Aug, 9th, 2012
When reviewing your website’s performance are you seeing high bounce rates with low conversion rates? When evaluating your conversion funnel are you seeing large numbers of visitors dropping off? If so, then it is time to start improving these metrics. Landing pages with high conversion rates don’t happen by accident. Quite simply, effective landing pages are the result of strategic implementation of landing page factors with constant testing and experimentation.
To help you design an effective landing page that converts, below we outline eight important factors every landing page should consider.
Landing Page Factors (LPF)
An effective landing page should clearly convey your organisation’s value proposition. What is it that differentiates your organisation from competitors? What value can customers expect to receive from you? What specific benefits can you offer? State your value proposition and make it clear.
Trust elemets are needed to help website visitors see your site as a trustworthy entity to do business with. Trust elements could include recommendations from authoritative sources, official associations with well recognised organisations or groups in your industry, testimonials, and security verification of sensitive information.
If your conversion funnel requires personal or sensitive information i.e. email address, postal address, or credit card information ensure your landing page includes information or a link to a page with content detail what you will/will not do with their information.
KSPs / USPs
What key selling points (KSPs) or unique selling points (USPs) can you list on your landing page that will help encourage visitor’s progress through your conversion funnel?
Putting aside for a moment ‘how’ a visitor managed to get to your landing page, let’s look at ‘why’. A visitor has reached your landing page because they have either generated some sort of assumption or curiosity that the information/content on your landing page may just be, or at least lead to, the answer they are looking for.
To put it simply, if a visitor finds the type of information they expect to find then the more likely they will stay on the site and you will see a lower bounce rate. Conversely, if a visitor does not mange to find the information they were expecting to see then the more likely you will have a higher bounce rate. This may be an oversimplified example however, the principal at work applies to more complex variations.
Therefore to make this principal work in your favour for your landing page, closely align expectations between the information your visitor expects to see with information on your landing page.
In addition to ensuring content on your landing page is aligned with your target visitors expectations, you also want to ensure expectations are clear on other important details through the path to conversion such as:
- Time: If your conversion point involves filling out an online form indicate how long the process should take e.g. include a statement such as “complete the online form, only takes 2 minutes”. Or, if your online form is separated into multiple pages, indicate how many pages the form is by including some sort of indicator e.g. Step 1 of 3, or page 1 of 2, etc.
- Payment: If completing your conversion funnel requires credit card details, indicate this in advance – don’t let your visitor reach your payment page only to find they have to enter this information. With eCommerce sites, requiring payment details is fairly obvious however with the rise in popularity of the “freemium” business model, avoid the mistake of possibly misleading potential customers and make it clear up front ‘payment information will be required’.Also, if successful conversion means to have received some sort of online payment, make sure that your landing page indicates all the payment methods you accept i.e. on your landing page indicate payment methods accepted e.g. electronic funds transfer (EFT), e-cheque (electronic cheque), direct deposit, credit cards (what credit cards are accepted?), and also think about payment options. For example, does your website allow for automatic recurring monthly payments?
- Delivery: If you have an eCommerce site, on your landing page indicate the delivery time(s) / period(s).
- Post Communications: If, for example, your conversion is defined by a newsletter signup your landing page should be clear about what type newsletter communication will be received and indicate how frequently a person can expect to receive the newsletters.
Clear Conversion Paths
Any landing page with a purpose should provide direction and effectively guide the user. A large proportion of website visitors are first time visitors which begs the question, have you made it clear as to what you want them to do? Better yet, have you mapped out the pathway you want your visitor to take that will lead to a conversion?
Direct the outcome by controlling the engagement. You know what the desired outcome for each visitor is but the key questions are, what is the best method for getting each visitor there? What steps do you want them to take? and what pathways can you eliminate from the equation to help make the conversion experience as easy and effortless as possible?
Time should be dedicated specifically to research, to identify all possible objections a visitor may have with converting. While there are various techniques and strategies for countering objections, by identifying these objections you should then be able to put in place a specific strategy to counter and reduce the barriers to conversion.
“Studies show that 88 percent of visitors WILL NOT return to your web site after having a bad experience due to slow page load times.”
With increasing internet speeds, and today’s “I want it now” attitude, you have less than two  critical seconds to show yourself before a potential customer/lead turns away forever. While that might sound harsh, in today’s competitive online environment , it is true.
Test how fast your landing page loads and optimise to improve the load speed. Whether it be your images, a code clean up, compression, or minimising HTTP requests minimise your landing page load time as far as possible.
To test your page speed try Google’s page speed tools: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/
While we’ve outlined a number of important factors landing pages should include there are of course many other factors such as writing compelling page copy, creating a sense of urgency, integrating social proof, creating a sense of confidence etc that your landing page could include. The point is, if you understand how important a landing page can be then, you should already be considering such factors as above and creating variations to test.
Your landing page is a representation of your brand and your product or service offering and getting it right may be the defining factor that determines bottom-line results. If you think a more effective conversion focused landing page is what you need, speak to FIRST about how we can help you with your landing page optimisation strategy.
See here (http://unbounce.com/landing-page-examples/) for examples of effective landing pages that include some of the factors above.