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Should a landing page have navigation: what does the Growth Marketer at Restream think?

We’re 99% sure that your goal with a landing page is to increase website conversion. 

8 July, 2024
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Merge recently hosted a podcast with our CEO, Pavel Tseluyko, and Lawson Zeugin, a seasoned growth marketer at the live-streaming platform Restream. The topic is super relevant for SaaS startups and companies - growth marketing. Lots of insights! Seriously, go watch it afterward.

We’ve already published a new blog post about what marketing growth strategy will work in 2024, with multiple insights and quotes from Lawson. Today, we focus on landing page navigation. 

So, should you do it? Should you add navigation to your landing page? Let’s see.

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Lawson Zeugin

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Growth Marketer at Restream

Don't give them too many paths to choose from, just give them one.

The case for landing pages and website navigation

When it comes to landing pages and website navigation, we get it. You want your visitors to have options. But here's the deal: a landing page is basically a sales pitch. You don't want your potential clients running off to check out your "About Us" page when they should be hitting that CTA!

Consider the purpose of a landing page: it's a focused conversion tool designed to guide users toward a specific action. Including navigation can potentially dilute this focus, offering unnecessary pathways away from your primary call to action.

From a design perspective, navigation adds visual complexity. It competes for attention with your value proposition and key messaging. 

Think about your user journey as well. You've likely invested significantly in targeted traffic acquisition. Each click away from your landing page represents a potential loss in your website conversion funnel.

That said, the decision isn't always black and white. In some cases, minimal navigation might provide necessary context or build trust. However, check how big is its potential to distract.

Your goal is to improve website conversion rate

We’re 99% sure (let’s leave the 1% for some unexpected decisions) that your goal with a landing page is to increase website conversion. 

If your landing page content is compelling and effectively addresses user needs, do you really need additional navigation?

A key point made during the Merge podcast is that removing the navigation from landing pages can significantly boost website conversion rates by as much as 20%. 

When users land on a page, they are often not reading past the hero section, so having too many competing calls-to-action or navigation options can distract them from the primary conversion goal. 

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Lawson Zeugin

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Growth Marketer at Restream

People are on the page for an average of three to five seconds before they either drop out or go to the next step. You're not even reading the hero text that fast.

We would primarily advocate for an approach in which the landing page presents a single, clear path for the user to follow without any deviation or additional navigation. 

Basically, to strip away unnecessary elements and keep the user flow simple and direct so that your landing page can be optimized to drive higher conversions. 

It very well may challenge the common assumption that navigation is always needed and suggest that removing it entirely from certain marketing-focused landing pages may be the better choice.

In the end, it's about optimizing for your primary metric. In most cases, for landing pages, that metric is conversions. Design decisions should align with this goal, and more often than not, that means forgoing traditional navigation elements.

What about website copy and CTAs

The biggest thing about landing pages specifically, which is also very contradictory, is that no one really reads them, but copy is still really important. 

On average, people don’t scroll past the hero section on your page

For example, on Restream's paid advertising pages, 95% of people don't scroll.

Shouldn’t that mean that you need to deem the copy irrelevant and write whatever? Nope. On the contrary. UX copy is one of the hardest marketing texts to get right because you have to think about the customers, not the business.

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Lawson Zeugin

linkedin

Growth Marketer at Restream

Keep the language stupidly simple. A third grader needs to read it and understand it. Whenever we look at a copy that is maybe too complex, I wonder, what reading level is this? If it's like sixth grade, it's too high.

Simplicity is indeed key here. The text has to catch the attention of the reader straight away. We’ve all got things to do. We all scroll so much on a daily basis that it has become a habit. And it didn’t do our attention spans a favour either.

How simple and catchy? Well, you have to have very highlightable words in your hero and subheadings that make sense extremely quickly. Either through imagery or just really easy-to-read words. Otherwise, there will be a crazy drop rate or bounce rate. And keep the language below a sixth-grade level. 

Bringing value

Merge tip: We suggest bringing the product's value proposition closer to the landing page rather than requiring signups/onboarding first. This would match users' expectations of fast access to the product.

Recent landing page navigation examples are trending toward front-loading value. Instead of hiding your product's core benefits behind signup forms or lengthy onboarding processes, consider showcasing them upfront on your landing page.

Why? Because users today want quick access. They're not fans of jumping through hoops to see what you're offering.

Try adding interactive demos or product previews to your landing page. Let visitors play with your product right there. It's like letting someone test-drive a car before buying it.

This approach does two things:

1. It shows users what they're getting, building trust.

2. It filters out “tire kickers”, leaving you with more serious leads.

By giving a taste of your product upfront, you're not just after quick signups. You're aiming for users who've seen what you offer and are excited to dive in.

Remember, it's about making the jump from "interested" to "sold" as smooth as possible. Show your value early, and watch your conversions improve.

Other benefits of a simplified landing page

If improving conversions wasn’t enough, here are some of the other benefits of leaving your landing page unbothered by navigation. At first, you get:

  • Better UX. Simplifying your landing page removes obstacles and helps visitors easily find what they need.
  • Faster load times. A clean design makes your website load quickly and visitors engaged.
  • Cost-effectiveness. Fewer design elements and concise copy save you both time and money.
  • Clear messaging. Straightforwardness makes it easy for your visitors to understand your offer and take the next step.
  • Better accessibility. A simplified design is more accessible to users with disabilities, including those using assistive technologies like screen readers.

Then, the following benefits ensue:

  • Enhanced performance. A streamlined page means a faster and more efficient website.
  • Improved SEO. A simple layout also improves your website’s visibility and ranking on search engines.
  • Higher user retention. Visitors are more likely to return to a site that’s easy to navigate.
  • Positive brand perception. How about creating a positive impression of your brand?
  • Increased satisfaction. Users have a more enjoyable experience on a simple, well-organized page.

So, should a landing page have navigation?

TL;DR: If you want, you can pretty much ditch the navigation altogether. Your conversion rates will thank you.

And a proper-sounding conclusion, if you’d like.

In the end, whether to include navigation on your landing page pretty much depends on what you want to accomplish. Most experts say removing navigation helps focus users on converting, which is usually the goal.

But it's important to test what works best for your specific audience. There's no perfect solution that works for everyone. Your landing page should change and improve based on what the data shows. 

And remember that you can always reach out to our Merge team if you need help with your landing page.

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CEO and Founder of Merge

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

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