Landing Page Optimization : 27 Ways To Increase Your Conversion Rate
I hate to break it to you but landing page optimization isn’t easy.
Creating a landing page seems like a pretty straightforward task. Choose a design, make a few tweaks here and there, then you’re set!
You have to put yourself in your user’s shoes and find out What Your Users Want.
You’re potentially asking thousands of people to perform an action.
Most of them you won’t know. They’ll be complete strangers.
So to engage with as many of them as possible, you need to make sure that you’re providing them with what they want. As well as conveying the true value of what it is you are selling.
“Let’s Just Copy What Works”
Landing Page Design is not a one size fits all process. A landing page that works for one business, probably won’t see identical results for another.
Let’s say you read a blog post about an ecommerce shoe store where they had a 20% conversion rate for email signups using a particular landing page design.
Will that work for you? Probably not.
But that’s what landing page optimization is all about.
Even if you own a shoe store website, it’s likely that you’ll have two completely different sets of customers. They may be from a completely different demographic, have arrived from different traffic sources or be at different stages in the sales funnel. There are a large number of possibilities.
That’s why it is usually best to avoid duplicating what others are doing and instead, create custom landing page designs for your marketing campaigns, created with your own research.
So How Do You Create A Landing Page That Converts?
Ideally, you want to focus on designing the page around YOUR actual users. Not someone else’s.
This includes doing qualitative and quantitative research to understand the wants and needs of your potential customers.
Additionally, everything on your landing page should be tailored specifically towards a particular group of people.
If you’re trying to connect with too many different buyer personas, your appeal to certain audiences may become diluted.
Rather than create one page for several “types” of customers, create a page for each of them.
By providing a landing page specifically targeted at a group of users, you have a much better chance of them engaging due to the relevancy.
Landing Page Design Is An Iterative Process
Rather than Design, Build and Launch. It should be perceived as Design, Build, Launch, Test, Evaluate, Optimize, Test, Evaluate…. It’s a cycle rather than a multi-step process.
In this post i’m going to run through 27 features of a high converting landing page.
Now this isn’t to say that by implementing all of them, you are going to see a 100% conversion rate. No optimizers are fortune tellers and no-one can predict accurately how well a landing page design is going to convert.
All we do know is that by implementing most if not all of the elements detailed in this post, you’ll have a good foundation for creating a successful landing page.
In no particular order :
1.) Value proposition
This is a fundamental element of any landing page and should be your primary focus before touching anything related to the design.
“A value proposition is what you guarantee or promise to deliver to your consumers in exchange for their money.” Source
It’s your unique offering. What differentiates you from the competition and what makes you great…
It should be relevant to the user and be clear about what is on offer.
You’re not looking for an essay either, it needs to be clear and concise.
From this alone, the user should be able to understand the value that they will get from using your business over your competition.
If you can get this right, you’ll be in great shape.
Check out this great example from Crazy Egg :
2.) Killer Copy
Well written copy is the foundation of any landing page and unfortunately is often the most overlooked element.
As much as people hate to admit it people make decisions emotionally and then use rational thinking to justify them.
So to engage users, you need to appeal to their emotions and then give them the rationale to back up their decisions.
People should feel so engaged and compelled to read your copy, that they just can’t take their eyes off it.
In his excellent book “The Adweek Copywriting Handbook”, Joseph Sugarman writes “Your readers should be so compelled to read your copy that they cannot stop reading until they read all of it as if sliding down a slippery slide.”
Once you have the user on the “slide” you can direct them towards your conversion goal.
3.) Professional Images (Hint : Stock = Bad)
Let’s get this straight. Cheesy stock images aren’t going to do you any favours. You know the images that i’m referring to, the one with the girl, in the office, smiling on the headset.
Do you think this would have a positive impact on your conversion rate?
I’m not so sure.
What this is potentially doing is raising alarm bells in the users head as to why you’re using a stock image rather than an actual photo of one of your own employees….
People have been browsing the web for long enough now to pick out a stock photo when they see one.
Obvious stock images lowers trust. And when trust is low, the conversion rate usually follows.
So when you do imagery right, the impact can be significant.
If you’re going to use images, try and use your own photos or custom graphics. If that’s not an option, try to keep the ‘cheese-o-meter’ to a minimum!
4.) Web Analytics
Web analytics give you the ability to track and report on the traffic that arrives on your landing page. By implementing analytics, you can start to monitor your KPIs and get a measure of your performance.
Some of the top data points you will be able to measure are :
- New Users
- Conversion Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Exit Rate
- Time on Page
Using this data you can make comparisons to other landing pages or even segment the data and see how it varies between different user groups.
5.) Google Event Tracking
You should be starting to notice a pattern. Knowing what users are doing on your landing page really helps towards being able to perform Conversion Rate Optimization.
Another way to do this is through Google Event Tracking. What this allows you to do is track user interaction with elements on a page. This data is then fed into Google Analytics.
What can you track?
Pretty much any interactions… Some of the main ones are :
- Video Interactions (Play, Pause, Duration Viewed)
- Downloads Of Files
- Clicks of Buttons
- Form Submits
From this data you can start to measure the impact these events have on your landing page KPIs from Google Analytics.
6.) Live Chat
Live chat is a brilliant way to provide human interaction on a landing page.
Not all users will want to convert straight away, some will have questions and concerns prior to moving to the next step.
By implementing live chat, users that reach out to you with questions can usually be answered relatively painlessly.
55% of US Adults are likely to abandon a site if they can’t find the answer to a question. So it’s also great for users who may not be able to find the answers that they need before converting.
As you begin to start answering users questions, positive outcomes should help lift your conversion rate.
You will also be able to analyze the responses and find out if there are any common questions being asked. If there are, this is a prime insight for content to be included on your landing page.
7.) Exit Popups
Exit intent popups are a second chance for you to get something from a user that you are about to lose.
An exit popup is triggered when a user looks as though they are about to leave your landing page.
From here you can make a second offer to them. Maybe a free ebook or to sign up to your newsletter.
Even if you can’t get them to go for your primary conversion goal, you may be able to convert them on a secondary one.
From here you could start to nurture them with a drip campaign and move them towards your primary conversion goal.
8.) Survey Users
By surveying users on your landing page, you can gain some of the most valuable insights available to you.
You can ask actual users what their pain points are, what information is missing or what they want most from a service provider.
You’ll be able to start to look for commonalities in the responses, which can then be addressed on your landing pages.
One technique of surveying is usually completed from a little text box that appears on the bottom of the screen. It pops up during a session :
Heatmaps give you the ability to find out what users are interacting with on your landing page.
You will be able to see what users are clicking on (and what they are not).
From this data, you will be able to make adjustments to your landing pages to address your findings.
10.) Session Recordings
Session recordings give you the ability to watch a video of user sessions whilst on your landing page.
This is an amazing tool as you can watch how ACTUAL users are interacting with your page.
And if they click off page to your main website, you can continue to record them as they browse.
From this, you can start to see if there are any bugs or cross browser/device issues that users are facing. Or maybe there are steps in the checkout process which you are seeing a drop-off and you want to find out what the problem is.
There are a huge amount of possibilities of what you can find out about your landing page and website with this tool!
Be ready to spend a fair amount of time playing back the recordings though!
11.) Scroll tracking
Knowing how users interact with your page is pure landing page optimization gold. And scroll tracking is right up there with the best of insights.
Scroll tracking allows you to see how far down users are scrolling down on the page. The results will usually show you the percentage of users that reach a certain depth of the page.
From the data you may find that users aren’t seeing some of your most valuable content, so you can address this and gain another great insight for landing page optimization!
12) Lead Scoring
Converting a new lead is great. But what about if the leads you are sending your sales team are of low quality and aren’t bringing in any sales?
Your conversion rate may look awesome but there isn’t a correlation in new business.
This is where Lead Scoring comes in, this gives you the ability to score your leads depending on how qualified they are.
Read more about it here:
13.) Conversion Goal Tracking
Conversion Goal tracking (aka Macro Goal Tracking) is your ability to track conversion goals on your landing.
These are your primary objectives, i.e. submit lead or make a purchase.
It gives you the ability to measure the percentage of users that come onto your landing page and convert (Your Conversion Rate).
This data will then allow to analyze your analytics tools to look for correlating data points (Device / Browser / Country etc).
Without tracking your primary conversion goal, you’re essentially “shooting in the dark”. As you won’t know how well your landing page is performing.
Additionally, when you reach a point that you begin to optimize your landing page, you will have no data to make comparisons against.
Check out this tutorial on setting up goals in Google Analytics.
14.) Responsive Design
In 2016, mobile browsing overtook desktop browsing. So it has never been more important to provide a seamless browsing experience between Desktop, Mobile and Tablet devices.
Responsive designs reformat the webpage page, depending on the user’s screen size.
Doing so, enhances the users browsing experience. They will not need to try and use a desktop website on a mobile device (If you’ve experienced this before, it’s not the easiest thing to do).
15.) Trust Symbols
Trust Symbols are the little badges that you see on websites that usually relate to security or guarantees.
They are used in order to increase trust levels on landing pages (also websites). And Increased trust, usually means higher conversion rates.
But if your trust symbol isn’t credible (i.e. a user can tell you’ve just copied and pasted it from Google Images) then this could damage your conversion rate.
3rd Party Badges usually perform the best as it provides extra credibility. Blue Fountain saw a 42% increase in sales when implementing the VeriSign badge.
You’ll usually need to pay to use 3rd party badges on your site. But if you’re seeing a lift in conversions once implemented, it will usually pay for itself pretty quickly.
If you don’t want to pay, you can use trust symbols to clarify offers like Free Delivery or Money Back Guarantees. Just remember to make the badges high quality (not copied, pixelated or skewed) and you should always A/B test to measure the impact.
Types of Trust Symbols :
- Website Security
- SSL Certificates
16.) Social Proof
Social proof is also known as Social Influence (not to be confused with Influencer Marketing). It is 1 of the 6 techniques used in Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion .
The theory behind Social Proof is that people usually follow what others are doing.
When used as part of landing page optimization, it is done so to increase trust and persuade users to take the next step.
Bazaarvoice found that higher review volume and average rating correlated with order increases between 10% – 50%
There are a few different ways it can be used :
- Customer Testimonials
- Expert Opinions
- 3rd Party Reviews
- Verified Case Studies
You can be creative here when deciding how to use Social Proof. But keep in mind that not all of them may be a right fit for what you are selling.
Social Proof is a powerful way to enforce your offer, knowing that other people have taken the next step with you and had a positive outcome is reassuring for unsure users.
17.) Benefits Not Features
Elmer Wheeler’s famous quote is “Don’t Sell The Steak, Sell The Sizzle” .
What does this mean?
Well people don’t buy something because of what it is or what it’s made of. They buy something because of what it does for them.
Let’s compare two pieces of sales copy .
“Our hotel offers a 40ft outdoor swimming people that is heated to 28 degrees. It also has lighting for use during the evening. ”
“Train like an olympic athlete in our full size swimming pool. Don’t worry about getting cold either, it’s fully heated. You can also swim under the stars with our evening pool lighting.”
See the difference?
When describing your products or services, don’t just reel off a list of features. Use the feature to create a benefit and use that to engage the user emotionally through your copy.
18.) Telephone Number
You should always try and include a telephone number.
Some users will be motivated and don’t want to submit their details and wait for a callback, they want to talk with someone there and then. They may have a question that isn’t answered on the landing page or need clarification on a particular piece of information.
19.) Call Tracking
Call tracking allows you to track how calls are being generated on your landing page.
These calls can then be associated to many metrics, for instance Keyword / Adgroup / Campaign / Traffic Source.
A piece of code will be placed on the page that will show a telephone number from a pool of numbers assigned to you. This will then divert to your telephone number.
Once this tracking is in place, you will be able to allocate conversions to the telephone calls and score leads based on their intent.
Remember the saying “What gets tracked, gets measured”. Well if you’re receiving telephone calls and don’t have the ability to track them as conversions, then this is a wealth of data insights that you are missing out on.
20.) Tap to Call
People are mobile and because of this people require a mobile optimized experience online. If you are displaying a telephone number on your website, then you should being giving users the ability to tap your telephone number and start a call with you.
If you don’t, they have to go through the steps to copy and paste. And if they don’t know how to do that, they may just go elsewhere.
21.) Micro Goals
Your primary conversion goal on your landing page is used to calculate your conversion rate. This could be purchasing a product or submitting a quote request etc.
But what happens if you have other interactions that can be measured?
Well you can measure them as a micro goal. These are conversions which may not bring in anything financially, but is engaging your user with your landing page.
Types of Micro Goals :
- Download Case Study
- Sign Up To Newsletter
- Watch a Demonstration Video
By measuring these goals, you can see other ways your users are engaging with your Landing Pages or Websites.
This can then help towards building funnels to re-engage these micro-converters back into the website and towards the primary conversion goal.
You can use tools like OmniKick to capture emails from users to then put them into an email drip sequence.
22.) Call to Action
Your landing page needs a call to action. If it doesn’t, what are users meant to do?
What is a Call To Action?
Essentially it’s the conversion goal you are asking the user to complete when they’re on the page.
It usually takes the form of a button :
The CTA needs to stand out from everything else on the page and all attention needs to focused towards it.
The text is important as well. Don’t think about using words like Submit, Read More or Download either.
The CTA text should answer the question “I want to….” :
By using the right text, it can boost your conversion rate.
Examples of CTA Text :
- Download a Free Ebook
- Signup To The Newsletter
- Add To Cart
Exactly where to put it is important too.
23.) Short Forms
Remember the saying “Less is More”? Well that’s the same for landing page forms.
In an Eloqua Study in 2011, they found that anything more than 10 fields can have diminishing returns on your results. The optimum form length was found to be 7 fields.
Only ask for the essentials
If it’s information that you don’t require right away, don’t ask for it.
You’ll have a better chance of the user converting.
Don’t think it’s important? One extra field was costing Expedia $12M a year.
24.) A/B Testing
A/B testing is the process of testing two web pages against each other to find out which performs best.
Usually a change will be made to a landing page (Variants) based on a hypothesis that will then be tested against the original (Control) to see which one is the winner.
You can also test two completely different versions of a page (Split URL testing) or you can test multiple variables (multivariate testing).
You should always be a/b testing.
By not testing, this essentially means that you are happy with your current conversion rate and don’t want to improve it.
Check out the beginners guide from Kissmetrics.
Personalization is the process of customizing a page for a user.
Similar to what Amazon does when you return to their website, their homepage is tailored specifically for you.
This is based on previous purchases, what you’ve viewed or even where you are located.
What Can Be Personalized?
Pretty much anything.
Let’s say it’s raining heavily where you are located and you browse to an online store.
This particular store has a personalized catalogue based on the weather in your area and is featuring raincoats due to your current weather conditions. This is done in the hope that you will have a need for the product and therefore have a good chance of buying it. Clever right?
If you have time, take a look at this excellent article by Moz.
26.) Message Matching
Similar to Personalization, your landing page is customised to have dynamic messaging depending on the message the user is expecting to see when they are landing on the page. This can really help with Landing Page Optimization.
The idea behind it is that there is that often there is a disconnect between what the user types into their search engine -> to the message that they see on the SERPs -> to what they see on the landing page.
User searches for “Holidays To New York”
User sees a PPC ad for “Low Cost Holidays To New York with 1 Night Free”
User lands on a landing page and sees the headline “Holidays To New York”
So the user is more than likely expecting to see a message related to low cost holidays and the 1 night free offer, but it isn’t there.
This causes a disconnect.
Even though the pricing may be low and the 1 night free is added once you begin checkout, users need to be shown a consistent message from when they see your ad to when they land on the page.
The messaging (headlines, images, copy) on the landing page are changed for users.
This can be dependent on a range of factors including keyword, adgroup, campaign or traffic source.
This post by explains Message Match in more detail.
Video is another powerful way to engage users on your landing page.
By using video, you can go into more detail about what it is you are offering, without the user having to wade through lines and lines of extra copy.
By users understanding more about what it is you are offering, they are engaging more with your business.
It’s powerful too, Dropbox found a 10% lift in conversions just by implementing a video. Pretty good going for something which can be done on a relatively low budget.
So that’s our round up of landing page optimization. We’d love to hear your feedback or if you have any stories on how these strategies have worked for you!