Customers arrive on your landing page at a pivotal point in their buying journey. It is when they decide whether to engage with you further or return to the world wide web.
Getting customers to your landing page is half the battle. But to convert them into buyers, you need to convince them to take that next step. Landing page design can help convince customers to take the plunge.
My biggest advice around improving landing page conversions is not to concern yourself with converting the sale — it's too early. Instead, focus on converting the landing page.
Your job is to convince your customer that clicking through your landing page will benefit her more than abandoning her journey.
4 Keys to Landing Page Optimization
Once you orient yourself around converting the landing page itself, take into account these four key components when implementing improvements:
1. Does your design consider the customer’s perspective?
Did your customer arrive to your landing page from a partner website or from Google? If the former, you can likely treat the visit as a warm handoff. If the latter, your landing page needs to work harder to prove your solution is credible and your company can deliver on the customer's need.
Does your landing page design maintain continuity with your overall brand messaging and brand visuals?
For example, if the initial landing page uses modern imagery and blue tones but the ad your customer clicked on before arriving on your landing page has a hot pink vintage feel, you have created a major disconnect which can confuse your customer. Offsite advertising material should always reinforce your core brand and message and that should follow through to your landing pages.
2. Do you understand your customer’s state of mind?
Understanding your customer’s state of mind will help ensure your landing page meets her expectations.
For example, if your customer arrived from Google after having clicked a generic keyword, you're likely competing with many other companies for her business. Your landing page needs to address why she should continue her journey with you versus with another company.
Reiterate the generic keyword on the page to let her know she is in the right place. Put the benefits of your solution front-and-center to help keep her attention. Design your landing page for one particular state of mind so you speak to your customers’ needs at that state.
Remember, your goal is not to get the sale: Some of the best conversion gains can be had by convincing a customer to give her email address and following up to get the sale at a later date.
3. Is your page designed with one call-to-action (CTA) in mind?
One of the biggest conversion killers on landing pages is too many distractions.
Don't confuse your customer with too many choices. A single-purpose landing page should not have primary navigation, menus or links that take her away from your desired CTA.
The best landing pages focus on one specific action. Every element of the design encourages visitors toward this outcome. The entire design process should revolve around this concept, and any element that doesn't contribute to the expected outcome can detract from performance.
Furthermore, your CTA should directly relate to the follow-up page and the action you want the customer to take. For example, using a "claim offer" CTA that takes a customer to your home page will be disappointing unless the offer is the primary focal point of your home page.
4. Have you tested your design?
To improve conversions you need to understand your starting point. Do you know your current landing page’s conversion rate?
Marketing tools have improved tremendously over the years to allow you to easily test the effectiveness of any design improvements you implement.
An easy first step is to test your landing page against your home page. Tools like Optimizely can enable you to do this without extensive technical knowledge and Google has a free tool to use with AdWords.
Keep in mind that your sample size should be big enough to validate your results. Here’s a simple A/B test calculator from KissMetrics to help you understand your sample size.
Play the Long Game with Landing Pages that Convert
Landing pages are one of the most powerful tools you have to convert customers — eventually.
Start by focusing on converting the page, not the ultimate sale. Optimize for the customer’s perspective, state of mind and choose one clear call-to-action to get her to take that next step towards the sale. Finally, test your design to validate the improvements and optimize your way to the best results.