Let's face it – you wouldn't have a landing page in the first place if you didn't want it to convert! So if your site isn't as effective as you'd like it to be, consider the following seven tips on how to improve your landing page conversions.
Tip #1 – Split Test Continuously
Split testing is a powerful way to ensure that your landing page is as effective as possible, so it's safe to say that if you don't currently have a split test running and you aren't making decisions based on the data these tests provide, you're leaving money on the table!
Split testing refers to the process of running different landing page options against each other in order to improve the effectiveness of a page. For example, using an A/B split testing script, you could create two separate versions of your landing page with different headlines and have them served up to different visitors randomly. The headline that resulted in the most conversions would be determined the winner, allowing you to make page improvements based on data – not assumptions.
A/B split testing refers to tests that pit one variable against an alternative – in the case above, the landing page headline. This type of testing can also be used on page colors, call to action text, image placement and other variables, and can be easily implemented using the Google Website Optimizer program. Alternatively, multivariate split testing checks combinations of different variables against each other – though for most beginners, it's best to start with the simpler A/B split testing protocol.
Tip #2 – Build Trust
In this age of rampant identity theft and information security breaches, consumers are – understandably – wary of giving out their personal and financial details online. And although online purchases are becoming more standard than they were even 5-10 years ago, the trust barrier is still a hurdle you're going to have to overcome in order to improve your landing page conversions.
A Stanford study found that 46 percent of web sales are lost on sites lacking the critical elements to build trust, so consider these two key factors with regard to your landing page's trust level:
- Appearance – Good design matters, so if your site looks like a 1996 Geocities page, your customers are likely going to hesitate to hand over their credit card numbers. Fortunately, it's easy to fix unprofessional design with an inexpensive WordPress theme or by hiring a web designer to create a new look for your site.
- Credibility – When potential customers are thinking about a purchase, they want to know as much as possible about the product – and that includes knowing who you are! Sharing information about you and your company (especially details about your authority in your chosen niche) will help to build a personal connection between you and your visitor, building credibility and allowing trust to form more quickly.
Tip #3 – Offer a Guarantee or Return Policy
According to Darren Rowse, the author of Problogger who's sold over 40,000 ebooks:
“I know for a fact that at least a proportion of my readers buy my ebooks because they know that if they don't like them, they can get their money back. I regularly receive emails, see tweets, and get comments on posts from readers explicitly saying that they liked the idea of being able to taste and see before being committed to the purchase.”
Offering some type of trial period or money-back guarantee removes one of the major hurdles many people have to purchasing products online – the concern that they'll be ripped off with useless, junk products. The most effective guarantees are set windows (typically 30- or 60-day periods) where buyers can request a refund with no questions asked.
Tip #4 – Test Functionality
There's nothing like getting all excited about a product you've just found online, only to realize that the order form isn't working correctly! Even if your website is set up correctly in the beginning, a number of things can cause your functionality to go haywire – including payment processor glitches, WordPress plugin updates and website hacking attempts.
To prevent frustrated buyers from leaving your website without purchasing, check your order processing thoroughly once a month, as well as whenever you update your site and its components.
Tip #5 – Improve Your Headlines
Since you only have a few seconds on average to capture a web visitor's attention, drafting a strong headline for your landing page is crucial. If yours aren't getting the job done, consider the following proven headline structures from Copyblogger:
- Say it simply and directly (ex – “Pure silk blouses … 30% off”)
- State the big benefit (ex – “Now! Moonlight Your Way to a Million Dollars.”)
- Announce exciting news (ex – “At Last, American Scientists Have Created the Perfect Alternative to a Mined Diamond!”)
- Appeal to the “how to” instinct (ex – “How to make money working from home with your PC.”)
- Pose a provocative question (ex – “Do You Make These Six Common Mistakes On Your Taxes?”)
Tip #6 – Focus on Your Visitor
The old adage of, “Sell benefits, not features” is especially important when it comes to improving your conversion rates. But you don't have to be a master copywriter to employ this principle effectively – you just need to put a little time into thinking through what your target visitors' wants and needs are, and what they're hoping to get out of the product.
Your Etsy store isn't just selling mittens. You're selling a handmade product that will help your customers' stay warm on cold winter days and feel proud for supporting local artisans. Likewise, your ebook sales page isn't just selling recipes to gluten-free families. You're helping to calm a worried mother who's struggling to make sure her relatives' nutritional needs are met in the face of a scary diagnosis.
Take a second to look at your landing page from your visitors' eyes. Is it immediately apparent how the product will help them? Are you conveying these points in a way that makes them viscerally feel how the product will improve their lives? If not, work to add more detail about your product's benefits to your landing page copy.
Tip #7 – Know Your USP
The USP (or “unique selling point/proposition”) is a simple idea that's been beaten by today's marketing theorists. So instead of spending pages and pages dissecting this technique, let's simplify it a bit. Your USP is the reason that people should buy from you and not someone else.
Continuing from our earlier example, maybe your mittens have an extra-fuzzy lining that no one else has. And that's great – but if no one knows about this feature, why would they want to buy from you in the first place?
With your USP in mind, take a look at your landing page. Do you see your USP laid out explicitly in your copy? Is it crystal clear what advantages you offer and why you're a better choice than your competitors? By taking the time to add this content to your site, as well as addressing the strategies discussed in the previous tips, you'll improve your landing page conversion rates – ultimately leading to more leads, sales and profits for you.