Conversion Optimization: Can Your Landing Page Perform Better?

Written by  on May 15, 2013

If you've been keeping up with our series, I hope I've made it abundantly clear just what a landing page is and how/why to use it. For those who might not know, I'll boil it down to one sentence: Visitors are coming to a specific page on your site that is designed to capture their information in exchange for an incentive you provide. Of course there's so much more than that, but for this week that's the basic idea we're concerned with. You've designed your page with certain elements meant to aid in the goal for conversions, but what happens if people aren't clicking enough… or at all?

"People are visiting my landing page but not enough are converting into customers? That sounds like an easy fix," you say. "Increase the traffic and more people will end up converting."

Sure, more traffic would most likely result in more conversions, but it would cost you more money and it's not conversion optimization; 50% of 100 is more than 50% of 50, but you're still just capturing half. It's like Shaq, the basketball giant (who was notoriously bad at free throws) saying, "since I'm not making many of my free throws, I'll just foul more and I'm bound to sink more too!" The goal of conversion optimization is not to increase traffic, but to make better use of the traffic you already have by decreasing your bounce rate; Shaq needs to practice, try some new techniques and make a higher percentage of the shots he already takes.

Landing pages feature just a few key elements compared to other pages on our site as we want to decrease the distractions our visitors are faced with. These main elements require a great amount of attention during the design stage, but conversion optimization means we need to give our headlines, images and content even more attention even after the landing page is live.

Placement

Visibility is key when it comes to landing pages, as you want the desired action and value proposition to be immediately obvious when someone comes to the page. The Call-to-Action, Value Proposition, and form (or whatever link/tool you're using to capture info) should all be prominently featured towards the top of the page, but there are some things you could try:

  • Try switching the main elements from one side to the other: how does a form on the left perform against a form on the right?
  • Rearrange your value proposition: what do you feel are the most attractive incentives? Might your visitors have a different opinion? Could a different order change results?

Styling

While you don't want to step very far away from your established brand, there are some places where altering a bit of styling could be advantageous and help you make your page clearer and more productive.

 

  • Darken your text and lighten the background (even go to white) to improve clarity. A page that's easier to read may decrease bounce rate.
  • Would a static graphic/copy perform better than a rotating image? It would at least help you focus your message, and the fewer distractions the better.
  • Are you using columns? Would reducing or increasing the number of columns affect readability or clarity?

Buttons

Oftentimes, your buttons are one of the more colorful and attention-grabbing elements of your site, especially as you get further away from images and headers which tend to fill the top of the page. Keep this in mind when you're choosing the text that will display on the button… even that can make a difference! Because the button is likely to grab the attention of the user, make sure the text reiterates what they're going to be doing. Retail email and websites do this well, prompting you to "View this Deal" or "Buy This Now" or "View Today's Special!" While some people might stick around to read the content you've so carefully crafted on the page, others might come to your page knowing with 100% certainty that they want what you're offering. Making sure your button text is clear and in-line with the action they are expecting to take can increase conversions by making things easier.

Since what you're asking for will probably be more complex than a simple "Buy Now," you can experiment with the text you use, even while keeping it on point. A simple "Submit" button at the bottom of a form may have the same action as "Get a Quote," but the word submit can have such a negative connotation (think submission) and when I 'get' something it requires an action on my part. You may think it's crazy, but simple wording like this can change the effectiveness of a button. Maybe "Give Me a Quote" would perform better than either? It's descriptive, but also put's the workload (or so it seems) onto you–not the user.

Try, Try Again

Conversion optimization isn't an exact science. There are basic web design best practices to be followed, and certain major areas of focus when designing a landing page, but how these very specific tweaks and trials work can really depend on your audience. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty to see some real results, head over to Platonik. They put together an awesome piece on conversion optimization that breaks down some small changes to buttons and other elements in side-by-side comparisons. The tell you what the result was, and often what can be learned from it.

But remember: just because someone else saw a x% lift by changing their button color doesn't mean you will too. Take the time to dig into your data and find out what might be wrong with your page, then create your tests to solve those issues. Your buttons might already be the perfect color, and the real gains are hiding elsewhere!

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