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15 Ways to Optimize Your Landing Page Design for Conversions

Today, the Internet attention span is notoriously short.

So short that the average attention spanin the digital age is 8 seconds, while that of a goldfish is 9.

Aside from making interesting cocktail party conversation, this data translates into a big challenge for you.

How can you eliminate distraction long enough so your website visitors will respond to your call-to-action?

There are numerous studies and researches on factors affecting landing page conversion rates. We’ve done the legwork for you, so you don’t have to.

Here are 15 ways you can improve conversion rate of your landing pages:

  1. Be consistent

Building trust and credibility by being consistent can help increase the likelihood that your visitors will take the next step and share their information with you:

  • Make sure that facts and numbers are consistent across your online content as any inconsistency can raise a red flag for your potential clients and customers.
  • Design a user experience consistent with the rest of your brand by making sure that the user journey, the tone of your copy, and the visual design are coherent.

All this means that drastic landing page overhauls can confuse visitors who previously felt comfortable and confident when visiting your website. In this case study, a complete redesign has caused a 20% drop in conversion rate!

It doesn’t mean you’ve to stick with a design from the turn of the century. Instead of making drastic changes, consider implementing new designs and user interface incrementally.

When you do that, you also have the opportunity to A/B split test. This helps you understand the impact of each element on your conversion rate.

  1. Have ONE intended action

More is not better when it comes to call-to-actions (CTAs) on a landing page. Multiple CTAs create confusion in your visitors and the confused mind says “no.”

Make sure you’ve one and only one CTA on your landing page, and include only copy that is relevant to the CTA.

Limit distraction by eliminating navigational elements, unrelated links, excessive content and unnecessary information.

  1. Simplify forms to reduce friction

Long forms can be intimidating, and asking for too much information before trust is established can be off-putting to your visitors.

Although there are many factors influencing the optimal length of a form – e.g. people are more willing to provide more information to enter a contest – keep in mind that fewer fields typically means less friction for your visitors to complete the action.

This is particularly true for mobile sites in which additional fields can hinder conversion. Make sure you’re only asking for information you need to follow up, and if you want to gather more information, mark those fields as “non-required.”

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Mobile landing page “don’t” – a long form with too many required fields is hard to fill in and intimidating.

Image source: http://unbounce.com/landing-page-examples/5-barriers-to-conversion-mobile-landing-pages/

  1. Create urgency

We human beings don’t like to miss out. We tend to take prompt action if an offer is about to expire.

To increase response to your CTA, you can create a sense of scarcity or urgency, just like done by TruConversion.

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Countdown timers that create a sense of urgency have been known to increase conversion rate. 

  1. Use directional cues

How can you increase the chances your visitors direct their attention to your CTA on a landing page?

Include directional cues that point to your CTA.

It could be as blatant as arrows pointing to a form, or subtler like having a model gazing toward the CTA.

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Example of an explicit directional cue using an arrow to direct visitors ’attention.

Image source: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/07/11/landing-page-conversion-rate-guide#.
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Example of an implicit directional cue of the model gazing at the CTA.

Image source: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/07/11/landing-page-conversion-rate-guide#.

In this case study using heat maps, more attention is commanded by the text and call-to-action when the gaze of the baby is directed toward that area on the page.

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Text and CTA not getting much attention when the baby’s gaze was facing front.

Image source:  https://blog.kissmetrics.com/eye-tracking-studies/

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Text and CTA commends more attention when the baby’s gaze is directed toward the area on the page.

Image source: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/eye-tracking-studies/

  1. Build trust and credibility

Even if you’re just asking for a name and an email, you need to generate a certain amount of trust for your visitors to share their information.

Include testimonials that demonstrate tangible and specific results, and whenever possible, increase credibility by including the name, photo, and company name of the person giving the testimonial.

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Example of a testimonial that is results-specific and includes a photo of the client.

Image source: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/high-converting-landing-pages

There’re many flavors of reviews and testimonials you can use on a landing page:

  • Social media interaction – comments from happy customers on social media feel “natural” because they are inherently organic. They are often posted “as-is” with little to no formatting applied and no editing of the message.
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    Example of a customer testimonial pulled directly from Facebook.
    Image source: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/05/05/customer-testimonials

  • Industry insiders – having industry leaders endorsing your product can create instant credibility. You want to make sure that the expert featured is well known and well respected within your market, and the results demonstrated are relevant to your readers.ccd (9)
    Example of a testimonial from an “industry insider”
    Image source: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/05/05/customer-testimonials

  • Happy clients – this is the most common type of testimonials and can be very powerful. Your visitors want to know “people just like them” are achieving results with your products or services. The more relatable you portray these clients (e.g. by using full name, company URL, photo etc.) the more convicing these testimonials can be.ccd (13)
    Example of client testimonials with information of clients to make them relatable.
    Image source: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/05/05/customer-testimonials

  • Video testimonials – if you can get your clients or customers to make a video for you, it’s already a testament that they’re happy with your products or services. This loyalty to your brand often speaks a lot about the quality of your offer.
    Moreover, videos tend to make visitors stay longer on your page, and appeal to those who don’t like to read a lot of text.
  1. Match keywords and Ads

If someone finds your website on search engine using one set of keywords, and sees a different message when they come to your landing page, it creates a disjointed experience.

Disjointed messaging can erode trust and causes visitors to leave your landing page before responding to the CTA.

If you’re using SEO strategies and/or ad to drive traffic to a landing page, ensure consistent user experience by making sure that the value proposition, content and image on the landing page match the keywords or the ad.

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Example of a landing page that matches the copy and design of the ad.

Image source: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/high-converting-landing-pages

  1. Write enticing headline

The headline is the first thing your visitors see when they land on your page. This first impression can make them either stay or leave the page.

Make sure your headline is clear, benefit- or result-oriented, and consistent with your ad or keywords.

Test the effectiveness of using question and/or humor in you headline, as well as “words that sell” such as Free, Discover, Secret, Results, Quick, Guaranteed, etc. – they can work well for certain clientele, but not so much for others.

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Image source: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/headline-writing-tips

  1. Highlight your value proposition

Your visitors need to know “what’s in it for me” within the first few seconds of landing on your page to decide if they want to stay or leave.

Place your value proposition – what benefits you provide and what’s unique about your offering – toward the top of the page and ideally above the fold.

Just like your headline, make sure it’s consistent with the keywords and/or ad that brought the visitors to your page.

Keep your copy simple and to-the-point. Often times, to get visitors to share their name and email in exchange for an opt-in free offer, 3 – 5 bullets are sufficient.

  1. Have an effective CTA

All is for naught if you lose your visitors at the call-to-action. If your visitors are not clicking on the CTA, your page is not converting.

Typically CTA buttons perform best because they look clickable and can more effectively elicit action from the visitors.

So, make sure your CTA button looks like a clickable button – don’t be too clever to the point where the button no longer looks like a button, and your visitors assume that it’s just another design element!

There are seemingly endless permutations you can test a CTA button to optimize its performance. Here are a few key factors:

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Tweaking the copy on your CTA button can double your conversion rate.

Image source: http://blog.crazyegg.com/2014/08/11/form-conversion-facts/

  1. Use videos

Unbounce found that explainer videos can help increase conversion rate by 20%, while this case study showed that a landing page increased conversion by 12.62% by replacing an image with a video.

A study by eyeviewdigital.com found that using video on landing pages could increase conversion by up to 80%.

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In this split test, conversion rate went up by 32% when a video is used.

Image source:  http://www.eyeviewdigital.com/documents/EyeView-White-Paper-Making-Video-Accountable.pdf

Videos can make your visitors stay longer on your landing page, increase trust and appeal to those who prefer to watch a video than read text.

Different video treatment appeal to different demographics – here are a few variables to test to find the best video format that works for your audience:

  • Autoplay vs. press play
  • Various ways of incorporating a CTA – e.g. visible permanently, shown at strategic times throughout the video, or presented at the end.
  • Long vs. short
  1. Include “trust icons”

Trust and credibility plays an important role when visitors decide if they want to give you their information or buy from you.

The use of trust icons or trust seals signals to the visitors that the website is legitimate. Data is collected by a third-party trust seal company to confirm that the business is authentic.

In this split test, conversion rate increased by 367% after more “trust icons” were added to a landing page.

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The large trust icon area in variation B increased conversion rate by 367%.

Image source: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/09/25/a-b-testing#Livengood

Trust seals are particularly important if you have an ecommerce website: 88% of American online shoppers stated that trust seals were important for sites, and 79% of shoppers expected to see some sort of seal on a sites’ home page.

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Examples of trust icons or trust seals.

Image source: http://blog.crazyegg.com/2014/08/22/trust-seal-ecommerce/

Another way to boost your credibility is to include graphics that show media mentions or corporate awards:

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Media mentions can help increase credibility and therefore conversion rate.

Image source: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/07/11/landing-page-conversion-rate-guide#.

  1. Disclaimer and privacy policy

Before visitors fork over their information, let them know that it’s safe with you.

Add a paragraph close to the sign up form to explain how their information will be used, and what kind of communication they can expect from you.

Transparency breeds trust, increasing the likelihood that they will respond to your CTA.

You can also include a link to your privacy policy and terms of use on the page when appropriate.

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Example of a page with trust icons, disclaimer and links to privacy policy and terms of use.

Image source: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/high-converting-landing-pages

  1. Make your landing page mobile responsive

It’s not news that your website should be mobile-friendly.

As more and more people are accessing the Internet via mobile devices, if your site is not optimized for mobile browsing, you could be driving those visitors away before they respond to your CTA.

Time and again, companies increased their conversion rate by switching to a mobile-responsive website:

  • A company named Bench increased its mobile conversion rate by 100% following the switch to responsive
  • State Farm, a huge corporation, received a 56% mobile conversion rate increase
  • A company named Harviestoun received a 28% increase in mobile traffic
  • Baines & Ernst saw a leap in mobile conversions of more than 50%

(source)

15. Use a chat tool

If your CTA includes more than providing name and email address, or involves a transaction, adding a chat tool can increase conversion rate by having the visitors’ questions and concerns answered real time.

Your visitors don’t have to provide any information, or do they have to pick up the phone, to gain access to a “real person” to get the necessary information they need to make a decision.

Visitors’ interaction with your staff can also help increase the “like and trust” factors, which can contribute to a higher conversion rate.

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Example of using a chat tool on a landing page.

Image source: http://neilpatel.com/2015/08/20/12-tools-that-can-help-you-build-high-converting-landing-pages/  

Takeaways

There are always new tools and technology for designing and building landing pages. Keep these principles in mind to create landing pages that convert so you don’t get distracted by bright shiny objects:

  • Create consistent user experience
  • Stick to ONE call-to-action
  • Write and design enticing call-to-action button
  • Reinforce trust and credibility
  • Reduce friction to completing the action
  • Test new changes to see what converts best

Over to you – what’s your secret sauce to increase landing page conversion? Don’t hoard the good stuff… leave a comment below and let us know!

About the author Nora Flint

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