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Four Experts Share What Makes a Winning Landing Page Design

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The winners of ThemeForest’s Pagewiz template contest have been announced. Over thirty designers won prizes, including four Top Expert Prizes, each awarded by a conversion expert.

What makes a landing page template design a winner?

Read on. The judges told us exactly why they made their Top Expert Prize selections and offer a few extra design tips you can use on your next landing page.

Karl BlanksMost Effective Landing Page Template Pack: Dr. Karl Blanks

I enjoyed
seeing the wide variety of pages that are compatible with Pagewiz. Many of them looked stunning. It’s amazing that they cost only $18 each; many of them looked better than you’d get if you paid hundreds of dollars to a designer.

The winner is RealGym, a template for gyms. I have just searched Google for local gyms, and none of them have websites as beautiful as this $18 Pagewiz template. Congratulations to its designer, ewebcraft. Ideally, I’d like to see a version that contains more page elements; some gym websites have content that wouldn’t easily fit into the current version.


I’d like to give an honorable mention to Landing Elements Vol 1 for Pagewiz, which didn’t have the requisite three variations needed for this Top Expert Prize category. However, it did contain many useful page elements; in this respect, it should be an inspiration to all landing page templates. It also has a scroll-triggering menu at the top of the page, which overcomes the terrible problem of users not scrolling.


Additional design tips you can use:

  • Some of the templates looked great but didn’t allow for enough text above the fold. Conversion is mostly about text, (as I explain in this talk about copywriting). In my experience, it’s important to have enough text above the fold so the user is persuaded to continue.
  • Many of the templates didn’t have a simple text block. Big mistake. Ideally, for variation, the template should contain a dark-on-light one as well as a light-on-dark text block. Otherwise, a large amount of copy could start to look dull.

Michael AagaardBest Mobile Centered Landing Page Template: Michael Lykke Aagaard

A lot of great templates were submitted to this competition, and I saw many examples of beautiful design. However, aesthetics alone will not make your potential customers convert – especially on mobile.

[tweetthis]aesthetics alone will not make your potential customers convert – especially on mobile. @contentverve[/tweetthis]

I selected Avira – Real Estate Pagewiz Landing Page as the winner.  It was clear that they had considered the mobile experience carefully and tweaked the template accordingly. If your prospects are accessing your real estate landing page via smartphone, they are in all likelihood more inclined to make a call and talk to someone right away, than they are to fill out a lead form and wait for someone to get back to them at some point.

The designers featured a click-to-call CTA at the top of the mobile page – rather than the lead form featured on the desktop version.

Avira Landing Page Template

I also took into account factors like ease of interaction, readability, usability, visual hierarchy and call-to-action. In other words, the overall mobile experience.

Additional design tips you can use:

  • Don’t just adjust the desktop template to fit a smaller screen. Tweak the entire experience to fit the mobile conversion scenario.
  • Make font sizes, buttons and other graphic elements well-proportioned to the mobile format. Users shouldn’t have to pinch and zoom.

Josh MilesMost Creative & Conversion Oriented UX Landing Page Design: Josh Miles

Thank you so much for the invitation to be a judge—Pagewiz attracted some fantastic designers and very strong entries.

In my judging, I focused on three specific questions:

1. Is it abundantly clear what the designer wants the user to do on this page?

2. Does that “one thing” feel simple and easy to do?

3. Did the designer come at this with a fresh approach?

I had a few favorite designs, but I thought Pagewiz Event Conference Meetup Template – Gather ultimately nailed all three. This design was clean, creative, and conversion oriented.

The designer did a great job of making the “one thing” stand out. “Reserve my seat” is the clear CTA at the top of the page and footer of the design.

Above the fold CTA:


Footer CTA:


The bonus on this landing page is that a click opens a short form. The designer got me to take one little step, and now a short form is another easy step for me to complete.

Additional design tips you can use:

  • Designing for conversion doesn’t have to be daunting. Focus on the main action that you want the user to take, and be sure that at each stage in the design process, your “one thing” is still obvious.
  • Make your CTAs obvious, but that doesn’t mean you need a drop shadow, underline, and arrow all pointing to the big button. In the fight for attention, clean always wins.

[tweetthis]In the fight for attention, clean always wins. @joshmiles #landingpage #design[/tweetthis]

Brian MasseyBest Conversion Centered Landing Page Template: Brian Massey

I was happy to participate as a judge in this template contest because this is an excellent teaching moment.

The goal of a landing page is to

  1. Keep the promise of an ad, email or link.
  2. Get the visitor to take some action, to convert.

A landing page really needs to serve its audience. I found the highest scoring templates to be those that were for specific kinds of businesses: fitness, real estate, conferences, travel.

But my winner is: Avira – Real Estate Pagewiz Landing Page because of its creative calls to action and excellent mobile experience.  It suffers from big images, which can slow load times and that means lower conversion rates. Nonetheless, it would serve any business in its marketplace well with a minimum of effort.


Additional design tips you can use:

  • Most templates don’t provide a significant amount of space for copy, and this may be to their detriment. Instead, they only provide bite-sized information to build the value proposition, which is perfect for scanning the page.
  • I favor sites that sought to induce scrolling. Information is commonly presented in bands of different background colors, creating a visual stop point for the scanner.
  • Dedicated mobile landing page designs work better; responsive designs often break on phone-sized screens.
  • Dark text on light backgrounds for readability. Knockout text is hard for eyes over 40 to read.

[tweetthis]Dedicated mobile landing page designs work better; responsive designs often break on phone-sized screens. @bmassey[/tweetthis]

More Templates to Check Out

Whether you’re starting from a template or designing your own Pagewiz landing page, the judges offer valuable tips to consider. If you do want to use a template, you can find more Pagewiz landing page templates at ThemeForest here.

Landing Pages Designer

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