Research shows that when a new visitor arrives on your landing page, they are most likely to stay on an average of 10 seconds. Really, just 10 seconds – that’s not a whole lot of time to convince people to respond to your call to action. You must get their attention – fast – and keep it till they reach the end of the page.
They should stay on the page long enough to do what you are asking them to do. Now, as your call to action varies greatly: You may want them to opt-in to your email list or you might want them to ask for a quote or book a free consultation. If you are selling something, you want people to click the buy now button.
Not every action carries the same weight. When you offer a juicy, opt-in incentive, it takes even less than 10 seconds for people to start typing their email address. Bam, and they are done. However, if your goal involves them taking their wallets out, all of a sudden this time seem like a nano second. You start panicking – what can you do to keep these folks interested enough to read a bit of copy on your landing page?
Well .. actually, quite a lot, of course depending on how good of a landing page it is in the first place. In this blog post, I will take you through the ones that make the most impact to your bottom line.
#1 Grab attention of the right person
The number one job of your landing page is to catch the attention of the right audience. As soon as a potential client or customer starts reading it, they identify themselves as the person you are addressing. The copy speaks to them – the language resonates with them
Start off by identifying the person you are targeting and get super specific. You should know by now that if you set out to target everybody, you end up talking to nobody. So narrow your target market right down.
Secondly, you should survey your audience prior to creating your offer, or speak to them one-on-one. Make note of the words they use, pay attention to the nuances in their language and then use that in your copy. If you use technical language or your industry jargon, you will lose readers.
Create a big headline for your landing page which is sure to catch the attention of your target audience. Make a big promise if you can or use a sub-headline to spell out the main benefit of purchasing your product or service. The same rule applies if you are creating a squeeze page (where you want people to hand over their email in exchange for a freebie), or any other page with a call to action.
Now test your headline. Get a stranger to read your page and tell you if they understand what you are offering in 5 seconds or less. The goal here is that the headline, the sub-headline, and the introductory paragraphs should explain the purpose of your page nicely. If people are confused, go back to the drawing board, you are probably overcomplicating your offer.
#2 Clearly show what makes your offering different
Articulate your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) really well. It should be unmistakably clear.
So what is USP? It’s something that makes you different from the rest of crowd – your competition. It’s what helps you stand out. It’s what shows the benefits they are going to get when they purchase from you and get a better solution.
Also known as Unique Value Proposition, it should quickly demonstrate the value of your offering, how it is better than your completion, describe it in the language your customer speaks and state the benefits as well as features of your offering.
In order to hone in your USP, pay attention to what your competitors are offering. Study their products and services, or opt-in offers. Make a note of what appeals to you and what doesn’t. Then list all the ways your product or service will provide a better or a different solution. Maybe you could offer a double money back guarantee, a longer trial period, or discounts for first-time customers. Maybe you could add 24 hour customer support or a totally different price point that is associated with your industry.
Make your USP prominent by wrapping your headline and sub-headline around it and capturing the whole promise. Add plenty of benefit driven bullets on the page, continue the theme on your checkout or registration page so that people are being reminded of all the benefits and know they are doing the right thing.
#3 Let others speak for you
Instead of singing praises of your own offering, solicit others to do it for you. But beware, you have to make sure that your testimonials are legit and not made up.
Research shows that 90% of people assume that the customer feedback including reviews and testimonials are suspicious and rightly so, the online marketing world is rampant with fake and dishonest reviews. So how can you prove them otherwise? Use the power of buyer photographs to instantly add integrity to your testimonials. Use their name and also their website URL (don’t link to it, you don’t want people clicking away from your landing page) to supercharge your testimonials.
Video testimonials also work when you choose people similar to your target audience so they can identify with this person. You can also get celebrity endorsements, reviews, or quotes to add instant credibility to yourself.
Lastly pay attention to the actual words in the testimonials. Don’t choose words that put you on a pedestal. Demonstrate some initial buyer resistance and how they got the results in spite of it. If their sentences aren’t perfect or if they have any typos – leave those in. You don’t want to airbrush them. Choose precise testimonials. Have your buyers tell the real numbers (if this applies to you), rather than rounding them off.
Remember, all testimonials are not created equal. By adding photographs, getting precise numbers, and sprinkling an industry-specific celebrity endorsement or two will do wonders for your sales page.
#4 Get rid of all objections
People have built in resistance when it comes to reading a sales letter – we all like to buy but we hate being sold to. And the most critical task of a sales page is to get rid of this resistance.
You have to articulate your core benefit so well that they feel compelled to buy your product or service. When you do this, you have overcome their objection ‘I can do this on my own’.
You must focus on the inherent value so the price becomes irrelevant. People tend to associate higher prices with advanced or complicated products, and lower priced products as something that has inferior quality. When you concentrate on getting the value across, you more than justify the price. Your product becomes a no-brainer.
You have to show that your product actually does what it claims to do. Include lots of features and benefits to address any buyer resistance. Use customer testimonials as described above so people have faith in what you have to offer and can see that it has worked for people like them. You can actually dedicate a special section addressing the skeptics and the doubters where you can use the FAQ format to answer all their questions in one place.
At the end of the day, when you can confidently answer all your prospect’s questions, satisfy them and communicate the value of your offering, your conversions go up. No gimmicks required.
#5 Invest in professional design and copy
If you are driving traffic from an ad, make sure the headline matches the copy of the ad. When there is a disconnect between what you said in your ad and the first thing they see on the page (your headline) you will lose readers. Potential customers will simply click away because they will find it jarring.
When it comes to the words on the page, make sure the copy is fluid, meaning, your eye flows naturally from top to bottom without any elements getting in the way. Often times people add in testimonials that are poorly placed, the visitor is reading the copy and all of a sudden they are interrupted with a testimonial that has nothing to do with what is being communicated.
Keep your copy as long as it needs to be but make it concise at the same time. Get rid of rambling sentences and long paragraphs. Generally, the dearer the product is, the longer will be the sales copy. The logic being, you need more time to answer every possible question racing inside their head, but even then your aim should be to keep it as tight as possible.
When it comes to design, make sure it is easy to read on a screen. Do not use too many colours. Don’t confuse the eye by inserting too many images. Use plenty of white space. Don’t use big chunks of text on the page.
Your goal is to keep the people on the page as long as you can. Get rid of the side bar, main navigation bar, social media profiles, or any links that will take the visitor away. The only link should be the checkout or the sign-up one. Use bold buttons while making your call to action. Make sure they stand out and catch the eye.
#6 Stay relevant to the traffic coming to your page
Think about the people visiting your landing page.
Is this the first time they are hearing about you? How familiar are they with your brand? Where are they arriving from? From a Facebook ad, a link from a guest post or from social media promotion? How many times have they seen your landing page before? Meaning, how warm or cold are they?
If you send out an email promotion to your own list and send traffic to your landing page, the conversion rate will be much higher than when sending cold traffic to it. On the other hand if you have a rather small size list, and you don’t have any strategic partnerships in place, don’t overestimate your conversion rate. Work in the size of your email list.
Furthermore, you have to create the page accordingly. With your own people, you don’t have to work as hard to create trust so it doesn’t necessarily have to ‘sell’ people hard whereas in case of cold traffic, you do. You would pay even more attention to your copy if you are relying on driving traffic via PPC or Facebook ads.
To increase conversions, you may want to offer special incentives for first time visitors. In case of a sales page, you might offer a special first time buyer discount, or a special bonus. Your opt-in page is geared towards the first time visitors by definition so capitalize on it and don’t feel shy to sell your freebie incentive.
#7 Test at least one variation of your page
Remember, your landing page will convert the best when you clearly define your conversion goals. You will also make a big difference to your numbers if you split test the elements on your landing page.
When you are creating your page, you might make a decision to write certain words on the page or chose a particular call to action based on what you are actually thinking about and what feels good to you at the moment. A lot of personal preference is involved in your decision making so you should definitely test it out to see whether this actually works. It’s good to pay attention to your gut but don’t rely on it alone. Test it.
In the control version, set up the best landing page and in the variation version, change one thing at a time. It can be a headline, a different call to action, video vs no video. Don’t change too many things or you will skew your data and it will be hard to measure.
The more targeted and strategic an A/B test is, the more likely it’ll be to have a positive impact on conversions. You might discover that placing the form further down on an expensive product with longer copy generally converts better than placing it above the fold. You might find out that by adding a short video at the top, you significantly increase your conversions. Don’t assume what worked for others will work for you. Always test to check your assumptions. Consider hiring a conversion expert if you feel this is not your strongest area.
So there you have it. Which one of these 7 changes will make the most difference to your landing page? Tell us, and then go test it!
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