“I need to increase conversions!” This is the first thought on every web marketer’s mind when they look at their landing pages.
Doctors end up studying throughout their lives to keep themselves abreast with the advances in medicine all over the world. If you look at it, it’s the same with us web marketers too. With the technological advances and changes in user behavior, we have no option but to evolve with them. This can happen only when we keep in tune with the ever-changing landscape of the Internet and use advanced techniques in our marketing efforts.
Marketers, who understand that the web has evolved, look at optimization of pages and maximize their impact. Believe me; nothing can be more exciting than talking about something we all happen to love – conversions.
Even if you feel you’ve read a lot on this topic, have a little patience and see what I have to say. Hopefully, you will enjoy the little spin on on-page optimization and landing pages. This is something I have keenly observed other marketers talk about and implemented successfully. When you go about it in the proper manner, you can’t go wrong – is what I believe.
Before venturing into the unknown, let’s take a look at what has remained constant over the years.
On-Page Optimization Factors That Remain Constant
- Visual Appeal – First impressions are influenced by the visual appeal of a site. Visually appealing content and images, usage of bullets spread out well on the page makes it easier and pleasing to the eye, having a direct impact on user performance and satisfaction. It has been seen that if a user likes the appearance at first glance, they may continue to like it irrespective of how the usage factor of the site is.
- Call To Action – We all know what this is. Big and bold words attract people. We want people to understand clearly what they are supposed to do when they land on the page. A study shows that websites that have a call to action along the user’s eye path are successful.
- Branding – The landing page has to be branded and instill trust in first-time viewers. Branding is not just your company logo or name or even colors, it is the sum total of user experience of you as a company providing a product or service.
While these basic elements remain as important as they were before, as I said before, things have changed and the perception of users has changed too.
Changes in Web User Behavior
As technology changes the face of the Internet, the typical web user is evolving every day and the expectations seem to shift as well.
- Increased Competition – For one thing, earlier the competition was very less and users were not exposed to so many sites on a single topic. Their expectations have increased and you need to cater to that higher level of expectation.
- Authority – With so many authority sites around, ordinary sites stand no chance. Today, the need to show you are an authority has increased and it is important that your landing page reveals that you KNOW. This usually happens when people see others talking about you and there is activity. A feeling of community is important. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, this is a necessity today.
- Better Designs – With so many great designers out there, people get to see beautifully made sites. If you have to keep up with such well-dressed websites, yours needs to be on par too. The bounce rate is going to be high if people don’t find your site visually appealing and of high standard.
- Personal Touch – Web marketers today understand the importance of being transparent and open. People need to know who you are and why you are selling them a product or service. They need to be able to connect with you at a different level, as this builds their trust in you, and trust is by far the most important selling factor.
How do we handle this change and make sure your landing pages are loved and your product/service sells like hot cakes. Let’s take a look at some advanced on-page optimization and rethink conversions.
Advanced On-Page Optimization
Increase Visitor Count
- Social Sites: This is by far the best bet as of today, if you’re looking for increased conversions. It is very important to get people to like and follow you.
- Memberships: Check to see if it is possible to get people to sign up for a Membership. If it makes sense, then you got to see where to put it up on your landing page to attract people.
You need to involve and keep visitors busy on your site and slowly lead them deeper into the site. This can be done by either providing downloads or engaging them in some other way with interestingly placed links to deeper pages.
Most web marketers neglect doing this, but providing a demo on the site works great. A free trial that allows people to explore the product is an advanced optimization technique. It also provides you with a whole lot of information, such as the number of people that visit that demo and how they interact and engage there.
If you were sure that all you’re going to be getting is accolades, you would surely do anything to make that happen. But feedback through surveys on the site is very important, since that’s what leads to conversions. Get people to complete more surveys and give more feedback. The very fact that people are spending time taking the surveys to provide you feedback shows that they like your site and you. You will need to spend time on this!
Brand is a big word and strengthening is done by experts in the company. It is these people who ensure people see us in a certain way. Well, you can do this on your landing pages effectively without hiring a battalion of experts. You must build a story over time. When talking of a brand, what comes to mind is the logos and testimonials, but there’s a whole lot more that needs to be done for the modern user.
Why not show them your byline? Use mission statements and place them appropriately where it is seen clearly and makes an impact. What about awards – have you won any? Are they buried deep down in some section nobody looks at? Dig them up and make them more visible. Be consistent about everything you say about your product or company throughout the website. While using adjectives is important, over-doing it can have a negative impact.
Most marketers have their contact details like phone number, email and shipping policy on the landing pages. But bringing all of them together in a single badge helps send trust signals from a single space and not scattered all around. For example, if they don’t see your shipping policy just because it is not visible, they will simply assume that you’ve not bothered to put it up because you don’t have a good policy. This all-in-one badge is something you have to put up, so start thinking of the perfect placement to get some eyeballs on it.
It amazes me to see the number of marketers that don’t pay heed to this. Using words that are expected of them or using words that sound funny is the trend. How about doing something that reveals you, your brand and culture to them? People love seeing positivity through positive words. Look at your site impartially and see how you can change things there.
Test, Test, Test
The toughest challenge of all! Marketers understand it’s important but most fail to implement.
It is easy to make changes based on what is considered right, but how about making doubly sure that what you did works. Testing brings all the elements on your page to life. It makes a difference to your conversions and to your business. Test the whole layout and check out the visual aesthetic of your site through the eyes of your audience. Does your evolved audience like it? What else needs to be added? Are there other features you can add to get their attention?
As an example, Content Rules has a well-optimized page. The design is simple with very few font variations and attracts direct attention to the call to action. Images are used thoughtfully, and a thumbnail preview of the eBook is given to show visitors what they will be receiving once the form is filled. The brand validation is done by giving the logos below the fold. I feel they can improve their landing page further by adding social elements.
Apart from the basic landing page optimization, these are the new and more advanced on-page optimization tactics that really need to be looked at with all seriousness. If you can look at your landing page and think, “This is going to make a difference,” then perhaps you will feel the impact.
As a business, rethink your goals to make sure you hit the bigger targets. Remember that having a presence on the Web is not the same as having a successful website. To reap the full benefits of your Internet investment, you must ensure you actually implement the changes we talked about and test them.