Landing pages and conversions go hand-in-hand, or at least, they do if your landing pages have been fully optimized and meticulously refined to improve every last element.
Whatever your business and whatever your goals, the purpose of landing pages remains unchanged and will do until the end of time - to convert. Ideally, you want every page on your website optimized for conversions, but landing pages need extra focus.
Why? Because you've lavished time and care on creating a landing page that really converts. Because you've agonized over every headline, turn of phrase and call to action. You've done everything you can think of to maximize that conversion rate, and yet, despite your best efforts, it's still not enough. You still get the sense that there's more you could be doing to generate more conversions - and you're absolutely right - there is.
There's an art to creating high converting landing pages and even if you master that art you shouldn't be content, you should always be thirsty for more: more hits, more clicks and more conversions. More everything.
But aside from the time and energy you've lavished on them, there's another reason why your landing pages deserve to be as close to perfect as it's possible to get - because often you've spent money on acquiring that traffic. Be it through paid search or promoted posts, attracting landing page traffic can call for dipping into your own pocket. If you're going to justify that investment, you need to see some sort of a return. Thankfully, it's easy to quantify, because the beauty of landing pages is that they're designed with a specific goal in mind. Either you capture that lead or you don't. It really is that simple.
The conversion rate you can expect from a landing page varies greatly from industry to industry, but the mean average stands at just over 2% - in other words, for every 50 readers who land on your page, one will submit their details in the desire to learn more. Even if you're better than that and your landing pages are converting at 3%, don't get too self-congratulatory. The top 25% of all landing pages convert at a rate of 10% or higher. How do you hit those sort of giddy heights? There's no simple answer but there are lots of little answers, subtle tweaks you can make which all add up.
Try making the following improvements to your landing pages then sit back and watch your conversion rate climb. And the best part? You don't even need to hit double figures to make this exercise a success - even a 2% improvement is likely to double the amount of leads you're currently capturing.
Here are ten keys to boosting landing page conversion:
1. Start at the top
Before they've hit your page, the first thing that any visitor will see is your headline and your meta description.
A killer headline can't atone for mediocre content any more than killer content can atone for a mediocre content. One thing's for sure though: if you're to get those clicks in the first place, you need a strong value proposition. An irresistible hook that will lure the reader in but without resorting to clickbait.
Be enticing, but also be honest, and deliver on the promise you make in your headline and accompanying meta description.
2. Nail your first sentence
In the television series The Wire, Avon Barksdale says "You only do two days [in prison]. That's the day you come in and the day you come out." It might sound crazy, but that's a philosophy which also applies to landing pages.
Every sentence matters - but there are two sentences which matter most: your opening sentence and your closing sentence. Those are the ones you hook the reader with and leave them with. Keep yours concise, compelling and on point.
Read the first sentence of your landing page. Does it compel you to read on? If it doesn't, delete it and try again.
3. Ditch the distractions
Pop-ups; flyovers; overly prominent share buttons; sidebars: yeah you can ditch all of that.
Your landing page is designed with one goal in mind - anything which doesn't directly contribute to that goal is a distraction and should go.
4. Mobile matters
You already know the importance of optimizing your landing pages for mobile - of course you know - but that parallax background and autoplay video look so good on desktop, right?
It doesn't matter: if it's slowing down the mobile experience or failing to display properly, it has to go.
The best landing pages are often the simplest.
5. Make them an offer they can't refuse
Generally, you throw your readers some sort of a bone on a landing page - be it a free eBook, guide or cheatsheet. That's fine, but be sure to make it worth their while.
Thin content that isn't worth the three seconds it takes to download is no use to anyone - it won't do your readers any good and it won't do your prospects of converting them into customers any good either.
6. Use awesome images
Ditch the cliched stock photography in favor of striking visuals that will leave a lasting impression.
People often skim web pages, but if there's an image that stands out, they'll be more inclined to slow down and stick around.
7. Make yourself contactable
A good proportion of the visitors on your landing page will have never heard of you. Anything you can do to reassure them that you're legit - like including your telephone number and email address, will help to build up trust and has been shown to increase conversion rates.
8. Include a testimonial
People care about what other people think. A genuine testimonial on your landing page will do more than any amount of carefully scripted soundbites and slick imagery ever could.
Keep it real with real testimonials from real customers.
9. Use directional cues
It follows that a landing page should be read from top to bottom, but a page will typically contain multiple elements including text, headers, photos, graphs, charts and tables. To make it clear where the reader's attention should turn next, use directional arrows or even an image of a person looking directly at the CTA.
It sounds obvious, but you'd be amazed how much directional cues can improve the flow and guide more readers to that all-important CTA.
10. Start the clock
Time-based words such as 'now' or 'today' can make a huge difference to the response rate of your call to action. Don't just urge readers to sign up - urge them to do it now. Time is of the essence, so make it clear that the quicker they commit, the quicker they can start reaping the rewards.
Whether your landing pages are performing exceptionally, averagely or miserably, don't settle for what you've got. Keep on refining them, because for every percentage point your conversion rate jumps, your revenue jumps by significantly more. Optimize, test, refine and then repeat all over again.