Landing Pages and Why They Matter
A few weeks ago we noticed, to our shock, that we don’t even have a post about landing pages yet. This was a shock because landing pages are, or at least should be, a very important part of your business. You see, if you optimize your landing page, you can be increasing both your traffic and your conversion rate.
Of course, you’ll have to do quite a few different things for your landing page to gain more traffic as opposed to increase your conversion rate. This post will go into how you can increase your conversion rate. But don’t underestimate the importance of optimizing your page’s SEO. Check out our post on cornerstone content to get you started in that department.
Note: A landing page is a page where your visitors “land” (arrive) from other sources, such as search engines or social media. So basically it’s a page that’s optimized to evoke a certain reaction from the visitor, such as buying a product or subscribing to a newsletter.
Focus your landing pages
The thing we actually have written quite a few posts about, because we see it done so badly on a regular basis in our website reviews, is focus. Focus is especially important on your landing pages, since this is where you’re selling your products! We just see so many websites with too much going on, it’s depressing. Make sure you have one thing people should focus on. And this goes for every page, not just landing pages.
For landing pages it’s usually pretty easy to figure out what you want people see most prominently. If you’re selling a product, your landing page for that product should focus on the “Add To Cart” button, also known as a call-to-action (CTA). Think about the placement, color and text of your CTA. We’ve said this before, actually.
To show you what effect this can have, we added a CTA on our WordPress SEO Premium plugin page, so it would actually show up above the fold. Having it show up above the fold is actually really important, as you can see here:
Line chart of unique purchases of the WordPress SEO Premium plugin
Of course, this small tweak only had such a big impact on our landing page’s sales is because there’s no clutter distracting the visitors.
Wikipedia gives the following description for the term ‘social proof’:
“A psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.”
This basically means that people will try to copy the behavior of others. And if you show them others that that were (very) glad with your product, this will convince them to use it as well. One way to do this is by showing testimonials on your landing pages.
Another way to do this is showing how many other people have already used your product. This is often used for newsletter subscriptions, for example. We’re actually doing this on our WordPress SEO plugin page as well:
Headlines of your landing page
Your landing pages have to be very clear about your product from the start. You literally just have seconds to get your most important point across. People’s attention span is just about 8 seconds. So you have to make sure you tell all the important stuff first, and tell it quickly.
The best way to do this is by making good use of your headline and tagline. Make sure these clearly communicate the core goal of your product. This is most easily done by creating a headline for your landing page that attracts your visitors’ attention. Below that should be a tagline that really brings home the message of your headline. Writing decent headlines and taglines is a science on its own, so this is really something you need to test.
Safety signs are basically security signs and logos increase the trust of your visitors. They make sure people feel like your landing page is a safe place. Of course, some safety signs seem to be more effective than others. Generally, though, having a security sign works better than having none.
Similar results have been found for logos for payment methods. People prefer your webshop supporting more than just one payment option. And if people see your landing page has (multiple) trustworthy credit card logos, they’ll feel safer on it! And lastly, 59% will simply abandon their transaction if the preferred payment option isn’t available.
So make sure these signs and logos are easy to find on your landing page.
Images are said to have a big impact on your conversion rate. This is something we already addressed in a post about our checkout as well. If you’re selling physical products, having decent images on your landing pages can have really big impact your conversion rate. This way people will better understand what they’re buying. It’s basically a replacement for actually touching and seeing a product in a physical store.
A great way to increase people’s understanding of your product is by having pictures of people using your product on your landing page. People can actually envision themselves using the product then as well. Beware of the dangers of this though: using people in pictures will almost always result in facial distraction. Make sure the people in the pictures are actually looking the right way. This is something we’re actually doing with our avatars as well:
I’ve used the bigger image so you can see more easily what it is I’m talking about. See how this avatar of Joost is looking at that button? That’s no mistake.
Your landing page should at least optimize for the following things I’ve mentioned in this post:
- Social proof
- Safety signs
All these things require some actual thought and testing before you’ll know what works specifically for your website. So make sure you put some thought in this and test different versions before deciding what to go with!
What do you think?
So this is what I feel are the most important things to pay attention to when trying to optimize your landing page’s conversion rate. I’m curious to hear if you feel I’ve missed anything and what you think! Let me know in the comments!
This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!