Avoiding the Pitfalls of Landing Page Design: A Customer Conversion Optimization How To

@Wendy | Conversion Optimization, Search

Landing pages are one of the best methods to utilize for customer conversion for a website, creating a path of converting website visitors into leads and leads into customers. But a high-converting landing page is a science that must be adhered to. It’s not just a title, description, image and button – each component of a landing page has a place and form that must be developed with thought and strategy.


What Are the Factors that Convert?

  • Number of Website Visitors (total volume, number of repeatable, search topic used, matching buyer persona)
  • Offer Type (lead generation or click-through)
  • Form Configuration  (number of fields and types, data capture requirements)
  • Form Configured to Function (smart fields, progressive profiling, marked fields as required, call-to-action button copy)
  • Copy (headlines, descriptive text, formatting of the text, amount of text)
  • Images (size, quality, descriptiveness/attractiveness, positioning on the page)

Types of Landing Pages

  1. Click Through Landing Page: As one of the most commonly used landing pages, the goal is to convert a visitor to another page describing a product/service offer and is useful when inbound advertising traffic is directed towards registration pages or a shopping cart. A good click-through landing page has sufficient information for the prospect to make an informed decision. In addition, you can capture more influence and activity with ‘share’ and ‘subscribe’ functions; you can capture user information which can inform your campaigns, sales and product creation; activity logs can also inform your advertising efforts to improve ROI and higher click through rates can result in higher paid placement.
  2. Lead Generation Landing Page: Used to capture user data such as user name and email address at the right time in the lead generation process, this page will have a detailed description of the value proposition and benefits for conversion including a white paper, webinar, free trial, contest entry, coupon/voucher or ebook; it’s important to create anticipation for the offer and to reinforce the brand positioning; marketers can use eye tracking to view visitor behaviors; utilization of these landing pages will virtually guarantee a path to revenue.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

The following user experiences will significantly impact the performance of your landing pages, despite the best practices outlined here for optimization. Make sure you test for the following:

  • Load Time: If your landing page takes more than a second or two to load, you will lose 2 out of every 5 people who come to it; additionally, fast page load times will help your Google search ranking.
  • Cluttered Design: Visitors don’t read, they scan for an average of 3 to 5 seconds; avoid too much text, a lack of branding, a menu, or too many images.
  • Bland or Unclear Headlines and Offers: The header of your landing page is usually the first thing a visitor sees and represents the opportunity to tell visitors what they’re getting and how they’re getting it, and create a sense of excitement and urgency about the offer; it must be clear, concise and clever.
  • Abundance of Fields: The number of fields and the information you ask for should mirror the value of your offer.
  • Generic Call-to-Action: Avoid using “submit” button copy and use something that describes the action you’re requesting.
  • Mobile Enabled: Most people are surfing on their smartphones today and there’s nothing worse than filling out forms on your phone; if your landing page isn’t mobile-friendly if will be hard to read and interact with.

Key Performance Indicators

Industry averages aside, and following the landing page best practices outlined, you can expect to convert 20 percent of the non-PPC based traffic you drive to that page. Conventional wisdom says that a good conversion rate is somewhere around 2% to 5%.

Depending on your industry, at the very least, if you’re achieving 3%, 5% or even 10% conversion rates, you have the opportunity to exploit the opportunity that you’ve found and achieve much more!

Taking the First Steps Towards Setting Expectations and Optimization

Use these tips to guide a more holistic, effective conversion rate optimization strategy – the kind that will boost your conversions as well as lead quality.

  • Make small changes and test; look for gains before moving forward.
  • With a focused and strategic landing page optimization strategy in place, you can expect 3-5x the conversions and an improvement in lead quality.
  • 5% conversion rates aren’t great but if you’re in the 2-5% conversion rate range, you have the opportunity to improve.
  • Experiment with your offers to find the one that resonates with your audience; sometimes, different offers appeal to different buyer personas.
  • Identify the components of your landing page that are preventing conversion and change the flow (test different variations to find the path to conversion).
  • Use remarketing to recapture people who showed intent, but didn’t convert.
  • Test smarter, not more often (you need to test 10 unique landing page variations to find 1 top performer).
  • Evaluate the landing page conversion rates of your landing pages and remove the low performers; focus your energies on the top 10% that earn 80% of the traffic.
  • Identify and focus on your lead generation and sales goals as well as your conversion rates; lead quality matters more to avoid more time in the funnel qualifying leads.

Additions & Feedback

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