Attract attention, gather interested, create desire, achieve an action.

PMPHS: pain, more pain, hope, solution. Identify the problem, aggravate the problem, show hope, and offer a solution.

These formulas help build the wireframes, or scenarios that users will follow. These formulas are useful but may look intrusive and fake if used needlessly.
Beliefs that get in the way of designing effective landing pages
1
Landing page must be long. It's not true. It needs to explain your offer in a detailed and engaging manner. If you managed to do this using just one screen, very well done! There's no need to stretch the landing page only because it's common practice.
2
A landing page needs a special selling text. No. There is no such thing as a selling language that should be used for advertising. People will buy your pies if they're yummy and not just for the sole reason that they were deliciously described.
3
A landing page needs special persuasion techniques. Nope. Countdown timers are only distracting from what's really important. You can attract attention by other means such as by publishing product photographs, for example.
4
A landing page must contain "25 reasons why..." No. You don't have to come up with 25 icons and dubious headlines. Nobody will remember any of them anyway.
Ira Smirnova
Customer Experience Director at Tilda
There's a persistent belief that a hard-hitting landing page can turn site visitors into buyers. It's an illusion. If your visitor doesn't have a penny in his pocket, your landing page won't help him get rich and then give his money to you. However, a landing page can help you find buyers among website visitors.
Ira Smirnova
Customer Experience Director at Tilda
There's a persistent belief that a hard-hitting landing page can turn site visitors into buyers. It's an illusion. If your visitor doesn't have a penny in his pocket, your landing page won't help him get rich and then give his money to you. However, a landing page can help you find buyers among website visitors.
A landing page unpacks the benefit of a specific offer. All the copywriting wizardry comes up when you don't have any benefits, nor a concrete offer. In the following chapters, we'll teach you how to phrase them and who to offer them properly. Now let's talk about how the landing page differs from a regular website.

Landing Page vs Regular Website: What's the Difference

One page, one offer, one action. This is what the landing page is all about. This is a one-man show that works according to the same principles as a classic theater: unity of place, unity of time, and unity of action.
This is what makes a landing page stand out. A website can offer lots of products and services; people would have various reasons to visit it. Someone's looking for contact details, others want to buy something.

Let us show how it works. Here's Alex who will take this course alongside you and will show you how to apply the information we're giving you. We hope you'll become good friends.
Meet Alex
Alex owns a small business: he organizes marketing conferences. He's got a couple of part-time co-workers but you would't call it even a medium-sized company. He launches websites and promotes them by himself. Let's see why he uses landing pages to promote his conferences.
Unity of time
A landing page is normally created for a specific occasion: while the tickets are on sale, to sell out the collection, or hire an employee.

Are there permanent landing pages? Yes. For example, you can sell toys or bags until the items run out.
Alex is launching a landing page for a conference two months prior to the event. This gives him enough time to find the audience and sell the tickets. After the conference is over, Alex will update the website by adding information about the next event.
Practice
Think of a reason for creating a landing page. If you have several events, put this down on paper. The best thing about landing pages is that you can create them for every new event and for different tasks, test and improve them.
Unity of action
A landing page is dedicated to one thing. We're asking the user to buy a ticket, register for an event, or leave their email address. If we're asking the user to perform more than one action, they're likely to get confused.
Alex doesn’t always ask his website visitors to buy a ticket. He used to offer personal consultations about conference planning for a while. He was addressing a new audience that knew nothing about him.

To build trust, Alex launched a landing page inviting people to submit their emails. In return, his subscribers received a series of useful messages and a free invitation to his webinar. After proving to be a professional, Alex sold his consulting services during his webinar.
Nikita Obukhov
Tilda Founder and CEO
There're commercial and inspirational landing pages. A person may just be browsing but once she lands on your page, she can get excited about an idea. She might start thinking, maybe I should run a marathon or go for a medical checkup. Or that the earphones would make an awesome present.

It's unlikely that a person would buy something straight away, but it's possible that she'll come back later, that's why the emotional aspect of the landing page is also very important.
Nikita Obukhov
Tilda Founder and CEO
There're commercial and inspirational landing pages. A person may just be browsing but once she lands on your page, she can get excited about an idea. She might start thinking, maybe I should run a marathon or go for a medical checkup. Or that the earphones would make an awesome present.

It's unlikely that a person would buy something straight away, but it's possible that she'll come back later, that's why the emotional aspect of the landing page is also very important.
Choices are hard, and people don't enjoy making them. They want to be convinced of their choice. You know how tough it can be to decide which movie to watch or which pizza to order. A landing page helps you make a decision. It feels like the choice has already been made, we're only reaffirming the user that this choice is right and necessary.
Practice
Now that you have a list of events, decide which actions you need people to take. What do you expect them to do? Should they download a catalog, subscribe to a newsletter, order a product, or something else? Define the target action.
Unity of place
You need to put all the essential information on a single page. Each click distracts the user from the target action, so don't split the content between several pages. Otherwise, you won't be able to track how the reader gets the information.

Don't worry if your landing page is getting long. If it's interesting, the user will read it to the end.
Alex has an agency website with the information about himself, reports from past events, and announcements of the future ones. It won't be a good idea to advertise one particular conference here. The user will start browsing, looking up reports, images and very soon will forget about the conference. This is why Alex will create a new landing page to sell tickets to his next event. It will only contain the information that will help the user make a decision.

This is important! Build the story logically and consistently. Take a look at this.

Alex is launching a new landing page for the advertising campaign. It could have the following structure:
1
The only conference about conferences in town. Discounted tickets are available until the end of May.
2
Description, time, and venue.
3
Speakers and participants.
4
Special offers from the conference partners.
5
Reviews from past attendees.
6
Payment form.
This doesn't mean that all landing pages are built according to this formula. Sometimes you can fit everything you need into a single screen.

Here's an example. This is a subscription page for Spotify newsletter. It's build like a landing page even though it occupies only one screen. Users immediately understand what they need to do and why. They leave their email in order to receive weekly news.
Practice
You've already decided what event you are going to create a landing page for. And you know what target actions your visitors will be supposed to take on the page.

Based on the previous examples, describe the contents of your page: what do you want to show and tell?

Make a step-by-step plan. It will make your work easier. Now, based on this plan, decide whether a single screen will suffice or you'll need a more detailed story?

When to Use Landing Pages

In short: you need a landing page when you have a clear idea of what you are selling and to whom.
Clear: Social media marketing online consultations for entrepreneurs

Unclear: Setting up advertising, website and apps development service for medium-sized and large businesses
Knowing your audience means understanding its needs. Don't mix them up with demographic data.
Married men, 35-50 years old... This is too broad. These men may need any type of service or solution.

People who can fix their car by themselves is a more precise description. At the same time, all kinds of different people can be a part of this group. For example, a retired man who enjoys disassembling his old Fiat, or a student who occasionally replaces wipers and lights in her Peugeot.

Let's look at some other examples.

1. Selling goods and services

You can use your landing page to sell pretty much anything you want: designer watches, theater tickets, consultancy services, or teddy bears One important condition is having a limited number of product types. If you offer more than10 categories, you're better off creating an online store.
Alex is working on 2-3 conferences at the same time. He launches a new landing page for each one, so that visitors won't have to choose between different events on one website.

Alex is selling three types of tickets on his landing pages: standard, tickets allowing to download a conference video recording, and business. Offering a selection of tickets is fine in this case, because they're all linked to one conference.

2. Collecing leads

A lead is a website visitor who's likely to buy from you. For example, you had 20 website visitors, 10 of them scrolled down and saw the presentation, two of them downloaded it. These two people are the leads, and you can continue working with them by sending emails, ads, and selling additional services to them.
3. When you already have a website
If you already have a website, you can use the landing page for advertising campaigns. For example, you own an event agency. Use the website to provide info about yourself, what you do, and your past projects. Use the landing page for advertising a new event.
4. When you don't have a website
You don't really need it. If you're making leather bags, you don't need to pretend that you have a big studio. A small website advertising the bags will be enough for the moment. Later, if your business expands, you can build a proper website.
5. When you're just starting your business
A landing page can help people understand whether the market needs your product. You can design a one-page website in a few hours, and ads will bring first buyers. If there're no sales, you might have an issue with the product or target audience. Don't worry, we'll help you select the correct audience and improve your website.
Alex started his business with a single landing page. He sold some tickets, held an event, and realized he was good at it. Later, he made a website to keep records of his past events and future conferences. It keeps creating a landing page for every new event.
Practice
Write a clear offer for your target audience. And, once again, decide how exactly you want to use your landing page.

Landing Page Examples

Let's see some real-life examples. Take a look at these landing pages created by different companies. Lots to learn!
Practice
Think about the tone of voice you'll be using to communicate with your visitors. Perhaps you need to sound understated and academic or maybe you'd better come across as energetic, assertive and funny.
Pay attention to the size of the page. It's quite large with many pictures, facts and inserts. It looks like a magazine article. This means that the size of a landing page isn't limited but is dictated by a reader's interest. If you have something to say, your readers will read it.
Alex conducts educational conferences so he uses a lot of text on his website: he posts lectures and speakers' presentations. There are some photos as well–to show the venue and attendees. Think about how you can showcase your product in the best possible way. Use words to describe what career coaches or franchisees do, for example. Instead, tangible goods need to be visualized. Images of toys and bags work better than just their descriptions.
The main page of the website is created just like a landing page. This is a sequential narrative about the company's services, experience, and expertise. The first screen features a clear CTA "Get started". The menu is fixed on scroll, so that a visitor can navigate directly to the most relevant page of a website.
Practice
Describe what you do and who you do it for in one sentence. Here's how Alex did it:

Marketing conferences with a focus on practical application. Perfect for those who don't want to spend a million of advertising.
Recap
1
Create a landing page for a specific audience. Your clients might be different but you should address a single target audience on a single landing page. Create another landing page for other potential clients.
2
A landing page must have only one goal. For example, this could be buying a ticket or getting an email address. If you set multiple goals per page, it will be difficult to get the person to perform even one action.
3
A landing page is a story. It doesn't matter if the story is short or long. Most importantly, it must be persuasive.
4
You can apply landing page design principles to any webpage: a page for your online store or a marketplace, for example.
Homework
1
Define the event or task you need a landing page for.
2
Think about what action you'd like the user to take.
3
Try to describe what are you doing and who you are doing it for in one sentence
4
Draft your landing page. What sections will it have?
To help you with your homework, look at how Alex tackled it
1
Define the event or task you need a landing page for.
Alex wants to sell event planning courses, and he wants to charge people money for attending it. People know him as an event organizer but not as a teacher. To gather a new audience, Alex launches a separate landing page for his course.
2
Think about what action you'd like the user to take.
Selling a new course is hard. Especially to people who aren't sure you're an expert. To prove his knowledge and skills, Alex decided to organize a free webinar. He'll talk about himself and his experience and explain what people will learn during the course. He uses the landing page for webinar sign-ups. This is a simple action because the user isn't risking their time and money.

Alex will be able to use the database in the future for sending newsletters or offers to attend a course.
3
Try to describe what are you doing and who you are doing it for in one sentence
What Alex wrote:

How to organize a conference from scratch

A practical event planning course for marketing and PR specialists and entrepreneurs
4
Draft your landing page. What sections will it have?
Here's Alex's structure:

1. What: How to organize a conference from scratch.

2. Who it is for: Conferences are set up not only by professional event managers. Marketing and PR professionals can hold events to get their clients and partners together. For example, business owners can invite people to introduce their company.

3. What you'll learn: You'll understand how to come up with an engaging topic and attract people. You will learn to work with contractors: recruit partners and speakers, find a venue, and rent equipment.

4. About me: I organized 10 conferences this year. In this course, I'll reveal what type of issues I encounter and how I deal with them.

Each block ends with an invitation to sign up for an introductory webinar about the course.

Did you enjoy this chapter? Share it with friends!
Text: Filipp Brazgovsky
Illustrations and design: Julia Zass
Read other chapters of the coursebook:

Create a Landing Page for Your Business
Build your landing page on Tilda: it's easy, fast and free