So you’ve built an awesome product that you know your customers are going to love, you’ve outlined your marketing plan, and you’ve formulated a killer customer acquisition strategy - you’re going to be the next big thing. You then then throw up a landing page and the leads start pouring in – just as you expected. You quickly jump to your analytics to count your conversions – nothing, nada, zilch.
The inner monologue begins: “Where did I go wrong?” “Is ‘Apply Now’ too aggressive?” “Did my visitors misunderstand my message?”
Creating a high-converting landing page can be an overwhelming mess, but it can also be the difference between a “good” business and a “great” business. Below I’ve outlined some simple steps you can take to increase your on-page conversion rate.
Immediately Capture the Attention of Your Reader
It is important to remember that people are scanners and skimmers. As the advertising genius, David Ogilvy, once said “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
It is vital that you create a headline that immediately attracts the reader’s attention and summarizes your value proposition. The combination of an attention-grabbing main header and a reinforcing sub-header can be a great way to convey your message to the reader. Here are a few examples of well executed headlines. At LendEDU, we’ve spent countless hours optimizing this page
Simplify Your Page Layout
According to a study by the Nielsen Group, elements above the page fold were viewed 102% more than below the fold. Now this doesn’t mean that you should jam all the content you can above the fold. It is important that your page design above the fold is not cluttered and clearly portrays the value of your product to the reader.
A great way to do this is to add an image or a video above the fold. A simple “explainer” video can help convince the reader that your product is perfect for them while outlining the benefits. If you are going to add any media to your page, it is important that that you use media that directly connects with your product. By connecting your headline to an appealing image, you can create an extremely engaging first impression
A cluttered design can confuse and distract readers. A bulleted or numbered list is a great way to communicate your message without paragraphs of text. CrazyEgg does a great job of creating an attractive headline, conveying their value proposition to the reader, and reinforcing their message with high-level details about their product.
Create a Powerful Call-to-Action (CTA)
Your call-to-action is the single most important element on your page. For this reason, your CTA should be the most recognizable element on your page.
For starters, make it BIG.
Use a button. When a reader sees a button on a page, they know what to do – click it.
Make sure your CTA copy is compelling. Something like “submit” is not going to persuade the user to act. You need to include text in your CTA that excites your reader and convinces them to take action.
Use a contrasting color that fits within the color scheme of your page. A CTA that possesses a contrasting color will attract the reader’s attention and compel them to click.
Reinforce with Reviews or Social Proof
A study conducted by Search Engine People, demonstrated that even a one-star review can dramatically increase conversion rates – by more than 100%! Should you aim to collect negative reviews? Absolutely not. However, it is important to understand what kind of impact product reviews can have on your readers. When readers first land on your site, their first question is “Can I trust this company?” By prominently displaying customer reviews on your page, you are communicating to your reader that other people have used this product and they were satisfied with their purchase.
Test… Then Test Again
As Michael Seibel, co-founder and CEO of Justin.tv and Socialcam, says “The best companies (and employees) are willing to use data to back up their decision making.” What does this mean? It means that companies should not overlook the “obvious” and should rely on testing, rather than intuition, to derive solutions. Here are some great (and affordable) tools you can use to test your on-page user experience:
Unbounce’s drag and drop builder makes it extremely easy to build custom landing pages, regardless of your development and coding background. You can run unlimited A/B tests to determine which elements of your landing page perform better – better yet, their dashboard allows you to quickly and easily see how you’re A/B tests are performing.
Crazy Egg allows you to take a deeper dive into what your readers are doing on your site. Their heatmap tools allow you to visualize where readers are clicking and where they aren’t. You can also segment by source to see where people are coming from and the actions they are performing most often.
Nate Matherson is the Co-founder & CEO of LendEDU. LendEDU helps students and graduates find transparency in the student loan market. LendEDU was founded in August 2014 and is based in Hoboken, NJ.