As digital marketers, we focus much of our energy on optimizing content and distribution strategies to increase traffic to our (or our client’s) website. However, we know that being “found” is only half the battle. We’re bound by three letters – ROI – to ensure that once viewers find our content online, they’re persuaded by our “call to action” – be it to download a white paper, sign up for a newsletter, register for a webinar, or become a direct customer.
But how can we convince our online visitors to act? The answer is often in the design of our landing page. A landing page is the first page a visitor to your site sees; it facilitates the exchange of information between you and your prospect. On Friday, Mark Kilens and Billy MacDonald of Hubspot walked through 60 Landing Pages in 60 Minutes to highlight a number of landing page optimization tricks.
Here are 10 key tips they shared:
- Adhere to the blink test. Research has shown that 10 seconds is the time users typically spend examining a page before deciding whether or not they’re going to leave. This means you have less than 10 seconds to convince your visitors to act. It’s critical that page viewers immediately (or within the blink of an eye) understand your call to action.
- Go naked. Once you’ve successfully driven traffic to your landing page, you don’t want to make it easier for your visitors to “bounce.” So, make your landing page as sparse as possible, i.e. remove all navigation including menu bars, links to other pages on your site, etc. The online form and/or “submit” button should be your visitors’ sole point of focus.
- Mind the fold. Users spend 80 percent of their time looking at information above the page fold, which means any truly important information must be visible within a page’s initially viewable area. This is also important because users will use this information to determine whether or not the rest of the page is worth viewing. If you haven’t captured their attention above the fold, they won’t scroll down to see what’s below.
- Pick an offer and stick to it. Remember, you have less than 10 seconds to capture your visitors’ attention. Multiple calls to action can distract page viewers and lead to confusion about what you’re offering. If you have follow-up offers, create separate landing pages, or consider including them in the “thank you” page.
- Keep it simple. Users don’t spend time reading on the web; they scan. So, keep it simple. Limit the page’s text and use bulleted points and bolding to call out important information. Again, keep your visitors focused on the online form and/or “submit” button.
- Keep it short. You don’t want prospects to think twice about filling out your form. Therefore, you should avoid asking them a long, daunting list of questions. Identify the critical information that you want to collect and stick to those questions.
- Gather intelligence. While keeping your form short is important, you shouldn’t shy away from the opportunity to gather intelligence about your prospects. Consider including an optional question that prompts visitors to share their biggest challenges, or current pain points.
- Include social. Your landing page will not be effective without visitors. So, add social plug-ins to make it easier for visitors to spread the word about your offer via Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.
- Test, test & test. Testing and monitoring is critical. You should not take a “one-size-fits-all” approach to designing your landing pages. Try creating different landing pages and monitoring the effectiveness of each. This information can provide valuable cues that will help you increase conversions in the future.
What other optimization tricks have you found to be successful in improving your online conversion rates?
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