Here is part two of my landing page optimisation post. If you missed it, part one is here. I am happy to receive your comments and suggestions and thanks for your feedback so far.
To recap: A landing page is the webpage you direct traffic to from a specific email, ad or piece of marketing. Its goal is to convert that traffic into sales or sign ups.
When designing your landing pages the golden rule is to be personal. People like to buy from people, not computers, or websites. It’s inbuilt in all of us to relate better to other people. The more you personalise your message and offer, the more you increase the connection with your visitor. Why, because it increases their comfort and trust when buying from you. A great example is to add your phone number to your site, as Brandon Eley points out. Once a visitor realises there is a person on the other end of the phone to help, IF needed, conversions increase. The knowledge that someone is there to help is enough to reasure the user.
Likewise, if there is any way you can make your message more personal and targeted for your page visitor the better. At the most basic, you need to know where in the world they are coming from and what site or advert they are visiting from. Are they an existing customer? Do you know their name? Can you tweak your message to include these details?
Link the landing page to the advert
Here is an example of an ad for Eircom Broadband on Google. Note the wording and information contained. Yet when you click through to the landing page, pictured underneath, where is the mention of the “Value Business Bundles”?
Repeat the Promise
You need to repeat the wording of the original ad and give a clear call to action. Repeat the wording and the graphics. It should be obvious to the visitor that they have come to the right page, with the offer they were expecting. The key point here is, you made a promise in the initial advert so you must fulfill that promise on the landing page.
Make sure your pages are scanable. Here is the text from the first third of an Amazon product page for Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow.
This amount of information should be overwhelming but Amazon didn’t become the leading online retailer by confusing and overwhelming shoppers. Here is the designed Amazon landing page for Purple Cow. What a difference.
You can see now how design and formatting of the content makes information much clearer and easier to find. This example highlights one of the misunderstandings of landing page optimisation. Your pages do not have to be short to be effective. It doesn’t even have to be that simple. Your landing page needs to be long enough, detailed enough and clear enough to make the sale. It can be 1 page or 5 pages. No one size fits all, so you will have to test what works for you.
An interesting side note regarding the addition of review on Amazon. You have probably heard how reviews increase sales. But recent data from Amazon has shown that products with both positive and negative reviews sell better then ones with positive reviews alone.
The reason attributed to this is twofold. First, we are a suspicious bunch and we don’t trust something that everyone gushes about. The second reason is that negative reviews are not necessarily bad. A bad review from a large corporate CEO might tell a small business CEO that this is the book to buy.
Simple word changes can have a huge impact. 37 Signals wrote about some of the wording variations they tried on their Highrise CRM sign up page. Here are three types used with the percentage increase in conversions for each one.
Their original wording had the worst conversion rate “30-day Free Trial on All Accounts.” Variation no. 2 – “Sign-up takes less then 60 seconds. Pick a plan to get started!” gave a 30% better conversion rate. When you are attracting the level of traffic that 37Signal products do, 30% means a significant jump in revenue.
How to increase conversion with four amazing words.
Jason Fried said that they tested various phrases on the Highrise homepage for the call-to-action button. They had originally used various permutations of “Free Trial” and “Sign-up for Free Trial”. Then they tested the phrase “See Plans and Pricing” this resulted in a 200% increase in sign-ups. That’s right. 200%.
Fried believes it’s because people are afraid if they click a link that says “Free Trial” then they’ll automatically sign up for something and be trapped. However, “See Plans and Pricing” encouraged them to explore, without the fear of commitment.
Euocottage Case Study
This landing page from Eurocottage highlights a common failing for websites where they ask for too much information upfront. Ask for the least amount of information and at each step and clearly explain why you need this information in the first place. Explain to the user what the benefits are by imparting this information.
We redesigned this new landing page for Holiday Cottage search site Eurocottage.com. We simplified the process and gave users the information they needed to trust the sign up process. The new page is clearer and easier to use. It’s friendly and welcoming and is much more inviting to users. We are testing the new landing page at the moment. It will be interesting to see the performance rates for the new page. We will keep you posted.
Tools for testing
There are a few must have tools if you decide to try and measure and optimise your landing pages. Website Optimiser is a specific tool from Google for doing A/B and multivariate testing. If you use only one tool for testing this is it. Use Google analytics of course for basic numbers and tracking goal funnels.
5 Second test is an interesting site for checking what parts of your page people actually notice.
Be a pirate!
Be a pirate for your user! Sites like Amazon spend millions of Euro in usability and conversion tracking every year. Look at what the successful sites in your market are doing and copy them. No need to reinvent the wheel but try and make your own improvements. Landing page optimisation is not rocket science it is just a series of small simple tests. Devote an hour a week to it and track your progress.
You can spend 6 months building a level of traffic converting at 1% and to double that turnover, you can spend another 6 months.
Or you can simply test and tweak the landing page to convert up to 2% or 3% in a fraction of the time.
Image above from Scurvy Pirates| Landing-page-optimization | 08/07/10 03:02 PM