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Newbie Growth Hacker Series: Landing Pages that Convert [Part 2 of 3]

by Chelsea Baldwin

In the first article of this series, we helped you set up ads to growth hack your way to more traffic on your landing pages.

If you implemented that advice, we hope you’ve seen an increase in quality traffic, along with a boost in your bottom-line ROI simply by the fact that a big part of marketing is the law of large numbers: the more (and higher quality) traffic you get, the more conversions you get.

But now that you’ve got more eyeballs on your landing page, how to you take those eyeballs from point A to point B in the most efficient manner?

growth hacker guide to landing pages

Growth Hack Your Landing Page Optimization: Part 2 of an Effective Sales Funnel

The advice on making a good landing page is endless. Especially here on Crazy Egg. You can learn how to personalize landing pages, read your visitor’s mind, and trim out unneeded elements, among many other things.

But in the spirit of growth hacking and getting it done quickly, we’re going to take you through the growth-hacking tricks of six key landing page elements to turn more of your visitors from skeptics to customers.

1. Having One Goal

Nothing creates confusion quite like asking your visitors to do two (or three, or four) things at once.

When the next step to take isn’t 100% clear, people get confused, have cold feet, and close your window without converting.

One page = One goal. No more, no less.

Imagine yourself trying to buy a new toothpaste. Your last one was just a toothpaste and didn’t quite cut it because you found your teeth got yellow.

You walk into one store that has two choices: a normal toothpaste and one with a whitening agent and anti-cavity protection. The choice is clear: you pick the last one.

You know you made the right decision and you don’t experience buyer’s regret. Now imagine you walk into a store with lots of choices, including the two choices above, each kind comes in 10 different flavors, and there’s variations of the whitening/anti-cavity balance you have to study before finally narrowing it down to five tubes you think are equally good. There’s not one “perfect” tube. If you buy one, you worry one of the others could have been a better choice.

The same applies for your landing pages. Don’t try to sell a million different versions of the same thing. Stick to one version of one thing.

landing page calls to action

AIU uses many different types of CTAs in the same screen, leaving the user to decide what is best for him. While this might be a good idea in theory, it doesn’t play out that way.

landing page calls to action

Despite having a long landing page, Fresbooks uses the same CTA every time: a free 30-day trial.

See what we mean?

Only one goal = more conversions.

2. Word Choice: Benefits vs. Loss & Commands

Word choice is crucial… especially if you’re creating a minimalistic landing page with a small amount of text.

The better your word choice, the quicker and more excitedly eyes move across the page, closer and closer to your CTA—for that all-important conversion.

Growth hackers know a thing or two about word choice and how to differentiate from traditional sales knowledge about highlighting benefits for more conversions.

This can be a bit difficult to explain without practical examples, so let’s get down to it:

Benefits < Avoiding Loss
Be honest with yourself, which creates a stronger emotional reaction: adding $100 to your bank account or losing $100 out of your wallet?

The fact is, humans have a stronger emotional reaction to money loss than they do to money gain. This doesn’t necessarily have to be about money. It can be customers, health, or Web traffic. There’s a stronger emotional connection (and therefore more of a gut action) when it comes to preventing loss than gaining extra. It’s basic survival instincts.

The technical term for this is loss aversion.

lading page word choice loss aversion

ClearBooks uses visual loss aversion techniques to show their customers that ClearBooks will help them avoid the loss of valuable time and clarity.

Benefits > Commands
There are times when highlighting benefits will help you, though.

Whether it’s in your headlines, CTA buttons, or any other action-oriented text, there’s nothing grammatically wrong about “Sign up now” or “Get a free trial.” And there’s nothing about phrases like these that will turn your visitors off, either.

The trick to growth hacking is not in avoiding turning them off, it’s about adding another push to turn them on. Instead of “Start your free trial today,” try something like “Start converting more visitors today” or even “Stop losing potential conversions.”

landing page word choice benefits

PayPal uses the small amount of text on their landing page to focus on faster payments, rather than creating a free account.

3. Interactivity

Taking a look into one of social media’s most popular content producers, Business Insider found that BuzzFeed was really onto something with interactive content. So much so that when they stopped producing so much of it, they got 3 million fewer shares.

You might not be anything like BuzzFeed, but making your landing page interactive, even if it’s something really simple, engages users, increases their trusts, and makes them remember you.

growth hacking landing page interactive form

Hi Oscar has a helpful interactive screen on their page. Potential customers can fill in easy, basic information on their marital status, children, income and location for an instant, free quote. It’s memorable, creates trust, and establishes Hi Oscar as a go-to source for information.

While trying to growth hack a sales funnel, an interactive element on a landing page may not be your top priority. We get it—it’s extra work that you might not have time for at the moment. But the way these elements help you stand out is really irreplaceable.

Even if an interactive element isn’t in your initial landing page plans, consider adding it. You’ll be surprised at how well it will hack your traffic numbers into more conversions.

4. Eye Patterns & CTA Placement

The key of any good landing page is that it keeps the eyes moving forward.

You might have a killer hero image, and that’s great, but don’t put all your stock in that. It’s not enough to hack the traffic coming onto your landing page for more conversions.

Keep the eyes moving towards your CTAs… or place your CTAs and lead-in text where the eyes and the cursor naturally move.

It’s much easier for a growth hacker to follow natural patterns than to attempt to forcibly create new ones.

The general rule of thumb is that eyes follow an F-shape pattern. The basic idea behind this is that as a user scrolls down, he glances horizontally less and less. The vast majority of his attention is on whatever’s above the fold and/or on the left-hand side of the page.

So if you put your CTA on the bottom right of your last paragraph because that’s where you think your visitors will stop reading and start wanting the next step, you’ll be missing out on a lot.

Take the page markup of your landing page and draw a big F over it. Do your CTA elements fall in the general line of that F?

Yes? Perfect.

No? Adjust them. You’ll notice a difference.

landing page cta visual pattern

Shopify India places their calls to action along this F-shaped visual pattern.

5. Headlines

Right in line with the section about word choice, headlines are one of the quickest ways to move visitors’ eyes forward down the page and get your message noticed, even if they’re merely skimming.

If you want any chance of your text or CTA elements to get read, your headlines are the gateway that lead the eyes there. If they’re not enticing: forget about it.

Simply throwing up keyword-heavy phrases won’t cut it if you want to growth hack your landing page. You need to put some more thought behind it.

For example, Upworthy is pretty good at creating enticing headlines that are tempting to click on and promote more reading. At the time of writing, they had nearly 7.2 million Facebook likes.

In their advice on how to make things go viral, they suggest taking the time to write out 25 headlines for a piece of content before choosing one (slide 23). For just one video, it made a difference of 466,000 views (slide 25).

landing page headlines growth hacking

Writing out multiple headlines helps you uncover the secret to growth hacking your way to more readers.

Speaking from my own experience, it’s surprising how well this works. The first few times you do it, it’ll be like pulling teeth after you write about six. But then you’ll start to strike gold.

Use this exercise for each of the headlines on your landing page, and if you use heat tracking software, you’ll see significant differences in the number of eyes that get to your CTAs.

6. Social Proof

No matter how much we like to think of ourselves as independent individuals, we’re all suckers for social proof.

Integrating it onto your landing page is pretty easy: all you need to do is harness the power of the crowds that have come before and display their data, testimonials or both.

Have 3,000 people bought one product and/or given it at least a 4-star rating? Do you have one or two quotes from your clients about how happy they are with your services? Or could you ask for one?

Then you’re golden.

Research has shown that social proof is even more powerful than a promise to save money.

For example, a study reported in the Wall Street Journal found a significant difference when they told people one of two things: either they could save $54 on their electricity bill by using fans instead of air conditioning, or that 77% of their neighbors already used fans instead of air conditioning.

Those who were convinced their neighbors were doing the same thing dropped their energy use by 10%, while the money-saving group didn’t even reduce their usage by 3%. In terms of potential conversions, that’s pretty significant.

landing page social proof

Crazy Egg’s landing page utilizes social proof by encouraging visitors to join the ranks of highly popular online businesses who also use their services.

Growth Hacking New Landing Pages

If you’re a growth hacker, what are some other points you think newbie growth hackers should implement when creating a landing page for a new sales funnel? Any changes you made in your landing page that had overnight success?

If you liked this article, check out more conversion-based posts on Crazy Egg or other posts by Chelsea Baldwin, including the other two parts of this series.

8 Comments

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Chelsea Baldwin

Chelsea Baldwin is a web marketing consultant and business writer. She specializes in creating strategy-based content and marketing plans for better ROI and more sales. You can get in touch with her at chelsea@carolinafreelancewriter.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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  1. Brian says:
    December 5, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Like a knucklehead, I bypassed this article a few weeks ago. Bad idea. Very good stuff! Glad I retraced my steps! All the best!

    Brian

    • Chelsea Baldwin says:
      December 5, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks Brian, I’m glad it was helpful to you!

  2. Joel Cole says:
    November 25, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Is there a link anywhere to Part 1? I can’t find one.

    Also, do you know what plugin is used to create the social links on the left side of your post?

  3. Ryan Stewart says:
    November 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Great article! Just as an FYI though, there are a ton of links leading to 404 pages…

    • Chelsea Baldwin says:
      November 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Hey Ryan, thanks for the heads up! There was something crazy going on with the links getting extended in the text editor. Anyway, they’re working now 🙂

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