This guest post is by Jonny Steel, Director of Business Development at ClickTale.
You wake up one morning and decide that you would like to double the amount of traffic to your website. Great idea! Your immediate instinct might be to dig deep and succeed to double your marketing budget. However, a much smarter first move (and much easier) is to maximize your landing page conversion rates without spending an extra penny. Often, a series of quick wins, together with some more thorough analysis and testing, can leave you with far better conversion rates.
Based on our experience at ClickTale working with some of the biggest brands in e-commerce, travel, entertainment and financial services, here are our top eight tips for landing page optimization:
Test, Test and Always be Testing – Even the best designers and usability experts in the world cannot know for sure which message, image and call-to-action will convert best. Don’t ever let the “HIPPO” in the room dictate your decisions (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion, in case you didn’t know). A simple A/B test or a more sophisticated multivariate test will show you how real visitors actually respond to the different versions.
Visualize your Visitors – You may have several elements on your landing page such as a sign-up form, key value proposition, image, testimonial, special offer and more. Web analytics will show you the click-through rate or conversion rate of the landing page, but you also need to know which elements your visitors actually looked at and what they ignored. ClickTale’s Visitor Recordings and Heatmap Suite show you exactly what your visitors do – where they hover, click, and scroll. You can watch recordings of individual visitors as if you’re sitting behind them or analyze hundreds of visitors on Heatmaps. This visualization of visitor behavior arms you with the knowledge of what content helps to boost conversions and what is just a distraction.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors – Always remind yourself that you were not the first person to drive traffic to a website or create a relevant landing page. You may have direct competitors or at least other businesses in your space. MixRank Professional is a great tool for easy landing page research showing you what similar marketers are testing, the changes they make and reveal what they have learned through experience.
Fantastic Forms – Your landing page may have a simple call to action button, but in many cases you actually want to collect visitors’ information through a simple registration form. You are always split between keeping it short versus collecting more data to make your job easier later on. Rather than basing your decision-making on guesswork, ClickTale’s Form Analytics identifies all the fields in your form and shows you, for each one, where visitors abandon the form, take long to complete, encounter errors or leave it blank. This way you’ll have the most optimized forms possible.
Know Your Goals – One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is “what is the goal of my landing page?” Sometimes you want to communicate what you do and get visitors to just start clicking. On other occasions, you want them to give you their email address, or even make an immediate payment. Whatever your goal, absolutely everything on the page must be geared towards it. You may have other messages you would like to communicate but if they don’t correspond with your key message, then you’re better off without it. Focus on your value, take out the noise and let yourself be heard.
Clear Call to Action – The main CTA button must be clear, prominent and seen by all. You’ll be amazed how many leading websites have their call to action button below the fold, hidden among other content or simply not compelling enough. You may want something simple like “Start Now”, “Register Today” or “Free Trial”. On other occasions a slightly longer message might work better like “Start Saving Money Today” or “Try Our No-Risk 30-day Free Trial”. Only testing will help you discover what works best for your visitors.
Build Trust – Your visitors may be first-timers who don’t know you. One of the most important goals of your landing page must be to reassure them that you are a reliable website which offers them great value. There are plenty of ways to do this but a good first step is to include a handful of logos of existing customers or quotes from satisfied users. If you’ve been featured in any well-known newspapers or websites, add their logos too. They don’t need to take up much space or attention but just to be there to subtly communicate this message.
Lower the Risk – Make it a no-brainer to proceed. You want visitors who have clicked through to your landing page to spend no more than 30 seconds looking at your page and be convinced that it makes sense to get started. The message in your marketing campaigns should flow smoothly into the landing page. With a key value proposition, simple form, evidence from customers and/or press coverage and of course an attractive design, you will minimize any obstacles. If you can offer them something with zero risk, like a free trial or an opportunity to browse or play without an initial payment, there will be little to hold them back!
About the Author
Jonny Steel is Director of Business Development at ClickTale, responsible for all partnerships, whether agencies or technology partners. With a background in e-commerce, he understands the desperate struggle websites face to understand what their customers are actually doing on the site. His main concern at ClickTale is developing a host of valuable integrations for our customers and ensuring that our valued partners are getting all the support they need. Jonny holds a law degree and MA in War Studies from Kings College, London.
ClickTale is the leader in Customer Experience Analytics, the next advance in web analytics, optimizing usability and maximizing conversion rates of any website. Its patented Customer Experience Visualization™ technology allows ebusinesses to see their customers’ true-to-life online experience at all levels of detail, from aggregated views to playable videos of users’ browsing sessions. Unlike traditional analytics platforms that assess page-to-page navigation, ClickTale reveals the customer experience inside the page. ClickTale, an enterprise-class SaaS solution, is fast to deploy and provides immediate ROI. Serving over 2,000 customers worldwide including Fortune 500 ebusinesses, ClickTale is the fastest growing company in its space.