Your landing page is any page on your website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result. That Call-to-Action (CTA) is in most cases aimed at generating a lead or having the visitor add an item to your ecommerce shopping cart.
Think of a grocery store--you want the user to know without any hesitation where the cashier is and make it as easy as possible for them to find what they're looking for.
That is often easier said than done, so the post below will show you a few tactics that all landing pages should use to increase the numbers of visitors who convert from visitor to lead or from visitor to customer.
1. Look at what your competition is doing.
This sounds obvious, but use sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to search for the product or service your landing page is offering. Click through the landing pages of your competition and note the places where you feel confused, put off, or tempted to leave. Then go back to your own landing page strategy or design and consider what you could do to eliminate the confusion you felt when perusing the other websites. Be sure to look at more than just one competitor--try to examine several.
2. Be sure you are talking to each area of the visitor funnel.
Include an element for each level of the funnel. The 3 areas of the visitor funnel are:
Top of the Funnel (TOF)
Middle of the Funnel (MOF)
Bottom of the Funnel (BOF)
The TOF are often the not-sure-how-they-got-there individuals. Maybe they found your site through a link from another site, maybe an email from a friend/follower, or maybe even a web search. The TOF visitors respond well to lists and “Did you know?”-types of bullets/outlines. So be sure to include a few features and benefits about the product or service on the landing page for the TOF.
Tip for the TOF--Consider using an “Us vs. Them” side-by-side Comparison Matrix. See the Insurance Benefits Matrix below as an example:
The MOF are the visitors who DO know how they got to your landing page. They have done a little leg work and conducted web searches looking for you; maybe they even follow or “Like” you on Twitter or Facebook. The MOF visitors are looking for social proof-- in other words they respond well to what others are doing, reading, buying, etc. Be sure to include embedded Tweets, or Facebook comments or reviews on your landing page for the MOF visitor.
Tip for the MOF--Most social sites allow methods of embedding their content; see the examples below.
The BOF are those who are ready to hit the “Add to Cart” button if they are purchasing a product or talk to someone if they're intrigued by your lead generation landing pages. They have moved from the top to the bottom of the funnel, so be sure you have your CTA ready for them.
Tip for the BOF--For lead generation landing pages, a local phone number converts better than an 800- or toll-free number. For ecommerce landing pages offer an incentive to click “Add to Cart” in the form of free shipping or a first-time customer discount.
3. Remove the top navigation.
Your goal is to have the visitor click “Add to Cart” or fill out a form or talk to someone. The goal isn’t to have the visitor click around your site until they get distracted and leave. So remove all of the abandonment opportunities that are NOT part of the Call-to-Action.
Good Example (notice the elements for the TOF, MOF & BOF):
Bad Example (and this is a conversion company?!):
4. Implement an A/B testing strategy.
If you are not using an A/B testing strategy to at least test 2 versions of your landing page you are playing a dangerous game. Making decisions based on emotion or company favorites does not convert more visitors to leads and customers. Making decisions based on your data, your visitor preferences, and best practices, on the other hand, does convert more visitors to leads and customers.
Let’s say, for example, you’ve decided to test your Call-to-Action. In this case you might consider testing:
the location of the Call-to-Action
the exact text used in your Call-to-Action
the button color or surrounding space
5. Put your most critical landing page elements in the upper 300 pixels of the page.
Usability research shows over half of your site visitors will not scroll below the fold. So get rid of the warm-up copy, get right to the point (use short paragraphs of 3-4 lines), and keep your features and benefits well above the fold.
Get these items in place on your landing pages and start testing and converting more visitors today.About the Author: Dustin Sparks
Dustin is a landing page optimization expert who includes the usage of advanced A/B testing to determine which landing page tactics will convert best for your specific campaign goals. Dustin has developed an expertise in best practice tactics and user-centered design, as well as a deep understanding of visitor conversion behavior and landing page testing.
Over the past 15 years, Dustin has helped a number of major US and international brands develop successful web-based initiatives. Companies like Carbonite, Cabelas, Golfsmith, Freescale, AppliedMicro,SkyGeek, GreekGear.com, The Gallup Organization, Toyota, Mastercard, Blockbuster Video, and many others have benefitted from Dustin's deep understanding and innovative perspective.