Landing pages and why they matter
Landing pages are a very important part of your business. You see, if you optimize your landing page, you can be increasing both your traffic and your conversion rate. Obviously, you should tailor that landing page to your preferred audience, but there are a number of things that go for all landing pages. In this post, we’ll go over some best practices to get you going!
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a page where your visitors “land” (arrive) from other sources, such as search engines or social media. So basically it’s a page that’s optimized to evoke a certain reaction from the visitor, such as buying a product or subscribing to a newsletter. Of course, you’ll have to do quite a few different things for your landing page to gain more traffic on it. In this article though, we’ll focus mainly on how to increase your conversion rate. But don’t underestimate the importance of optimizing this page for search engines. Check out our post on cornerstone content to get you started in that department.
Product pages vs. landing pages
If you have a shop and offer just a few products, your product pages will be landing pages. Take our company as an example. Our plugins all have product pages, and these pages are the pages people use to enter our site when searching for our plugins in Google or after they clicked on an ad on Facebook.
If you have a large shop, product pages and landing pages could very well be different. People will search for specific products, but also for particular categories. If you own an online shop selling clothes, people could search for a specific brand of jeans or jeans in general. You should make sure both function as landing pages.
Focus your landing pages
Focus is especially important on your landing pages since this is where you’re selling your products! Make sure you only have one thing people can focus on and not a lot of different things. If people come to your landing pages because they are looking for the ballet shoes you are offering on your website; you want to guide these visitors to your checkout.
For most landing pages it’s usually pretty easy to figure out what you want people to see most prominently. If you’re selling a product, your landing page for that product should focus on the ‘Add To Cart’ button, also known as the call-to-action. Think about the placement, color and text of your call-to-action. We’ve said this before.
Safety signs and security seals
Safety signs are security seals and logos that increase the trust of your visitors. They make sure people feel like your landing page is a safe place. Of course, some safety signs seem to be more effective than others. Though, having a security sign works better than having none.
ConversionXL did a great article on which seals work best, go read that one as well.
People also prefer your eCommerce shop supporting more than just one payment option. And if people see your landing page has (multiple) trustworthy credit card logos, they’ll feel safer on it! But most importantly, about 60% of your visitors will just abandon their transaction if their preferred payment option isn’t or appears not to be available. So make sure these signs and logos are easy to find on your landing page.
Social proof: testimonials
Wikipedia gives the following description of the term ‘social proof’:
“A psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.”
Make sure you use photos with your testimonials. Photos of the customer add to the credibility of the testimonial. The more legit a testimonial looks, the better it will work. It goes without saying that you should never make your testimonials up yourself.
A good way to convey that your testimonials are legit is by using video testimonials. This will obviously take more time, but videos are great for getting a message across.
Testimonials of influential people usually have more impact. Some people are so well-known in their field of work that their opinion carries weight. So with testimonials from influential people, the product will be perceived as better, and your company as more trustworthy.
This means that people will try to copy the behavior of others. And if you show them others who were (very) happy with your product, this will convince them to use it as well. One way to do this is by showing testimonials on your landing pages.
Another way to do this is showing how many other people have already used your product. This is often used for newsletter subscriptions, for example. We’re doing this on our WordPress SEO plugin page as well:
Headlines of your landing page
Your landing pages have to be very clear about your product from the start. People’s attention span is just about 8 seconds, so you have to make sure you tell all the important stuff first and tell it as fast as possible.
Make sure to optimize your headline and tagline. These should clearly communicate the core goal of your product. Create a headline for your landing page that attracts your visitors’ attention. Below that could be a tagline that brings home the message of your headline. Writing decent headlines and taglines is a science on its own, so this is something you need to test.
Images are said to have a significant impact on navigating your visitor from your landing page through your website. If you’re selling physical products, having decent images on your landing pages can have a really big impact. This way people will better understand what they’re buying. It’s a replacement for actually touching and seeing a product in a physical store.
An excellent way to increase people’s understanding of your product is by having pictures of people using your product on your landing page. People can envision themselves using the product then as well. Beware of the dangers of this, though: using people in pictures will almost always result in facial distraction. Make sure the people in the pictures are looking the right way.
Your landing page should at least optimize for the following things I’ve mentioned in this post:
- Social proof
- Safety signs
- Payment options
All these things require some actual thought and testing before you’ll know what works specifically for your website. So make sure you put some thought in this and test different versions before deciding what to go with. Good luck optimizing your landing page!