This is my introductory piece into the technical and calculated world of conversion rate optimisation.
I’ve recently been working with an amazing startup in the conversion rate optimisation space, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts, research and findings.
1. Repeat dem CTAs, yo!
Let’s start with a simple one - those pesky CTAs (call-to-actions)! You hear so much about how awesome they are, and how crucial they are to get right, but, it’s common to find long-form landing pages that don’t (yes, don’t) repeat the CTA multiple times.
Remember: More content, more CTAs.
2. Become a creative copy cat
When I say creative copy cat, I don’t mean copy as in duplication, I’m talking about the text that you use on your landing page.
We’re a professional, high-class organization that specializes in catering for…
If you’re the guy or gal who writes copy in the same style as the snippet above, please do the Internet a favour and go shoot yourself. Unless you’re writing for a very enterprise/commercial heavy audience, you shouldn’t sound so anally retented.
Try loosening up a little and show your company and products have a personality through your landing page copy.
3. Hit that bullseye (with targeting)
So we’ve covered two relatively simple points for improving our core landing page for our entire audience, but how about going a little more granular than that? Why not optimise the landing page depending on the category of visitor?
Let’s take this fictious example. You’re marketing a small web design agency. You’ve got a limited budget available to you and you have to make the most out of every click. As a result, you decide to target more niche keywords that have low competition such as ‘Web Design for Charities’. Now, instead of sending those precious visitors who click through to your generic landing page, you create a page that is optimised to sell to charities.
This second landing page would use specialised language aimed at charities, along with headlines and visuals that fit tightly with the keyword that was clicked (‘Web Design for Charities’).
Remember, the more you match your landing page variation with the traffic source, the higher your conversions will likely be.
4. Easy live chat
Ah, live chat. A feature that has been used throughout the ages…indeed, yet still done wrong by many. The main point to understand here is that when offering a feature like live chat, you have to make it accessible.
What does being accessible mean in this case? Quite simply, it means that you should not just relegate the feature to a small, discrete button in the top-right side of your page. As a visitor, I need to clearly see that I can talk to a real person with no barrier.But, how can I make my live chat more accessible? I hear you ask, well, here’s a solution.
Zopim is a powerful, yet simple live chat provider. You simply paste the code they provide into your code, and that’s it. It lives in the bottom right corner of your screen, and is clearly visible and accessible with a single click. Strongly recommended.
5. Short form vs. long form
We have two categories of Internet marketers: those who swear by short form landing pages, and those that swear by long form landing pages.
However, the argument isn’t about what works better in general, but about what works better for your specific product/service. If your current core landing page is short, try a longer form version. If it’s long, try a short form version and A/B test between the two.
6. It’s story time folks!
We all love a good story, but what do they have to do with landing pages?
Take a look at Marek’s little site. He describes a real story of himself and his passion and determination to study in California simply oozes off the page. He tells the story, from start to finish, evoking emotion through imagery, video and his copy. It’s simple, yet extremely effective.
You might be thinking, Yea, but how does this apply to my business? Well, there’s a lot we can take away from Marek’s example. First, building a story around your product/service can be an extremely effective way of presenting it. What problem does your product solve? For who? When? How? String all this information together in a coherent case example, and present it as a detailed story - with real characters, real challenges, and real achievements.
7. Evoke emotion
This brings us nicely on to my next point - evoking emotion.
Everyone who visits your landing page has one thing in common - they’re human (at least, we hope). Humans are very emotionally-centered beings, so keep that in mind when sculpting your landing pages.
This means copy that is light-hearted will help lift the visitors mood, whilst completely serious and monosyllabic drivel will send them into a coma.
It’s not just the text that matters. Colour and design aesthetics are both crucial to elements to evoking the right emotions in your target audience.
8. Lazy bum syndrome
With the advent of the Internet, we’ve all become small children again. ADHD is as rampant as the plague in the 14th century, and we’d rather not wait that extra second to get what we’re after.
The fact that you’re reading this means that you’re in the small (wonderful) minority of people who actually have the patience and fortitude to READ what’s on a page.
In light of this, there are two key components that are extremely important to your landing pages. Video and load times.
Holds attention easier than written text (as long as it’s engaging).
Page Load Times
Aim to hit a page load time that’s less than 2-3 seconds on average.
Now with HTML5 and CSS3 here, we’re able to do fancy tidbits that make our sites much more engaging and interactive without having to use that old relic - Flash.
Take this package layout design. It’s straight-forward to begin with, but when you mouseover an individual packages, it comes to front. A small update, but definitely brings the page to life moreso than usual.
Don’t neglect the technologies/techniques available to you as the web develops. They can really help lift your site’s experience and engagement.