Our Simple Guide to Effective Landing Page Optimization
Converting first-time visitors into leads or potential customers should be one of the topmost priorities for any business operating online. Because the digital world operates differently, people on the web have short attention spans. So it is important that your offer grabs their attention and encourages them to take your desired action.
As a marketer, one of the most effective ways to convince your visitors to part with their contact information or swipe their card is by creating landing pages that are relevant to their interests. Yet, some case studies have found out that landing page optimization is either ignored or overlooked by many companies.
The fact is when you have a strategically designed landing page that has page elements that connect your visitors to your main purpose, to increase conversion rates. You see results from your traffic that weren’t previously possible without landing page optimization.
What is a Landing Page?
Without complicating it, a landing page is simply a standalone page on your website that has one single goal: to help you convert more of your visitors into leads. It means any other distractions such as navigational menus and advertisements on the body copy go out of the picture. It is the page where your most targeted audience “lands” first.
The landing page is driven by a specific purpose, so not every page on your website can be called one. For example, your homepage is an important place, but it cannot be considered a landing page. Even then, 44% of ad clicks created by B2B companies are sent directly to the homepage, which is clearly a mistake.
Your landing page should have a unique purpose or goal. And the traffic that you generate could come from both paid and unpaid sources:
- Social media content (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Paid search ads (Google, Bing, etc.)
- Paid social ads (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
- Promotional/marketing emails or newsletters
- Guest blog posts or internal company blog posts
- Event or webinar links
There’s no doubt that optimized landing pages can help your marketing immensely because they get real-world results in terms of converting visitors. Even though there are a number of factors that contribute to the success or failure of your marketing campaign, landing pages play a huge role in helping your business achieve a higher digital marketing ROI and of course, your conversion goals.
Ask any inbound marketing team, and they’ll tell you that landing pages are a crucial part of the best online marketing.
In fact, it has been found that companies with more landing pages saw greater than 50% growth in the amount of organic search traffic and leads they got. This means not using landing pages where applicable can significantly affect your lead generation and sales.
What Does “Landing Page Optimization” Actually Mean?
By now you should know the importance of using landing pages. However, your efforts will prove to be fruitless in the long run if you don’t optimize your landing page for conversions. Landing page optimization is the practice of improving your page bit by bit so that more people convert after seeing your offer.
Landing page optimization typically involves enhancing and a/b testing various elements such as:
- Landing page copy
- Call to action
- Media (images, video, etc.)
- Trust indicators (testimonials, third-party seals, etc.)
- Page load time
The idea is to get more of your visitors to take action by doing some tweaks on the different aspects of your landing page. Effective landing page optimization can help your business get more calculated results and more positive metrics, regardless of your goals or the size of your company.
For instance, when software giant SAP improved and optimized its landing page, there was a 32.5% boost in lead generation.
When it comes to getting your landing page right, it can prove to be a challenge for many, especially businesses that haven’t tried using them before. As it requires you to consistently focus on…
- Doing an a/b test with new and relevant ideas
- Optimizing the page based on feedback and response
- Observing how your audience reacts to the page by using heat maps
The fact of the matter is, it is not possible to create the perfect landing page on your first try. In conversion rate optimization, you’ll have to improve it over time if you want to see any real-world results, which makes landing page optimization an integral part of your marketing journey.
According to a study done by WordStream, the average landing page conversion rate across various industries is around 2.35%. The top 25% of landing pages convert at a rate of 5.31% while the top 10% are converting at a whopping 11.45%.
A high-converting/performing landing page is not the one that simply looks good. But one that effectively gets more prospects to take your most wanted action, which in turn helps you as a business owner reach your marketing goals. Your conversion rate improves as you keep optimizing your landing page and have more people click the call-to-action button.
The goal of your landing page could be getting your visitors to:
- Join your newsletter
- Fill out a contact form
- Make a small purchase
- Register for your webinar
- Call your business number
No matter what you want to achieve with your landing page, as long as you are able to convince your target audience that your offer is worth it and convey it well enough, you should see a favorable conversion rate, which only increases with consistent landing page optimization.
#1: Focus on Maintaining Consistency
Your landing page should not feel disconnected from your traffic source. They both should be aligned and in sync, which means you need to provide a consistent brand experience to your target audience if you want them to eventually take action.
Whether you’re using a banner ad, text ad or simply sending traffic to your landing page from a guest blog post, there has to be some level of consistency in terms of:
When people click on a link that you share on social media or on a PPC ad run by your company, they expect to have the same type of experience throughout their journey. This is why everything that comes between your traffic source and your landing page has to meet the expectations of your prospects.
What happens if your banner ad doesn’t go with your landing page design, which in turn looks different than the destination page? Simple. You make a wrong impression and end up losing business in real-time.
Keep in mind that the full-blown experience of your destination website doesn’t have to reflect on your landing page. But it does need to feel like a part of it. So your visual design cannot look different throughout your prospects journey.
Try to use the same typography and color palette to ensure a seamless experience. Match the message that your ad conveys to the copy of your landing page. Do everything you can to boost the confidence of your prospect.
#2: Aim for an Organized Design
Let’s face it, the design of your landing page does play a big role in converting your visitors into leads and sales. It turns out, people do judge a landing page by how professionally it is designed.
The overall look and feel of your landing page, especially if it’s in long-form, can make your visitors either trust your offer or discard it. The main goal of any landing page is to make it easy for visitors to take action. And your design should help them do that. Every single element of your landing page has to be well-organized. There should be a flow in your design (along with the copy) that keeps your visitors hooked.
Remember, a professional landing page design doesn’t go overboard with color or the images used. A crucial part of the landing page optimization process is using color in a manner that goes with your brand. The header and images should also contribute to the overall message you want to convey.
As you try to use colors and images that align with your brand and messaging, you shouldn’t ignore the importance of conversion rate. For instance, choosing the right background color for your call-to-action button can make a big difference to how many people convert.
Here’s what was found after studying the call-to-actions on 90 different landing pages…
However, do make sure that the color you choose for your call-to-action buttons goes with the background color of your landing page. Because the last thing you want is for it to look out of place.
Talking about having a clean and professional landing page design, there are no hard and fast rules to follow. This is why you need to individually test different design elements and their placement along with various sizes in order to discover a high-converting landing page layout that works for your brand.
#3: Create a Clear, Attention-Grabbing Headline
The headline is where it all starts for a landing page. When someone visits your landing page, they are bound to take notice of your headline or value proposition before moving on to the rest of the copy. So if your headline fails to grab attention and make things clear, then your copy fails to deliver, which means you lose a visitor that could have been turned into a lead.
The point is, you should not ignore the headline of your landing page at any cost. Improving your headline makes your landing page optimization process yield better results.
When you want people to take action on something, you have to convince them that the offer is right for them. They need to see the benefit of it. And your headline is the perfect place to showcase the unique selling point of your offer.
Make sure the headline of your landing page is…
- Clear and concise so that it gets the point across right away without confusing the visitor or beating around the bush.
- Relevant to the ad or the banner that you use to drive visitors to your landing page.
- Able to evoke empathy and connect with your visitors’ problems, reassuring them that they can be solved.
- Easily noticeable with the right size and choice of fonts that go with the rest of the design of your landing page.
- Placed above the fold of your landing page so that it is the first element that gets seen by your visitors.
Since the headline is so important for the success of your landing page, it makes sense to create a few different versions of it so that you can test them side by side and see which one performs the best.
#4: Get Rid of Any Unneeded Clutter
One of the reasons landing pages work so well when compared to regular web pages is that they are laser-focused. In other words, you will not find clutter on a well-designed landing page simply because it defeats the whole purpose of using one in the first place.
Every single element that you choose to use on your landing page should contribute to your main objective. Or else there won’t be much difference between your landing page and your cluttered homepage. You should also incorporate white space to separate sections and bullet points to emphasize important ones.
No matter how you generate traffic to your landing page, it has to convert it at a decent rate. So consistently refining your landing page look by taking a bird’s eye view is crucial.
Landing page optimization becomes a lot easier when your visitors know exactly what they are looking at and what your page is about.
Also, it doesn’t make sense to distract people from what you want them to do. If you have an email opt-in form on your landing page, do you think it is okay to slap ads on it too? Of course not. So the less cluttered your landing pages are, the more clearly you will be able to convey your message to your audience.
#5: Test Using a Video Message
If you look around, you’ll find that the web is being slowly taken over by video content. And that’s for a good reason. Producing, distributing, and sharing videos is no longer as difficult as it used to be in the yesteryears. You can shoot a video with your smartphone and upload it right away.
Also, thanks to the growth of broadband and social video sharing sites like YouTube, most businesses are jumping on the video bandwagon.
But wait, what does this have to do with landing page optimization?
The thing is, landing pages that use video to convey their message automatically stand out from the ones that don’t.
Also, when you invest in paid search advertising and send it to one of your landing pages, you want people to actually spend more time on it. You want them to understand your message, get convinced and take real action. Compared to reading, videos are easier and more passive to watch, which may help you fetch better conversions.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can use any video of low quality just for the sake of using it. Sure, you may win that extra time but if your visitor feels you’re wasting their minutes, it’ll only backfire.
Quality was, is, and will always be the core requirement for landing page videos that convert. No, you don’t have to buy expensive video equipment or rent a studio, but do something decent enough.
If you’re short on budget and are unable to build videos with a high production value, then do something simpler, such as creating screencasts to explain your offer.
Here are a few tips you can apply to get the most out of your landing page videos:
- Make sure your video has a storyline that convinces your visitors to take action.
- Your video’s story should not only inform your visitors about your product/service but also trigger a real emotional reaction. The visuals in your video grab attention but the story is what actually moves them.
- Regardless of the aim of your landing page, your video should have the perfect focus. If you know what works for your audience and the kind of content they respond to, focus on that.
The idea is to not only make your videos good quality but also ensure they look authentic enough. People don’t want to do deal with brands that try too hard and still fail to impress.
So instead of focusing too much on the overall “production value” of the video, work on conveying the right, persuasive message. If you can create an appropriate video that gives the needed clarity to your visitors, half of your work is done.
#6: Don’t Hide Your Contact Number
Thanks to the many scammy-looking landing pages rampant on the Internet, real companies are finding it difficult to convince people that they are a legitimate business run by real people.
By showing your phone number on your landing page, you make it easy for your visitors to break the ice and part with their contact information. Even if they don’t call you, they’ll feel assured that you are reachable and that they won’t be taken for a spin.
Another reason why you shouldn’t hide your contact number is for people who are hesitant to conduct online transactions. They may want to get in touch with you to learn more about your offer before taking it up.
And then there are people who are very interested in your offer, but want to speak with you at least once. Either way, displaying your phone number on your landing page is worth it.
#7: Ask Only for Necessary Information
You might have seen landing pages asking for everything but the kitchen sink. While this may work for some companies, it won’t for most. Why? Because you don’t really need that much information from your prospect in the first place.
Remember, your landing page optimization should be done in an optimal way. And asking only for the needed information is a step towards being optimal in your approach.
Besides their name and basic contact info (maybe along with a survey question), everything else will only make your landing page bulky. In other words, when you ask for too much information, people put their guards up. It can scare many away, which you obviously don’t want.
The landing page below shows the most information you would want to ask for from a visitor.
Are there any specific rules to follow when designing your landing page forms? Not really. The type of fields you use on your landing page form depends on multiple factors that are different for all.
In order to find out what information you should ask on your landing page, you need to…
- Review your leads/sales objectives and how you want to achieve them in the long run.
- Next, find out what kind of information you need to reach your goals (and how much).
- Last but not least, analyze how much information your visitors will be comfortable giving away.
Unless and until you think about marketing goals in a strategic manner and gain the needed clarity, you won’t know how much and what all to ask on your landing page forms.
#8: Use Testimonials Strategically
Social proof works great on landing pages because it helps generate trust. Since most people visiting a landing page are new to the site, they need to hear from “other” people about how your product/service helped them.
By using the right testimonials on your landing page, you not only provide support to your offer but also end up looking more authentic than your rivals who are out of the loop.
However, there’s a catch: the testimonials you use have to be real. The last thing you want to do is use fake or made-up testimonials. Sooner or later people will find out. And your brand’s reputation risks getting tarnished in such a situation. So inventing testimonials just for the sake of conversions is a strict no-no.
Your focus should be on using authentic business practices so that you are able to gain authentic testimonials from satisfied customers. Because it’s a known fact that when you focus on delivering a great product or service, you automatically give them an experience that they want to share with others.
Treating your customers with respect and giving them the solution they are looking for will:
- Have testimonials come your way in the form of positive feedback, which you can use on your landing page after seeking the customer’s permission.
- Help you establish strong relationships with your customers so that you can reach out to them and ask for their testimonials.
Sometimes a personal success story from one of your customers can do wonders in convincing your visitors about the integrity of your landing page message. So try and make it easy for your customers to leave feedback via your site so that you can have more transparent testimonials come your way.
#9: Test Your Landing Pages on Mobile
Have you tested your landing page using your mobile phone? If not, then you’re making a big mistake.
You see, it’s not enough to have a responsive landing page. You need to have a separate mobile version of it to reduce the bounce rate caused by hero images and CTA buttons not showing up accordingly when viewed on smartphones. So before you publish and promote your landing page, be sure to test it on mobile phones too using different browsers.
Bonus Tip: After signing up on your list, be sure to create a thank you page too to redirect your new leads.
Time to Master Landing Page Optimization
Now that you’ve read through our tips, you might be ready to go make some changes to your landing pages. Or maybe just create new ones. Just remember that with every great landing page, you have to drive traffic to it to see results.
There are many ways to do this, but some work better than others depending on your business type and audience. Contact us today to learn what method would work best for you and how we can help you achieve your goals.