Landing pages are a core component in the conversion process. Website traffic is worth very little to your business if it doesn’t convert. However, in my experience business owners (and even some professional online marketers) are overly focused on driving traffic volume and fail to pay enough attention to fine tuning their rate of conversion.
Think about it. Doubling or trebling your traffic is generally not a cheap / easy thing to do. It usually takes either time and / or cost to build up web traffic volumes. But, boosting your conversion rate by 2x or 3x whilst maintaining your web traffic level, can have a dramatic effect on your bottom line almost overnight! Not only are you getting 2x or 3x the number of conversions, but more importantly you have now created a more effective and efficient funnel, which opens up the prospect of profitable scalability.
So in order to help you improve your landing page conversion rate performance, this guide focuses on 5 of the best ways to screw it up!
1. Make sure your landing page loads slowly.
One of the best ways to screw up your conversion rate is to make sure your landing page loads really slowly. In fact, make sure it takes over 3 seconds.
Page load speed has always effected landing page conversion rates to some extent, but since the rise of Broadband, users have become increasingly impatient when it comes to waiting for web pages to load.
Research has shown that over 40% of users will abandon a web page that has not loaded within 3 seconds. So if your web page takes over 3 seconds to load, you will lose over 40% of your users before they even get a chance to view your content.
A slow web page load speed will either be as a result of a slow server response, or down to the size of the web page (assets) and the way the web page is coded.
The first step in rectifying a page load speed problem is, of course, analysing whether or not a problem actually exists. Here are a couple of tools that you can use to analyse your web page load speed.
2.Make sure your design is cluttered and your landing page lacks clarity.
Another great way to screw up your conversion rate is to make sure your landing page is cluttered, and that it is not clear within the first 5 seconds what it is you offer and what action the user needs to take.
In the early days of the internet, many online marketers (including myself) followed what was known as the 7 second rule. 7 seconds is now thought to be too long, and I am now officially renaming this rule the ‘5 second rule’.
The basic concept is that users need to be able to compute all the key information that is on your landing page, understand what you offer – why it is of value and why they should trust you – and know what action they need to take, all within the first 5 seconds.
If you clutter your landing page or fail to keep it clear and focused on the value proposition you offer and the action the user needs to take, then your conversion rate will suffer.
Put some thought into how you can communicate your value proposition very concisely on your landing page. Try to keep it as simple and focused as possible. Consider every element on your page, and critically analyse whether it is strictly necessary. Less is usually more when it comes to the content on landing pages.
3. Make sure your contact form has a large number of fields, more than you really need.
Long contact forms, with information fields that you don’t really need are another great way to screw up your landing page conversion rate.
There is a direct correlation between the number of fields in your contact form and your conversion rate. The mistake I often see is businesses asking for information that would be desirable to have, but that is not strictly necessary at this stage in the process.
In most cases, the only information needed is a name, an email and a telephone number (if B2B then it may be appropriate to collect a company name as well). This is enough information for you to contact the lead back, and gives you a chance to close a sale.
Take a look at your landing page contact form. Do you really need all the information fields that are present? If not, remove some fields and keep your contact form short and simple. You are making it easier for people to move forward, and your conversion rate will therefore be enhanced.
Another option is to create 2 step contact forms. Get the must have data on the first step, then ask for the nice to have information on the second step.
4. Make sure your landing page is not mobile optimised.
Making your landing page hard to view on mobile devices is always a great way to screw up your conversion rate. Make your users pinch the screen and zoom in just to view your content, this is a great way to deter them from converting.
In case you have been living in a cave for the last 3 years, I need to inform you that mobile search is growing at a HUGE rate and by 2016 more searches will be performed on mobile devices than on computers and tablets combined. If you ignore this trend, you will lose ground to your competitors. It is as simple as that. It cannot be ignored.
If you are yet to create mobile optimised landing pages for your online campaigns, you will feel good to know that you are not the only one. SME businesses have in general been very slow to react to this trend, so if you get it done right away you may not be ahead of the wave but you certainly haven’t been left behind.
An opportunity exists for you to gain a competitive advantage NOW. So take ACTION.
Many online marketers report very healthy mobile landing page conversion rates, with their mobile pages even out-converting their standard landing pages.
There are landing page tools such as www.instapage.com which enable you to create mobile specific landing page versions. These tools are very low cost, and will help you to optimise your landing pages without hiring a developer.
5. Rather than focusing attention on one Call To Action, give users lots of options on your landing page.
Giving users lots of options is a great way to screw up your conversion rate.
I mentioned in number 2 above the importance of keeping your landing pages clear and uncluttered. Well a sure fire way to deter your visitors is to give them lots of different links to click on the page. Every link you include on your landing page takes focus away from your core call to action and degrades your conversion rate.
One technique that works really well is to strip out ALL other links on the page (other than T’s and C’s etc… in the footer). You should not even include a main navigation menu on a landing page.
By doing this you give users a Yes or No choice. They either convert, or they bounce. Your bounce rate will be high – but this doesn’t usually matter with landing pages. If 15% convert and 85% bounce, well that is great. A high bounce rate is not always a bad thing.
Take a look at your landing page. How many options do you present to users? Are you diluting your conversion rate by including more options than you need to? If you are, take action. Strip all the distracting options away, and keep users focused on the path you want them to take.
A great resource for learning how to create great landing pages
To wrap this post up, I want to point you in the direction of a great resource for learning how to create great landing pages. It is a FREE course called ‘The Smart Marketers Landing Page Conversion Course‘. It is sponsored by ‘Unbounce’ which is another landing page builder tool like ‘www.instapage.com‘ mentioned above.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and have found it useful?
Conversion rate optimisation is a hugely important subject, and one I find very interesting. Having the best performing landing page, better than your competitors, puts you in a position of strength and helps to boost your ROI.
Note: You must never rest on a high performing landing page, as over time if you simply leave it, the conversion rate will usually degrade. So keep on top of trends and make small incremental improvements, driven by A/B testing, to ensure you maintain or improve you rate of conversion, keeping it a step above your competition.
How do your landing pages stack up? Please leave a comment if you have a great landing page you would like to share.
Have you made some improvements to your landing page, which have stepped your conversion rate forward? Please share the story with us below.