Successful web conversion is tricky business.
Your site visitors are constantly subject to distractions. As a marketer, your responsibility is to create a direct path to the conversion. Adding twists and turns only when they increase conversion, not when they distract prospects from your landing pages.
We asked our Crazy Egg Marketing Experts what they consider removing when they create sticky landing pages.
Remove anything that shouldn’t be there. If navigation is unnecessary, it should be taken out. If photos aren’t necessary, they should be taken out as well. And of course, animation and background music can be terrible turn-offs for a website visitor.
One client we worked with saw the biggest improvement to his landing page just by changing the settings on a video from auto to manual play. We used Crazy Egg to see what we happening on that page and we saw that the majority of the visitors were immediately trying to turn it off!
~ Naomi Niles, ShiftFWD
Avoid calls to action that compete on the same page. Your single call to action should be high in visibility and create a clear and logical goal path. If you are asking a visitor to view and compare products, to get a quote, add to cart and contact a sales representative, all in different areas of the page it’s too much. People have a hard time making a decision and you lose them as soon as they are faced one that is not dead simple to make.
Please don’t fill white space with links, site widgets, ads, or other items that distract form your user path if they are not helping you.
~ Aaron Stevens, Moosylvania
Having too many buttons or links to click on to go elsewhere (whether they’re ads or links to other pages). Including too many calls to action on one page to try and cater to everyone is another common problem I see often.
Finally, many sites neglect to clearly state the after-sale (or after-click) process. For example, what happens after I type in my email address? What happens once I create an account? What happens once I click “buy now”? You need to address these questions up front even if it seems obvious to you! Detach yourself from your site and see it through a first-time customer’s eyes.
~ Sherice Jacob, iElectrify
Busy backgrounds, links out to other things that may be related or not related, large chunks of text lumped together unattractively, even headers depending on the market. People are fickle, and typically a sales page should have one goal only… to lead them to conversion.
~ Cori Padgett, Big Girl Branding
Other “actions” are the most common elements that distract conversion. Counting buttons and links, how many “actions” can a user take on your page? Do you require creating an account for the user to proceed? Are you using a CAPTCHA with your form? Each additional page “action” potentially diverts users or requires micro-conversion on its own. Don’t make the user jump hurdles. Minimize these options and focus on defining a simple, clear path to the specific call-to-action that you want the user to take. You can always present extras or ask for more info *after* you convert the user.
~ Angie Schottmuller, Interactive Artisan
Here are some unexpected distractions that you may not have thought of:
1. Choice – Simply asking someone what color they want can increase abandonment of a product page. Don’t offer unnecessary choices.
2. Site navigation – Only add navigation if you know it increases your conversion rates, and occasionally it will.
3. Form fields – Each form field you add to a lead generation form can be expected to reduce conversion rate. There are a couple of killers like mobile phone number and social security number 😉
4. Columns – A landing page should have a central body that pulls the reader down through the page. Scrolling is a natural instinct for most audiences now. You can add a right column for supplemental content if you like, but see #1. Three is pushing things. It makes the eye jump back and forth as the reader scrolls.
5. Pictures of beautiful people – Our eyes are taken to images of beautiful people, which means they are drawn from our message and our call to action. Try the caption test on your page images to see if they pass.
Keep it simple and use split testing to add things to your pages slowly. Many of them will reduce your conversion rates. Don’t you want to know which? Here’s a unique way to develop your landing pages.
~ Brian Massey, Conversion Sciences
Suggesting other items of interest. While this may be a good tactic on sales pages, when someone puts something in the cart and starts the checkout process, don’t distract them! No suggested items, no alternate colors, no reason for them to abandon the cart.
~ Will Hanke, Where Is My Business?
Clever headlines that people think are cute but not compelling.
~ Demian Farnworth, The Copybot
Terrible design (e.g., clip art), too many links, bad images, automatic videos or audio clips, awful design, and really bad design. Did I mention bad design?
~Jeff Goins, Writer
One of the most distracting elements of a web page is far too much content. You can’t include everything. One of the hardest parts of content creation is cutting what is not absolutely essential. But parting with those extra words is well worth the heartbreak. You don’t need to include every aspect of your organization on every single page. Pick that individual page’s story and tell it in a compellingly concise way.
~ David Hartstein, Wired Impact
Too many options. No element of the page should ever be given equal or greater weight than that of the main call to action. Make the conversion path obvious to the prospect.
~ Christopher Long, The Loud Few
Anything that doesn’t need to be on a page can distract readers from conversion. If an element doesn’t add something to the page it’s on, it should be removed because anything can distract people from taking the action you want them to take.
I would say that clutter is the most common element that distracts visitors from conversion behavior. If they have trouble finding the call to action and clearly identifying what you want them to do, they’re going to have trouble taking that action. Any clutter that distracts visitors’ attention from the call to action can contribute to this.
~ Joseph Putnam, Blog Tweaks
What distractions do you remove when you want to create a sticky landing page? What questions do you have for our Crazy Egg Marketing Experts?
Image courtesy of dam design