Wouldn’t it be nice if any time you searched something online you were directed to a highly relevant webpage full of the exact information, offer or value you were looking for?
No need to search further or spend time clicking through various pages to find what you need.
Welcome to targeted, relevant and valuable landing pages – they’re pivotal to any business advertising online. Getting the right traffic to your website is only half the equation – ensuring this traffic converts is what will get you across the line.
How do you do this – with Landing Page Optimisation. Let’s explore…
What is a Landing Page and When Should You Use One?
Let’s start with the basics; a landing page is a designated URL that will act as the first page a user lands on when visiting your website.
It has a specific marketing purpose – to convert users. A landing page can also be used in organic search results, advertisements, social media posts, call-to-actions on another webpages or email links.
Landing page design should be specific, targeted, and effective.
Typically, you set a destination URL as a specific landing page that has content directly relevant to the advertisement, keyword search etc. A landing page should also be tied to a desired primary objective such as capturing leads, generating sales or content downloads. Regardless of the specific objective, the overarching goal is the same for all landing pages – to convert visitors into customers.
There are several reasons to use an optimised landing page; these are:
- To create a personalised experience for the user
- To provide a consistent experience from ad to landing page.
- To encourage users to sign up, subscribe to or download relevant content.
- To promote an event.
- To promote the launch of a new product or service.
The optimised landing page ultimately helps to eliminate any distractions by removing navigation, competing links and alternate options so you can capture your visitor’s undivided attention.
Once you gain complete attention from your visitors, you can guide them towards taking a specific action i.e. filling out your lead form.
There are various types of landing pages that are often employed, however these are arguably the two most common:
1. Click through landing pages
The sole purpose of a click through landing page is to offer an on-site visitor all the necessary information and benefits of an existing product, service or offer as context to use towards convincing them to enter the conversion funnel. With this landing page all users need to do is read through the content and click a Call to Action (CTA) button to complete the conversion process.
2. Lead capture landing pages
A lead capture landing page is designed to collect visitor data or information to then create or add to a customer database for the marketing and sales team.
Typically, a lead capture landing page will include a form and CTA button allowing users to submit their details in exchange for value offered by your business.
A good lead capture landing page does not have any exit paths on it. Below are some landing page examples.
To execute a successful conversion process once a prospect opens your site, it is important to have a well-optimised landing page for ample opportunity to convert as many users as possible. You will need to know your target audience inside and out so you can cater to them. This way you can design a landing page that speaks directly to them and where they are positioned in the sales funnel.
Why is Landing Page Optimisation Important?
The landing page is a key component of a website and an important tool in a marketer’s arsenal.
Optimised landing pages are the main focus for successful conversions. When designed and optimised effectively, they have the power to significantly contribute to revenue gains, achieve business goals and aid in conversion rate optimisation (CRO).
When you optimise and improve your landing pages, you are effectively increasing the likelihood of users converting, hence contributing to CRO – The two go hand in hand.
A well optimised page can influence key metrics to ensure you are getting the best return on investment (ROI) and lowest costs per acquisition (CPA). CRO will directly affect the success and value of your ad campaigns, and ROI.
Let’s put this into perspective.
The data below analyses how CRO affects Pay-Per Click results. The change in conversion rate from 1% to 9% can generate a 700% increase in the number of leads and reduce costs by approximately $350. Therefore, with the same spend amount, your results i.e. your return is significantly higher and your marketing efforts become a lot more valuable to you and your business.
User experience is also a key point here. You should not forget about the quality of the experience that a customer has while they are on your website. The easier it is for visitors to make a desired action, the more likely they will convert.
Here’s how your landing page design can also affect:
Engagement Rate: The better tailored and personalised your landing pages are to your target audience; the less likely users will exit immediately. Directing traffic to a general website page instead of a highly relevant and targeted one, will most likely result in you paying more for clicks and generate fewer conversions.
Ad Position: Google is designed to take notice when people find your landing pages more relevant and attractive than others. The longer users stay on your landing page after clicking an ad, the more likely your ad will retain a higher position and result in more traffic.
Quality Score: Landing page relevance contributes significantly to how Google calculates your quality score. The more relevant your landing page is to your chosen keywords, the higher your quality score will be.
Why is my landing Page not converting?
Landing pages fail to convert for various reasons, and let’s be honest, getting it right on the first go can sometimes be difficult.
The main culprit is often due to a failure in understanding your target audience, their buyer behaviour and where they may be in the sales funnel. If you aren’t crafting your landing pages based on what your key prospects want and who they are, then you shouldn’t be surprised if you aren’t generating conversions.
Some other common problems that are associated with low converting landing pages are:
1. There are too many distractions
Does your landing page have multiple different call to actions or in-line links (encouraging users to leave before converting)? The more choices you offer users, the longer they take to make a decision, and they might even leave your page without clicking anything at all. Focus on one offer and one goal for your landing page. Every single element on your landing page should contribute to that goal, if it doesn’t, get rid of it!
Below is a bad landing page example with too many distractions:
2. Your CTA Sucks
Most of the time CTA’s are too vague, not compelling enough or do not offer users any value. Taking the time to develop a clear, enticing and effective CTA for your landing page will help to guide users towards a destination or action, thus increasing the likelihood of that user converting. For best practices when it comes to crafting an effective CTA visit our blog post A guide to creating effective call to actions.
3. Poor Landing Page Design
It’s not just about content when it comes to landing pages. The design and attractiveness of your landing page almost always factors into user experience. A messy landing page may overwhelm visitors and hurt the user experience leading to less or no conversions. Colours, font size, spacing, mobile responsiveness – it all matters!
Seven Steps to Landing Page Optimisation – Best Practices
Landing page optimisation, or any optimisation for that matter, isn’t about changing everything and anything. This is an unhelpful strategy that is typically hard to measure.
To know where to optimise you need to identify potential problems that are contributing to low conversion rate. Once you have identified these, you can proceed to change them.
A heat map is extremely helpful for visualising where people are clicking on your landing page.
– Are users ignoring your CTA?
– Are they focused on irrelevant or unimportant elements such as a stock photo?
– Are there too many distractions?
Identifying these problems before starting the optimisation process will show you what is working and what is not, so you know exactly where to optimise. However, here are a list of best practices when it comes to landing page optimisation. Use these as a basis for discussion when determining where optimisation efforts may need to occur.
1. Make the offer clear – clearly articulate the value
The value proposition must be clear enough to resonate with the visitor upon first glance. The clearer you can be about this, the better your chances to convert your prospects. You can start by thinking about your customers’ goals, intentions and motivations and turning that into an attractive headline. Think about how you can articulate the value, so it is a positive and successful experience for the visitor.
2. Simplify the landing page
A very simple landing page may sound counterintuitive, but if you have made it this far, you will know that the more distractions you have, the less likely it is a user will convert. Your landing page should include only the necessary information or elements that add value and encourage the conversion process. You want your visitors to focus on the prize, and a simplified landing page gives users ample opportunity to do just that.
3. Capture leads with an optimised form
Did you know that less is actually more when it comes to lead forms? Reducing the number of fields on your form can increase conversions significantly. Although this is the general rule of thumb, you can also consider the following when developing forms for your landing page:
- Where the user is in their sales journey. Landing pages targeting users at the top of the funnel will typically have fewer form fields than those targeting users at the bottom of the funnel.
- Ask for information you must have based on the value of your offer. For example, if your offer is a free e-book, typically you might only need a name and an email address. Alternatively, if your offer is a free quote, you may need more information such as a phone number, location etc.
4. Make the landing page trustworthy
Users will buy from brands that they trust! There are a few easy steps you can undertake to ensure that you are offering visitors transparency and an opportunity to build rapport.
Be up front: It is important that your brand or business comes across as honest and transparent during a visitor’s first impression. You want to provide clear and comprehensive information about what you’re offering, any additional fees or exclusions.
Prominently display customer reviews or testimonials: Social proof is extremely important as users are increasingly looking to others to aid in their decision-making process. Knowing that other customers are pleased with their purchase will help to build authority and trust. However, it is also important never to delete or alter reviews that you perceive as imperfect as this could curate a fake brand image. Check out the example below from PorterVac for creative ways to display customer testimonials.
Provide a safety net: Some customers may not be ready to complete a purchase when clicking through to your landing page. If this is the case it is important to have a secondary call-to-action, where visitors can gather more information without needing to commit. This builds confidence, while keeping users on your website, rather than bouncing elsewhere to find more information.
5. Pay attention to landing page SEO
Optimised landing pages are very commonly found via organic search intentions. Just like any other page on your website, your landing page needs to be search engine optimised to ensure it is appearing for all users. This can be done by:
- Use high ranking keywords in your title, meta description and URL and,
- Use high ranking and relevant keywords in your landing page content. You want to let google know exactly what your landing page is about.
6. Keep A/B testing everything
If you’re wondering why A/B testing almost always comes up when optimisation is mentioned, it’s because it is so important! The more A/B tests you run, the more accurate your data will be.
Each A/B test should include a single change to one variant, such as your CTA or your headline. Changing multiple elements at once means that you can’t accurately determine which change impacted the difference in conversions between the two variants.
7. Don’t forget about your existing landing pages
If you already have a well-established website, identify which pages on your website are currently being used as landing pages, and work through the steps above to optimise the experience. Doing so will improve results without having to start from scratch. For example, do you have a FAQ page that new users discover your website from in search results? These pages are generally not optimised for conversions however, if they are receiving decent traffic volumes, they could be optimised to improve the conversion rate, influencing both your return and cost.
Landing Page Optimisation Metrics to Track
Creating and/or adapting the landing page is not enough. To ensure you are getting the most out of your landing page it is critical to measure its performance metrics to identify whether it is helping you achieve your intended goals. There are various metrics to track, and different businesses will require different metrics. However, here are some common ones you can get started with today.
- Page Visits
As the name suggests, page visits measure the number of people who have visited your landing page over a certain period. The more visitors you can gather, the higher the probability of conversions. If this number is lower than you expected, try to optimise your paid strategies and platforms to get the desired traction and attention.
- Engagement Rate
Engagement rate is another important metric for interpreting landing page performance as it indicates the percentage of users that interact with your landing page. This metric is important because a visitor that doesn’t engage will not convert.
- Traffic Source
Understanding which traffic sources bring in high-converting users can help you optimise and scale your marketing efforts to drive more conversions. Specific targeting techniques can be implemented when you are clear about which sources generate the best results. Various traffic sources include:
- Direct traffic: Users who visit your landing page without a referral source. For example, users might directly type in the URL into their browser, click on a link in a PDF, email or bookmark.
- Organic traffic: Users who visit your landing page by entering keywords on search engines like Google or Yahoo.
- Pay per click traffic: Users who land on your landing page by clicking on a PPC ad.
- Social Media Ads: Users who visit your landing page by clicking on the link of a Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn ad.
Optimised landing pages are a fundamental element of the user journey and have an important role to fulfill by stimulating predetermined conversions. With consideration, planning and investment, your optimised landing pages can be the powerhouses of your content strategy and deliver a successful ROI for you and your business.
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a designated URL that will act as the first page a user lands on when visiting your website. It has a specific marketing purpose – to convert users.
Why is Landing Page Optimisation Important?
Optimised landing pages are the main focus for successful conversions. When you optimise and improve your landing pages, you are effectively increasing the likelihood of users converting.
Why is my Landing Page not converting?
Landing pages fail to convert for various reasons. Some common problems that are associated with low converting landing pages are reflected by: too many distractions on the landing page, a vague call-to-action or poor landing page design.