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You hear it in digital marketing all the time: a campaign is only as good as its landing pages. All the best-in-class structure, bidding, ad copy, and more won’t have much of an impact if the traffic is going to confusing, sub-par landing pages.
So how do you optimize landing pages? We’re going to tackle all of the elements – and in the very concise, bullet-point style we recommend you employ.
(Note, of course, that these recommendations may not apply for each and every vertical – but they’ve worked for our clients, from eCommerce to B2B to lead gen.)
Let the learning begin!
1. Simple is sophisticated
Keep your landing pages simple and streamlined. It’s important that landing pages are not too busy with confusing navigation, excessive copy, fancy widgets, and videos. Just place what’s necessary on the page for a user to understand the product/service and how it is beneficial to them, and provide seamless navigation to the conversion funnel.
2. Keep your conversion path above the fold
Users should not have to navigate through content to find your conversion path. People are lazy; don’t expect users to scroll down. By making everything easily accessible to them, you have a higher chance of getting a conversion.
3. The conversion should be the main focus of the page
This goes hand in hand with the above. When users come to the page, their eyes should be attracted to the conversion process. The whole purpose of your page is for a conversion – so let’s make sure users know where and what they need to do to convert; everything else on the page is just in support of conversion. Use things like arrows to direct user eye path to the conversion process.
4. Images work better on the left
When designing a web page, you want to take into account how a user’s eye path works. Since we read from left to right, we want the user’s eye flow to end up at our conversion funnel. Therefore, by placing the images and supportive content on the left with the conversion process on the right we decrease distractions and increase our chances for a conversion.
Content & Copy
1. Minimal & Concise Content
Keep your content simple and to the point. Avoid wordy SEO-type pages. The more text and content you have, the more distraction for the user. Provide just enough content to get your point across, and organize it in a simple and quick-to-read way. Replace lengthy paragraphs with short summaries or easy-to-read bullet points.
2. Text Size & Font
Sizing of your text is very important and plays a big role in the way a user reads your page. If you want users to actually read your messaging, textsize should be large and easy to read. Consider bolding certain words or phrases that you feel would help influence the user to convert (such as free, % savings, etc.).
Likewise with font styles – no need to get too fancy. If the font is hard to read, users will get frustrated and leave the page.
3. Call to action
Make sure your users are presented with a compelling call to action. A good call to action tells users what they need to do, why they should do it, and even when they should do it. Use what makes the most sense for your page, and remember to keep it simple and straightforward. The last thing you want to do is confuse the user with too many actions.
In order to get users to convert, you must gain their trust. Messaging such as safe, secure, and ‘we value your privacy’ help. When you can, include security/credibility logos like VeriSign and BBB. If you have been in any sort of publications like the NY Times, ABC, Forbes, etc., you should definitely display it on the site. Having top brands feature your product is a huge help in making your own brand credible.
5. Clear value proposition
Every successful landing page must have a distinct and compelling value prop. What makes your product/service so great and sets you apart from the competition? Whether it be lowest price, largest selection, ability to compare between various products/services – you must emphasis this in the messaging on your page.
6. Dynamic pages
To help ensure a high conversion rate, pages must ALWAYS be very relevant to what the user is looking for. How do we adjust a page to every type of user profile? By making them dynamic. Just as we try to have our ad copy messaging relevant to the search query, we want our page to be relevant to the ad copy. Set up headlines and any other copy possible to be dynamic-dependent on the variables you pass in through your links. Theme consistency from keyword to ad copy to landing page plays a huge part in higher conversion rates.
1. Keep your form minimal
Forms should be simple and clean. Don’t overwhelm the user with too many questions. Find out what the bare minimum is to complete a conversion, and organize questions to acquire the needed information. If you can, combine fields so it appears that you’re asking for less information – for example, instead of having 2 separate boxes for first and last name, create one box asking for full name.
People are lazy. The more work they have to do; the less likely they will do it. So why not fill out as much of the form as you can for them? Use search query information, IP addresses, etc., to help you prepopulate data. You can pass in parameters through your URLs to help dynamically populate the fields within your form.
3. Multi-step long form
Try to avoid very long 1 page forms – this can scare the user away by overwhelming them with too much at once. Try to break up your questions into a multi-step form.
4. Progress bar
This goes hand in hand with the above. If user are going to be filling out a multi-step form, they need to know where in the form they are. By knowing how much more they have left to go, a user is more likely to complete the form versus being left in the dark.
5. Radio Buttons
When possible, use radio buttons over drop-downs, clickable buttons, etc. They provide a quick and easy way for the user to answer questions.
If you are collecting a user’s contact info – primarily email or phone number – be sure to include a statement mentioning that this information will not be shared with others/will only be used for the set purpose. Users are less likely to share their contact information if they fear they may get spammed.
And there you have it! As we said in the beginning, these tips may not apply to each and every vertical, so be sure to test different versions of any landing page before you go live – and enjoy the boost in conversions!
About the Author
Sana Ansari has worked in the internet marketing industry since 2009. Prior to joining 3Q Digital in October of 2011, Sana was a PPC Marketing Manager for Quinstreet, leading the insurance vertical.
Before entering internet marketing, she worked as a consultant at Accenture. Sana received a degree in Electrical Engineering from UC Davis. She loves the 2 Bs: baking and badminton.