One aspect of marketing that gets people all wrapped around the axel is:
To see why, just pick up a magazine sometime and thumb through the ads.
What do you see? Gorgeous photography. Open layouts with tons of white space. Tight little blocks of copy.
It's the same on the web. The “best” websites are using less copy, larger fonts and even visual tricks like “parallax scrolling” where the background moves at a different rate as you scroll down the page.
With such a high bar for design, where do you even start when you're creating a new landing page?
The other day one of my clients got himself all twisted up over this question.
He's building a landing page based on some copy I wrote for his software company, and he and his team were struggling with the design for the headline area of the page.
And he made the mistake of asking for my honest opinion. Heh.
Visually, the page LOOKED nice, but from a conversion perspective, it was a disaster.
The designer had taken the headline and subheader and supersized the fonts, so you had to scroll down for 3 screens just to read the headline.
That's like a kiss of death.
Here's what I told him:
Design itself doesn't sell; copy does.
The main purpose of design is to showcase the copy, get people reading, and then stay out of the way.
It's important to start simple with your design, and only add elements to the page when there's a compelling reason to.
Then I showed him two “boring” pages I helped create. Both use a single font for the headline and subheader. No fancy graphics or typography to speak of.
And they're both kicking butt when it comes to conversions.
So… When it comes to your landing pages, ignore what the art studio graphic designers are doing.
Keep your landing page designs simple, even “boring.”
And remember: Good design can't fix bad copy, but BAD design can destroy good copy in a heartbeat.