Last week, I spent 62 minutes online hunting for tickets to see one of my favourite bands. That’s 3,720 seconds of my life (if we’re counting) that I will never get back. And while it was for a worthy cause, in my opinion it took 3,700 seconds too long to find what I was looking for…
Throughout the search, I was faced with an overwhelming number of paid and organic listings, all promising the best prices, best seats and free shipping. Sounds great! Err… at least it would have been, if those sites had been optimized to allow me to actually get to the best prices, the best seats and the free shipping.
Instead, I was forced to navigate through multiple clicks, drop down menus, area code and city inputs, not to mention the always wonderful capatcha “type this word that’s not really a word followed by a blurry number you can hardly read” verification to ensure that I was in fact, human. Although it should be noted that by the time I had refined my search for the nineteenth time, I was feeling a little less human, and a little more powerhouse clicking machine. Click. Click.
But through my clicking haze, I found myself dreaming of what it would be like if these websites had only optimized their landing pages. For starters, they would be providing a much more user-friendly experience, leading to higher conversion rates as a result. That’s a win-win, if you ask me!
So how DO you optimize a landing page? Here are five simple steps:
1. Match landing page headlines with ad copy.
This is important on two levels:
First, when running a paid search campaign, a portion of your cost-per-click is directly related to the quality of your landing page. By ensuring that your landing page content aligns with your ad copy messaging, you can improve your quality score, resulting in a reduced cost-per-click.
Second, when customers click on an ad and are presented with information that directly relates to what they clicked on, not only does your page conversion rate increase, but your leads become less expensive thanks to an improved quality score.
2. Double-check grammar and speling spelling.
If you’ve ever run into a spelling mistake or a sentence fracture on a website, then you can relate to questioning the legitimacy of the content in front of you. This probably resulted in you losing trust in that website, ultimately becoming a non-converting user. To avoid this on your own landing page, make sure you take time to double-check your copy and ensure there are no errors. Having a colleague review after you is also a good idea. Remember, to lose sight of grammar and spelling is to risk your conversions!
3. Incorporate trust indicators.
Building trust on a landing page is essential to increasing conversions. Consider building trust with:
- Press mentions
- Third party security certification (BBB, VeriSign)
- Company guarantees
When visitors feel assured and secure, then they can be confident in their online purchase.
4. Have a strong call to action.
The purpose of your landing page is to persuade users to complete a defined action. Once the user has read through your landing page copy, they need to know what to do next. This is where your strong call to action comes into play – make it easy for them by providing clear, actionable next steps.
5. Stay on message.
The last thing you want to do is distract your visitors by providing them with too many options. While links and multiple choices often make sense on a homepage or navigational bar, too many options can distract the user from their original intent – your offer. If you make it easy for users to locate what they are looking for, you’ll see a direct correlation with your conversion rates.
To say that you will get your landing page right immediately would be, well, misleading. As with anything, it takes trial and error to figure out what works best. Remember to constantly test and evaluate what is working for you and what isn’t and evolve accordingly. By doing this and sticking with the above best practices, you’ll be well on your way to optimizing your landing page…and gaining increased conversion rates.
Brogan Wilson, Digital Strategic Planner