How to create better-converting landing pages?
How to engage your site visitors better?
Here are a few actionable tips!
Table of Contents:
Landing Page Content is What Matters…
…Calls-to-Action Are Secondary
We are lucky enough to have an expert today who does landing page design for a living. Matt Gates @OneTruConscious has a great tip to contribute: Focus on the copy and include your keywords in the most prominent places.
Content is and will always remain the most important factor of the landing page. Matt’s company has been experimenting a lot and while a Call To Action button is useful, it is not always necessary to be on the very top of the page. For example, they used to put a CTAB up top on every page. It would say “Learn More About…”
This was wrong. Why? Because how can the visitor learn more about something when the visitor hasn’t even seen the content yet? Thus, putting a CTAB on the side of the content or somewhere relevant in the content, such as closer to the end, is more valuable than actually putting it up top.
Another case example is “BUY NOW” — it looks like this is a great idea to put it at top. But if the person has yet to know anything about your product, why would they want to “BUY NOW”? It makes more sense to put it in the content after you have told them about the product.
Social media is also important to have on the page, but in strategic placement. For example, a Tweet quote is probably very valuable to have within or after the first two or three paragraphs. If someone is interested and excited about this content, they will likely click that tweet button and share your message. If you want to share links to your social media, those are not relevant to be at the very top, but can settle for the bottom of the content.
The headline, subheadline, and your very first two paragraphps have to be the most important thing you say in the content. You will be lucky if people continue reading, but if you can get your main points across at the very top of the page (headline, subheadline, paragraph one, and paragraph two, than the rest should just elaboration and trying to get some additional interactivity.)
Here are some examples of the work that Matt’s company does.
Matt’s company uses Google Analytics and heatmaps to understand clicks and interactive engagement on pages. Matt’s advice above was part of the findings: CTABs are not always necessarily the best thing for the top of the page and can be saved for another position within the content. Tweet quotes also have an important place on the page, but have to be relevant and excite the reader to want to share.
Your URL, headline, subheadline, and first paragraph are the MUST-HAVE for containing your primary and most important keywords of the article. For example, if you take a look at the Pepsi landing page above, “Pepsi” is in the URL, headline, subheadline, and first paragraph. It is likely to get picked up faster, not just by search engines, but capture the eyes of the reader.
Optimize for Search Intent
The goal behind any landing page is to convince a user to engage with your site – whether it is buying your product, subscribing to your email list or using your contact form to get in touch.
The only way to make this happen is to give your site users what they were looking for, i.e. match their intent.
Tools like Text Optimizer lets you create a page copy that meets Google’s and its users’ intent. Here’s how it works:
- Text Optimizer grabs your search query and runs it in Google (or Bing)
- The tool grabs search snippets and applies semantic analysis to identify underlying concepts and entities
- If you provide your own copy, the tool will analyze which concepts and entities are missing from your text. It will also score your content based on how many concepts you failed to include. You don’t have to include all of them. Use your editorial judgement to include 15-25 of suggested terms.
- Text Optimizer will also help you improve your content readability and copy diversity:
Text Optimizer also lets you build whole sentences helping you create better optimized content:
Those people who are not convinced by your landing page may be interested in learning more about you, your content or your products. Therefore internal links are important when it comes to the landing page.
@LukaszZelezny has a great tip here:
A good tactic is to add “Read More” links at the bottom of the landing page. That way we decrease bounce rate and increase overall time users spend on our website as well as page per session metric.
That being said, internal links should not distract from your call-to-action. They need to trigger a secondary action, so make sure to test that with click-maps, using tools like @CrazyEgg. Click-maps are heat-maps for clicks: They will record where people click on your landing page, how far they scroll, etc. They help you understand which links stand out more on your page and whether your calls-to-action are visible enough.
Clickmaps also track mouse movements allowing you to actually monitor how peoplw are moving from object to object on your landing page.
Use the Simplest Approach
IkePazz explains his process of creating landing pages using simple and more importantly free tools:
Content marketers these days are bombarded with all types of tools and apps to create landing pages, I take more of a simple approach, I use NVU.
NVU is a little open-source html editor that you can download for free right here. Does it sound intimidating? Don’t be… And don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m good at HTML coding. No way, I take pre-made squeeze pages and landing pages (desktop/mobile friendly) I buy from Fiverr for five bucks and I load them onto NVU.
I then change the wording to match what I’m giving away. After that, I add my snippet of aweber code to capture my leads and I upload it to my host using filezilla. This approach works best for me because it’s less expensive then anything you can find on the market, plus I enjoy the simple creative process.
I’ve written and I’ve created video tutorials on how to create squeeze pages and how to set up landing pages for paid ads. You can find the landing page guide for paid ads right here. You can also learn how I create squeeze pages with NVU right here.
I recommend you play around with the free open source tools I mentioned. If a tech-dope like me can figure it out, I’m sure you can in no time!
Mind Your Landing Page Opt-in Forms
Many types of landing pages have optin forms aiming at collecting leads from the visitors in order to convert them into paying customers later.
Janice Wald @MrsPaznanski has contributed an interesting point that probably deserves the whole dedicated month to be discussed but we’ll briefly touch upon here for the sake of comprehensiveness:
A majority of web designers that add opt-in forms on their landing pages overlook the effectiveness of these forms. One of the common landing page mistakes is when some web designers add extra fields to their opt-in forms even if they are not required.
Designers don’t bother about validating the fields on the forms at the time they design them. They don’t even make it clear to visitors about how to fill each field. Web designers need to avoid this landing page mistake by specifying how fields are to be completed.
Setting optin forms is a difficult topic. What works on some landing pages won’t work on other types of landing pages. There’s no single recipe for success or a magic bullet. Plus it requires some design adjustments not everyone can perform.
So I did some digging trying to find some further reading without overwhelming anyone. Here are a few very simple guides and tools that will allow you to set up and test optin forms on a budget, if not for free:
- I use Sumo.com (previously Sumome) which is very easy to install and it comes with A/B testing capability allowing you to test different wording and form designs. You’ll need to upgrade to play with the design templates and testing features though. It starts as low as $30 a month, so it’s quite affordable.
- Adam Connell of @adamjayc over at @bloggingwizard has created this handy comparison of all different plugins you can use to install optin forms on your blog. It’s a very thorough article by @adamjayc
- Here are a few examples of nice-looking optin forms for your inspiration. Thanks, @galenmoon, for putting it together
- Finally, this seems like a good clutter-free list (put together by @pinpointe) of best practices when it comes to optin forms
The bottom line here, don’t overdo. The simpler you go (especially at the start), the better. But never stop learning new tricks and trying minor tweaks as you move forward.
Prominently Display Social Proof on a Landing Page
- An online gambling site tested displaying Facebook Likes on their standard landing page and achieved a 7% uplift in the click through rate to begin registration
- At another site Neal achieved a big uplift in completed registrations by creating a landing page showing a selfie gallery of recent winners. People love to see that normal people are winning on these kinds of sites as the photos looked more genuine than professional photographs or stock photos.
- Work by Mark Earls has shown that our ‘herd instinct’ drives much of our behaviour and many of our purchases are influenced by what we think other people are doing. Such behaviour reduces our anxiety about a decision because we assume that if other people are making the same choice they must know something we don’t
- Social proof is also one of Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion outlined in his book Influence.