Although a lot of website traffic will land on your homepage, most of it will land on internal pages. In fact, a large majority of the traffic that comes to this site enters through Google searches, ppc campaigns, or links to specific pages. While this connects users directly with the content that they were looking for – it makes it more difficult to monetize.
Treat every page on your website as if it were a landing page.
That doesn’t mean every page has to be monetized from the ground up, but it should at least help funnel traffic toward those key pages or into a sales funnel. Just because you are providing high quality content doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t devote a portion of that same page to capturing emails, or run split tests to figure out how to better monetize the traffic that is reaching the page. There are a variety of methods and tools that can be used to determine what steps need to be taken for your landing page performance to improve.
The first step to optimizing a landing page is to gain a deeper understanding of how your users are interacting with your page.
Just because a landing page looks great, doesn’t mean that it is converting well.
The next time that you launch a campaign that seems like it is under-performing, take these tips and tricks into account;
Designing or Choosing a Landing Page
When creating or choosing a landing page there are a few things that you need to take into account in order to ensure that you get the most out of your page. In order to properly optimize your landing page you need to be starting from a good point. You can’t shine shit into gold, so there are a few principles that you need to take into consideration.
Keep Things Simple
While you might run into many guides that state that you need to “find something to do with excess white space,” I have never found this to be true. In fact, the opposite has always been more effective for me!
Embrace the white space! Avoid Clutter.
Less is more when it comes to landing pages. More than anything else, you want to make sure that you provide a clear direction to your readers. Sometimes, you don’t even have to make it clear where their next action is going to take them. This can be seen with marketing software – where they may not even tell you where the first step is taking you, but entice you to enter your URL.
Remember that keeping things simple often makes the usage of your website easier in the eyes of the user as well.
Headlines Make Sales
Headlines are always going to be the most important aspect of your homepage. A great headline captures the attention of the audience and engages them.
Make sure that the headline is the centerpiece of any page on your website.
Place the focus on the H1 headline, and be limited in your use of H2 and H3 headlines, especially if they might detract from the overall message.
Calls to Action
You also need to make sure that your call to action is front and center on your landing page. The call to action should be clear and direct your users in the direction of their next action.
If you want them to enter their URL, keep things simple – ask them directly to enter their URL.
If you would like them to enter their email address, ask them to do so and then tell them where that is going to be taking them after that.
A solid call to action will be clear to the reader, and they will have an understanding of why they are being called to action.
Place the call to action as close to the headline as you possibly can.
You can’t make sales, collect emails, or convince users to follow you without calling them to action and giving them a clear direction on the next step that needs to be taken in order to receive the desired result.
Limit Additional Actions
When you are attempting to direct your user toward a particular action – don’t confuse or distract them by giving them several options.
Take a look at your landing page. Are there multiple actions for the user to take? Can some of them be limited?
A few ways to limit potential actions your customers can take on your landing page include;
- Remove the header and navigation links. Although you might want them to visit more pages on your site – you have to ask yourself what the point of the page is. If its a page that they will be landing on for a single purpose – do you really need to provide them with links to the other areas of your website? It is almost always in your best interest to remove your navigation on landing pages where the user is given a single purpose.
- Don’t make them choose a plan. If you offer several different plans to your customers, you may not want to force them to make a choice between two different plans – get them to take their first step and then try to upsell them later.
You can’t know what you are reaching for if you don’t set any goals! Make sure that you know where your targets are – but keep them reasonable. Great goals for landing page optimization might include increasing a pages conversion rate by 5% or limiting the number of users that abandon the process in the middle of the sales funnel. Often times this is easier said than done.
Start simple and set a few goals in the goal section of Google Analytics.
Best Landing Page Designs
Landing Page Templates – Excellent landing page templates to get you started.
Pitch Magic – Opt In Skin is less expensive than Opt In Monster, and offers a bit more limited functionality. Opt-In Skin allows you to split test, customize, and build your opt ins, straight from WordPress!
Unbounce – Unbounce is an all-in-one landing page building, publishing, and split testing resource.
What Every Landing Page Should Include
When designing your landing page there are multiple things that every landing page should include, almost without exception. The industry and niche might have some effect on certain aspects of the page, but every page should include the following;
1) An Attention-Grabbing Headline
Make sure that your headline begs for their attention. This is absolutely necessary for a highly converting landing page. Your headline will be the first, and most important thing they see. If they come across your website searching for “marketing services,” it is importantt hat your headline matches their search as well.
2) A Secondary Headline that Matches and Leads Into Content and Theme
You also need a secondary headline that leads into your content. What voice will you be using throughout your landing page? Make sure that your sub-headline sets the tone and theme of the rest of your content.
3) Testimonials and Trust Signals
Potential customers want social proof that others have found your product as useful as your landing page claims it to be. Adding a few testimonials helps to establish that social proof, especially when it comes from a known figure or established brand.
4) A Direct Call to Action
Tell them what you need from them. Tell them where to click. Tell them what they will receive for doing so. Be direct, and use strong language. Don’t use words like “try,” be more direct.
5) Buttons that Pop
Make sure that any buttons on the page, particularly those that are located in your call to action, stand out from the rest of the page and are easy to see. Typically, brighter colors are used for buttons in order to make them stand out.
6) Images and/or Video
Adding images or video to your landing page can help your product to look more professional, and give your customers media to interact with. A video can be a great way to explain your product to your audience.
Types of Landing Pages
There are many different types of landing pages that can be used to gather information from your client or make a sale. The type that you choose should be directly related to the type of product that you offer, or the overall goal of your landing page. You wouldn’t use a landing page customarily used for products to capture emails. Take a look at the following landing page types and determine which will be the best for you;
Click Through Landing Page
As the name would suggest, a click through landing page is designed for the users to click through to another page or landing page. They typically provide details about the offer, explain a number of different benefits, and allow you to click through to the offer or company website. These are typically meant to inform users about the offer.
Opt In Landing Page
Opt In Landing pages are designed for one simple purpose – to get people to sign up for a mailing list and receive more information. In many cases, they are the most effective type of landing page out there. They allow you to remove distractions that would be present in other pages on your website and get down to the brass tax.
Lead capture landing pages are designed for a straightforward purpose – to collect information from your visitors. This information could include but is not limited to name, address, email, and phone number. These leads can then be sold (or used) by companies within that industry to pitch their own products to prospective clients.
Viral Landing Pages
Viral landing pages are landing pages that are typically designed around a viral piece of content. They might be contests, games, or other interactive software. Typically these landing pages entice users to begin interacting with your website and then may direct them to an additional offer or lead capture landing page. Viral landing pages have been proven to be an effective strategy for increasing the amount of time that users spend on the landing page and therefore the likelihood that they will follow through with the offer that you are planning to present them with.
Microsite Landing Pages
Microsites are typically smaller, niche-focused websites, or webpages created in order to supplement a larger campaign. They often use their own domain name. They are often seen in the auto and insurance industries.
Product Detail Pages
Product detail pages are also quite common. These pages include information about a product that is for sale. Many eCommerce scripts automatically generate high quality product detail landing pages for each product. Like other landing pages, even with product pages – you should try to limit other distractions to the best of your ability as well including limiting navigation, links, and other banners that are present on the page.
Yes, your homepage is a landing page. Homepages are designed to tell the reader about your product, service, or website and convince them to make their purchase. All too often marketers will offer a homepage that contains far too much information. This information can then be a distraction, even if it accurately depicts your product.
Understanding Actions Users Take
In order to properly optimize your landing page you have to understand and track the actions of your users. Some of the questions that you should be asking yourself about your landing page include;
- Where are my users looking on the page? Where is the first place the eyes of the user gravitate toward? Understanding this can give you a better understanding of where to place calls to action, buttons, and other items throughout the page. This can be achieved using a heatmapping service like LuckyOrange.
- Where do they often abandon the process? There are multiple tools that can be used to test when a user abandons the process of signing up for your service, making a purchase, or going through your sales funnel. This is important for optimizing landing pages and then the subsequent sales funnel.
- How many users are bouncing? Although bounce rate is often closely related to the quality level of the traffic, it can also be indicative of the quality level of a landing page on the whole. Then try to understand why they are bouncing.
Heatmapping is a very important part of analyzing a web page. Heatmapping services essentially allow you to see where users hover their mouse when on the page, which lets you know what parts of the webpage they are reading, and where their mouse is spending the most time. There are several high quality tools that can allow you to do this including Lucky Orange, MouseFlow, CrazyEgg, and Clicktale.
Some of these go even more in depth. MouseFlow for instance offers live mouse tracking, click and move heatmaps, scrolling heatmaps, and in-page analytics to give you an in depth understanding of where your users end up on the page and how you can better the page for that purpose.
Heatmaps are the first step to smart A/B split testing, as they can provide you with insight into where your customers are looking at their page, how far they are scrolling down, and how it can help you to grow.
Best Heat Mapping Tools
Lucky Orange – Excellent heat mapping utility.
Mouse Flow – In depth heat mapping utility that gives numerous options and different settings, allowing you a complete look at your users actions.
A/B Split Testing
The best, and often only way to create highly converting landing pages is through A/B split testing. This involves changing a single variable in the page and comparing it to the conversion rate of the other version of the page. Every landing page should go through several iterations of the testing, with improvements being kept and lower converting pages being replaced.
Keep in mind that the page that you expect to convert better, either because it looks better or would be more likely convert you, may not be the same for your average user.
Some of the best tools for A/B split testing include ConverThis, which plugs directly into WordPress. Others include Visual Website Optimizer, Google Analytics Experiments, and Optimizely.
Remember when split testing to only change one variable at a time, and test it against the previously best converting version of the page. There are some more advanced landing page optimization strategies, but usually require more planning and a team of individuals to make sure that the testing goes off without a hitch.
Best Split Testing Tools
ConverThis – Allows for complete split testing of your webpage, allowing you to rapidly improve your conversion rates
There are many things that need to be taken into consideration when you are looking at optimizing your landing pages. It begins with choosing a great designs and making sure that you have the proper tools to properly optimize the page. Looking just at the conversion rate of the page is not enough to determine whether or not it is performing at its maximum potential. Using heatmapping and A/B split testing tools can help you to achieve maximum potential for your page.