Are your landing pages converting as well as you intended them to? If not, this article is for you.
It’s tough enough as it is to create an offer valuable enough to attract new leads or sales, but where most brands and marketers go wrong is thinking that the offer alone is what converts.
What you’re offering in exchange for your visitors’ details matters, of course. But so does the design of your landing page.
A thing to remember is that the way your landing looks has a huge impact on user behaviour. Done right, the design should support the text on your page and work with all other elements to prompt visitors to take action.
Don’t panic though, it’s highly unlikely to get the design right on point the first time a landing page is published. However, if your conversion rates stay the same month after month it’s clear that something needs to change.
And while it’s crucial for you to gather & analyse data and use it to guide your landing page optimisation, today I’m sharing 18 super-effective tips you can add to your strategy.
1. Give a gift
Offer a gift to people who sign up. Yes, technically it’s a bribe and chances are you’ll end up attracting people that will only convert to claim the gift, but the rule of reciprocity applies. In return for the gift, people will feel more favourably towards your business, and will be more accepting of your emails or to even try your product.
To reduce the number of people converting purely for the freebie, ensure that the gift is relevant and that it’ll only benefit your target audience.
2. Include social proof + testimonials
I think most brands realise the power of social proof by now, especially that a whopping 92% of consumers want to see real testimonials before the purchase. It’s a great way to boost your credibility, build trust with new customers and more importantly, reduce hesitation. But it needs to be detailed, and genuine – a generic ‘oh yeah it’s a great tool, it does what I need it to’ will create more doubt than trust.
It needs to outline how it helped that particular person. Photo, name, job title & company if applicable, and it needs to read specific to that business. Even better if you can convince your customers to create a video testimonial!
Zendesk does it really well:
Screenshot Source: UseProof
Don’t refrain from using statistics either. If your product or service helped, let’s say, 100 companies to boost their conversion rates by 25%, say so!
The longer your landing page, or email, the more CTAs you need to include. You want one above the fold, one about midway (just below testimonials works), and one at the bottom of the page to wrap things up. The key thing to remember is that they all give the same message and lead to the same place – a confused customer buys nothing.
Shopify with its “Start your free trial” CTA is a great example of this:
Another clever way to do this is to have a sticky CTA follow the page as it scrolls, ensuring the prospect always has the opportunity to click regardless of where they are on the page.
4. Be upfront with who your product or service is for
I know it probably seems like you’re potentially damaging the conversion rate on your landing page by saying that your offer isn’t for everyone, however, your advertising should only be targeting the right people anyway. Secondly, exclusivity improves drastically your conversion rates further down the funnel – your emails will deliver better if they’re being read and engaged with by the right people and your customer service team will be more efficient as they are dealing with the right people.
I love how Gravity Payments is using exclusivity on their landing page – if you were a brick & mortar shop, you’d know they’re speaking to you just by looking at the Grease Monkey employee.
5. Make continuity obvious
Understand that people won’t scroll down the page unless they have a reason to. You need to be careful that you don’t give the impression someone has reached the bottom of the page, whether it’s your landing page, product page or even dashboard.
You can do this with little flashing arrows pointing down, or designing pages so that it’s always clear there is something further down. If all your important information is below the fold but that big hero image perfectly fits the screen it may not even occur to the visitors to scroll further down.
6. Use visual hierarchy
People are lazy. If a headline doesn’t stand out to them, they’ll skim through the text without paying much attention to what they’re reading – unless there’s something that catches their eye. Therefore, you need to do the work for them by adding visual clues to highlight key points.
Use H1, H2, H3 titles, paragraphs and don’t be afraid of adding some white space to keep the page clear and easy to read. Allow people to find what they need to be scanning your page and identifying the section they need.
This web designer‘s choice of a sans serif font which is extremely easy to read is a great example of this:
Screenshot Source: UX Planet
7. Write a benefit-orientated CTA
Show visitors’ what’s in it for them by putting a benefit on a button such as ‘Start Increasing Revenue Today’ instead of more generic actions like ‘Sign Up Now’ – your conversion rates will thank you for it.
CLX do it like pros they are:
Screenshot Source: Wishpond
8. Sell benefits not features
Any self-respecting marketer knows this one – sell the benefits, not the features. How does using your product make someone’s life easier? Does it save them time? Does it save them money? Does it make them more money?
Don’t be shy – tell them all about it.
9. Stir up curiosity
Give away some information in advance – it can be an excerpt from your book or a sample of tips upfront and then require the user to fill in a form to claim the rest. You can also offer a free quote or web audit upfront but remember to ask for a certain level of commitment before you give away everything.
SocialTriggers nailed it by combining social proof with an irresistible offer:
Screenshot Source: CrazyEgg
10. Channel people’s attention
Don’t be afraid to highlight what you want people to do. Got a blog and want more emails? Highlight the email capture box (you can even do a full screen as long as it’s easy to bypass). Break up the page. Don’t just slot in a button in the normal flow, change the format of the area around the button to highlight it even further
SalesHacker does it really well where their email signup window pops up as you scroll down an article:
11. Add authenticity
Doesn’t it look suspicious on Amazon when a product has 50 reviews and they’re all 5 stars? It does. Consider showing off some of the less damaging bad reviews. If you go back on Amazon and look at some of the most popular items you’ll see that plenty of them have 3 and 4-star reviews that are still positive.
12. Make it about them not you
Why should visitors buy from you? It’s not because you’re the best at what you do, you’ve won x amount of awards or you have the best product. It’s because you’re going to build them a highly profitable website or your tool will save them hours in social media management.
It all comes down to knowing who your ideal customer is and what are their pain points. If your landing page addresses the problem they’re trying to solve, your conversion rates will skyrocket.
Unbounce is very clear about what they can do for their customers:
13. Be clear & concise
There’s nothing wrong with long copy, but it’s often better to be short and simple with your sentences, especially when you’re asking someone to do something. I realise long copy can’t always be avoided so if this is the case for you, test different length variations to find the sweet spot for your audience.
Also, keep your headlines and CTAs to the point – I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: a confused customer buys nothing.
Dropbox never disappoints when it comes to simplicity:
Screenshot Source: CrazyEgg
14. Love the fold
Reserve the space above the fold for key assets and messaging. I’ve mentioned before that people are lazy, that they skim instead of reading and I stand by it.
You should always have a clear value proposition and a call to action visible immediately when someone lands on your website.
GoogleDrive keeps the very basic information to get you started at the top (and offers more information as you scroll down):
15. Channel-based landing pages
Use channel-specific landing pages or even better, campaign-specific landing pages. Whatever you are displaying in your ads should be what people see on your landing page – think one goal, one message, one action.
16. Show off subscriber or social media numbers
Another great way of using social proof is to display the number of people using your site. If thousands of people like or use your brand already show it and the proof will speak for itself (without boasting).
This has been known to work well with Kickstarters and Crowdfunding, where once you hit about 30% of your target, you have a significantly higher chance of completing your campaign.
Just take a look at Yumpu:
Screenshot Source: KlientBoost
17. Use directional clues
Use pictures of people looking towards your CTA, or design your page to flow so that people naturally move from one key point to another, followed by your CTA. Saying that though, be careful not to make it too obvious – a big red flashing arrow pointing at your button may put people off.
Daily Harvest did the trick when they pointed a … fig at their CTA:
Screenshot Source: Unbounce
18. Single column layouts
Single-column layouts tend to work better than double or even triple column, particularly in the mobile version of a landing page for one simple reason: it’s easier to follow the page down constantly than have to keep heading back to the top to start the next column.
As you can see for yourself after reading this article, there’s plenty that you can do about your landing page not converting as well as you want it to. And while these strategies are not guaranteed to work specifically for your brand, hopefully, they give you a general idea of what to avoid or what to aim for when optimising your pages.
Above all, test everything. You never know which element of your landing page could be the key to unlocking more leads and sales.
Do you have any landing optimisation tips that worked wonders for your business? Share them in the comments below – I’d love to hear all about them!