By: Andy Haskins
You’ve built out your landing page, you’ve created your awesome ads, you’ve set that baby live and you sit and wait to start counting those conversions….but nothing happens.
We’ve all been there! There’s nothing more disheartening than a landing page that flops at the first hurdle. I’ve never wanted to dropkick my device out of the window more than when driving those visits to a page that doesn’t even begin to react.
Sound familiar? Well, do not fear. Through our extensive work at the Landing Page Guys, thousands of unique landing pages and millions of revenue generated for clients and lots of testing, we’ve managed to scrape together a nifty little list of 42 super effective landing page tips to help get your landing page off to the best start.
The list is broken down into 4 easily digestible sections:
Strategy, Design, Development and Content (don’t say we don’t treat you).
Whilst this list isn’t a guarantee to galactic conversion rates, it should certainly get you on your way and paired with a little testing (more on this later) you’ll be well on your way to that warm fuzzy feeling as you watch the conversions roll in. Let’s get started, from the top.
Be aware of who you’re building your page for. Knowing this early on and applying some basic principles can help you to get into their mindset and build a page fit for purpose. For example: Are you targeting an older demographic? Consider larger fonts and clear lead ins.
Know what you want to achieve with the page and make it the central focus. If you’re looking to collect leads, make sure everything leads into the form. Are you wanting to generate calls? Make that phone number nice and clear and tell the visitor to give it a call.
Tell the user why they need your service, what you can do for them and exactly what they’ll get by taking action on your landing page. You’re going to need to know this to build a to the point, uncluttered page that focuses around what you have to offer. Tell users exactly what they’re getting.
Take time to consider how users will be finding their way to your landing page and how it may affect their actions on the page. Users from organic search may act differently to those who come from a paid ad.
Utilise proven design principles such as AIDA
Tested and proven psychological design principles can help to provide structure and flow to your landing page. Take AIDA for example: Attention – Capture your visitors attention! Strong imagery, bold colours, a strong headline and proposition all help to evoke emotion and pull your visitor into the rest of your page. Interest – Pique your visitors interest by telling them how your product or service will benefit them, what they’ll be getting and how it can solve their problems. Desire – Pull on those emotive strings and get your visitor yearning to experience what you have to offer. Show them case studies, screenshots, features, social proof and testimonials that ensure they cross that line into taking the next step… Action – Boom, hit them with what they’ve longed to do! Whether it be a form, button or product selection, make it as easy and seamless for your visitor to take your desired action.
You have a matter of seconds to capture and entice your visitor, so it’s vital to include your key elements as high up the page as possible. I don’t mean that you have to try and cram everything possible in to that small little space, but simply include everything needed to pull your visitor into the journey. A strong headline with your proposition, key benefits to your offering, imagery that allows the visitor to relate, a way to take action.
We live in an age of ‘noise’ and short attention spans. You’ve spent time (and most likely money) getting the user to visit your landing page so don’t give them any reason not to take your desired and defined action. Flashy graphics, un-required navigation, social media links, irrelevant imagery, if they don’t provide value and get you the desired result then they’ve got to go.
In line with removing distractions but more specific, ensure there are no traffic leaks on your page that allow your user to flow through and back out. This can take the form of social media links (once you send them to Facebook they’re going back to that feed). Maybe it’s links to irrelevant pages that aren’t congruent with your goal. Links to third party sites or display ads that take away from your offering. They’ve all got to go!
Colours are one of the niftiest tricks in your conversion optimisation toolbox. You can be the master of many when using them correctly. Subconsciously, we’re super receptive to colours and they can play a huge part in determining emotions and how we act, which is perfect for evoking the emotion you want from your user! Are you aiming to portray wealth and prosperity? Green is your friend. Trust, reliability and sensibleness can be evoked with blues. Do you want to create a sense of urgency or immediate attention? Red will hit the spot. Calm and tranquility? Purples and soft pinks will get you there. Studies show that whilst green is commonly associated with ‘go’, orange is an extremely popular choice for calls to action. Paired wisely, you can achieve a balance of strong attention and pure emotion from your visitor, just by using colours. Consider your audience and the product you’re offering to help settle on a colour palette and build it out from there. If you’re offering a beauty product, purples and pinks will attract your female demographic and provide a calm, relaxed and elegant feel. Perhaps you’re offering a financial product? Blues and greens can create a sense of trust, reliability and prosperity.
Along with harnessing the power of colour, it can also be hugely beneficial to capitalise on white space on your landing page. White space is an easy way to enhance attention to your core elements in an almost subtle manner. Not only can it aid in a sophisticated and professional look but also provide a sense of balance and a subconscious directional cue. Don’t surround your form with lots of text, unnecessary images or a garish colour that distracts from the attention, use whitespace.
Directional cues are an excellent way to guide your visitors attention right to where you want them to be. Now I’m not talking big flashy disco lights and cheesy graphics, oh no.
Subtle lead in arrows and images of people looking in the direction of your call to action are a super effective way to push that attention. They don’t have to be loud and tacky to make an impact. Directional cues can help guide attention to where you want it to be.
A picture paints a thousand words, so use them wisely! Whilst this may be a given, it’s all too easy to get caught up in quick and easy stock imagery. Relevant imagery can be vital in piquing the attention and the interest of your visitor, evoking emotion and influencing action. Whether you use an image of people enjoying a product, suffering with an issue or as a directional cue your image choice can have one of the biggest impacts on your page and is usually the first to get tested.
If your visitor was to ‘skim’ your page, could they obtain all the information they need to start paying more attention? Whether they’re reading on a mobile device, are in a location with distractions or are short on time, they want to understand the proposition, benefits and offering as quickly as possible. Utilise text decoration such as bold, italics and underlining, along with a variety of font sizes and colours to provide a punch to the core phrases on your page. Consider highlighting words and phrases that mention and evoke emotion or ‘speak’ to the end user as it’ll help to pull them in.
Your headline is your biggest shot to lasso that visitor into your landing page, make it count. Use this opportunity to highlight your demographic pain point, the benefit of your solution and/or how your offering solves what they’re looking for. Tell them what they want to hear and give them a reason to stick around and hear what you have to say. In the words of an ancient proverb:”If you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment, would you capture it. Or let it slip”
When all’s said and done, there’s only one main action you (should) want your user to take on your page. Whether that’s to fill out a form, click a submit button or follow a link to leave the page, you’ve got to make it enticing and noticeable. You’ve gotta’ make that call to action POP. Bright and contrasting colours, drop shadows, borders, bevels and all that juicy stuff will make sure that your visitor can find your action point quickly and efficiently. Pair this with some killer content and you’re on to a winner. Don’t forget to state the obvious. If you’ve got a form button that once clicked submits the visitors details for a life insurance quote, don’t just write ‘Submit’ as your action text – make it descriptive: Using Get your quote or Protect your family now let the end user know exactly what they’ll achieve if they take action on your page. Tell the user exactly what they’re getting when they take that action. Basecamp have a clear call to action that explains what you’re getting.
Don’t ask for information if you really don’t need to. Maybe you need to ask for an address? Don’t ask for every little detail and make it mandatory, try to pre-populate or generate on the backend where you can – for example, if a visitor enters their zip, you’ll be able to determine the city and state without the need for them to fill this out. Maybe you need a contact number? Don’t ask for home, office, mobile if you can get away with one. You need to keep it as short and sweet for the user as possible.
Let’s be honest, we can be a rather untrusting and skeptical bunch right? Evil lies around every corner, just waiting to take advantage of us and take us for a ride. You’ve got to warm your visitor up and make them feel secure. If you’re a member of any official federations, or have high end security or encryption on your landing page, let people know and give them a reason to trust you. Seals by your main call to action or placed throughout the page provide that added security and trust required to give your visitor that little nudge.
Let’s get to the housekeeping first. Whilst clean code may not seemingly make a direct or tangible impact to yourself or your visitor, there are many knock on benefits that can come from it. Clean code helps with performance. There’s a potential reduction and or mitigation of potential conflicts Cross browser compatibility errors will be reduced. It helps you to sleep well at night (if you’re a code geek – just me?) Remove any bloat from your code, clean up any syntax errors and keep it as lean and minimal as possible. You can use services such as the W3C validator to identify any potential issues or conflicts that may be present in your code. Whilst it isn’t sensible to threat over every warning, especially when integrating or tying into third party services or platforms, it’s worth trying to get things as optimised as possible. Utilise W3C Validation to clean up your code.
You’ve got less than 5 seconds to capture the attention of your visitor, so what good is it if that person can’t even get to your page because it’s painfully slow? Time is of the essence. You need to do everything within your control to ensure your pages load super quick for every visitor, especially when considering potential visitors from mobile devices on data networks. There are many super quick tweaks that can be done to optimise your load speed and testing couldn’t be easier. Utilise services such as Pingdom or GTMetrix to test load speed and identify any potential bottlenecks and appropriate solutions.
We live in the age of mobile. It was reported that in 2016, mobile usage overtook desktop for the first time.With that in mind, it’s essential to ensure your site is not only responsive, but optimised for the end user and their mobile devices.What do I mean when I say ‘optimised for the end user’?
I mean don’t just stack all of the elements from your desktop page on top of each other and hope for the best, you need to ensure that the mobile experience is seamless. Place the key elements higher on the page. Remove any elements that may seem out of context on smaller resolutions. Reduce or minimise images to reduce scroll. Provide multiple call to actions or shortcuts back to your area of interest (a form, product selection) to negate the need for the visitor to scroll to take action. Do whatever it takes to make it a flawless experience for your visitor.
No, I’m not talking about ‘good ole’ IE7 (I wish we didn’t have to worry about IE at all actually). Whilst it might not seem obvious to you, a large majority of your traffic could be viewing your landing page on any from a large choice of browsers. At the time of writing, almost 25% of web users are using browsers other than Chrome* – that’s a lot of potential revenue that you could be missing out on. What’s the issue with this? I hear you say. Well, unfortunately different browsers like to cause a little mischief and act in different ways, rendering and displaying elements in a different manner to others. A button that works in one browser may not work in another. An image that is displayed in one location on one browser may overlap a core element on another. All of these little quirks could mean the difference between a conversion or a frustrated visitor. (Taken from W3 usage statistics gathered over 45 million monthly visits.) Whilst Chrome still dominates the browser game, don’t forget the rest!
You’re probably thinking ‘sheesh, this guy is pedantic’. Well maybe I am, but I’m just writing from experience! Whipping your titles, meta information and OG tags into shape can have an excellent effect to your visits from an organic perspective. If your page is being shared out, or is going to be shared on the major social media outlets then setting expectations within your meta information is a super simple and subtle way to increase your conversions. Consider these sections as the poster for what your user is about to encounter. It’s your opportunity to entice them without doing any extra work.
SSL can an excellent way to instill security and trust with your visitor. I’m not going to bore you with the technology behind it, but put simply, SSL creates a secure connection between your visitors browser and the web server. If you’re collecting sensitive data including names, emails and phone numbers then SSL can provide that added security to your end user. Pair this with the fact that Google and Facebook are putting more emphasis on SSL, it’s importance and the benefits for sites with it and it soon becomes apparent what the impact may be without it.
A small tip that can have an immense impact when it comes to your form conversion rate (especially on mobile).Use the correct field ‘type’ when developing your page.If you’re collecting email, use ’email’ to ensure the keyboard on mobile represents this. If you’re collecting a phone number, use ‘tel’ so that the dial pad shows for a user to enter their number. Using the correct field ‘types’ on your forms has two major benefits: [*]It provides a user friendly experience[*] It allows you to implement effective front end field validation (more on this later).
Used correctly, tooltips can be an efficient way to assist your visitor in taking action and not becoming frustrated or confused when filling out your forms. Keep these for the less obvious fields. I’m pretty sure Joan doesn’t need to know what is required in the ‘first name’ field.
There is nothing more frustrating that taking the time to fill out a form, pressing submit and then either nothing happening, or the page refreshing to show you some unfriendly errors. Front end validation can have a massive impact on both your conversion rate and your lead quality. Make sure fields are validated correctly so that email fields require an email, phone numbers are at the correct length and numeric.Along with this, provide live or user friendly error messages that explain exactly what they’re doing wrong and what they need to do to correct it. Services such as parsley.js can make this process simple.Taking it a step further, you can also consider implementing real time validation on your landing page via a third party API. This is great for validating phone numbers, emails etc and costs a nominal fee per search to ensure the data entered is valid. Realtime validation provides clarity for your visitor.
People don’t like the unknown. They like to plan. Whether it be simple text, Step 1 of 2, or a fancy graphic that show’s the current location, progress markers provide clarity and avoid confusion for users during a lengthy process.
You’ve already taken the time to identify your core demographic, you’ve designed a page that caters to their colour psychology, now it’s time to talk to them. Take the time to think about how your demographic act, how they speak, their vernacular and phrases that relate. Your content can have a massive influence on the conversion rate of your page so it’s important to ensure it relates. If you’re targeting medical professionals, hold off of the slang and focus on relevant terminology. If you’re offer is for people in their late teens, don’t fill your page with words that look like you used a thesaurus.
By now you should already know what YOU want to achieve with your landing page, but what about your visitor? You need to be clear and concise when it comes to telling them exactly what you’re going to do to them, as they ‘ain’t’ got time to be figuring it out for themselves. Spell it out as clearly as possible what it is they’ll achieve. For example, at the Landing Page Guys our proposition is one of the first things you see:”Increase your business sales and conversions with our fully responsive, affordable landing pages.” This tells our visitor what’s in it for them, and how they’ll achieve it.
We’re emotional creatures who love to buy but don’t like to be sold to. Whilst your visitors may be interested in the features on offer, I can almost guarantee they’d rather be told how your offering is going to benefit them. Let’s take a few examples: Capture mind blowing photos vs 12megapixel camera with LED flashSave money to enjoy with your family vs Affordable monthly payments Apple are probably one of the world’s best when it comes to selling benefits and telling a story. Instead of blabbing on about the specification of their camera, they depict it through a story of emotion – capturing magical family moments by using their technology. Find your users pain points and then do your best to show how you’ll benefit them.
Have you ever been reading an article, website or publication and find yourself being pulled in and wrapped up in a rollercoaster of emotions? Power words are a simple yet spectacular way to trigger emotion and attention with your visitors. A boring phrase can be transformed with the addition of a simple word, for example:Increase your conversion rate with these tips vs Skyrocket your conversion rate with these unmissable tips.
You’ve just got to be upfront and tell them exactly what they need to do to get their hands on your awesome offering.Fill out the form now, call today, enter your details below. Make it as clear as humanly possible.
Is it safe to say that you’d love to increase your landing page conversion rate? Are you looking for quick and easy ways to achieve this? Well you’re in the right place! Ask your user questions and get them to say ‘yes’. The more often you can get them to do this, the more likely they are to feel in a positive mood and remain congruent and receptive as they progress through the journey you’re providing. Get them to confirm their pain point, then get them to agree to wanting the solution, before guiding them to saying yes to what you have to offer.
Metaphors have the ability to turn your landing page into the Usain Bolt of conversions (ok, I made that up on the spot, but you get the idea). Used correctly, a metaphor can be an excellent way to provide perspective and understanding to your proposition and provide a memorable bookmark in your visitors mind. Maybe your user is ‘stuck between a rock and a hard place’ or you’ll show them how to ‘hit a homerun’?
Bundled into a neat package of 6 principles, Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion are gospel in the marketing world and imperative to making the most of your visitors and exchanges. Used correctly, these principles can have an explosive effective on your conversion rate. So, what are these persuasion principles?
Check out our dedicated post on these powerful persuasion principles to learn more.
Expanding on the persuasion principles, social proof can be super powerful in influencing your visitor to take action. Not only do we like to follow in what others do, but we like to feel secure in our choice. We don’t like the unknown and often seek validation prior to making decisions. Including testimonials and reviews provide peace of mind for your end user, knowing that they’re not alone and that others have used your product or service successfully. InvisionApp provides testimonials from large power users.
The way you write and the angle you take can tell your visitor a lot about you.A lot can come across in the way you write and present yourself. There’s no better way to win over a visitor than be being upfront and honest, avoiding all of the hardcore, shady sales tactics and just portraying your service for what it really is. Driving the hard sale on the front end without it backing out will only provide you head aches down the line, so speak to your user in a way that they can trust.
A few extra points for you to mull over. Whilst all of the above should provide a solid grounding, there’s no point in just guessing what is and isn’t working, it’s VITAL that you constantly test and optimise your landing pages to match your audience and how they’re acting. There are many different things you can test:
The list goes on.
With that in mind:
Place pixels and analytics
Data is the driver of any successful landing page. You need to know what works and why. The easiest way to do this is to ensure you have tracking in place that gives you an overview of everything, from the ad through to the completion. This will allow you to make logical and informative decisions. There are many different tracking platforms to utilise, but the two that we use the most are Google Analytics and the Facebook Pixel. Data is king so make sure you’ve got tracking implemented from day one.
I’ve been harping on about it throughout the article, but on average you have no more than 5 seconds to capture and hold on to your precious visitor – in fact it’s more like 3 seconds. If you can’t get your message, proposition or core offering across within that time then you better be making some changes! How can you check this? Five Second Test is an excellent service that allows you to upload your link, publish a project which is then presented to users for 5 seconds so that you can then gather their comments and feedback on what they remembered or what confused them. Super quick and helpful for some validation. Five Second Test allows quick and effective user testing.
If you want to take your testing to the next level, or you’re having trouble improving that conversion rate you can consider implementing heat mapping or session recording services to analyse where people are dropping off or getting held up. Maybe there’s a specific button that people click the most but it’s taking them to the wrong place, or they’re hitting a specific traffic leak. Heat mapping and recording will allow you to identify what is working and what isn’t to optimise accordingly.
The best way to find out what will and won’t work is to run direct, tangible testing. Split test, A/B test and multivariate tests and are an effective way of gathering real life data on how your visitors interact with your page. There are affordable services such as Visual Website Optimizer and Optimizely that make it super quick to setup these tests, gather data and then analyse the data to see what’s making a difference.
Launching a landing page is simple.
Launching a landing page that converts can be a whole different ball game. The tips listed above are small and subtle nuggets that we’ve been using for years to create some of our highest converting, most successful landing pages.
Tried and tested across thousands of pages, spanning a mix of different verticals and niches, they are an insight into how we get the party started with our landing pages.
Whilst the list isn’t definitive and success not guaranteed, used correctly they should help in steering your conversion rate in the right direction.
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