A Crash Course in Landing Page Conversion

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Yesterday you learned what makes a good landing page and the 9 concepts below can be used as a checklist to keep you on track the next time you run a marketing campaign.

1. Where landing pages sit in the funnel

To understand the role of a landing page it helps to show visually how they fit into your marketing flow, from the traffic source, through your different test variants, and finally, the confirmation page.

(Click the image for to explore in more detail)

2. Message match: Ad to Headline

This should be your first concern. Read your ad phrasing and then read the headline on your landing page to see how closely they correlate. One of the biggest reasons for a high bounce rate (and a poor PPC quality score for PPC) is that people lose the information scent when they arrive at your page, thinking they are in the wrong place.

Next stop? The back button. Then your competition.

3. A single CTA

Having a single call to action gives people only one thing to do and stops them wandering down the wrong path. Drill this into your head: only give them one thing to do and they will be more likely to do it.

4. Social sharing

There are 2 ways to add social sharing to your page. You can add them to your main page to show social proof or add them to your confirmation page (covered in part 9).

Don’t forget that a low count shows “negative social proof” so if you want to use them, try using paywithatweet.com to get your ebook instead of a form. This boosts tweet counts in the background. Then show the widgets when the count is high enough and switch back to a form.

5. Use video to increase conversions

Studies have shown that using videos improve conversions. But why?

  • Higher engagement: Videos increase the time on page, giving your brand message longer to sink in
  • Feature yourself or company employees: Raise the trust factor by showing you’re real
  • People are lazy: Many prefer to watch rather than read

6. Trust factors

Some things that can help instill a sense of trust in your visitors are:

  • Number of participants: My personal favorite is for webinars or events. If you show a running count of how many people are attending it can really sell people on the value of the event.
  • Testimonials: They can be video, but written ones also work well, especially when associated with a brand that your visitors know
  • Client logos/endorsements: If you have recognizable clients include their logo.
  • Media mentions: Show the logos of big sites where you’ve been featured. Often achieved via a PR push around a product launch.

7. Visual design

Professional page design is also important for establishing trust – but bad designs convert too (usually for cheesy pages selling miracle weight loss pills). So what can you do to improve your conversions using design?

There are a variety of techniques including directional cues like arrows, or people looking at your CTA, contrast, whitespace and color etc.. Read Designing for Conversion – 8 Visual Design Techniques to Focus Attention on Your Landing Pages for a detailed exploration of this.

8. A/B Testing & Optimization

Your page is awesome, right? How do you know? You just made an assumption because you spent a boatload of time designing it and you are feeling proud of your masterpiece. The thing is, EVERY page can be better, and this is where testing and optimization come in.

How do you optimize your pages? Most people just throw out some ideas (often untrained people) and try a quick test based on a headline or button color change… but most tests fail.

A good process goes something like this:

  1. Gather user feedback on your page using tools like Olark (live chat) and Qualaroo (simple surveys). You’ll be surprised to learn where people are hitting barriers in your conversion funnel.
  1. Brainstorm ideas with a diverse collection of team members: Include customer support, designers, copywriters and information architects.
  1. Develop a hypothesis: Now that you have feedback and some ideas for a test page you need to create a hypothesis for why you think it will succeed and build your page with this in mind. Try writing it like this:

Our Test Hypothesis: Will allowing visitors to download our PDF by providing their email address perform better than receiving it in exchange for a tweet? Considering that not everyone has a Twitter account, or is willing to share such information with their followers.”

It’ll you build a test page with a strong sense of purpose.

  1. Run the test: Finally, you need to set up a test with your new page against the original (control) page. Make sure you leave it running for at least a week to cover daily variations in behaviour and don’t stop the test until it’s had enough traffic to achieve statistical significance.
  1. Choose a winner: This is easy. Whichever performs best should be promoted to be your new champion page and the loser discarded.
  1. Try, try again: Remember that test will often not give you the results you were hoping for, but don’t give up if your first few attempts don’t pan out. Learn from them and keep trying.

To see how good you are at spotting what converts the best, try ConversionSkills.com. The value in trying to pick the winner is to remember that your decisions should be driven by data, not assumptions.

9. Post-conversion strategies

We’re at the end of the funnel, and the most under utilized conversion opportunity space you have at your disposal. Your confirmation pages are prime real estate to engage with your new lead/customer, after all they have just signalled positive intent by converting.

Things you can add to your confirmation page:

  • Webinar follow up: Remind people that they will receive full videos and slides of the webinar even if they weren’t able to attend.
  • Social sharing: Ask people to share your page with their colleagues.
  • Follow you: on the social networks they hang out on the most
  • Freebies: If you were doing lead gen to give away an ebook or whitepaper, give them an extra one free as a thank you.
  • Ask them to subscribe to your newsletter: This is a great way to keep people in your sphere of influence for further re-marketing in the future.
  • The Amazon model: Use “People who liked this also liked… ” to drive extra sales.

For an even deeper dive, read post-conversion strategies for lead gen landing pages.

Now you’re a real landing page pro, so visit the landing page we put together just for Duct Tape readers and take the next step.

— Oli Gardner

Oli Gardner is Co-Founder & Creative Director at Unbounce – The DIY Landing Page Platform. He is an opinionated writer, primarily on the subjects of landing pages and conversion rate optimization. You should follow him on Twitter @OliGardner.




landing pages, Oli Gardner

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