7 Ways To Improve Landing Page Optimization
It's often the case that getting visitors to visit your website is only a small part of the struggle. It can take a lot of work to get them there but once they are on one of your landing pages, getting them to actually take action can be even harder. Every winning edge you can add to a page to turn a visitor into a customer is money in your pocket, so tweaking your landing pages should be an ongoing process until you are happy with the results.
There are many different aspects of a landing page that are ripe for experimentation. All the different components of the page work together to move the visitor towards making use of your call to action, and it can be hard to work out what to focus your attention on. So here are some questions that you might find useful to ask yourself when considering which parts of your landing page to experiment with.
1. Do you need multiple landing pages to cater to different types of visitors?
Custom landing pages that target different visitor types can be something worth experimenting with. People come in all shapes and sizes and what works for one may not work for someone else. Custom pages let you filter visitors based on the search terms they used to find your site and the places they visited it from, among other factors.
Custom pages also let you experiment more wildly than you may be able to within the confines of a single page. You can change the entire page theme and layout to see if it gets you better results. Custom landing pages let you do more extreme landing page optimization and can give you clearer results that are easier to analyze.
2. Does the page background color or image help or hinder your landing page?
Visitors generally don't take much notice of the page background unless it interferes with their ability to see the page. It does have a subtle effect on their mood as they browse your landing pages though, so it is well worth experimenting with.
You can try out different colors, but make sure the foreground of the page isn't made harder to make out as a result. Background images and textures can also apply a subtle influence on the visitor's attention.
3. Does your page navigation have a clear and useful flow to it?
The page navigation on your landing page should ideally let the visitor find out more about the product or service that you are offering them. It should take them to places that focus their interest back onto your product, and they should have a clear path back to your call to action. If you have a way to track the links that your visitors click on then it can be handy to study how they use those links and where their attention flows to as a result. You may find that they are looking for information that you don't provide, but which might encourage them to take action on your site if that information was available.
Another thing to consider when experimenting with your page navigation is the concept of 'leaks'. This is often also a concern for affiliates who you may be getting to help promote your landing page in return for a commission of the sales. A navigation leak is basically any link that interrupts the flow of the visitor towards your call to action and which potentially takes them off your site. Any links to external sites from your landing page would constitute a leak. Links that take them further from your call to action without capturing their interest where it could lead to a productive engagement are also leaks. These include links that take them anywhere where their interest in your site could fizzle out.
4. Does your headline grab the visitor's eye and hint at the value you are offering them?
The page headline is one of the first elements the visitor will see once they land on your page. Since this is a text element it will convey some basic information to the visitor, and for most it will be the element they look at to see if the page they have landed on has anything of value for them.
You can't pack much information into a page headline without making it cumbersome, so its main purpose should be to get the user to switch their attention to the more detailed text below it. Generally, a visitor will have arrived at your page with a problem to solve, whether they know it or not. The headline should point out that problem to them and hint at a solution if they keep reading further.
There are a few different ways you can experiment with a page headline to make it more productive. The message in the headline itself is the obvious place to start. You can make up a list of headlines and try out a few that stand out to you. If you have analytics on the page then you should be able to see which headlines encouraged the visitor to scroll further down or stay on the page for longer.
The next thing to play around with is the styling of the headline text. Modern HTML and CSS has quite a few options for adding some interesting style to your text. You can obviously experiment with the color, font, and size. You can also test things such as text outlines and shadowing.
The layout of the headline text is also useful to test. Things like left and center alignment along with margins or padding can help or hinder whether the headline attracts the visitor's eyes. Leaving plenty of white-space around the headline can highlight its importance and attract the user to read it.
Once you've got the user looking at the headline you should also take a look at any sub-heading text below it. This text is usually longer and more descriptive than the headline text and can add context for the headline. The sub-heading and headline should work together to encourage the visitor to read further, so it can be worth tweaking them to see if results can be improved.
5. What is the attention flow of your page layout like?
Getting a visitor to engage with the call to action on your page is a bit like leaving a breadcrumb trail for a bird to follow. You need a good flow of attention-grabbing text and images that lure the user's attention down the page until they encounter your call to action. In the process, they should learn about what you have to offer and how it can help them. By the time they encounter the call to action they should be well primed to act on it if there is any potential of them doing so.
6. What is your call-to-action page element like?
There are a few things you should ask yourself about your call-to-action page element. Does it stand out enough from the page? Is it clear to the visitor that it is the element they need to interact with to get what you have been trying to convince them to take action on? Is it clear what the visitor is getting if they take action on it?
Your call-to-action page element should be simple enough that the visitor easily identifies the message implicit in it. It should also be a unique element on the page. There should be nothing else on the page that has the same characteristics as your call-to-action button, etc. It should have characteristics that make it stand out clearly on the page and catch the eye of the visitor.
Experiment with the coloring for your call-to-action page element in order to convey value to the user. Gold is often a good color to use as it represents the color of prosperity in most people's minds. Your call-to-action page element should also be larger than similar elements on the page. A larger size conveys extra value to people. The shape is another thing that you can experiment with. An unusual shape catches the eye and can also be used to convey the idea of value. Experimenting with the texture of the element can also be useful in making it stand out.
Making your call-to-action page element dynamic can also encourage people to interact with it if you don't overdo it. Mouse-over effects are the least intrusive way to achieve this. Changing the characteristics of the element when the visitor hovers the mouse over it illustrates that the element is interactive and something of importance. You can also try subtle animations, such as wiggle effects, These can seem a bit needy if they are overdone though. But they will certainly catch the visitor's eye and are worth doing some experimentation with.
7. Is there a way for people to get in touch with you?
People like to know that they can get support for any product or service that they buy if they need it. They may also want to contact you for more information about your product or service before they buy it. If you don't already have a contact form or some other method for visitors and customers to get in touch then this might be a good area of landing page optimization.
If you already have a method for people to get in touch then you might want to A-B test different methods and different layouts for the contact setup on your landing pages. How visible is your 'Contact' button or link? You don't want it to interfere with your call to action or web-page flow, but it should be something that a visitor is easily able to find if they are looking for it. If it's in your footer links then try adding a contact button to the top-right of the page and see if that gets you more leads via the contact form.
Tweaking and fine-tuning your landing pages can involve a great deal of work, but without that work your pages are probably under-performing. If you don't want to leave money on the table then you need to do some experimentation and try to track down and fix the weak points in your landing page optimization. The more effort you put in, the bigger the rewards your landing pages will deliver.