Business owners know the value and importance of having an effective website and a site that contains converting landing pages. Your website is a great opportunity to reach potential clients and keep your current clients involved.
When your website doesn’t seem to work for you, chances are that it is outdated or is not resonating with your audience. Your site should attract traffic and convert that traffic into viable sales leads.
A successful website will incorporate landing pages that should not only reach viewers’ eyes, but should reach their emotions in a way that they feel compelled to provide you with their contact information and click “Submit” as quickly as possible.
Below we will discuss top tips for creating successful landing pages that convert traffic into leads.
Avoid squirrels. The attention span of a squirrel is one second. However, their attention span is over 1 minute when they focus on an acorn! Do not create landing pages that turn your site visitors into unfocused squirrels. Grab your visitors’ attention by simplifying the actions that they can perform on your landing page.
A simple design change of removing the website’s primary navigation on your landing pages can yield 100% increases in conversion rates (or more)! Remove links to related content and social share buttons as well.
The goal is to make your landing page a TRUE landing page where the site visitor only has a singular focus (i.e. acorn).
When a website page has multiple call to actions, multiple links, etc, the attention ratio explodes. For example, a typical home page could have 10 to 15 (or more) links in their main navigation menu. Additionally, the page will have multiple call to action buttons or links scattered throughout the page.
Each of these links or call to actions increases the attention ratio. Consider a home page that has a total of 20 links. In this case, the attention ratio would be 20:1. Your goal in optimizing landing pages should be a 1:1 attention ratio.
Below is an example of a landing page that has a higher attention ratio and the corrected lander that demonstrates a 1:1 attention ratio. The corrected landing page outperforms the initial, high attention ratio landing page.
Lander with higher attention ratios experience a decrease in conversion rate:
This Lander with a 1:1 attention ratio has an improved conversion rate:
Exceptions to the 1:1 attention ratio
There are some instances when you can break the 1:1 attention ratio guideline. One case is when you add additional links to the page content but each of the links takes the viewer to another page with the same exact goal. Another case is a navigation menu that only contains “hot links” or “anchor links” to different sections of the same page.
2. Traffic Source Context
Understanding HOW your visitors are arriving on the landing page and checking for context once they arrive is crucial. In order to understand this, one needs to look at the “pre-click” and “post-click” user experiences.
This pertains to what the user is experiencing right up to the point that they click to navigate to your landing page. In many case, the pre-click context will be a form of advertising such as a Google PPC ad or Facebook Ad. These ads do not provide a large space to get your points across and in many instances they are designed to “sell the click”. In other words, they are designed to grab attention and to get the user to click through.
Consequently, they user is arriving to your landing page with a high level of curiosity or interest but a low level of contextual relevance.
Post Click Context
This refers to the context of the landing page. When advertisers are relying on paid traffic as the pre-click context, it is important that the landing page elaborates on the value proposition, provide ample social proof, testimonials, etc and most importantly answers the question of “whats in it for me?”.
Be sure to have congruence between the advertising hook and the landing page. Below is an example of a Facebook ad and its corresponding landing page that are in congruence with the messaging, imagery and design.
3. Keep It Simple
Your landing page shouldn’t look like a Wikipedia page. It should be simple because most people don’t have the time or the willingness to do a lot of reading before they decide to give you their information or click away. Use bullet points, self-playing videos, and highlights. Of utmost importance is the headline.
Headlines Are Key
You landing page must clearly and concisely communicate your offer, otherwise known as the Unique Campaign Proposition.
Use a 5 second test to see if your headlines are communicating the landing page’s effectiveness correctly. What do I mean by this? Its simple, create multiple versions of your lander, each one playing with different ordering of the headline and sub headlines. Display the landing pages for 5 seconds to a group of control subjects. After each 5 second display, ask them to tell you “What does this page sell?”, “What is the product being sold?”, “What is the service offered?”, etc.
Make sure that your headlines convey the main message of your product, service or offering. I was working for a company that provided live answering services for small businesses. When I research the competition I was amazed at some of the the poorly designed landing pages. For example, look at the following page. If you looked at this for 5 seconds or less, would you know that they are an answering service company?
Poor usage of headlines example:
Better usage of headlines example:
In the example below, it is clear that the service being offered is a 24 hour, 7 day a week, live call answering service.
Does your landing page align with your campaign goals? Simply put, does the text on your landing page align with the messaging that you want to convey? It is easy to become distracted by imagery and design when trying to assess this simple concept. To make it easy, I have created a free downloadable Excel spreadsheet for you to use. This spreadsheet is a simple way to score your landing page harmony.
Take all of the textual content from the landing page and paste it into the appropriate areas in the spreadsheet. Then score each element. If the content is 100% in harmony with your campaign goals, it gets a 2. If it is sort of in alignment, it gets a 1. And, if it is not in alignment at all, it gets a 0.
The total potential score is 2 times the total number of textual content elements on the page. Below is a sample landing page and the corresponding Harmony Assessment spreadsheet scoring.
This scoring method immediately highlights areas on the page that need to be optimized and improved. For instance, this company’s primary message is that they delivery heating oil to homes & businesses in Ocean County and Monmouth County NJ.
Simply changing the primary header to: “We Deliver Heating Oil To Customers In Ocean & Monmouth Counties NJ” would get their message across more effectively.
The sub headline could be improved by using this text: “Dependable Heating Oil Delivery. We Deliver To Residential and Commercial Properties.”
One of the calls to action could be changed to: “Order Heating Oil Now”
All three of these improvements would score 2s on the harmony assessment spreadsheet and the overall score would be increased to 10/22. Of course, further improvements are still needed but I think you get the idea!
Lets face it, today’s Internet consumers are skeptical. And, they have a right to be! There are many companies that are untrustworthy. Additionally, there are tons of Internet & email scams. I am sure that you have received some spam email asking for money to help a poor distant relative escape oppression and migrate to the US. Just hand over your SSN#, bank account #, etc. Its no wonder that people are skeptical in this digital age!
Your landing page needs to invoke a feeling of trust to overcome inherent skepticism. Here are some elements that will help convey trust. Try to incorporate as many of these elements as possible in your landing page.
- SSL Certificate
- Authority Sites and Association Badges, Seals, Stamps of Approval
- Ratings, Reviews and Testimonials From Other Customers
- Picture Endorsements
- Video Endorsements
- Social Proof, Shares, Likes, etc.
When using testimonials or reviews, be sure to select ones that are specific to the product or service your landing page is promoting. Avoid jargon language like, “Brett has been a God send” or “Meeting Brett has been the best thing, it has changed my life”. Seriously? Meeting me has changed your life??? GET REAL! Well, maybe it did 🙂 but most viewers will gloss over these types of outrageous claims.
Here is a good example of a testimonial that resonates with a home owner that is looking to have heating system repairs performed by an HVAC company:
The “Herd Effect”
Consumers often choose what they believe their peers and/or colleagues have already chosen. Using testimonials and reviews correctly to show potential customers what everyone else is doing and saying about your product or service sways people. This is known as the “herd effect” and is very powerful.
Keep the forms simple. Conversion rates increase in a direct correlation with a decreasing number of form fields. For example a landing page with only two form fields will perform better than the same landing page with 5 form fields. Put thought into what is the absolute minimum number of fields required to make your campaign successful.
As with all rules or guidelines, there are some exceptions. For instance, if you are running a give away promotion where the item being given away is of extremely high value AND your landing page/brand is trusted, you can ask for more information from the page visitor.
This is exhibited in a campaign that I ran for an HVAC company that was giving away a heating and cooling system valued at $3500. We asked for 9 data elements on the form, including items like “Age of your current heating system” and “Do you own your home?“. This campaign yielded a conversion rate of 27.82% as shown below:
If we had asked these types of questions and that amount for a downloadable PDF product guide or to register for a webinar, our conversion rates would have dropped to below 1%.
Form Submission Call To Actions
Most people use “Submit” as their call to action on their form submission buttons. Instead, add your true call to action on your Submit button. In the example below, the bottom form submission experiences a hiring conversion rate. While the language (headers) are different, we assessed that the increase was also attributed to the language on the form submission button.
Landing Page Optimization Best Practices
By implementing as many of the above tips as possible into your sites’ landing pages, you will enjoy an increase in conversion rates as well as your bottom line.
L4 Group specializes in helping business owners and marketing executives achieve their business goals. We can increase traffic, sales, and profits by using effective website design, social media marketing, SEO, content creation, and much more. Our strategies have proven results which have allowed the many businesses who use our services to grow. If you need to improve your website, be sure to contact us. We offer free consultations and web analysis.