Creating Landing Pages That Convert

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I have put together a list of 22 things to consider when creating effective landing pages.

– Always have a clear call to action. Do you want people to opt into a newsletter? Do you want people to sign up for a free event or webinar? Never put boring things on your landing page like the companies mission statement. You would be surprised how often people do this.

– The landing page has to look clean and professional. My advice is to wireframe it and get a designer to put it together.

– Green call to action buttons work best in my experience.

– Never have a “submit” button. The button needs to contain the desired result. For example if you are giving away free tickets to a seminar the button should read “send me my free tickets”.

– Does the offer match the advertising material? If you are running a Google PPC campaign offering 15% off website designs, but when the visitor lands on the site and the offer is nowhere to be seen, you have a disconnect and you’re not going to convert. The customer will leave in frustration.

– Don’t ask for too much information. If the call to action form asks for people’s social security number and date of birth in order to receive a free monthly newsletter then your clearly going to have a lower opt in rate compared to if you were just simply asking for a name and e-mail address.

– Offer needs to be in the headline of the page. They shouldn’t have to fish around to find out what you’re offering.

– Image to visualise the offer. If it’s free airfares your offering (highly unlikely) then a picture of a aeroplane in some form wouldn’t be out of place.

– Split test until you have a winner. Make simple changes to the copy of the site and see if the conversions go up.

– Reword the offer if it’s not working. It’s funny how far a small change can go.

– Site navigations are bad. You don’t want them steering away from the offer, unless the opt in box is on every page.

– Single call to actions works best. Multiple offers on a landing page rarely convert. Choice is bad.

– Don’t make the page too long. The key to an effective landing page is to make it simple. Arrows wouldn’t be out of place with simple step numbers, you have to presume that the person on the other end is computer illiterate.

– Testimonials are good, but don’t overdo it. If you are going to add a testimonial to your landing page accompany it with a nice photo. The more smiles the better.

– Free gift to seal the deal.  Make sure that when you are giving away a free gift that you give that gift value. If something is free then it’s not worth anything BUT if something is normally $30 but for registering or opting in you’ll get it for free then the prospective customer will feel that they actually received something of value.

– Social proof is huge. How many new outlets have covered your product? What kind of traction has it had out in the big wide world? Maybe you have had over 10,000 opt ins over the past year. If this is the case, let it be known.

– Put a press release together and publish all the logos of the websites that published your article. I call this a social proof bar.

– Don’t let the video hijack the landing page. Videos are great for getting the message across but don’t make it too long. People aren’t going to spend 3mins watching a promo video, to them it’s like a long TV ad. Short and to the point, that way they’ll get the message without having to jump from minute to minute.

– Don’t get stuck promoting your company. Promote the solution to a problem they might have. Establish how your product solves their problem.

– Sell them on the retail price before you offer a discount. For example if I’m selling an SEO package for $500, then I have to sell them on this price before I offer a discounted price of $400. If I throw the discount in right away then they aren’t going to feel like they are getting a discount.

– Hover windows do work unfortunately. Test this though as all genres are different. A client of mine had a 43% increase in his opt in rate from adding a hover window to his landing page. Understand the difference between a hover window and a popup window. Hovers work, popups don’t. Most web browsers will block a popup window, not great when that popup window is the only spot on the landing page that contains the call to action form.

– Auto playing videos are ok if the people landing on your website are expecting a video. If they aren’t or if they are sneakily checking it out at work, a loud auto play video is going to scare them away. I would test this.

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