Landing pages can be categorized into two buckets: high converting ones and the usual ones. Thanks to my background in A/B testing, I have had the privilege of observing many of our customers improve their landing pages by testing various elements.

It’s true that testing all parts of a landing page is the only way to optimize conversions but many times, there are low hanging optimization opportunities that can be addressed right away.

Again and again, in hundreds of A/B tests, I have seen marketers fix these low hanging opportunities and increase conversions dramatically. Note that I am not saying these are the only fixes you can make, but in my opinion, many landing pages on the web have not even done this level one of optimization. So, if you have a landing page and are feeling giddy to test something, here’s what you should start with.

Headlines Are More Important Than You Think

Headlines would be unimportant if visitors on the Web had the patience of a cow. It would be an ideal world if they end up spending hours just to understand your offering. Sadly, visitors have short attention span and are typically considering multiple offerings (from competitors) simultaneously.

Within first few seconds, if your headline doesn’t talk about what you are offering, most visitors are going to bounce. The job of a headline is to convey visitor what the offering is and convince him to spend further time on the landing page.

If you want to test headlines, start with these best practices:

  • Have a headline. I’m surprised to see how many landing pages lack headlines. If you don’t have one, try including one.
  • Headline should be concrete. Don’t talk about “How we have revolutionized XYZ” or “Welcome to Bob’s ABC site” or “Be ready to be amazed”. Simply talk about what your offering is about. Maybe something like: “Social media monitoring for Fortune 500 companies”.
  • Headline should be the first thing a visitor looks at. If you have a small headline or one with poor contrast, that defeats the point. Have a large, prominent block of text that you can actually call a headline.

There are some detailed case studies from our customers who tested headlines and increased conversion rate. Have a look:

Call To Action Buttons: Probably The Easiest Way To Increase Conversions

Visitors have low attention spans and don’t like to think too much while surfing the Web. That’s the assumption you have to take while designing and optimizing a landing page. The job of call to action button, as the name suggests, is to scream on the landing page and ask for visitor to take some action.

If you want to fix call to action buttons, follow the guidelines below.

Many of our customers have tested their call to action buttons. Here are some of the prominent case studies:

  • Don’t have too many calls to action. When you enter a retail store, imagine if multiple sales people compete for your attention. Would you feel comfortable shopping in such a store? I guess not. Similar case holds for landing pages as well. If you have multiple calls to action (like “Signup for trial”, “Download whitepaper” and “Newsletter signup” on the same page), you are going to confuse visitor on what should s/he be doing next. Try minimizing number of calls to action. The ideal is just one no-brainer call to action.
  • Have an actionable call to action. Having dull calls to action like “Submit” or “Click here” does not excite and inform any visitor. Try to incorporate benefits into the call to action itself. Something like: “Get Started Now for Free”, “Buy now to save $25″ or “Join 25,000 other customers”. Learn the art of good copywriting and apply it on your call to action.
  • Have a big, prominent, visible call to action. You don’t want visitors to specifically look for a call to action on a page. It should jump right before their eyes. This is a reason why in repeated A/B tests, it has been found that red colored call to actions (on a white background) work much better as compared to dull colors.

Many of our customers have tested their call to action buttons. Here are some of the prominent case studies:

Social Proof: The Rarely Used Magic Tonic For Landing Pages

After fixing headlines and call to action button, it’s time to introduce some social proof on your landing page. In spite of working so well in removing fear and hesitation from visitors’ minds, social proof is rarely displayed on landing pages. It is very important that some kind of assurance is given to the visitor. And social proof does a great job of doing that.

Once a visitor is convinced that the offering is relevant to his needs, he wants to understand who else has been using it. He wants to know whether you are an established brand with thousands of customers or an upstart one person business.

Social proof allays all these fears by convincing the visitor that his time will not get wasted on the landing page because hundreds of other people have benefited from the offering. So, at a prominent location on a landing page (preferably above page fold), try including social proof (can be any of the following):

  • Logos or number of customers/users
  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • Media Coverage, etc.

There is one interesting case study by one of our customers where they increased sales by 34% just by including a testimonial.

Summing It All Up

Headlines, call to action button and social proof. These three elements of a landing page are low hanging opportunities that all marketers can utilize to increase conversion rate. But a key point to note here is that these are opportunities for testing and not a guarantee of increasing conversion rate. There are many examples on the Internet where landing pages perform well even when they have poor headlines, small call to action buttons and no social proof at all.

Hence start testing using the ideas in this post but don’t take them for granted!

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Analytics | Search & Conversion

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About The Author: is CEO of Wingify. Their flagship product Visual Website Optimizer is a market-leading A/B testing software used by thousands of enterprises and SMBs worldwide. He also writes at the popular I Love Split Testing blog. You can follow him on Twitter @wingify.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter



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  • http://imateski.blogspot.com/ Igor Mateski

    Now that’s a well written article, and a good read. I’ve been doing these things on my site and although improvements arent dramatic (since the traffic is far from dramatic), it’s still good to do the simple things first. I’ve also read on the net that it’s good to include a product tour video, which also includes a demo of how the checkout process looks like. That way, people will know what to do to get the product, and the product review will offer a more “hands-on” experience that gives the extra push so people would be more compelled to buy.
    Thanks for summing things up in a succinct way.

  • http://blog.vminnovations.com Khushbaht (Lucky)

    Nice, I would also suggest the social proof and or any other images pointing to (looking at the) “Big Call to Action” button – here is one I recently created:

    http://www.facebook.com/VMInnovations?sk=app_200526696651282

    or more obvious one by Zappos:

    http://www.facebook.com/zappos

  • http://www.mongoosemetrics.com M.M.

    Paras, these are three excellent tips. With respect to the call-to-action buttons, marketers may also want to consider integrating phone numbers as well. Depending on the product, service, device their viewing the landing page on or customer preference, individuals may be more inclined to call than complete a form or purchase online. A call tracking solution can be used to track and record these offline conversions, and then feed source data directly into web analytics to form a complete lead conversion picture for more effective analysis.

 

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