We have been told so many times that the average website can get conversion rates between 2 to 4%, that we begin believing it as gospel truth.
We couldn’t be farther from reality.
In a study of 2,912 e-commerce sites by MarketingSherpa, nearly 38% of websites polled reported conversion rates ranging from 1 to 5%. Which means over 60% of e-commerce sites out there actually enjoy conversion rates that are higher than 5%. And this is not even the conversion rate for landing pages.
This figure refers to conversion rates for the website as a whole. A landing page is not the same as your home page. Landing pages are webpages that are tailor made towards a clear purpose. The purpose is typically conversion related and every aspect of the webpage is geared towards maximizing these conversions.
So why settle? If these guys can do it, so can you. Here’s my two bits on what has worked for conversion rates on our own website.
A Cohesive Page Layout
First impressions matter a lot, especially in the world of conversion rate optimization. We buyers have a clear idea of what we’re looking for and when we don’t find exactly that in the first few seconds of arriving on a webpage, we quickly lose interest.
If there’s a set pattern that most people expect to follow and if there’s a very small window of time when these people can be addressed to take a desired action on your page, you need to get your design spot-on to recoup your investments.
Follow basic layout principles for landing pages like:
- Keep the design simple and intuitive. Don’t make your core message hard to find on your landing page.
- Keep clutter at bay. Bling and a ‘busy’ look are for R&B singers. On your landing page, minimalism works best.
- Avoid navigation bars on your landing page. You do not want users to wander all over your website when they have already arrived at your landing page. Remove that navigation bar from your landing page to minimize such distractions.
- Keep your forms short and the number of fields to the bare minimum. Once the user converts, you will always have the opportunity of getting more personal information about them later. Maintain a laser focus on conversions with your landing page forms.
Wondering how to bring all these layout tips together? WP Kube offers a bunch of themes here that you might want to pick from while deciding your page layout.
Compelling Copy That Converts
As described before, a landing page is a page on a mission. The mission – conversions.
Now, a business can have multiple events that it counts as conversions in different contexts. An email capture can be considered a conversion, so can an e-book download, and so can an e-commerce sale.
Whatever you count as conversions, pick just one single conversion goal per landing page and write copy around it.
In spite of this being such a fundamental principle of CRO, MarketingSherpa found that 48% of landing pages have multiple offers built into them, thus making them directionless and weak.
Good copy that converts typically will
- Be crisp and action oriented. Be direct in telling the user about the offer and how to avail it.
- Be interesting and readable. Sure, you want to avoid beating around the bush with landing page copy, but that doesn’t mean you must be dry as sawdust. Make your copy catchy yet brief, and you’ll have users hanging on your every word.
- Avoid hard-sell in your copy. Instead offer readers factual reasons why your offer is awesome and how they would benefit from it.
- Offer a clear call to action (CTA) in your copy. Many marketers confuse CTA with the “Submit” or “Click Here” button. It’s a lot more than that. An effective CTA tells users the action that they need to take to enjoy a particular benefit.
Take a peek at this great piece on landing page specific copywriting for more copy inspiration.
Show Them How Other Users Love You
One of the first things that I do when I shortlist something to buy online is to check out what other users have to say about it. It’s not just me. Research shows that there’s nothing like social proof to convince a user about a product and its benefits.
Improve your chances of a conversion by offering your users what they seek proactively. Incorporate this social proof into your landing page in the form of:
- Honest testimonials from real customers. Make sure the users specify why they like your product instead of just going gaga about how splendid they found you and your product.
- When you offer testimonials, make sure you also offer the names and pictures of the recommenders; with their permission of course.
- Video testimonials from existing users are a smart way to incorporate social proof. Not only do they benefit from the higher attention users pay to audio visual content, a user endorsing your brand in their own words is great for your credibility.
- Offer data on the number of social shares and comments your product (physical product, blog, service; you get my drift) to prove its popularity among social media users.
In a nutshell, those are the three biggies when it comes to landing page optimization — page layout and design, copy and social proof.
There are definitely other factors that contribute to a great landing page, like stunning images or contact details or even mobile friendly web pages (especially considering Google’s recent update).
However, even with just these three broad fixes taken care of, your conversions will automatically see an uptick. I definitely did. Tell me your story!
Read other Crazy Egg articles by Pratik Dholakiya.
Latest posts by Pratik Dholakiya (see all)
- Click Magnets: 12 Landing Page Elements That Ensure Conversions - May 20, 2015
- 4 Guiding Lights for Content that Converts - April 13, 2015
- What You Miss When You Obsess About Conversions - January 13, 2015