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286 A Crash Course in Landing Page Conversion

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.



64 How To Create A High Converting Landing Page

Today’s guest post is from Oli Gardner.  This is a two part post, the second part will be published tomorrow – Enjoy!

You’re do loads of awesome marketing: ads, promos, contests yada yada yada. And you send all that hard earned traffic to your homepage where people lose the information scent from your ad, get confused and leave.

You need a landing page. Landing pages are targeted specifically the intent and content of your ads.

In this post we’ll learn how to construct a high converting landing page by examining:

  1. The anatomy of a landing page
  2. Some landing page examples critiqued for conversion

Then tomorrow we’ll finish things off with a crash course containing 9 tips to ensure your landing pages are converting as well as possible.

Let’s begin today with…

Part 1: A Quick Landing Page Anatomy Lesson

There are 7 main elements to consider when designing your page.

  1. Unique value proposition in a concise headline

This is your intro to your prospect and should match the message that you promised in your ad, ideally in a way that explains the benefit your solution provides.

  1. Image/video showing context of use

Remember the goofy squinty guy from the SlapChop ads? Of course you do. He was awesome, and demonstrated the product “in use”. That’s context and whether it’s a cheap vegetable chopper or an online SaaS business, showing your product or service being used will get you more sales, guaranteed.

  1. Core benefit statement(s)

People hate reading. So keep your main points in bullet form, not big paragraphs, and make them focused solely on the benefits that people will get from using it. A feature is meaningless without an associated benefit. Always think “How would this help people?”

  1. Request for data (and a fair value item in exchange)

Every B2B marketer wants one thing above all else, email addresses. Remember this phrase: “Match the quantity of the data you’re asking for with the size of the prize.” People need to feel like they are getting value from their personal data in order to convert. Two ways to do this – make amazing content or make the form super short – ideally both.

  1. A strong call to action (CTA)

Your CTA should use principles of conversion centered design to stand out from the rest of the page and leave no doubt about it’s purpose. Aside from the design, a crucial aspect for your CTA is what it says – copywriting, especially for conversion can be challenging.

One good tip is to ensure you describe exactly what will happen when the button is clicked. Never say “Submit” – say “Download my free ebook” – big difference, and it lets people know they are making a good click. A good rule of thumb is to complete the sentence “I want to…”

  1. Trust elements

Would you buy from a company you didn’t trust? No one. So what can you do increase the trust of your landing page? Here are a few things you can use:

  • Testimonials: Make them authentic and try to use video if you can. And don’t be afraid to ask your customers if they are willing to help.
  • Twitter comments: Show a live stream of people saying nice stuff about you.
  • Endorsements: Show the logos of media placements or high profile customers.
  1. Post-conversion socializing

Want to take advantage of warm leads? There’s no better place than the confirmation page of your lead gen page or cart page. Use this opportunity when the lead has expressed intent, and ask for something else, like a follow or newsletter subscription.

Part 2: Examples of Good Landing Pages

Now that we’ve covered what goes into making up an effective landing page, let’s check out a few example pages, and run through a short critique of each to see what they’re doing well, and what could potentially be changed or optimized via an A/B test.


What works – It’s all about the benefits

People want to know how your product/service can make their life/work better. There’s no better way than writing in terms of benefits.

  • The image supports the implied benefit of the process; a happier family in control of their finances.
  • The bullet points take the benefits further, leading you to a more positive feeling about your situation.
  • The CTA caps it all off nicely by indicating that there is a solution there for you.

Things to change or be tested

They’ve done a really good job here, so I wouldn’t really change much. They could make the form shorter, but the target demographic for this page should be motivated enough to complete it.

  • If you were to remove any forms fields choose: Verify email, alternate phone and city.

What works

  • Directional cue: People need to be guided, so I like that they take you from the benefit statement to the action area by using an arrow.

Things to change or be tested

  • The headline is more of a branding/naming concept, rather than a descriptive title that explains the purpose of the page. The explanation in the black section is a more powerful message. I’d move “Web Marketing 2.0” to the header opposite the logo.
  • Take advantage of the white space below the form to display a supporting trust element such as a testimonial.


What works

  • Directional cues: Even better than the last example, this page makes great use of arrows to direct your attention through the flow of the page and it’s benefits.
  • Strong CTA copy: The copy explains exactly what you’ll get which is what every good CTA should do.
  • Guarantee: At the top right there is an excellent guarantee statement, which is repeated at the point of conversion – the CTA. The no-risk factor will lead to higher conversions.

Things to change or be tested

  • Example logos: The value proposition of this page is getting logos made – so show some examples to improve the trust in the company’s design skills.

Now you’re well on your way to craft compelling landing pages for your campaigns. As a final note, hop on over to a landing page we put together just for Duct Tape readers.

— 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.