Landing pages can be categorized into two buckets: high converting ones and the usual ones. Thanks to my background in A/B testing, I have had the privilege of observing many of our customers improve their landing pages by testing various elements.
It’s true that testing all parts of a landing page is the only way to optimize conversions but many times, there are low hanging optimization opportunities that can be addressed right away.
Again and again, in hundreds of A/B tests, I have seen marketers fix these low hanging opportunities and increase conversions dramatically. Note that I am not saying these are the only fixes you can make, but in my opinion, many landing pages on the web have not even done this level one of optimization. So, if you have a landing page and are feeling giddy to test something, here’s what you should start with.
Headlines Are More Important Than You Think
Headlines would be unimportant if visitors on the web had patience. It would be an ideal world if they end up spending hours just to understand your offering. Sadly, visitors have short attention spans and are typically considering multiple offerings (from competitors) simultaneously.
Within the first few seconds, if your headline doesn’t talk about what you are offering, most visitors are going to bounce. The job of a headline is to convey what the offering is and convince visitors to spend further time on the landing page.
If you want to test headlines, start with these best practices:
- Have a headline. I’m surprised to see how many landing pages lack headlines. If you don’t have one, try including one.
- Headlines should be concrete. Don’t talk about “How we have revolutionized XYZ” or “Welcome to Bob’s ABC site” or “Be ready to be amazed”. Simply talk about what your offering is about. Maybe something like: “Social media monitoring for Fortune 500 companies”.
- Headlines should be the first thing a visitor looks at. If you have a small headline or one with poor contrast, that defeats the point. Have a large, prominent block of text that you can actually call a headline.
Call To Action Buttons: Probably The Easiest Way To Increase Conversions
Visitors have low attention spans and don’t like to think too much while surfing the web. That’s the assumption you have to take while designing and optimizing a landing page. The job of call to action buttons, as the name suggests, is to scream on the landing page and ask for visitors to take some action.
Many of our customers have tested their call to action buttons. Here are some of the prominent case studies:
- Don’t have too many calls to action. When you enter a retail store, imagine if multiple sales people compete for your attention. Would you feel comfortable shopping in such a store? I guess not. Similar case holds for landing pages as well. If you have multiple calls to action (like “Signup for trial”, “Download whitepaper” and “Newsletter signup” on the same page), you are going to confuse visitors on what should s/he be doing next. Try minimizing the number of calls to action. The ideal is just one no-brainer call to action.
- Have an actionable call to action. Having dull calls to action like “Submit” or “Click here” does not excite and inform any visitor. Try to incorporate benefits into the call to action itself. Something like: “Get Started Now for Free”, “Buy now to save $25” or “Join 25,000 other customers”. Learn the art of good copywriting and apply it on your call to action.
- Have a big, prominent, visible call to action. You don’t want visitors to specifically look for a call to action on a page. It should jump right before their eyes. This is a reason why in repeated A/B tests, it has been found that red colored call to actions (on a white background) work much better as compared to dull colors.
Social Proof: The Rarely Used Magic Tonic For Landing Pages
After fixing headlines and call to action buttons, it’s time to introduce some social proof on your landing page. In spite of working so well in removing fear and hesitation from visitors’ minds, social proof is rarely displayed on landing pages. It is very important that some kind of assurance is given to the visitor. And social proof does a great job of doing that.
Once a visitor is convinced that the offering is relevant to their needs, they want to understand who else has been using it. They want to know whether you are an established brand with thousands of customers or an upstart one person business.
Social proof allays all these fears by convincing the visitor that their time will not get wasted on the landing page because hundreds of other people have benefited from the offering. So, at a prominent location on a landing page (preferably above the page fold), try including social proof (which can be any of the following):
- Logos or number of customers/users
- Case Studies
- Media Coverage
Summing It All Up
Headlines, call to action buttons and social proof… These three elements of a landing page are low hanging opportunities that all marketers can utilize to increase conversion rates. But a key point to note here is that these are opportunities for testing and not a guarantee of increasing conversion rate. There are many examples on the Internet where landing pages perform well even when they have poor headlines, small call to action buttons and no social proof at all.
Hence start testing using the ideas in this post but don’t take them for granted!
(by Paras Chopra – view original source here)