Marketing experiments: Anatomy of an irresistible landing page
As you may know a conversion is usually defined as when someone performs a desired task on a website, often filling out a form. In our situation they are downloading a free tool or e-book.
The diagram to the right shows total visits and totals conversions. Overall, we had 8,000+ visits at a 6.1% conversion rate.
Our free tools are converting really well, and to give you an idea:
And our flagship tool, Web Strategy Planning Template is at 30.2%, although the volume of converts is much higher.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
What makes a good landing page?
In short, they need a compelling and valuable offer, no navigation, a clear call to action, assurances that email address will be kept private, a list of benefits, a good headline and ideally a preview of the download (we use slideshare). The more detailed list is as follows:
#1. Valuable offer
Without doubt the most important component of a powerful landing page is a valuable offer. People will jump through more hoops, fill in more form fields and forgive a confusing page if they what you are offering is worth it!
And none of the next 10 tips are worth a penny if your offer is lousy.
#2. No distractions
The best landing pages remove the main navigation so that the person visiting your landing page isn’t confused and doesn’t have to think too hard about what they need to do.
It’s not because people are stupid and you need to ‘dumb it down’, it’s because people are busy and you must make it easy. Picture the environment most people are likely to to in when they view your landing page. It’s highly likely they’ll have with 15 tabs open on their computer screen, talking phone calls, finishing a report, getting IM’d by a colleague and if you’re lucky they’ll glance at your page long enough to make sense of it. You must keep it simple ;)
#3. Great Title
A great title needs to be clear and compelling to a human, and ideally search engine optimised. That means it includes a phrase that lots of people are searching for in Google.
#4. Product icon
If you’ve got a digital download which most landing pages offer, then it is important to make the product “tangible” by creating an image of it. 3D images are best because they look like you can pick them up and touch them.
You want to make sure you clearly outline the reasons why someone would want to download your resource. A bullet point list of the benefits is usually effective.
Testimonials and Facebook comments add weight to your credibility. It is easy to enable this Facebook comments functionality, and when you include testimonials it’s best to include photos and links to their Twitter or company to increase credibility.
#7. Social proof
Plus, it provides the social proof that your content is legit! The more ‘shares’ you have the more people will trust your page. People like to know that there is safety in numbers!
One interesting tweak I made was to add the words “Join 10,512 other savvy marketers” above the form instead of “Free Download”.
This small change increased conversion by 3.2%.
#8. Short form
You want to make this process as frictionless as possible for the person filling in the form, so I’d suggest aiming for First Name, Last Name and Email as the mandatory fields, and the I choose to ask for Company but it’s not compulsory.
#9. Privacy assurances
Spammers and bad marketers have made us all very skeptical of parting with our email addresses, so you need to make assurances that you will always keep it private and never share it with anyone.
#10. Clear call to action
If you can, make the button big, bold and colourful and it will stand out clearly.
Also if you can make the call to action words <verb> <noun>, for example “Download Template”, it will get a higher conversion rate than say, “Submit”.
#11. A preview of the goods
Letting people ‘preview the PDF’ can push conversions up because they are more confident of what they are getting. I prefer to use Slideshare to give reader a preview of our e-books and templates.
This is where many marketers will disagree with me and say that if you let people preview it on Slideshare, why would they download it through your form? Well, my experience indicates that people are more than happy to fill out the form because they trust you enough and actually want to enter into a relationship.
And if they want to go to the effort of downloading your content via Slideshare, then that is fine too!
What have you discovered in your marketing?
Please share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!