Landing Page Optimization is an essential part of any post click marketing strategy. And because it’s fairly easy to set up a PPC campaign and drive traffic to a web page. It’s not so simple to convert those clicks into money. From simple one step form pages to longer conversion paths or sales funnels, there are elements that have always improved performance of landing pages every time I’ve used them. Below I will highlight some of them. We have 8 – 12 seconds or less to retain a visitor once they click on our ad, nothing is to small or unimportant in a landing page.
Give the visitor what they came looking for. If they typed in ‘Cancun Vacation Specials”, then make sure the client sees the same keywords that were queried within the ad copy, the landing pages and/or the display URL. If you have to, use Dynamic Keyword Insertion to make it easier. This simple but effective tip is proven to increase conversions and CTR’s. If you don’t already have it, organize your keywords into themed ad groups. This makes it easier to target the content of the ad copy and landing page with the keywords within the ad group. . As a general rule of thumb, the more specific and the more targeted your ad text, and your landing pages, the better they perform. To highlight this I tested 3 versions of ads and landing pages for the same keyword. All 3 versions were relevant, only 1 had the exact same keyword in the ad and in the landing page; it had 10% better Click Thru Rate., and 2% higher conversion rate.
Don’t make people scroll to find what they came looking for; put your specials, taglines, and other important content above the fold. With such a short timeframe to capture the visitors attention. Don’t make them work harder by having to scroll around to find the price or vital info. Also don’t make visitors have to think too much to start the conversion process. Make it intuitive and simple. Whenever possible keep the sign up form on the landing pages. If your selling a product, test different “add to cart” buttons and text. You’ll be surprised how drastically this can affect your conversions. If you do put the form on the landing page, keep It Simple. Don’t load up your landing page with 27 form fields with tons of text. People are generally NOT looking to work harder than they have too. Large forms look like a lot of work. Long blocks of text, look like allot of work too.
Strip your landing pages of as much navigational bars or outbound links from your regular site, as possible. This is usually a point of contention with site owners and web developers. It’s hard to drop your lofty dreams of having people peruse your online store, as they indiscriminately add items into their shopping cart, in awe of the wide variety of products you have on your site. This doesn’t happen!! People are in a rush. They are looking for something; they know exactly what they are looking for. If they typed in ‘red alloy 3 inch widgets”, they don’t want to see the list of all your products. They want to see a picture of a “red alloy 3” widget”, with the price, and a big, obvious. Process to follow to buy or get more information, period. Everything else is just distraction from the goal. Don’t dilute your message; you’ve gotten them this far, focus!
Don’t scare the visitors into bouncing out. Keep your landing pages simple and focused. Cluttered or hard to read copy or cluttered and bad resolution pictures play a large factor in visitors’ decision to stay or bail. Try and use 10pt to12pt font. Also keep your key selling points or key information in bulleted points if possible. You can summarize your longer copy by highlighting its key points or benefits. As a rule of thumb most people won’t read all of the text you so painstainkingly have written. We are lucky if they read the first sentence and the last sentence, which by the way is usually how people read longer text online.
Rule of thumb: People usually don’t react well to WE. We are the best, we believe in safety, we make things happen, we, we, we. In fact, check out the We-We calculator http://www.futurenowinc.com/wewetext.htm
Establish Trust and Authority. Testimonials are key. Please use real testimonials, fake ones stand out. And really if you use pictures use real pics, avoid using clip art for testimonials. Place trade association logos, BBB, versign, Etrust, etc appropriately on the landing page. I don’t mean use them all, I mean depending on your industry use them appropriately. In addition, try and make your physical address and phone number highly visible. This also helps with assuring visitors your legit, and should they run into an issue, that you are accessible. Make sure you have a visible link to your privacy and return policies.
Once we pass all the hurdles to the conversion, we also have opportunities to tailor further messages to the visitor. Now, with the benefit of them being a client. Take advantage of the thank you / success page. Now is the time to show the client the other services/products you offer. Offer them a coupon for their next purchase, have them join your email list, have them enter a contest; take this opportunity to get closer to them and gather more relevant info for your future marketing efforts.
In part 2, I will discuss optimization of the forms, usability, copy, and more. Feel free to add your feedback and other optimization tips for landing pages.