These are the notes for our interactive May 10 clinic on Landing Pages. The recording of the event will be posted here in a few days.
If you are participating in the live teleclinic, we will ask you to refresh your page several times through the call as we add data and other notes. Data will appear below this sentence.
Send landing pages to firstname.lastname@example.org
|Landing Page A/B Split Test|
|Overall Improvement in Conversion Rate||40.7%|
|Landing Page Copy Optimization|
|Metric||Page A (Short Copy)||Page B (Long Copy)|
|Landing Page Price Presentation|
|Metric||Page A (with price)||Page B (no price)|
The following list of guidelines is expanded from our previous work on landing pages. They should help you derive the greatest success from your page optimization efforts.
- Are you sending people to the right landing pages? If you are using any paid advertising (such as PPC engines) where you can choose the landing pages of your campaigns, it is essential that the visitor is directed to the most specific page related to the keyword or product they clicked on. In the majority of cases, this is NOT your homepage unless you have very few products or a small service offering.
For example, if someone searches Google for “Canon digital camcorder,” you have a much better chance of closing a sale if you send them directly to a page featuring Canon digital camcorders (complete with pictures, products specs, price, and so on) than if you were to send them to the homepage of your camera retail site. Including you keyword “Canon Digital Camera” in your headline of that landing page has also proven to improve conversion rates and is worthy of testing.
- Make an effort to understand your traffic. Define the major sources of incoming traffic to your site (and be as specific as possible). Within each major source of traffic, define the most popular click you are receiving and which page they are landing on. From the click-through information identify the main reason they clicked through to your page:
a. Did you have the lowest price?
b. The best company rating?
c. The largest selection?
d. A special promotion or offering?
e. The highest ranking on a search engine?
f. A specific keyword from a pay-per-click campaign?
- Using the information developed in point 2, design your landing pages specifically for the reason they clicked through.
For example, if you had the lowest price make sure you include headline text such as “The lowest price on Dealtime.com”.
If you have the highest company rating, use text like “The highest rated company on ResellerRatings.com” (and include your actual rating).
If they clicked because of a special promotion or 10% discount, use a headline that applies the discount to the product they clicked.
- You must use an effective “hook” to keep the shopper on your site. You have only 5 seconds to grab his or her attention, so don’t waste valuable page space on irrelevant information.
Besides click-specific information (point 3), you should also emphasize your company’s value proposition. Focus on elements such as these:
a. Product guarantees or money back guarantees
b. Free or discounted shipping
c. Quantity purchases or bulk discounts
d. Same-day or next-day shipping
e. Special offer or sale information
f. Exceptional customer service or satisfaction guarantees
g. Free trials and no-risk offers
- Utilize third-party credibility indicators. Third-party credibility indicators are one of the most effective ways to communicate that you have a reputable company (no fraud), that customers’ privacy and personal information are safe, and that other customers have had a positive experience shopping with you.
Some examples of credibility indicators would be:
a. Comparison engine ratings (Yahoo!, PriceGrabber, DealTime, etc.)
b. Ratings from sites such as BBBOnline, Bizrate, ResellerRatings.com etc.
c. Site security and protection indicators (Verisign, Trust-e, Thawte, SSL Certification, Hacker Safe).
d. Testimonials from your existing customers
- Utilize effective sales copy that devoid of hype. Focus on implying integrity and accuracy. Review our article “Transparent Marketing” for information on how to earn the trust of skeptical online shoppers:
- Do not overwhelm the visitor with too much information on the page. Strategically placed bold, colored, highlighted, italicized, or enlarged fonts can help to organize content for the reader. Beware of using long paragraphs on the Internet. Use bullets, headers, and white space. Allow the page to breathe.
- Test background colors, link style, and button styles. Many times marketers do not realize the impact background colors, links, and button styles have on the effectiveness of websites but our recent multi variable test makes the impact very clear. Here are some best practices from our multivariable and A/B split tests.
a. White backgrounds usually perform better than patterns or colors. (If you have not tested a white background on your site, it should be a priority.)
b. Drop shadows and “3-D” looking buttons. These effects make the buttons look more “clickable” and easier for the customer to find.
c. Blue text links with underlines out perform rollovers and alternate colors for most sites. Blue text links with underlines are what web pages started with since the inception of the Internet and not other link style today is as recognizable as standard blue with an underline. (That’s why we use them too.)
- If your landing page includes any sort of forms, only require the least amount of information possible to achieve your objective. You should design your pages and forms with the least amount of “friction” as possible.
- Capture the customers email address. The primary objective of your page is typically to get the visitor to the next page, to get an order or to complete an action. Capturing email as a secondary objective is a way for you to monetize more customer visits even if the customer does not make a purchase. Here are a few examples of capturing email addresses.
a. Giveaway or sweepstakes
b. White papers
c. Online courses
d. Email courses
e. Newsletters (that significantly help the customer)
- Test your offer price. If you are charging too much or too little for your product or service, the other optimizations will lose some if not all of their effectiveness.
Become A Certified Online Testing Expert With the Marketing Experiments Professional Certification Program. Register today for classes starting June 15, 2006. The early registration discount ends May 15.