Website conversions take many forms, occurring on various pages throughout a site. Whether the action is a form submission, phone call, sign up, or an ecommerce transaction, all conversions can be increased by optimization.
Dedicated landing pages used in paid search advertising use tactics to encourage the visitor to take a specific action. Tactics are as varied as the campaign goals, but there are industry best practices that influence the probability of conversion.
Finding out how a visitor interacts with a web site is an important step to determining what is working (and what isn’t). How many pages do they view, how long do they spend on a page, is there a page that most visitors exit from?
Installing heat mapping software is an excellent way to help understand how users interact with the pages on a website. This tool provides a visual overview of how a user scrolls and clicks on a specific web page. These recordings help to form insights regarding page layout, color, shapes, navigation, form analysis, shopping cart analysis and more.
With information in hand, you can begin testing items that include:
- Call to action headline text
- Call to action button size, shape, color, and position
- Contact form fields
- Contact form position
- Overall length of content on the page
- Inclusion and placement of images, graphics, and video
Testing these elements will help to inform decisions that can ultimately increase conversion rates. An important consideration is to test one variable at a time. The testing duration will depend on factors that include the number of daily visitors, current conversion rate, and desired conversion rate improvement.
One of the most important contributing factors for landing page conversion rates is relevancy of the page content to the ad that the user clicked on. Some of the elements that your page may include:
The headline must be straightforward and clear. Offer a solution to the visitor’s problem or need, increasing the desire to complete the Call to Action.
Keep body text limited. State the benefits of the product or service that you are offering to the visitor. Bullet points are a great way to list benefits. (In some cases, the goal of the landing page can be accomplished with a combined headline and sub-headline. If that’s the case, leave it at that and get right to the CTA.)
This is the reason you drove visitors to your page. Use persuasive language and make it personal. Make the Call to Action apparent and powerful. People are accustomed to clicking a button – don’t make them hunt for your CTA “just to be different”.
Simplify the form! If your CTA requires a visitor fill out a form, require that the fewest number of fields be filled out. The longer it takes for the visitor to fill out the form, the higher the chances that they will abandon the process midway or abandon the page entirely.
Focus the visitor on the one task that you drove them to the landing page for – completing the conversion action that you’ve set up. Header links and navigation can serve to distract a visitor from completing that action.
Keep the landing page clean and simple with only the most essential text and imagery. Remember to make your content relevant to the ad that drove the visitor to your page in the first place. Once your campaign is underway, check your data to see how your landing page is performing. Find room for improvement and begin testing different variables to see what performs better. In our next installment, we’ll discuss the types of testing that are used most often in conversion rate optimization.