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How to Become a Conversion-Centered Designer

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So you want to be a landing page template designer? You may think you have it easy - after all, landing page templates are just a single page. That’s much easier than designing a full-on website. But the rules of design change quite a bit when building conversion-centered landing pages.

What’s a Landing Page?

Before we get into the design principles behind landing pages, let’s get some definitions out of the way:

A landing page is a standalone, campaign-specific web page. Its intent is to get your visitors to complete a single action. It’s not your website, and it’s most certainly not your homepage.

Websites are brand central stations and are for people who organically find your site or who need to reference or look at it in the research mode of their purchase cycle. They are not good for marketing campaigns.

Marketing campaigns are based on a single purpose - buy this, subscribe to that - and as such need a more focused experience. The biggest reason for using a landing page vs. a homepage for the target of any campaign traffic (PPC, email, social) is because of something called attention ratio.

Attention ratio is the ratio of interaction points (links) on a page, to the number of intended actions on that page (which for a campaign is always 1). On a homepage this is typically around 40:1 meaning that there are 39 distracting actions and 1 desired action.

A focused landing page on the other hand has an attention ratio of 1:1. For this reason, smart marketers use a promotion-specific, dedicated landing page for every campaign they run.

What does this mean for me as a designer?

Gone are the days when it was acceptable to design a beautiful web experience, put the brush down and walk away with a cheque in your pocket.

Conversion is one of the hottest words on the web right now. Every web page you design is now a piece of “accountable content”. By this I mean that its purpose, impact, and success can be, and is being, measured. If it’s not playing a part in successfully converting visitors into customers, it’s not been designed correctly.

Design isn’t the only factor in high conversion rates. Copy plays an enormous part. But the greatest copy in the world won’t help if your visitor is distracted, offended – we all know bad design can be downright offensive – or confused.

By combining a few simple design principles and some basic psychology you can completely shift your focus to design web experience that both delight and convert.

I call this Conversion-Centered Design. CCD for short.

This is a crash course in CCD, so I’ll discuss the 7 principles, get you juiced up on some Psych 101, then show you some beautiful and high-converting landing page templates that put them into practice so you can learn by example.

Ready to become a Conversion-Centered Designer?

The 7 Principles of Conversion-Centered Design

The principles are simple. Learn them, practice them, and you’ll see your conversion rates soar.

Principle 1: Encapsulation

Wrapping things is a smart practice. It works for your head in cold temperatures, baked potatoes in hot, and it makes Christmas more fun. So take the most important thing on your page (your conversion goal) and wrap it in something to demonstrate that it’s worthy of your visitor’s attention.

Principle 2: Contrast

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