Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, SEO, and content marketing all share a common purpose: generating traffic. That traffic often goes to your main website, but many companies also funnel a portion of their traffic to specific landing pages in order to increase the chances of eventual conversion. After all, what good is 1,000 visitors a day if none of those visitors actually buys anything from your company?
Conversions, though, are a tricky element to change. You can increase traffic easily enough with sheer effort or, if you’re desperate, direct money. But getting those users to sign up, buy something, or submit information requires a larger commitment, and is a more difficult behavior to influence. There could be any number of factors preventing your users from converting, from large-scale items like the difficulty of signing up to small-scale items like the color of the submit button.
Still, if your landing page is struggling to achieve your target conversion rate, there are a handful of easy fixes you can apply to maximize your chances at converting:
This is the fastest and easiest fix that can improve your landing page conversions. People are impatient. They don’t want to fill out lengthy forms that ask for 20 different types of personal information, and they don’t want to go through a 10-step ordering process. Even if your form or process is already short, there is always room to make it a little shorter. Cut your form down to two fields if necessary, asking for your contact’s name and email. You can figure out the rest later. The key here is to create the shortest possible path for your customer to go from point A (landing on the landing page) to point B (completing the conversion).
Creating a sense of urgency is your next greatest responsibility as a conversion optimizer. When faced with a decision, most people hesitate. They think about the pros and cons of following through, whether that’s in buying a product or giving up their information. If there’s more than a few seconds of hesitation, they may decide against the action by default, relying on the fact that they can always change their mind. Using more urgent language, such as implying that your deal is a limited time offer or that there isn’t any time to waste, can help prevent this outcome and increase your total number of conversions.
This is a subtle trick, and while I’ve met many people who have doubted its effectiveness, I’ve never seen it fail to improve a landing page. A simple visual directional clue is sometimes all it takes to get more people to sign up or click a button—for example, you could include a drawn arrow from the top of your landing page pointing down to the “sign up” button, or you might include a human face whose line of sight points directly to the conversion form. These visual clues help guide your user to the ultimate conversion—even if they don’t realize it’s happening.
People will only convert if they trust you as a source. Therefore, increasing your trustworthiness is an absolute must. You can do this in one (or more) of several ways, but all of them involve showcasing your brand or personality. Include at least one human face, and possibly a bio if you have a strong personal brand. Include a description of your company in the footer, along with links to your website and social media pages. Show that you’re a real company (or person) with a real reputation, and let your customer do his/her own background research.
Sometime, people don’t convert simply because there’s no value for them in converting—or the value isn’t good enough to warrant the submission. For example, you might be asking your users to submit their personal information, but what are you offering in exchange? If you’re offering a free download of a resource, do you make the value of that resource clear? Make sure you concisely and fully describe the benefits of converting for your customer; otherwise, there is no motivation.
There are two principles you’ll need to keep in mind when implementing any kind of fix or improvement to your landing page.
First, all your experiments need a control group. If you don’t have anything to compare your results to, you’ll never knew whether you’ve actually improved. You can use data from the older versions of your landing page to serve as this control group or launch two similar landing pages in an A/B test to compare results in real time.
Second, your changes should be implemented incrementally. Don’t try to change everything at once; instead, focus on making small changes, one at a time, and measuring each of their impact. Only with this individual, incremental process will you be able to determine which landing page qualities are worth keeping and which ones aren’t actively increasing your conversion rate.
If you follow these principles and apply the strategies I listed above, you should have no problem turning your landing page into a conversion generating machine. Because conversion optimization is an ongoing process, be sure to take measurements accurately at every stage of the process, and never stop making tweaks.