Optimizing Landing Pages for Conversions

April 11, 2011
Optimizing landing pages for conversions

A landing page is often the first thing that a visitor to your website sees, and it can make or break your conversion rate. I’ve talked before about how you can test and optimize a landing page form, but if the content surrounding that form is confusing, misleading or unhelpful, your conversion rate will likely remain low.

What is a landing page?

In simplest terms, a landing page is any page on your website that allows you to collect relevant information from people interested in your content.

The goal of a landing page is to entice visitors to complete the accompanying form, thereby providing you with valuable information (their name and email) in exchange for your helpful content.

What goes on a landing page?

While it’s possible to host an entire webinar series on landing pages, in the end it all boils down to consistency and simplicity. If you keep headers and imagery consistent across all relevant pages, take time to explain the value of your offer, and leave plenty of white space for your text to breathe, you will increase the number of people who fill out a request for your offer.

Although every business will be different, there are several things that should always be on your landing page(s):

  • Start with an action verb - Do you want your visitors to Download, Sign up, Register, Join, or Donate? Tell them so!
  • Clearly explain the offer’s value - Answer the visitor’s question, “What’s in it for me?”
  • Tell them what to expect - If a visitor is downloading a whitepaper, how will that whitepaper be made available to them? Depending on the offer, will they need to be ready to receive a phone call from you?
  • Relevant imagery - Whether it’s a stock image or a screenshot or photo of your offer, you should have an image on your page. It will break up the text and attract visitors’ eyes.
  • The form itself - If there’s no form, how can your visitors convert?

Go naked!

Do you want a simple way to increase conversion rates on your landing pages anywhere from 10% to 50%? Don’t include menu navigation.

If a visitor has clicked through to your landing page, they are obviously interested in your offer; don’t distract them with your website’s navigation, or even any in-text links. By removing these things from your landing pages, you will focus the visitor’s attention and increase the conversion rate.

Don’t forget the thank-you

Once visitors fill out your form, are you redirecting them to a thank you page, or are you sending them back to the homepage? Or are you leaving them stranded on the landing page with no navigation or ways to further explore your website?

Your thank you page is another opportunity for conversions — don’t waste it! Redirect new leads to thank you pages that contain helpful information and more ways to engage with your business.

Take a moment to explain again what the next steps are. Should your visitors expect an email, a phone call, or a package? What can they do if they don’t receive it in a timely manner?

As you can see on Digett’s whitepaper thank you page, menu navigation has returned — now that your visitor has converted, you need to give them plenty to do on your website, so they’ll stick around longer and perhaps convert again on a different offer.

Give your new lead some options. Put links to your company blog and Twitter account, your newsletter sign-up, and—bonus points—other free offers which are relevant to the one for which they just registered.

Tips and tricks

  • When discussing the value of your offer, use bold text to highlight key points, and bulleted or ordered lists to emphasize key points — this will allow a visitor to take in the main points quickly, and will free up some white space on your page.
  • Keep it all “above the fold.” This means that all of your content (text, images, and form) should be visible without a visitor having to scroll down in their browser.
  • Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and perform the Blink Test. Can a visitor be standing five feet back from their screen and still know within five seconds what your offer is, its value, and what they need to do to get it?

Optimizing landing pages for your business takes time, and should always involve testing to see which version(s) perform better.

Landing pages are critical to a successful inbound marketing strategy, and you should always take time to make sure that they are performing at their peak. Doing so will ensure that each page reaches its maximum conversion potential.

 

I’m always looking for more ways to optimize landing pages. Please share your tips in the comments!

Image: Wedhatted