The most important pillar of a successful landing page, and the one that really begins before a landing page is even implemented, is convincing your clients that landing pages are a viable option in the digital age (as opposed to homepages).
Explaining the concept of a landing page to paying clients is no small task. Clients, typically focused on product promotion and growth, tend to have a difficult time comprehending why potential consumers should be purposefully diverted away from a well developed and value-driven homepage.
Yet, as most clients are also likely to be engaging in PPC advertising, product promotion, and content creation, they must understand (at least at a basic level) the potential ROI of utilizing landing pages.
If your clients desire to do any of the aforementioned marketing activities (i.e. PPC ads, product promotion, action stimulation, etc.) you will need to clearly advocate the cooperative use of both homepages AND landing pages.
One key talking point to focus on is the ability of landing pages to avoid waste. Remember, homepages are deep, complex, and contain many layers of information. Some of this information may provide value to potential consumers, yet, as marketing guru Arnie Kuenn points out, a lot of the information does not.
As home pages are designed for navigation, they are not efficient in stimulating consumer action, and they can easily distract. In fact, a dedicated landing page allows clients to control the ultra important visitor attention ratio.
This is the ratio of interactive elements (i.e. links) on the page to the number of campaign conversion goals (i.e. always one). Whereas a highly linked homepage is likely to have a ratio somewhere around 40:1 (i.e. there are 40 ways to leave), a typical landing page should have an attention ratio of 1:1 (i.e. visitors can either opt-in or leave).
By implementing a landing page you can limit the exit options of your potential consumers, and in turn, avoid waste.
Why Conversion is the Most Important Metric
Conversion is everything: transforming potential users into active ones, then into customers and finally into brand ambassadors. It should be the top priority objective not just of the marketing department, but of the whole company.
In this regard, landing pages are one of the most common tools when it comes to early stages of funnel conversion.
And to bring down certain related myths, as well as to offer suggestions about their use, is the main goal of this article.
“So they say”: misconceptions about conversion
Marketing experts have held forth long and hard about how to design landing pages to boost conversion ─ from buttons to colors, from spacing to the proper use of images and videos ─, and promised 2 to 7% rate improvements.
The reality, however, is often quite different.
Wordstream conducted a complete A/B test with two landing pages of identical content. One was optimized, the other one not so, they found out that purely aesthetic changes do not last long.
In other words, the changes gain more traction in the short term, but lose momentum progressively and end up converting even less than a strictly informative, no-frills landing page.
Conversion rate optimization test over time
On the other hand, making your landing page as polished, sleek and accessible as possible should be deemed an obligation, never a competitive advantage: everybody is doing it, so it stands to reason for its intrinsic value of differentiation to be minimal.
Conversion rate by industry
Not only that, though: as you can see in the graph, it’s also well proven that the average conversion rate of landing pages across industries is just 2.35%.
Surprised? Well, there’s still more to it: a quarter of them does not even reach that figure, faring a meager 1%. On the contrary, the ones in the top 10 convert at nearly 12%.
Sector-wise, financial companies top the list ─ on average, their landing pages convert at 5% ─, while e-commerce ones don’t fare that well, with a less-than-2% median.
If these companies turn to paid campaigns to attract traffic to those pages, the situation gets even worse: with such poor results, you can well work out by yourself the customer acquisition cost (CAC) of those campaigns…
Therefore, any conversion rate increase not exceeding your industry average by 3x to 5x, is squarely irrelevant to make your company stand out from its competitors. Even more so if we take into account the qualification process that usually comes after getting the lead.
Does it identify the problem and offer the main differentiation of your solution?
For example, “Tired of not getting enough clients? Triple your closing rate with the only [insert name of product] that does [x]”
The tagline should include social validation, a promise to make more money, and save time while explaining the who, what, where, when, and why.
Example: “Get my free eBook by email within the next ten minutes to learn how to triple your landing page conversion rate with coding. Join 15,00 other learners.”
Darker backgrounds tend to convert better. I don’t have data on this, only experience setting up hundreds of landing pages.
You want to have a picture in the background of the person’s desired result. If you’re selling gym products, then use fit people. If you’re selling a city tourist package, then use a picture of a landmark.
Don’t ask for any information you can get elsewhere. For example, there’s no reason to ask for their job title and city because you can use data enrichment services to find this information automatically. By not asking for these details, you will increase your conversion rates.
Also, avoid Facebook logins in most cases because they tend to have old emails associated with them.
And never use “your” on the opt-in button. For example, “Get my free eBook” performs better than “Get your free eBook.”
Does it look good on mobile?
Is the form on the right-hand side of your desktop view?
If not, you’re losing conversions.
Your landing page is the core of your inbound marketing strategy. It’s the face of your company which can either encourage people or put them off (sometimes even forever!).
When you create your site you need to determine your goals first, whether you want to make leads, sales or just simply greet and warm-up visitors. You don’t need to tout your guests to instantly make a move. Instead, you may provide a value-oriented message and show them why they should pick you and not the others.
Provide good user experience. Great design is a must (unless your goal is to create the most awful website in the world and earn a lot due to its unique ugliness). Moreover, some research proved that landing pages which have a picture of a real person convert better.
Read about the Basic Colour Theory as it will help you to choose the most optimal colours. What is more, you should provide sufficient white space to focus visitors’ attention on important elements as CTAs.
Implement the F-shaped pattern which puts crucial things on the top left side of the page. This is the place people look at when they enter a website. Plus, many brands claim that their sales increased after they included short films about products they sell. So, let’s become filmmakers!
Encourage call to action:
If you want visitors to take actions on your landing page, offer some incentive. It may be a discount or a free trial.
And you need to make CTAs visible by using catchy graphics and clear headlines encouraging to take actions.
Visitors have to understand your offer and be aware of all benefits which go with the action. You make even include a list with the gain.
Using active verbs might help too as they have a bigger influence on people than passive wordage.
Create the need for urgency. People will make their decisions faster if they know that some products are limited or a certain special offer is available only for a short time. It’s like with all these sales nights. Hordes of people run to shops during sales time cause they want to pay less. And this is a very good encouragement. You may also add some freebies to convince visitors to make a move. It can be a free product, but also some e-books and other materials which would carry some value.
Provide social proof. You may write elaborate posts about the greatness of your products but giving a mike to others seems to be a good option too. People feel better when they are the part of communities.
Take into consideration the biggest brands. Nike, HBO, Mercedes. People want to have their products because everybody wants them and everybody thinks that they are great. So, showing people that your brand has a community of happy users who eagerly share their positive experience will make them want to be a part of it.
Prepare great copy
Your design is important but the texts matter too. If you’re not a great writer, find somebody who is. The length of texts depends on what you want to communicate, however, the short content works better as people who buy things online value the speed of services.