The truth is landing page optimization is not rocket science. There are certainly best practices to follow, bad tips to avoid, metrics to analyze, and times when you should throw caution to the wind and go with your gut - but for the most part landing page optimization is something any good marketer can do with the right amount of time, tools, processes and advice.
Here are ten tips you can use to start creating high converting landing pages for lead gen:
- Use landing pages to capture leads
When a viewer is sent to the home page of a website, he or she can “go anywhere, from anywhere.” This puts the burden on the viewer to find the info he or she needs. Instead of placing this burden on a potential customer, use a landing page to roll out the red carpet by offering up only hyper-relevant content based on the ad clicked.
- Message match ads & pages
An ad is not complete without it’s matching landing page, and vice versa. Think of the two as peanut butter and jelly; one wouldn’t be right without the other. Whatever you promise in an ad, should be directly fulfilled in the landing page. Visitors will “land and leave” if your page doesn’t fulfill the promise.
Clutter leads to low conversion rates. Make your landing pages a no-brainer by only providing what is essential. You may be tempted to include paragraphs of information, your logo, a form, a product shot and so on, but through testing you can learn exactly what you need and what you can leave off for later.
- Improve your content and copy
Remember, landing pages are supposed to pitch, not inform. Make sure your copy sells.
- Check your forms
Don’t drown your users in long forms. As a marketer you see form fields as a way to collect good user data; however the viewer sees the form as a hurdle to getting the information behind it. If you’re looking to generate a lot of leads, ask only for a name and email address. If you want to generate high quality leads, than you’ll need to include more specific form fields. This is always a balancing act, and you need to find what’s right for you to generate leads and maintain quality. Just cut what you can.
To get started, you should probably begin with a few A/B tests (this is where you compare apples to oranges). For example you might test a page with a product image vs. a page with a product video. After you find your champion, and have achieved statistical significance to support that, you would then test small changes on the champion. And repeat. Then repeat again. And again. You get the picture!
- Think beyond the page
Think beyond cookie cutter pages, and grab your visitor’s attention! You need to craft conversion-focused experiences. You may want to experiment with pre-conversion segmentation, or tabs or small micro-sites even. Multi-page experiences can be just as conversion-focused as a single page, and they are often a better user experience.
- Segment visitors
Web surfers often develop a click rhythm while they’re flying through pages. Keep them in this rhythm by offering a simple choice on the landing page that filters them into segmented buckets. In just one simple click, you are able to filter out unqualified leads, offer hyper-targeted information, and gain user information that you might otherwise have to ask for in a form field. A good example of segmentation would be offering the choice between small business vs. enterprise level, or personal use vs. company use and so on.
- Video, flash, social, widgets
Visitors expect this! They want to see you, and interact with you, and it’s really to your benefit to meet this expectation. For many viewers just the fact that you have the confidence to show your product in a video is comforting … so much so that they may never even watch it. You can use flash and other applications like it to create tabbed viewing, and you should use social proof as testimonial that your solution works!
- Kick it up a notch!
Get targeted to boost conversions. Be relevant, geotarget clicks and use the longtail to get specific with your viewers. The more personal you can get, the better your chances are for converting clicks into customers.
These ten tips are certainly not the only ones you can follow, but they provide a base for review of your current pages. Landing page optimization is not rocket science, but knowing the science and art behind best practices does help.