So often overlooked and underestimated, landing pages are a crucial aspect of your overall campaign performance. Following are best practices from a Marketing Experiments Landing Page Optimization certification course:

The emphasis of your landing pages should immediately answer the following visitor’s questions:

  1. where are they
  2. what can they do
  3. why should they do it with you.

If you can’t answer the aforementioned within the first 3-5 seconds of the visitor arriving to your page, you’ll hinder the conversion process.

CLARITY OF VALUE PROPOSITION:

  1. Value proposition is the primary reason why a potential customer/prospect should buy from you. You must be able to identify and clearly express an effective value proposition in 10 words or less.
  • How are you different your competitors?
  • Why should visitors buy from you instead of your competitors?
  • Compare your claim with main competition – are you truly different?

2)  You have 3 seconds or less to answer the following questions visitors are looking to answer when they arrive to your site:

  • Where am I at?
  • What can I do?
  • Why should I do it?

* If you don’t answer these questions, visitor will leave *

3) You must maintain conversion process momentum. Every element at every step of the conversion process must either state or support your value proposition, and answer the Where, What & When questions – from ad text, to landing page to confirmation page.

  • Images should communicate and/or support your value proposition, rather than just taking up space
  • Design, colors, etc. should be consistent and each element should support your value proposition.

CLARITY TRUMPS PERSUASION

If you aren’t clear about what action you want a visitor to take on your site, or the path they need to follow to complete that action, no amount of gimmicky ad copy or sales pitches will persuade them to move forward.

FRICTION:

1) Friction is psychological RESISTANCE to a given element in the conversion process, which exists ONLY in the mind of the consumer, not on your landing page.

2)To increase conversion, you must decrease Friction. You cannot eliminate Friction. If you do, you eliminate the sale.

3) Two components of Friction are:

  • Length: Design elements including length of pages, field layout, number of fields, etc.
  • Duration: Design elements including format of pages (is eye path confusing or hindering visitor away from maintaining conversion process momentum?), options selections (are there too many?), button design, etc.

4) Common errors that lead to Friction:

  • Too many unrequired fields on a single page. Only request absolutely required info in first phase of process.
  • Primary offer in right or left columns, which should generally only be reserved for navigation or supporting elements (e.g. testimonials, graphics, accolades, etc.)
  • Concentrating selling efforts on offer page only. You must sell on every page of the conversion process, right through to the thank you/confirmation page.
  • Too many products or listings on one page
  • Navigation that changes from page to page, or is presented in unconventional ways (e.g. buttons or tabs that look more like images or part of the site design, rather than navigation)
  • Vague, ambiguous or “harsh” call-to-action buttons, like Submit, Register, Continue or Next Step, instead of Add to Cart, Choose Product, Buy Now, Join Now, etc.)
  • Extra steps or content that distract or remove visitor from the conversion process.

ANXIETY:

1) Anxiety is the psychological CONCERN stimulated by a given element in the conversion process. Friction is a rational resistance, while Anxiety is often irrational.

2) While Anxiety may be stimulated by a legitimate concern, its degree and impact are often disproportionate to the measure of risk. In practice, a fundamental understanding of the psychological aspects of Anxiety calls for “over-correction” in the conversion process.

3) Common sources of Anxiety are:

  • Quality of service (am I getting what I was promised?)
  • Reliability of product (will the product work?)
  • Credit card security (is it safe for me to provide my info?)
  • Price (can I buy for less elsewhere?)

4) Ways to effect an over-correction:

External Factors (what others say about you):

  • Security seals – placed near source of anxiety
  • Credibility indicators (e.g. BBB, Trust-e, etc.) – must be familiar to the visitor in order to truly convey credibility
  • Testimonials – specific to source of anxiety (e.g. if visitor has anxiety about whether they are getting the best a price, a testimonial about your low prices next to your price list will lessen anxiety)
  • 3rd party ratings – Pricegrabber, BizRate, YahooStore, etc.

Internal Factors (what you say about yourself):

  • Ad Copy, language, tone
  • Personalization
  • Images
  • Colors and themes
  • Privacy Policy
  • Satisfaction guarantees
  • About us page – one of the most important but least optimized pages, this is where visitors often to go to figure out how legit you are
  • Complete contact info (reassure that visitor has multiple options, including phone number, to speak with a real person)

Optimization Approach:

  1. Express Value Proposition
  2. Reduce Friction
  3. Address Anxiety