Written by Tom Ewer on 16 September 2013
As a business owner you’ll be aware that the quality of your website’s landing page is one of the most important factors governing whether you are able to convert visitors into prospective customers or clients.
If your website’s landing page under-delivers and fails to engage your desired audience, you could run the risk of losing your prospects to a competitor.
A successful landing page will keep visitors at your site and encourage further action, whether it be signing up to your mailing list or purchasing a product or service.
In this post I’ll discuss some of the ways you can optimise your landing page to enhance the user experience and ensure that you convert as many leads as possible.
First Impressions Count
As we all know, first impressions count and you only get one chance to make that initial impact. The primary visual impression of your site can mean the difference between someone sticking around to find out more and someone leaving the page to find something they perceive to be better.
Landing pages should be kept clean, fresh and modern and navigation should be as simple as possible to keep a visitor’s focus in the most important place.
If you haven’t updated your landing page for a while, now could be a good time to do so. Most people are internet-savvy enough to spot something that looks outdated and as a result may align your business with being old-fashioned or ‘behind the times’.
It is vital that your branding is kept consistent in terms of colours/logos/etc. so that you are instantly recognisable to someone who may have clicked a link at your Facebook page or from an email or newsletter.
A relevant, strategically placed image or a carousel/slider-bar can also prove effective and eye-catching, as well as showcasing some of your work or products.
Every Word Counts
The content of your landing page should consist of simple, straightforward copy that provides only the most important information in a clear, concise way. You should try to preempt any questions your visitor may have and address these points in a condensed format (such as in bullet point form).
It should be immediately apparent what services you offer and what the visitor needs to do next. Your call to action should be compelling, succinct and remain consistent across all your platforms. Using multiple ‘call to action’ buttons or links located at various points on the page can also be effective, as users can decide when they have enough information to proceed.
Don’t assume that your visitor is an expert, or already has some of the information required. What might seem obvious or irrelevant to you can be the one piece of knowledge the potential customer or client is looking for.
Keep your tone consistent with your other branding and make it persuasive enough to encourage users to purchase, register or submit a lead without giving the hard sell. After all, maintaining customer relations and building trust is just as important as converting leads if you want people to become repeat customers.
With increasing numbers of people owning tablets and smartphones, it’s much more likely that your target audience will access your website via their mobile devices.
If they arrive at a slow, mobile-incompatible site they will be highly likely to give up and try somewhere else. In fact, one study concluded that 40% of people accessing services ‘on the go’ went immediately to a competitor’s site after a poor mobile user experience.
When optimising a landing page for mobile device compatibility remember to keep it simple. Consider any relevant size restrictions (some mobile devices have difficulty caching files of 20kb or larger) and use a button for your call to action as it will feature prominently on a mobile version.
Also, be mindful that not all users will be of the same technical ability or be using the most up-to-date software or apps, so keep your landing page as easy to use and access as possible.
Sometimes there are benefits in consulting a professional who is well-versed in the latest design research and methods. While you may be familiar with some techniques, they will be experienced in market trends and will know how to optimise the look and content of your landing page in order to encourage users to take the next step.
A/B split testing is an effective method of ascertaining which combinations of content and graphics to apply, as well as highlighting the importance of elements such as text positioning and colour. Some experiments have proved that even the simple action of changing a button’s colour from green to red can increase conversion rates significantly.
When it comes to increasing conversion rates from your landing page it is essential that you provide users with exactly what they are looking for. Make sure you know your target audience inside out so you can tailor your copy and content to suit them.
By optimising your landing page so it is impressive, informative and functional, you will not only increase conversions but build a repeat customer and/or client base that will return time and again.