4 elements to start continuously improving your current landing page.
Great, you've done the hard work, you have attracted visitors to your website, you've stood out from the crowd in SERPs, however, you're still not converting them into customers? If this sounds familiar? You've come to the right place.
There are many aspects that impact the conversion rate of a landing page, and a whole science of data analysis, psychology and methodologies that lie beneath the surface of a website. Yes, this means those websites (Booking.com, Airbnb, Amazon etc) that convert highly do much more than just say "that design looks good.”
Before I go into the body of the post. I want to make it clear that every business, customer journey is unique, therefore, there is no manual on the creation of a 'perfect landing page'. However, based on 100s of tests, over multiple industries and many different types of companies, if you consider the following 4 impactful elements you'll get off to a good start.
1: Value proposition
The value proposition is most likely the first element that a visitor will read. If you don't impress within 3 seconds, chances are you will lose the visitor. Top tip, ensure the page load time is below 3 seconds.
Here's what your value proposition needs.
Relevance - This confirms to the visitor that they have come to the right place. Ensure the proposition flows with your ad copy and meta description, which is also great for your quality score.
Value - Entice the visitor to continue their journey, by providing them with value. I.e. an offer.
Call to Action - Ensure the call to action stands out by creating a good contrast and tell the visitor what the next action is. (More on CTAs later)
Your value proposition should also complement an image that explains the product or service, again aiding the visitors understanding of the landing page.
Another good technique is the use of persuasive subheadlines. If the main value propositions get the visitors attention, then the subheadline should make them stay.
A few pointers on the sub-headline:
The sub-headline should be positioned directly underneath the value proposition.
Make it persuasive.
Add a little more detail as to what the visitor can expect from your product or service
Essentially, the aim of the value proposition is to answer the visitor's key question of “What’s in it for me?”
The value proposition isn't the standalone element, it can be spread among the other elements on your page such as imagery, benefits, copy and features, however, you need their attention and engagement before the other elements fall into place.
A key pitfall for many landing pages that I've come across is, the statement shouldn't be about your company. A value proposition is not “we are awesome" no one likes companies "we weing" everywhere. You may be awesome, but let your product and/or services do the talking, and persuade the visitor that they will be awesome with your product or service.
2: Page structure (flow)
Page flow is essential to form a high converting page. It needs to be digestible and logical so that a cognitively engaged customer will read the content and follow the thought process.
Essentially this consists of 4 key areas (of course this may change depending on your objective).
Why the visitor should stay (yep, you know this one - if you don't then I haven't explained a value proposition that well).
Your benefits and product features.
Trust indicators (more on this later).
Call To Action, always end with an action point.
It’s perfectly fine to allow your design to separate sections, in fact, it may even help with cognitive coherence, as our brain can decipher visuals much easier than words.
There is a lot of talk surrounding the length of a landing page. Many people avoid long landing pages because they don’t want to risk losing visitors’ attention. Trust me, it won't be the length of the page that loses their attention. If the information is of value, relevant then add it. Just make sure it is logically structured and engaging - easy right?
As you experiment (yes, this means A/B testing) to determine which elements to place where.
Remember to use persuasive elements at all times. As well as making sure you spend time determining CTA placement. Do you need one at the top of the page and bottom (almost certainly), do you need a pop-up? Do you need multiple CTAs to target different segments? All this needs to be tested.
Trust indicators on a landing page are an excellent way to nudge the visitor to take the next action, whether that is calling you, filling a form or downloading a white paper etc.
Trust can come in many forms, the most obvious one is brand. Dyson, Bentley and Apple have no worries when it comes to trust (I'm sure it exists in some form) but by and large, you immediately associate these brands with high trust, whether it is with their product, customer care etc.
Let me assume (worst word for an optimiser to use - I know) your brand doesn't have the same equity as the examples above. What can you do to ensure a new visitor can trust you?
Testimonials - from real customers, although celebrity endorsements are great and work. A visitor will want to relate to someone already using your service/product.
Case Studies - Demonstrating the impact you have made to other people is an excellent way of showcasing the impact and value you can provide.
Industry credentials - Do you have certifications and industry regulations? For example, a payments company may want to signpost card schemes such as Visa and MasterCard.
I am also going to mention this if your website is HTTP and not HTTPS, stop reading this and go fix it immediately.
4: Call to Action
Arguably the most important element to get right is the call to action. Everything you do on the landing page should be to drive visitors to your call to action(s) and ultimately convert into customers.
What your call to action needs to stand out:
Make it big. Ensure there is very little clutter around the CTA, using whitespace to give it centre stage.
Compelling copy. As mentioned before, DO NOT use "submit". Your copy needs to be explosive, persuasive and inform the visitor exactly what will happen next.
Use a contrasting colour. This ensures the CTA stands out from the rest of the page. Yes, there are obvious colour psychology tips out there, however, don't take these for the gospel (I have recently run a test where red beat green - shock).
Call to actions are fascinating (I do get out, honest) and can take time to get right. I encourage companies to continuously test and optimise. The CTA is the best place to start if you are new to A/B testing and completely unique to different businesses, whether it being the colour, style, prominence, size, copy etc.
I can say with confidence, what works for another company, may not work for you. Take subjectivity out the equation and test.
The importance of the landing page has never been greater. This may seem like a lot to take in, I'm not saying implement all the above immediately and in one go. These elements are the tip of the iceberg, however, by starting with these elements you will set yourself for up for landing page success, and hopefully business success.
My underlying message, and if anything the ONE thing I want you to take away with you.
"Endeavour to improve your current state, and continue to do so".
I want to leave you with an analogy.
I am an avid gym-goer, there are people who can lift a lot more than me and people who are fast than me. There, is no way, I can go from benching 80kg to 115kg in one go - I might be able to do 1 rep, however, the likelihood of injury would be very high. This makes it unsustainable as if I get injured I won't be able to lift anything and therefore stop going to the gym.
A trainer once told me.
"Success in the gym is firstly going. Secondly, if you can better your previous state i.e. 80kg to 82.5kg or increase your reps from 6-8, then you are on the right path to achieving your goals'.
I encourage you to find your benchmark, identify your objective and use this concept to improve your landing page, which in turn will improve your profit margins.
Like any optimiser, I'd love to hear your thoughts on which elements you think are most important, challenges you currently face, whatever it might be, get in touch and I'd happily discuss in more detail.