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The digital creator's guide to creating landing pages that convert

If you want to build your audience, landing pages are a must-have. Learn how to convert more visitors and grow your online business in this landing page guide.

Whether you’re starting a new business or trying to grow your existing audience, landing pages are a marketing must-have. The best landing pages turn website visitors into subscribers, validate your product ideas, and grow your business.

But landing page builders can get expensive, and as a small business owner, there never seem to be enough hours in the day. You don’t have time to write pages upon pages of copy.

Here’s the thing: Building a high-converting landing page doesn’t have to be time-consuming or pricey.

In this article, we’ll share the ins and outs of landing pages for digital creators, including tips for creating great landing pages. Plus, we’ll show you how to create a landing page with Podia’s site editor. (Spoiler alert: It’s super simple.)

Before we dive in, let’s get back to basics: What exactly is a landing page?

What is a landing page?

A landing page is where your audience “lands” when they click on a call-to-action in your paid ads, marketing campaigns, emails, or social media posts.

Unlike your homepage, a landing page is a standalone page that focuses on one specific conversion goal.

Depending on the goal of your landing page, “converting” might mean visitors:

  • Subscribe to your newsletter

  • Download a lead magnet

  • Request more information about a product

  • Register for a webinar

Marketers use several different types of landing pages. In the next section, we’ll cover the two main ways digital creators can use landing pages to grow their businesses.

One quick note before we jump in: The terms “landing page”, “product page”, and “sales page” are sometimes used interchangeably.

In this article, we’ll focus on landing pages that don’t ask visitors to make a purchase. (For sales page tips and tricks, check out this guide to building a sales page that converts.)

How digital creators use landing pages

Here are two of the most common ways creators use landing pages:

  1. To collect leads and with lead magnets.

  2. Validate your digital product idea with a pre-launch landing page.

Keep reading to learn how each of these use cases works, including real-world examples from Podia creators.

1. Collect leads and grow your email list with lead magnets

Lead magnets are a great way to grow your email list and share your expertise with potential customers.

And an engaged email list is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your business. Email marketing has an ROI of $42 for every $1 spent.

A lead magnet is a free digital download that users receive in exchange for their contact information. Here’s how it works:

  1. A visitor lands on the landing page for your lead magnet.

  2. They enter their contact information.

  3. They receive the lead magnet.

  4. You add the new lead to your sales funnel, where you can nurture them with email marketing until they become a customer.

They give you their email address, and you give them valuable content. It’s a win-win.

Popular types of lead magnets include:

  • Ebooks and guides

  • Whitepapers

  • Webinar recordings

  • Printables

  • Templates

  • Checklists

No matter what kind of free content you create, make sure that your lead magnet addresses your target audience’s specific pain points.

For example, Ryan of Signature Edits offers presets, templates, and training for photographers.

Different photographers run into different pain points, so Ryan offers two lead magnets: a candid posing guide and a free sample pack of photo editing presets.

After a visitor downloads one of the Signature Edits lead magnets, Ryan can send them follow-up emails to tell them more about his brand and products.

(Curious about his setup? Podia makes it simple for creators like Ryan to host lead magnets, sell digital products, and create email campaigns — all from one simple dashboard. Try it out for yourself with a 14-day free trial.)

If you want to grow your email list, but are short on time, check out this guide to creating a lead magnet in 90 minutes or less. Or make it even easier for yourself with Podia’s Digital Download Generator.

Lead magnets aren’t the only way to grow your audience with a landing page — especially if you’re working toward a product launch.

2. Validate your digital product idea with a pre-launch landing page

You can create a pre-launch landing page to validate your product ideas and build your email list leading up to launch day.

Pre-launching your digital product has two big benefits:

  1. Validating your product ideas.

  2. Building your email list leading up to your product launch.

Creators like branding and web design expert John D. Saunders use pre-launching to build excitement and gauge interest before launching an online course.

John’s first online course launch flopped because he assumed what his audience wanted, rather than asking them. Now, John pre-launches his courses to validate his product ideas and gather feedback from potential customers.

He explains how in this tweet thread:

Pre-launching and pre-selling courses helped John make $10k in sales in his first day on Podia — and net $100k selling online courses.

Learn more in this guide to pre-launching digital products. We’ll also share a step-by-step tutorial for creating a pre-launch landing page later on.

Whether your landing page is dedicated to promoting a lead magnet or pre-launching a product, our next section will teach you how to create a landing page that converts.

5 tips for creating a high-converting landing page

Not all landing pages are created equal. Research shows that as many as nine out of every ten visitors who land on a post-click landing page will bounce.

Here are five quick tips for creating a landing page that turns visitors into subscribers and skeptics into believers.

(For more in-depth strategies, including landing page templates for each important element, check out this guide to landing page best practices.)

1. Know your audience

Ecommerce and digital marketing pro Aaron Orendorff put it best: “At their core, landing pages that convert speak directly to real people with real problems in search of real solutions.”

Your landing page content should be relevant to your audience’s specific pain points and goals. You don’t want to create a generic landing page — 71.7% of users who cited content as irrelevant or useless found it too general.

To make your landing page content as targeted as possible, you need to get to know your audience. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to do some customer research and build buyer personas.

If you don’t know much about your ideal customers or want to add to what you already know, consider creating buyer personas.

Buyer personas, like the Spotify example below, help you understand your target audience’s pain points and how they make decisions in their everyday lives.

Once you have a solid understanding of your ideal customer, you can use those insights to inform your landing page design and messaging — which our next tip is all about.

2. Keep it simple

The most effective landing pages are also often the simplest.

Here’s why: People spend an average of just 5.59 seconds looking at website content. And readability studies found that people naturally scan text rather than reading word-for-word.

Write your landing page copy with those scanners in mind. This isn’t the place for long-form content. Keep your copy concise, use bullet points to break up the text, and put the most important and relevant information at the top of the page.

The content that’s visible before scrolling down your landing page — a.k.a. the above-the-fold area — gets 57% of a visitor’s viewing time.

In the same vein, your landing page headline should tell people exactly what you want them to do and what value you have to offer.

For example, entrepreneur and marketing guru Vanessa Ryan offers free Canva templates as a lead magnet:

Vanessa’s header tells her audience exactly how she can solve their pain points. In the subhead, she explains what her lead magnet is and why visitors should want it, making the choice to opt-in an easy one.

Last but not least, your landing page should include a single call-to-action (CTA). When you include several different CTAs, you run into Hick’s Law, a.k.a. choice paralysis.

Hick’s Law posits that the more options you give someone, the longer they take to make a decision. (And they might just leave your landing page without clicking on any of your CTA buttons.)

A simple landing page design will also help you out with our next tip.

3. Optimize for mobile

54.25% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, so you need to make sure that your landing page design is mobile-friendly.

Creating concise landing pages using the advice in our last tip is a good place to start. Simple content leads to quicker load times, which is especially important on mobile.

Research by Google found that 70% of mobile landing pages took more than five seconds to load visual content above the fold, and more than seven seconds for visual content below the fold. Longer load times mean higher bounce rates and lower conversions.

P.S.: If you build web pages with Podia, you don’t have to worry about making a separate mobile landing page. Podia’s site builder lets you create a beautiful, mobile-friendly website that works on any device.

4. Add social proof

It’s an unfortunate truth: Only a third of people say they trust the brands they buy from.

Social proof helps boost your credibility, making visitors more likely to trust you with their contact info (and, later on, their money). 97% of buyers view customer reviews as more credible than any other type of content.

And social proof isn’t just for sales page testimonials and product descriptions. Data from Unbounce shows that landing pages with social proof see higher conversion rates. When you showcase happy customers, you tell potential leads, “This could be you”.

That’s why creators like Shalena D.I.V.A. feature client testimonials on their websites.

If you don’t have any customer reviews yet, don’t worry. This guide on how to ask for testimonials from your customers has everything you need, including testimonial request templates.

Now on to our last landing page tip.

5. A/B test to boost your conversion rates

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is one of the highest priorities in online marketing. How do you make sure as many people as possible convert on your website?

First and foremost, you need to know how many visitors are currently converting to subscribers. That’s your conversion rate. You can track your conversion rate and other landing page metrics with Google Analytics reports.

The average landing page conversion rate is 4.02% but can vary widely by industry.

If your landing page is converting at a lower rate than your industry average, try running some A/B tests.

A/B testing involves changing different elements of your landing page one at a time, then seeing how those changes affect your conversion rate. (If you change more than one thing at a time, you won’t know which one impacted your results.)

For example, you could try out two different CTAs to see which one converts more visitors, or test out different messaging in your headline. The possibilities for A/B testing are nearly endless.

The more data you collect through A/B testing, the more you can optimize your current and future landing pages to fit your audience’s needs and preferences. And the more your audience likes your landing page, the more likely you are to increase conversions.

OK, with these landing page best practices under your belt, you’re ready to create a landing page.

How to create a landing page with Podia

The Podia Editor — our sales and landing page builder — makes it easy to create landing pages for your lead magnets and digital products. Here’s how.

Step 1: Create a new digital product

In this example, we’ll walk through creating a pre-launch landing page to collect email signups.

In your Podia dashboard, go to the “Products” tab.

For this example, I’m going to create an online course all about petting dogs. Click “Create product,” then select “Online course”. Name your course and click “Create product”.

One of the best parts of pre-launching a digital product is that you don’t need a finished product to start collecting emails. At this point, all you need is a product name.

Step 2: Pre-launch your product

To create your pre-launch landing page and start collecting email addresses, click “Draft,” then select “Pre-launch”.

Step 3: Edit your pre-launch landing page

Next, it’s time to create a landing page and start collecting emails.

To start, use the Podia Editor to edit your pre-launch landing page.

Click on your site name in the upper right-hand corner of the dashboard, then click “Edit site”. Or click here to launch the Podia Editor.

Click the arrow next to “Homepage” in the upper left corner, then find your new product under “Products”.

From here, you can edit your pre-launch landing page to match your brand, introduce your product, and get your audience excited about your launch.

The goal of your pre-launch landing page is to convince your audience to join your email list. Add content that builds excitement and trust — like that social proof we talked about earlier.

To add testimonials to your landing page, add a new section by clicking the plus sign. Then, select “Testimonials” from the menu of section types on the left.

From there, it’s simple to add, design, and rearrange testimonials on your landing page:

Step 4: Publish your landing page

Once you’re happy with how your page looks, click “Publish” in the upper right corner.

Your published landing page will look something like this:

The page will include an opt-in form to collect email addresses, plus a note letting visitors know that they’re signing up to receive emails from you.

Anyone who signs up on this page will be added to your email list in Podia, so you can easily send them product launch updates with our email campaign tools. (Check out these product launch email templates for inspiration.)

And just like that, your pre-launch landing page is live. No coding or fancy plug-ins necessary.

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Grow your business with landing pages

A good landing page is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. Done right, it can help you build an email list, validate your product ideas, and grow your business.

You can create a landing page with a lead magnet to collect potential customers’ email addresses, or validate your digital product ideas with a pre-launch landing page.

Whichever way you choose to use your landing page, keep these five tips in mind:

  1. Get to know your target audience, so you can create a landing page that’s relevant to their goals and pain points.

  2. Keep your landing page content and design easy to scan. Make it easy for visitors to convert by only including one CTA.

  3. More than half of web traffic comes from mobile devices, so make sure that your landing page is mobile-friendly.

  4. Add customer reviews to boost your credibility and build trust with potential leads.

  5. Test, test, and test some more. A/B testing helps you figure out what resonates best with your audience, so you can optimize your landing page for maximum conversions.

All that’s left to do now is what you already do best: create.

A portrait of Rachel Burns

About the author

Rachel is a content marketer for Podia, an all-in-one platform where online courses, digital downloads, and membership websites – alongside their creators – thrive. When she’s not writing, you can find her rescuing dogs, baking something, or extolling the virtue of the Oxford comma.