We’ve all done it in the past.
Sent out email campaigns, set up Google ads or created content on social networks all with links pointing to our website’s homepage and then wondered why our conversion rate is so poor.
In a sense you are gaining the interest of the visitor with your ad copy and then saying to them “the information you require is on our site somewhere, have fun looking for it”, when what we should be doing is directing them to a page specifically set up to cater to their interests and to convert them.
But to do that, you need optimised landing pages.
Here are ten ways to optimise your landing pages and increase your conversion rate.
1. Create Focused Landing Pages For Each Source of Traffic
Sources of traffic could include emails, tweets, Facebook posts, PPC advertisements, banner ads etc.
It may sound like a lot of effort to create a unique landing page for each source but there are a couple of reasons why you should invest the time into doing so. Firstly it allows you to tailor the content of the page to suit the demographic of the traffic source and the amount of information they have been pre-armed with. For instance someone arriving from an email is likely to have received more information before landing on your site than someone arriving via a tweet, so you can show less information on your landing page to those arriving via an email.
Secondly, having unique landing pages allows you to get a much clearer idea of what source of traffic converts better, thus allowing you to focus more of your time where it is needed.
2. Try split testing your pages
Split testing is the process of splitting your traffic between 2 separate landing pages, with subtle differences, to see which page converts better.
A landing page can always be improved so keep testing what works and what doesn’t. For example try changing the call to action, the heading on the page, the main image on the site, site content etc. and monitoring what results in a higher conversion rate.
3. Ensure the message of your landing page is the same as the message that got people to the page
This one is important and is one of the primary reasons why sending visitors straight to your homepage is a bad idea. People clicked on the link to your site because your advertising message caught their eye, if they then land on a page that does not sync with that message they will be hitting the back button. For example, if your ad message was “Get a FREE consultation today!” and the heading on the landing page is “Welcome to ACME Accounting” your conversion rate will suffer.
You need to make sure that your message continues to flow, from the ad to the landing page so that you are not making the visitor think. As soon as a visitors starts to think “what did I come here for?” you have lost them. Make sure when they land on your page they instantly see what they expect to see and guide them towards the action you want them to take.
4. Utilise video to increase conversions and customer engagement
A well produced video can really help your landing page conversion rate so make plans to start including this in your online marketing mix. However, a poor video can have the opposite effect, so don’t put up a video just for the sake of having video content. If you sell a physical product then a video showing the product in use is a great selling tool, if your product is an online tool then you can produce a video showing how the tool is used and what the main benefits of use are to the user. If you offer a service instead of a product then put yourself in front of the camera and talk to your potential customers about why they should choose you, incorporating a video review from a past customer is a great way to reinforce this message.
5. Have a strong call to action
Your landing page exists because you want the visitor to convert, be it through picking up the phone or filling in a contact form or some other way. Show the visitor what you want them to do with a strong call to action. Don’t let the phone number or contact form blend into the page and go unnoticed. Use subtle cues like arrows or colour contrasts to direct the user towards the call to action.
6. Cut down on the noise
One of the main problems with sending people to your homepage is the amount of noise and distractions on the page. With a landing page you want to optimise it so that you are only talking about the product/service they are interested in with a clear way for them to take action. Don’t start talking about other services or products that you offer, you can do this after they have submitted their information or made contact. In addition remove any links to other un-necessary pages to ensure they don’t leave the landing page before converting.
7. Enforce a strong company brand with recommendations
If you have a review from a past customer who has purchased this particular product or service then now is the time to use it. Have it displayed prominently on the page, near your call to action to remove one of the barriers of sale. A good review from a previous client could be all it needs to convince someone to pick up the phone or fill in your contact form. If you have multiple reviews try split testing them to see which has the best impact on conversion rate.
8. Clearly list the benefits of using your product or service
Having 4-5 clear benefits of using your product or service is essential. Try to have a few clear bullet points, not too many words, that succinctly explain the benefits of your product/service and/or why they should use you over the competition.
9. Don’t ask for too much information
If your all to action is a contact form then asking for too much information creates a lot of friction and will often scare visitors away. Ask for only what you need and you’ll find that more people are willing to fill in your form, you can always gather further information later.
10. Consider offering an incentive
A great way of increasing your landing page conversion rate is to offer an incentive to convert. For example:
- If you are selling a physical product you could offer some form of discount on the landing page
- If your product is an online tool you could offer a free trial period on the landing page
- If you are providing a service, you could offer a free report for completing the contact form
Then remember to continue testing what works and what doesn’t, sometimes even the way a freebie is worded can have a huge impact on conversion.
A Good Landing Page?
Ok so the ten things above should give you a good idea about what makes a good landing page but we all learn better with visual examples right?
Here is a look at, what I would consider to be, a very well designed and optimised landing page.
The company I am going to use as an example is Xero, a software a lot of you may be familiar with as business owners. Dealing with accountants on a daily basis I come across Xero regularly.
The Xero Landing Page
From the screenshot of the landing page you can see it is a very clean design that perfectly matches the Xero branding but what makes it such a good landing page?
- They have kept it basic, removed all of the clutter and presented only the relevant information to the user.
- No “exits”. You will notice that there are no links to the main website or a contact us page, leaving only what they want you to click on.
- 2 Clear calls to action using colour to draw your attention.
- Good use of images showing the product in full browser version and mobile version which answers the question of whether the software is mobile friendly instantly.
- Strong headline. A strong bold headline that grabs the attention.
- Clear advantages of using the software. Short, snappy bullets of information clearly stating what the software can do and the advantages of using it.
- Testimonials on the page. Adding social proof to the landing page by including testimonials, right next to the bottom Call to Action.
- Offering an incentive. Not only are they clearly offering a free trial they also state that you can “sign up in seconds” and that “no credit card is required” instantly removing one of the barriers that a lot of “free” trials possess.
The Xero landing page is actually a 2-part landing page as clicking through the Call to Action lands you at their signup page, as seen below.
Again the design is good, they are not asking for too much information and have a pretty short form.
They also include more testimonials to further strengthen the social proof side of things and 3 quick bullet points to reassure you that it is definitely free and that you only pay if you decide to keep using it.
Today’s Micro Action
Look at your landing pages and assess them against these 10 steps – do you need to make any changes to improve their effectiveness?