Do you have leaving issues because your landing page bounce rate is through the roof? Wasting valuable time and money on ineffective PPC campaigns? Tired of your boss complaining about how the industry average conversion rate is double what “you” achieved last month? Actually they are quite normal if you do not know the ropes! In this series (Landing page design-Best Practices), I’ll try to explain the major DO’s and DONT’s for designing the landing pages.
Sticking to the fundamentals can take you from having a terrible landing page to having one that people find hard to poke holes in.
1.Send people to a relevant and targeted page
Your homepage is a mish-mash of goal-oriented communication – and usually for AdWords link. Think one goal, one message, one action. And hence one page – generally a new one – a landing page.
2.Provide a consistent experience
From ad through landing page and onto the destination site, design, messaging and tone should be consistent with the expectations of the user at the time they clicked the link/banner. Your upstream ad is the source, and using a river analogy, you should be drinking from the same stream at the end of the journey as you were at the start.
3.Go direct to the point
When dealing with online prospects, you need to get right to the point with no muss and no fuss.
4.Focus the visitor’s attention with a clear and concise headline.
Imagine yourself walking in a busy street. You look at the newspaper vending machine to see the big black headline. If it captures your attention, you might stop, bend over and read it for a while. If it’s really good, you might buy it. Conversely, if it’s just a big page of small type with no visible purpose, you wouldn’t even break your stride. Make the headline clear, easily noticeable, and in a relevant position on the page.
5.Enable sharing on your viral landing pages
If your goal is to create buzz with a landing page ensure that it is easily sharable with the common social networks. The most obvious choice for social media buzz creation is Twitter. This micro-blogging platform has become the social sharing tool du jour and can help to spread your message quickly and in an exponential fashion if what you are doing is tweetworthy.
Sharing content on Digg or Reddit can help establish you as an authority if you have a long-term goal to become recognized in the community. However, sharing via Twitter adds the content into your own personal timeline, which extends your online persona by showing content that represents your personality and beliefs. It’s reminiscent of the psychology surrounding ones CD, vinyl or book collection, where you gain pleasure from the reaction of others to your taste.
If you have multiple user types, create a landing page for each segment and drive traffic via separate sources. This will enable you to measure your most effective market segmentation. If your landing page has extended logic or geo-targeting capabilities you may be able to create a single page with changing content based on visitor. If this is the case, ensure your tracking can handle these complexities.
7.Remove the clutter
Remember that ad campaign that had a single button proclaiming, “Don’t click me“? Nobody could resist that.
Not only was it tempting, but also it didn’t have any competing information. As you create your landing page, step back from time to time, look at it from a distance and see how many things are competing for your attention. Refine your landing page until the answer is 1.
Observe – Remove – Repeat
8.Remove the navigation
Similarly, don’t give people a full-scale website experience. You paid to get them here, so keep them focused and on track. If they really want to know your favorite color or look you up on Google maps, they can go to your website in their own time. Each navigation option you provide dilutes their attention.
9.Keep reading to a minimum
Ensure visitors get a chance to read your most important copy. If it’s hidden among 7 paragraphs of text, it’ll be missed. An exception to this rule would be a page designed to provide a high level of detail (such as a Book page on Amazon), but this is usually best utilized as the deep-linked “product detail” page on the target website and not on a landing page.
10.Above the fold.
Your primary messaging and call to action must be above the fold (the bottom of the screen for the average browser resolution of your target market). Does it really matter anymore? To present the counter argument, a product detail page such as an Amazon book page, is very well suited to a long page.
11.Repeating your CTA on long pages
If you are obligated to produce a long landing page (perhaps as one of the standard long-form lead capture sites), try to repeat your core message and/or CTA at comfortable intervals throughout. This helps to reinforce your purpose. Note also that different people react to different content, so they may be 2/3 of the way through before they believe what you are saying. If there is a button right there, you may find them more likely to convert when this matches their time of emotional connection to your message.
to be continued