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Marketing | Feb 24
Elise Dopson on April 1, 2019 (last modified on September 11, 2020) • 20 minute read
It’s disheartening, right?
You want everyone visiting your landing page to turn into a customer, sign-up or lead.
Yet our survey found the majority of marketers run landing pages with a conversion rate below 10%. And while the average conversion rate of a landing page is 26%, it’s still not good enough.
You don’t have to suffer with poor landing page conversion rates forever.
We asked 37 marketers to share their best tip for boosting conversion rates on their landing pages. From prioritizing content above the fold to monitoring on-site behavior, we’re sharing their advice to help you improve yours.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
*Editor’s note: Which of your company’s landing pages are driving enough traffic to achieve the lead volume needed? Which are converting poorly? Grab this free Google Analytics template and instantly visualize the performance of all of your landing pages.
**Are you a HubSpot user? Track and visualize the performance of all of your landing pages with this free template.
It’s all too easy to read a list of tactics, and rush to edit your landing pages.
But Mike Lieberman of Square 2 Marketing recommends focusing on “strategy before tactics.”
He explains: “Instead of jumping in and building a landing page, we take the time to understand who is going to be landing on that page, what we want them to read, watch, and how we want the to feel when they land on this page. This is critical to getting that conversion.”
Before we go any further, ask yourself the questions Mike shared. Focus your entire landing page around the answers–from headline text to video content.
You’ll need to start with solid foundations before we build up.
“Today, consumers demand personal treatment, and when you’re moving them along a path with strategic targeting and retargeting, you’re able to position the appropriate landing page for where they’re at”, says Big Splash Social‘s Anneline Breetzke.
That’s why Breetzke recommends taking time to build landing pages targeted to your buyer personas–because “it makes sense to them as the logical next step, which increases conversions.”
The best part? Anneline has seen fantastic results: “When I started mapping out traffic systems like that, my conversion rate increased from 1.3% to 3-11% (depending on where in the customer journey the page was injected).”
Ashlee Rolkowski, Marketing Consultant at Databox Premier Partner, Lone Fir Creative uses a scene from the Notebook to explain this concept.
She asks, “When’s the last time you watched the movie ‘The Notebook’? Do you remember the scene where Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are having an impassioned argument? It crescendos with Gosling’s character yelling at McAdams, ‘What do you want?!’”
This should jog your memory…
Rolkowski explains, “Too often, brands come across like this online. They’re not sure what their customers want or what they’re looking for, so they end up with messaging that doesn’t connect with them.
The key to a successful landing page starts with empathy. Relating to the customer on their level and letting them know you understand their problem is the basis of smart marketing strategy.
Speaking of empathy, we know it’s not always easy to identify the problem your customer is facing. It can be challenging to express it in a way that’s relevant to their needs and shows how your product or service solves their problem.
That’s where a framework really comes in handy. Having a content guideline to work off of helps you work through writer’s block and ensures your messaging doesn’t miss the mark. We use the StoryBrand marketing approach to build that content guideline. Visitors convert at a higher rate when you tell a story using this framework:
Whether you’re staring at a blank page wondering where to start or you’ve written 1,000 words too many, the StoryBrand framework helps you understand exactly what your customer is looking for and write a clear message that addresses their problem.”
Want an expert to evaluate your website and landing page messaging to maximize your conversions? Request a free data-focused audit of your messaging from Lone Fir Creative.
Nili Zaharony of Penguin Strategies thinks “it’s easy to go on autopilot when creating landing pages.”
“Duplicate a previous landing page, update the text so it reflects the new offer. With so many different tasks on our plates, it’s easy to take these shortcuts. What suffers the most is the value proposition,” Zaharony explains.
But instead of running on autopilot, Nili recommends to “take a moment to step back, think about what value you’re giving away, why people should care and ask if it’s worth the amount of information you’re requesting in your form.”
Above all, your landing pages should be the gateway to value.
That value could be anything from webinars and eBooks to checklists (as Structsales‘ Emelie Svedberg says “have a good conversion rate”), but regardless of the value on offer, make sure it speaks to a specific type of person–and mould your landing pages around that.
Daniel Lynch of Empathy First Media recommends this strategy too, simply recommending to “be transparent with your offering.”
Summarizing, he says: “People are sick of click bait and hunting for details, give people what they are looking, and if they are qualified they will move through the conversion process.”
People are quick to make a first impression.
That’s why Lewis Kemp, CEO of Lightbulb Media, recommends to “resist the temptation to waste valuable real estate telling people who you are and what you do above the fold. Nobody cares.”
Instead, he says: “As soon as a prospect lands on the page you should be telling them how your product/service benefits their lives. Let them make the choice to scroll further to find out more about you as a business.”
Since using this tactic, Lewis has also seen improvements to his conversion rates: “Switching up the standard layout saw one of our pages go from 9% to 23% conversion in two weeks.”
“Chances are that the reader is not going to read every word on the page, but they will definitely read the headlines. You should change and test the copy of your headline, making sure that it is attention-grabbing, clear, concise, and sums up your value proposition”, says Codal‘s Jenna Erickson.
Tamas Torok of Coding Sans runs experiments on her landing page headlines, by creating “some headline variations that trigger emotions. These emotions could be: feeling attractive, assertive, sense of belonging, exclusivity, feeling safe, etc.”
Torok recommends CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer tool “to check the emotional score of your headlines.”
Tamas is dead on the money here: Studies have shown that people rely on emotions, rather than information, to make decisions.
…Including whether to purchase a product, sign-up for an eBook, or gain access to whatever your landing page offers.
It’s no surprise why Tamas’ team “were able to increase the conversion rate of one of our landing pages by 8.4% with only one experiment.”
I’ll bet that copy is already pretty high on your landing page checklist; it’s the way you’re communicating with visitors.
You can’t persuade them to convert without text to tell them why, right?
“In my experience, one of the most effective ways to improve your landing page conversion is to craft a compelling flow of text,” explains Ollie Smith of ExpertSure.
He says: “You need your landing page copy to be convincing, to get the point across and to be genuine.”
You know copy is important, but it’s not easy to craft a seamless flow of text for a landing page if you’re unsure what to include.
Constellix‘s Blair McKee has some advice: “Answer or address user intent within the first paragraph of the page.”
User intent is the solution people are looking for when they land on your page. Are they looking for a blog post filled with information, or are they further along the sales process and almost ready to convert?
You’ll need to suss-out the user intent for your landing page (and the keywords you’re targeting to drive traffic), Blair says.
Here is how to put this into practice: “You could offer a solution to a problem, or incite urgency with a call to action headline that begins with an action verb. The latter validates the user’s intent and suggests that a solution is further down the page, or will be delivered after an action is taken (ie: a form or signup).”
Blair isn’t the only marketer who’s seen results from urgency-focused copy, though.
Tom Berry of Autus Consulting Ltd also recommends to: “Create a sense of urgency e.g. Limited time offers, or say only the first x people will get this freebie,” in order to boost landing page conversion rates.
Ever heard the phrase ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’? Hyfa of Aufait Technologies believes it’s true, and echos the advice of other marketers by saying: “Your landing page should engage users to the point of converting them.”
She doesn’t rely solely on cleverly-crafted, copy though.
“One of the ways you can engage users on your landing page is by adding videos,” she says–a tactic that she predicts “can increase conversions by 80 percent.”
ClydeBank Media‘s John Donnachie also uses video on his landing pages, and says it’s the “the single biggest thing we have done to improve landing page conversions for cold or warm traffic.”
Again, Clyde places the importance on the content of the video, rather than the format he’s using.
He explains: “What we have found to work best is an honest, face-to-face, conversational format that addresses the viewer/prospect. We focus on ‘the big idea’ of the landing page and frame the offer using traditional sales techniques (overcoming objections, qualifying the audience, etc).”
“Split testing landing pages with and without video showed a difference in conversions that soared into the double digits in favor of video. This does mean that each landing page with a different offer will need a different video but because the videos are straightforward and uncomplicated very little editing work is needed.”
If you’re interested in putting Clyde’s tip to work, he has some recommendations:
“Keep it simple, but a few video best practices apply – low volume background music increases the engaging quality of the video and helps mask audio inconsistencies. Captions keep viewers who have their devices muted (or browsers that mute autoplay video) engaged. Simple chyron (lower third graphics) can be used to amplify ‘the big idea’ and keep your videos focused.
…And remember: “Videos make landing pages shine, and they don’t have to be expensive or complicated.”
Think about the last time you lingered over the “confirm purchase” button. Did you buy the product off your own bat, or was the need for recommendations a huge role in your delay?
I’ll bet it’s the latter.
88% of customers will check out reviews before making a final decision on a purchase–which is why these marketers recommend including trust signals to boost your landing page conversion rates.
“Adding trust signals like previous clients, awards, certifications, or testimonials will work wonders”, says Market 8‘s Brian Schofield.
Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers says this is because “customers trust other customers. Users trust other users. People trust other people”, and recommends to collect social proof by asking “your happy users or customers to send you a testimonial”, then including “the best ones on your landing page.”
So, where should you place these testimonials? Your landing page’s design is just as important as the copy.
Catalyst Marketing‘s Ollie Roddy says: “Adding a relevant quote next to the form is a great way to improve conversion rate; it increases the trust in your piece and makes the action of filling out the form social proof.[…] Even placing a carousel of customer quotes next to the form on your ‘Contact Us’ page can work wonders for increasing response rate.”
It’s easy to go overboard with your landing pages.
But Luuk Harleman of Vsee Search Search Marketing advises to “always go for as few distractions as possible. You want to get straight to the point without leaving too much room for your attention to be grabbed away from what the goal is of your landing page.”
That bears one question: Is it possible to create simplistic landing pages with flowing copy, video and social proof, whilst also boosting conversion rates?
The answer is yes. Here’s how five marketers remove distractions, while simultaneously improving conversion rates for their landing pages.
“I have found that reducing the navigational elements can improve conversions significantly”, says NoExam.com‘s John Holloway. “Many times I see advertisers sending traffic to landing pages with tons of links in the top navigation and sidebar. This is distracting to visitors, and can lead to reduced conversion rates.”
Instead, John recommends to “minimize distractions on the landing page to allow users to focus directly on what you want them to do.”
The team at NoExam.com put this into practice by looking “at heat maps of our landing pages and discovered that even just 1 or 2 extra links on a page were being clicked frequently. We removed these distractions and have seen a roughly 10% increase in conversion rates.”
Bryan Coles of RKD summarizes by saying: “The best thing you can do to improve conversions is to remove the site menu from a landing page. This increases conversion by keeping the users focus on that landing page.”
Take a look at the lead capture form you’re using on your landing page.
Make sure you’re not one of the “too many brands try to collect too much data all at once”, says The Good‘s David Hoos, who recommends to “consider where your audience is in the funnel, the amount of value you are asking of them, and what you’re delivering in return.”
He says: “If your user feels like they’re giving up more than they’re getting back, they won’t convert.”
Our survey found the majority of landing page forms have five fields:
But Alexandra Zelenko of DDI Development says the general rule is “the less information you ask for, the higher your conversion rate will be.”
Zelenko says: “That’s why your forms should be easy, clear and functional, ask for minimal information, establish an atmosphere of trust and provide support information. This helps to decrease leads’ abandonment when filling out the form.”
Put this tip into action by establishing the information you need, and the information you’d like. For example:
You can live without the last three, but you’d struggle to create engaging retargeting or nurturing campaigns without the first three.
This follows Meghan Hultquist of HQdigital‘s advice to “Align what information you are requesting or requiring with the value and type of offer you presenting to your audience.”
However, Meghan recommends taking it a step further by using “progressive profiling to simultaneously limit form fields for the user while gathering additional data on your leads. When a previously converted lead or prospect returns to your website and accesses a form, progressive form fields automatically replace one or more fields to capture new information from your visitor.”
“Once your webpage visitors land on your page, they need signals of where to go next”, explains Laura Gonzalez of Audi Bellevue.
This can be done with a clear call to action–something Laura says “will not only help your visitors navigate your site, but this is what will convert your visitors into customers.”
The best part? Building strong and compelling calls to action has helped Storage Vault’s Kraig Martin experience “a marked increase in the number of conversions we’re now generating on problem pages – around a 40% improvement.”
Here’s how you can create your own.
There are hundreds of studies that share ‘best practices’ for calls to action.
But “when buttons are colored the same as design elements on the page, you’ve failed to optimize for UX and conversions”, according to Tommy Landry of Return On Now.
He recommends to “make all CTAs the same color, and a color that doesn’t appear elsewhere on the page”, along with banishing “buttons that say “Submit”–which Tommy describes as “a conversion killer.”
Instead, “use actionable text like “Shop now” or “Download” and you’ll see a fast improvement on your conversions rates.”
We’ve touched on the fact the placement of elements on your landing page is just as important as the elements themselves.
The same applies to a call to action–something these marketers recommend placing above-the-fold.
“When you design a layout, make sure that important elements like CTA and information are at the top. This will help the user to interact with your page easily without having to scroll through the whole page,” says Janil Jean of Logo Design Guru.
Selby’s Stan Tan uses this technique, and takes his inspiration from an eCommerce giant.
“If you look at Amazon’s buy now button and YouTube’s subscribe button, you will see their CTA is above the fold. You don’t see Amazon hiding all their buy now button below the fold or all the way to the bottom.”
Summarizing, “you have to grab the attention of the visitor in the first sight,” says Archideators‘ Muhammad Roohan.
When we asked Jeff Rizzo of The Slumber Yard for his best technique to improve landing page conversion rates, his answer was simple: “Hands down, the most effective format that we’ve tested is one that includes a floating coupon.”
Here’s the exact floating coupon used on his landing page:
So, have Jeff’s team seen any tangible results from floating coupons?
“We’ve tried including multiple in-text buttons as the reader scrolls down, but got a 12% increase in our click-through rate by using a floating coupon. Even more astonishingly, that increase was 27% on mobile simply by having the floating coupon,” he explains.
Even if you’re offering small perks like free shipping, it’s a fantastic way to encourage more conversions.
Conversion rates are based on the number of people who land on your URL and convert.
It makes sense that these marketers are focusing on referring the right kind of traffic to boost the conversion rates of their landing pages.
“When utilizing pay-per-click to drive traffic to your landing page, making sure that those clicking on it will already be interested in the content is probably the most important part of getting it to convert,” says Noticed‘s E.M. Ricchini.
You can do the same with targeting a specific group of people through your ads.
Only refer people who are actively looking for a solution to the problem you’re solving, and you’re bound to increase conversion rates for your landing pages.
Richard Owens of firstfiveeight.com says: “By implementing a retargeting strategy to display social or Google Display Network ads to a user who has visited the landing page, but not seen the thank you page. […] This target audience has displayed an interest in the content, and may be assessing alternative options before engaging with a website.”
He says: “By displaying ads to this audience, you stay top of mind for when the researcher decides to take the next step with a business.”
It’s tough to know which elements are performing well until you test them in isolation.
A/B testing is a technique that changes one thing on your landing page (such as the video you’re using or placement of your call to action), and monitors the change to your conversion rate.
Over 90% of our respondents use A/B tests to improve the performance of their landing pages:
But Milan from Adoni Media says this process should be adopted by everyone.
“Tag everything,” he says. “Put a number to all elements on the page and track their click rates, hover rates, etc. and look at what can be altered to increase engagement and overall conversions.”
You might find something surprising if you’re making big changes–something AccuraCast‘s Nazish Iram has found “leads to greater improvements in conversion rates rather than minor changes like font colors.”
Are you aware of the actions people are completing on your landing pages before they convert?
If not, “one great way is to use heat mapping, so you can see user interaction,” says Jeff Stanislow of Chief Internet Marketer.
Jeff continues: “I want to make sure that my top KPI matches user interactions. For a large online car shipping company, we noticed attempted user interaction on a non-actionable element below the fold.”
After converting this area “into an action,” Jeff says conversions increased “by 5 percent.”
Chances are, you’re driving traffic to your landing pages from Google Ads campaigns.
Instead of sitting blindly and hoping for the best, Lindsey Broussard of Online Optimism recommends diving into your Google Ads data and making personalized tweaks based on the results.
Broussard says: “Check in on QS frequently to make sure that the correct keywords are used.”
Luke from Ascesis agrees with using Google Ads data but has another technique.
“If you find that you’re pages are converting for a specific keyword, create a separate dedicated landing page, advert & keyword selection to lower your CPC & CPL,” he says.
It seems like two highly-targeted landing pages are better than one.
Sadi of RunRepeat believes there’s no one one-size-fits-all approach to landing page optimization.
“You cannot go around reading and implementing random tips from experts. The best place to find the problem and the answer to that problem is your site analytics and visual data reports,” she says.
“Start from a session recording and replay tool to see how a typical visitor scrolls, clicks, or browse through your website. Use a heat map to see which part of the page is getting the most clicks and which part is getting ignored. You can also consider the live chat option to actually have a real-time chat with some of your visitors to see what they are looking for.”
Summarizing, Sadi says: “All this data and information will help you make changes that actually make things better and improve conversions.”
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