Susan is watching a YouTube video when a product she really wants to purchase is featured in the video. She hears that if she clicks a link in the description box, she could get a discount. She clicks the link and is taken to a website external to YouTube. The page she sees tells her that by entering the code she received from the YouTube video, she can buy two products at the price of one. Susan enters the code and makes the purchase.
Do not assume that the purchase was made only because Susan wanted the product at the discounted price. Haven’t you been hungry before, but based on the appearance of the meal you suddenly lost your appetite? A potential customer’s desire to purchase must be helped by the design of the landing page.
Table of Contents
Defining Landing Page
Though it could be successfully argued that any page on your website that a visitor is led to having clicked a link from elsewhere is a landing page. However, it generally refers to a page that has been carefully designed to achieve a specific purpose to increase conversion rates.
It is important that you know how to instinctively guide a customer to take the action you wish them to. While in the above example that specific action was for the customer to make a purchase, it could have been signing up for a newsletter or participating in an online survey. Today, you will learn eight steps to improve your landing page to increase conversion rate.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Good Web Host
While you rightly expend more resources on the frontend of your website, do not take your web host and hosting plan for granted. With so many options to choose from, your landing page needs to load in three seconds, and your call to action (CTA) identified and acted on in 15. Visitors won’t wait or give you a second chance to make that first impression.
Using cloud-based web hosting guarantees that your landing page, and overall website, will be up when needed, and performing as intended since this technology adjusts the amount of available resources on demand. Use a free online website speed testing tool such as Pingdom or PageSpeed Insights to test your loading time.
Become the Visitor
Like the first step, it is pointless if efforts put into creating the best website are undermined because the landing page cannot be viewed or loads inaccurately. Bearing in mind that smartphone ownership will near the four billion mark by 2021 (according to Statista), the probability that your visitors will be led to your landing page via smartphone is high
Therefore, step away from your own equipment, and test how your landing page responds under the circumstances your visitors will likely be in when they access your website. See how your images load, which information is above the fold, and what size is the font. Poor loading across devices will not only negatively impact conversion rates but also bounce rates. If you are using WordPress, there are plugins that can help you create a more responsive website.
Adopt a Problem-Solving Approach
Another way to help boost speed, and ensure landing pages load as intended is to use the bare minimum text and graphics. Frankly, there are only three elements every landing page needs: the problem the visitor has; the solution you are offering; and the method of getting the solution (CTA). Anything else should serve to reinforce the three, such as a photo or videos.
Achieve this by using headings for the problem, and sub-headings for the solutions. If you can present the problem in six words or less, and the entire message in 20, you will beat the 15 seconds each visitor uses to decide to activate your CTA. It may sound daunting, but there are countless examples on the Internet.
Be Deliberate with Calls-to-Action
Nothing should distract from your CTA. The very purpose of the landing page is this one element. The tried and true button format still works well, especially if it has contrasting colours to make it stand out though graphics. An arrow may be used to guide the eyes to it. Explore different font types and sizes, as well.
- Have more than one CTA, unless benefiting from the service involves a process
- For example: ‘Sign In’ CTAs are usually accompanied by ‘Join’ CTAs since the latter is dependent on the former. In such instances, ensure the preferred choice is already highlighted for the customer.
- Create avenues for visitors to exit the page via other avenues
- This is not the same as extorting visitors into taking whatever action is requested. Ensure that you have conspicuous escape hatches.
- A carefully placed in-context hyperlink may serve as the deciding factor for visitors who are not immediately ready to answer your CTA. However, use them only as needed.
- Avoid external links altogether.
- Include pop-ups of any kind
- Feature auto-play videos
- Use sidebar widgets, especially if they are flashing, promoting other ideas such as a sale, etc.
Ensure your Visitors ‘Land’ on Landing Pages
Let’s go back to Susan, who purchased two products at the price of one because of a YouTube prompt. Imagine what would have happened when she clicked the link in the video description, she was taken to the homepage of the target website and not an effective landing page. If she is like almost every Internet user, she would have bounced.
That is why it is not enough to think any page of a website can be a landing page. If the goal is to introduce visitors to the company, then using the homepage may be OK. Whatever visitors expect to find should be what they land on.
Take Security Seriously
Remember when we said that the mere desire to acquire the product could not have been the clincher for Susan? This is where you see the essence of that. Susan only felt comfortable releasing her credit card and other personal information after she saw that your website took security seriously.
- You have an SSL certificate as demonstrated by the padlock and ‘https’ in the URL bar
- Security badges are clearly visible
- Your ‘As seen on…’ reviews, logos of companies with whom you do business, and professional bodies that you are a part of are proudly displayed
- The number of ‘likes’ and other social media interactions accompany each social media tag
- Multiple ways to establish contact with you are included
Of course, you are not expected to include all of these as that would add clutter, but if nothing else, SSL certification is mandatory.
Keep the Converted by Adding a Thank-You Page
You may begin the celebrations because the landing page has done its job, but do not let your guard down. Keep the converted by including a thank-you page after the completion of the action. Thank-you pages show that you value your visitors, but also double as a non-intrusive method of upselling, or introducing secondary CTAs, such as signing up for newsletters.
While thanking Susan for her purchase, you could invite her to take a quick survey to find out what she thought of the shopping experience, or how she found the website. You could also offer her a discount on her first purchase after she subscribes… The possibilities are endless.
Conduct A/B Tests
Another way to determine the most effective decisions you have made is to undertake deliberate testing of your tactics. Unsure of your CTA button colour: run one version for a week or so, then another version for the same amount of time. In the end, compare conversion rates to learn the most effective option.
This is known as A/B testing. However, to identify what works, and what does not, you should only change one element per test. In our example, the colour of the CTA button was the element being tested.
Landing pages serve as a means through which you secure conversions. Effective landing pages do this effortlessly. Follow the eight steps provided today for a higher conversion rate.