Running paid traffic to a landing page can be hard. You need to know how to keep your bounce rates low and subscriber numbers high, in order to keep things profitable.
If you’re someone who has trouble making landing pages work with the use of paid traffic, don’t worry. I’ll show you what changes need to be made so that your landing page performs the way it should.
We’re going to cover a few of the big wins that you need to focus on. These elements are critical if you want to improve your numbers:
- Ad Targeting
- Landing Page Copy
- Subscriber Box
- Split Testing
Before we do anything to a landing page, we must first take a look at where your traffic is coming from. Though it is rare, it may just be the case that your landing page is fine, but your ad targeting is not.
If there is a mismatch between who you’re advertising to and who your landing page speaks to, it can look as though your landing page is performing badly. What might actually be happening is that you’re targeting the wrong people in your advertising campaigns.
When the landing page and ad targeting don’t align, you’re going to attract the wrong kind of people. They’ll take one look at your landing page, realize it’s not relevant for them and then click the back button.
When setting up an advertising campaign, go through everything with a fine tooth comb. Ensure that there is a sufficient level of coherency between who you’re advertising to and who your landing page speaks to. In doing so you’ll avoid the rabbit hole of forever changing your landing page only to get consistently poor results.
You need to make sure that your landing page headline is the best that it can be. The headline is the thing that most people often look at first. It tends to determine what action people might take next.
If you use paid traffic, you need to make sure that your headline matches the information that was found in the ad that you placed.
Ensure that the benefit promise does not change and that you use the same kind of language. For instance, don’t advertise, ‘lose a six kilos in six days,’ and then have a headline that says, ‘learn this new gym technique.’
In my experience, I have found that as long as you keep some consistency between the ad and the headline, you can avoid some of the problems related to your ad targeting. You can use your ad to prequalify people, avoiding clicks that don’t come from your ideal customer. The consistent headline will then reaffirm to the person who clicked that they’re in the right place.
If you’re having some trouble creating a great headline, read this article.
From what I’ve found, headlines don’t need to be complicated. Be specific and include a benefit. If you see a headline you like, emulate it. Keep a swipe file in an Evernote account and borrow from the best.
Most of the people who operate a landing page have something that they’re giving away in order to build their email list. If you find that your landing page is not performing well, it could just be that your giveaway sucks.
This might be a hard thing to hear, as you might have worked forever on that 50-page ebook. I’ve been in this position before and it can sometimes be tiresome to know that you’ve got to work on something else to give away.
I have found that when this problem happens, it generally occurs because I don’t know my target market well enough.
You need to know what your target market has a burning desire for. If I was marketing to freelancers and had a giveaway called, ‘how to make your website look awesome,’ it probably wouldn’t get that many downloads. However, if I had a giveaway called ‘how to consistently generate clients and avoid quiet months,’ that would have a much better response.
Admittedly, those names suck, but I hope you understand the point I’m trying to make. Freelancers worry about winning their next client. Once their existing contract ends, they might have to put up with a month or two without income. This is a much more pressing problem than having a website that doesn’t look awesome.
Your giveaway does not need to be complicated and should just aim to solve one pressing problem. Search the relevant forums and speak one-on-one with your potential clients. Find out what is going on in their heads and how you can help them.
This concept applies to ebooks, webinars, audio recordings and everything else that might exist as a giveaway.
There’s some debate as to what’s more important, the headline or the image. For me the use of an image generally depends on what your landing page looks like.
Some formats allow for a big image and some do not. The more space an image takes, the more attention it draws, and hence, the more importance it gains.
The image tends to vary depending on what you’re promoting. If there’s a live webinar taking place, you might have a picture of yourself. You might boost the credibility in the photo by having a picture of yourself when you were speaking at an event.
If the image is promoting an ebook, you could just have the cover of the ebook present. This will emphasize that you can help share some insight on a burning problem that they have.
You could just be running a very simple landing page, with a big background image. If the background image includes a person, try to select an image that has the person looking at the optin box. (This tends to direct visitors’ eyes to the box.)
Remember your goal is to get people to sign up. You don’t want to have an image that is so dazzling that it distracts them from their original intention. Keep your image simple and ensure that it’s relevant and serves a purpose. The image should contribute to the overall goal of making a visitor take an action—in this case signing up.
Though not always the case, you might also want to make the ad image match the landing page image. This coherency may lead to a higher number of signups.
Landing Page Copy
If you don’t have much of an image on your landing page, the copy should save the day.
The text on your landing page needs to be relevant to who you’re advertising to and what you’re giving away.
You don’t want to have a big bunch of text that is hard to read and irrelevant. What you need to do is ensure that everything is to-the-point and easy to read quickly.
Most landing pages use a small paragraph and then some bullet points. The paragraph can be used to qualify people further. Though this will not always do anything to reduce your ad spend, it will help you reach people who are more suited to your business.
The bullet points need to be benefits-rich and scannable.
Bullet points are almost like mini headlines. The golden rule when creating bullet points and headlines is to convey benefits, not features.
Don’t tell them what it is—tell them what it can do.
A hypothetical example: ‘Learn about this fat burning machine that automatically contracts muscle fibres.’ A benefit headline/bullet point would be, ‘Finally a way to burn fat without leaving the couch.’ A curious statement, but hopefully you get the point!
It is also a good idea to make sure the copy stands out from the background. Make sure your text color contrasts the background. If it’s hard to read, the overall quality of your landing page goes down along with its readability. Though aesthetic doesn’t always matter, readability is important. If they can’t read it they won’t know why they should opt in.
And remember, at the end of your copy include a call to action. You need to keep in mind that you have to direct people and let them know what to do next. Tell them to enter their email address and get the giveaway.
You’ve seen the stories and I’ve seen them too. They tend to go a little like this: local man changes sign-up button color and gets 500% opt in increase.
Whilst that’s not impossible, it’s not something you should be devoting your entire energy towards when improving your subscriber box. There are a few other things that you can do in order to get great results that lend themselves to a better sign-up rate.
Firstly, think about including a note that tells visitors their email addresses won’t be shared or abused. It doesn’t have to be a long message and can simply say something like, ‘We never spam.’
Next, you could experiment with the number of details you’re requesting. Some people have found that when they just ask for an email address, sign-up rates dramatically rise. This depends on your business and what you’re looking to do. Even as small a change as asking only for their first name and email can raise subscriber numbers.
After that you might want to experiment with what the actual sign up button says. Different calls to action can give you varying response rates. Try a few and see which one works. Of course, at this point, you could also experiment with the colors of your button. Just remember, this is often a lower priority than the points we reviewed above.
You need to make sure you’re split testing your landing page. Failure to do so could mean you’re leaving tons of money on the table.
Many times, we think we know what works best on a landing page. As marketers, however, we have to get into the habit of testing our assumptions. A small tweak to your headline can potentially yield some massive results. You’ll never know if you don’t split test. If you can afford it- try things that you think are absurd and let the numbers do the talking.
For me the best tool when it comes to split testing a landing page is Visual Website Optimizer. You don’t need to be a tech whiz kid to get good results, and making changes with their help is really easy. (By the way, I am in no way affiliated with them. I’ve just used their products and like them.)
When split testing, change only one thing at a time. This will let you know what is actually contributing to a change in the numbers. You can then make an accurate comparison to the old original version.
It’s okay to test some crazy changes. You might just stumble upon something that actually works well. The more a/b testing you do, the more you’ll know what works best.
When you’re split testing, remember to give everything a little bit of time. Don’t assume a landing page change doesn’t work after a few visits. Let it run for a day or two (or a month or two) and then see what the numbers say. You need to reach statistical relevance before you can evaluate the results of your test.
Try working on the headline first. Then make some changes to the bullet points or the image. As mentioned before, the headline is a major component of your landing page. Split testing it will help you focus on big wins when improving your numbers.
Other ideas to experiment with
Before we say anything about scarcity, I want to emphasize one point: You should be ethical. Don’t say something that is not true and don’t pretend you’re going to run out of digital ebooks.
However, if scarcity is something that applies to what you’re doing, whether it be webinar seats or product giveaways, consider it. It often works well for businesses that deal with tangible goods, or those who are looking to build anticipation for a release of some sort.
Figure out a way that you might be able to work it into your funnel. But remember—don’t lie.
Social proof comes in many forms and can boost the credibility of your page massively. If you have the means to do so, the option of including testimonials can help. We don’t want to overcomplicate things, so keep it brief. If you have a testimonial that speaks directly to the people you’re trying to reach, consider using it.
Watch Someone Use Your Website
This tends to work better when testing websites as a whole, though it can still work well with a landing page.
Find someone nearby and ask them to take an action on your landing page. Watch them and see how they interact with your page. Where do they click, even though there is no clickable element? What do they spend the most time doing? What is their opinion?
Crazy Egg heatmaps can help you do some of this. The collated data can provide valuable insight on the actions that people are taking on your website.
With landing pages, you only want someone to do one specific thing. Watching someone (or gathering data on people using your landing page) will let you know if they know what that one specific thing is.
Different Forms of Media
If your landing page only includes an image, try swapping it out with a video. A video will need to be created so that it conveys the right message. Those who use a video on their landing page sometimes set the video to autoplay. Experiment with different video styles and see if it helps.
Though it was mentioned before that bullet points can be helpful, you might want to include some longer copy too.
This would most likely be placed on the bottom of the landing page, and would allow for people to learn more about what you’re offering. If you’re using long copy make sure you’re regularly placing signup buttons throughout the page.
Taking Things to the Next Level
Improving your landing page can give you a chance to take things to the next level. Once you know where to focus your attention, making the changes should be a walk in the park.
The job of improving a landing page is never done. You’ll always want to do some split testing to see if you can drive your numbers even higher. You can experiment with different headlines, images and bullet points. You can even make a radical change to the overall layout. As long as you’re constantly trying new things you should be good.
You don’t always have to be original when making these changes. If you see an idea you like, you can emulate it. Keep your own swipe file and synthesize various landing pages to produce one that is going to be a top performer.
Put some of the tips mentioned into action and see how they work out for you. If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, leave a comment below. Good Luck!