A landing page that doesn't convert (e.g., make the user take the action you desire) is like a salesperson that sits in the closet without a phone or computer all day. A waste. Much like you can train your sales staff to be more effective, you can also optimize your landing pages to be better closers. Often, you'll find that by tuning up your short pitch, and simplifying your landing page, you will see much more positive action from your landing pages. Here're 10 tips to help you optimize your landing pages to get results.
1 - The landing page should be 100% relevant to the call to action (CTA) the user clicked to get there.
In other words, if you place an online ad for a family minivan, the user expects to see information about your family minivan on your landing page. If you send them to your homepage, which is a big waste, where you talk about motorcycles, you will not convert many prospects that are interested in the family minivan. The information on that page isn't specific to the ad that the prospect engaged with.
2 - If something can be said in 7 words, don't say it in 15!
If you are a lawyer, don't write your own landing page copy. If a short story for you is 30 minutes, don't write your own landing page copy. Get to the meat of the offer as quickly as possible, and as to the point as possible. You can provide some fluff, but it needs to be after the focus of the offer.
3 - If you are targeting different user types/demographics, use variations of the same landing page.
This one is simple, but easy to overlook. If you sell the same product to men and women, but men use it for different reasons than women, they should each be directed to their own landing page that touts the selling points to each target prospect. Yes, many online advertising platforms allow you to distinguish male versus female visitors.
4 - Your primary message and call to action (CTA) must be above the fold (visible without scrolling).
When a prospect lands on your page, they shouldn't have to look for the main message and CTA. If you must have a long page of information, the CTA should be repeated throughout the content so the action you want the prospect to take is front and center.
5 - Video is easier for a prospect than reading and will keep them there longer.
It's much easier to sit passively and listen to how great your offer is than it is to read and figure out how great your offer is. It doesn't take a TV studio to create a very effective video for your landing pages. If it will bring more conversions through the door, you should consider it.
6 - Make it easy for prospects to refer your offer.
Have you ever seen an ad online or on TV and thought, so and so could really use that, but human nature (read laziness :)) kept you from going through all of the steps necessary to share the offer with that person? Make it easy for prospects and clients to refer your offer. That might mean adding social sharing or email this to a friends options.
7 - Ask prospects for the least amount of information possible.
If you don't need it, or you can get it later, don't ask for it. In other words, the less information you can request from a prospect, the more likely they are to take the action you want them to take. If you can get away with just asking for a first name and email address, do it. If you don't need phone, company name, etc... then you shouldn't ask for it.
8 - Build trust with testimonials.
Prospects will trust other buyers much more than they will trust you, initially. If you have well known clients, try to use testimonials from them. The more comfort and trust you can build with the prospect on your landing page, the more likely you are to close.
9 - Build trust with certifications, partner logos and professionally designed pages.
Trust is vital if you want a maximum number of prospects to convert. If you have a great BBB rating, show it on your landing page. If you are certified in the topic you are pitching, show the certification. If the prospect may do business with a large partner, show their logo. That serves as a refferal of sorts.
A professionally designed template is important as well. Some people think grabbing a popular, free wordpress template and calling it good is enough. The trouble with this is that there is no distinction between you and the 1000s of other people that are using that free template.
10 - Measure results and adapt.
If you aren't using metrics to evaluate the success of your landing pages, you aren't doing it right. You may have goals ahead of time for the number of prospects that you want to see your landing page offer (impressions) in a given time period, what percentage of impressions lead to a conversion, how many shares of your offer happen, etc...
You need to have a goal and a minimum level of acceptable performance. If you aren't hitting at least your minimums, it's time to re-evaluate the landing page by using the analytics data at your disposal. The analytics data will give clues as to what problems your landing page has and allow you to adapt it to be more successful.
These 10 are a good start, but there are plenty of other optimization techniques at your disposal. Have some to share? Leave them in the comments below!