A perfectly crafted landing page has its place in the Hall of Fame for eCommerce growth.
A well-designed and flawlessly executed landing page can make the biggest difference in your overall marketing strategy. Getting your landing page to that point, however, is laced with pitfalls and rigorous testing.
This guide is designed to help you put your best face forward by putting together spectacular growth-focused landing pages.
THE ANATOMY OF A LANDING PAGE
A landing page has a special place in the conversion process of turning your traffic into dollars.
Simply put, a landing page is a single webpage specifically designed for a slice of targeted traffic. It has the aim of providing a relevant experience while simultaneously qualifying a visitor as a potential consumer. The ultimate objective of a landing page is to push visitors along the buying process while equipping them with necessary information.
To get a little precise, a landing page is an attempt to capture a potential customer’s buying intent or to make them more aware of a problem they may have. Every potential customer has a unique problem and requires a specific type of attention in order to be adequately convinced they should make a purchase. Landing pages are an attempt to help visitors make that jump.
Landing pages are not only an incredibly effective way to increase conversions, they are also an excellent opportunity to bring in and retain traffic. The following tactics have been used to great success by savvy eCommerce merchants and are designed to turn your landing pages into high-functioning engines of growth.
CLARIFY YOUR CALL TO ACTION
Too many merchants fall into the pitfall of spending too much time on every other landing page component without clarifying or bringing enough attention to their Call To Action (CTA). Your landing page is an opportunity to demonstrate your value proposition through the lens of a particular goal, and your CTA is your shot to move visitors along the pipeline.
Simply put, your CTA answers the question “What do you want visitors to do once they land on this page?” Do you want them to be left with a cliffhanger wondering what to do? That won’t be good for conversions and growth—so, probably not. Do you want them to click a link to download a guide, to check out your products, or to book an appointment? Be sure to explicitly say so, to eliminate any potential confusion.
Additionally, merely writing your CTA in a clear and direct manner isn’t enough. Your CTA should be very easy to understand and even easier to find. Use an alternative color, font, or design that shows visitors exactly what they need to see. A few quick and easy tactics are to:
Use contrasting colors. Our eyes are naturally attracted to stark differences in color.
Utilize white space. Clean landing pages give our eyes room to explore. Combined with a well-executed CTA, our eyes have no choice but to find it.
Use action words. Start, Download, Send Me, View—all are effective words commonly used in CTAs.
A/B TEST MULTIPLE LANDING PAGES
The most successful landing pages are often the product of relentless A/B testing.
View the journey to finding the perfect landing page as an experiment. You’ve got a hypothesis, such as “changing my CTA to blue will increase conversions;” a control, which is your original landing page; and your experiment, which is a new landing page with a blue CTA.
When testing your landing pages, it’s important to test a single variable at a time before making a selection. This way, you can either validate or reject your hypothesis before moving onto the next variable.
Following the example above, let’s say that your second landing page with a blue CTA was able to consistently increase your landing page’s conversions by 1.5% in a week. You proved your hypothesis, changed your permanent landing page CTA to blue, and moved on to the next variable.
It’s important that you A/B test in correlation to the number of visitors your pages get, or your results won’t be as significant. You want your results to be as reflective of the general population as possible. There’s an art to A/B testing. Sites with millions of visitors a month can test multiple different pages at a time, provided they have a single control page, whereas sites with only a few tens of thousands should only make one change at a time.
To be sure you’re A/B testing correctly, you must adjust your parameters accordingly and understand with what confidence you can adopt substantial changes.
STATE YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION ASAP
Your landing page content really comes down to the Three Second Rule, or the idea that you only have three seconds to capture visitors’ attention before they lose interest.
Keeping this in mind, it’s important you communicate your value proposition in a way that visitors understand what you offer and why they should buy or work with you in under 3 seconds. You should be able to answer these questions:
Who are you?
What do you do?
Why are you valuable to your visitors?
What should your visitors do next (CTA)?
A great value proposition can answer all of these in one to two sentences, but it takes an excellent copywriter to put it together in a way that is approachable and which doesn’t come off as overly salesy.
If your landing page doesn’t validate your visitors’ searches early on, they’re more likely to bounce and look for something that will.
Then, once you’ve communicated why visitors should stick around, you can dive into a few more questions, such as whether your product or service is worth the investment or if you are trustworthy (enter social proof).
USE HIGH-QUALITY PRODUCT IMAGES AND VISUALS
People are visual creatures, and using high-quality product images is an excellent way to appeal to their senses.
If you’re looking to supercharge your landing page and prime it for growth, having high-quality product images and visuals is a must. If your landing page’s goal is to show visitors a solution to their problems, then show it to them.
Having high-quality product images not only helps demonstrate your value to visitors, it also shows that you’re making the effort to create a good experience. To consumers, every detail on your landing page is reflective of the potential relationship they will have with you if they were to do business with you. If you neglect your product images and visuals, you’ll be missing out on creating a great first impression for many of your potential customers.
Additionally, merchants who use product images from the manufacturer are not only creating a lackluster experience for their visitors, they’re also running the risk of getting penalized for duplicate content.
Most smartphones are capable of taking phenomenal product pictures, but the proof really is in the process. Savvy merchants know the importance of lighting and editing to showcase their products.
An investment in a professional photographer’s time to ensure that your product images are of high quality will pay off big-time. You will not only have some stunning pictures for your landing pages, but also for your product pages and other social media and email campaigns.
UTILIZE VIDEO DEMONSTRATIONS
To take the human tendency to react positively to visuals a step further, video demonstrations of a product or service make it much easier for your visitors to understand your value proposition.
Landing page videos are an effective and fun way to increase conversions and, maybe, even get a few shares. Video demonstrations are your opportunity to highlight the benefits of your product or service in a concise manner that keeps page visitors entertained. Unsurprisingly, video demonstrations can boost conversions by as much as 20%.
If you do choose to pursue the video route, keep in mind that humans have a very short attention span when it comes to online content. You’ve got anywhere between 3 to 8 seconds to make an impression to keep your visitors’ attention, so be sure to make your videos as concise as possible. Here are a few tips to optimize your videos:
Make your audience aware of their problem early on, so that they stick around and pay attention for the solution.
Communicate a clear value proposition of what you or your products bring to the table. What’s the differentiating point between you and the other guy?
Utilize strong visual cues to guide visitor attention within the video, as well as throughout your landing page.
Get to the point early on. No need for early introduction frames.
Have a clear call to action for next steps a visitor should take.
Mention customer testimonials—entice people to scroll down to see more social proof.
Your landing page videos are like landing pages within themselves, and an effective landing page video can close a sale right then and there. At the very least, your landing page videos should demonstrate exactly what your product or service is and how it can help visitors solve their problems.
HIGHLIGHT DIFFERENTIATING FACTORS
Savvy merchants know what makes them stand out from the competition in the eyes of their potential customers, and they are experts at communicating it. This differentiating factor could be anything from your hassle-free shipping and return policies to the personal benefit of working with your sparkling, yet professional personality.
It’s important to understand the difference between product benefits and product features.
Features are surface level statements about your service or product. These include what it can do and other specs. For example, advertising your product as being the “most lightweight shoe on the market” communicates a feature.
Benefits show the end result your potential customers will get. For example, the attached benefit to your lightweight shoes would be “run faster and for longer.”
Feature-based marketing is largely ineffective, whereas great communication of benefits can skyrocket your conversion rates.
By explicitly stating what your product’s benefits are, you eliminate some of the cognitive load it takes visitors to figure it out. This preserved mental energy will keep them focused on moving along the purchasing journey rather than becoming prematurely exhausted and saving their search for later.
The last thing you want your landing page to do is to leave visitors thinking “So what?”
TARGET THE RIGHT TRAFFIC
Ultimately your landing page efforts aren’t going to do you any good if you aren’t targeting the right people or sending them to the right landing page.
In order to target the right traffic, you must completely understand what the goal of your landing page is. Do you want to sell something? Do you want to collect emails and establish a long-term relationship? Any lack of clarity not only bleeds into your landing page copywriting but can also create a mismatch between your keyword targeting and landing page objectives.
Savvy merchants even go as far as to create different landing pages for different phases of the buyer’s journey. For example, if a keyword or ad reflects an awareness-focused interest and doesn’t have as much buyer’s intent, a landing page can be created to help visitors satiate their desire to learn more.
This landing page would be more information-heavy and could be strategically written to convert visitors from being aware into being interested in your product with an appropriate CTA.
UTILIZE SOCIAL PROOF
There’s something deep down in human psychology that drives us toward group decisions. This is largely the reason why people react so positively to social proof in the form of testimonials and reviews.
The more human a testimonial or review appears, the more likely it will play a positive role in influencing a visitor’s decision for the better.
A few of the components of an excellent piece of social proof include:
An endorsement from a well-known figure. Star power is a very real thing, but you don’t necessarily need to have a celebrity on your side to reap the benefits of a positive review from a reputable figure. Figure out who the thought leaders are, in the world of your target audience, and try to form a relationship by giving them access to sample your product. Visitors will make the connection between this figure and your brand, making your product or service seem that much more credible.
A testimonial from someone in a similar situation as your target audience. Nailing this tactic comes down to how well you understand your buyer personas. These testimonials are an opportunity to give your buyer personas life in the form of a real customer who is satisfied with the real results that came from your product or service. These types of testimonials work wonders for eCommerce sites because they help visitors visualize a similar situation to theirs and, ultimately, make them more comfortable in purchasing your product or service.
An honest product review. While your landing page is a place where you want to show off your best reviews, it’s important to make sure they are completely honest and authentic. Visitors can sniff out false or fabricated reviews very easily, and a landing page full of overly ecstatic reviews can raise some suspicion.
A human element. The more your visitors can relate to a testimonial or review, the better. They want to see faces and names, and be spoken to in a language that feels like it is coming from a friend.
UNDERSTAND HOW VISITORS INTERACT WITH YOUR LANDING PAGE
If you don’t understand how traffic moves on your landing page, you’re essentially shooting in the dark.
There is a handful of ways you can find this out, each one varying in the level of detail. The most popular way to understand your traffic patterns is to utilize Google Analytics. In the “Behavior” section of Google Analytics, click on “Site Content” and then “Landing Pages,” and you will see a list of popular pieces of content on your site. Click on your particular landing page and observe the different metrics—in particular, the “Behavior” columns.
From here, you can see your “Bounce Rate” and “Average Session Duration.” Both of these are incredibly indicative at how good a job your landing page is doing to keep people on the page. A high Bounce Rate and a low Average Session Duration means it’s doing poorly.
These numbers alone can highlight a bunch of factors about the initial impression your landing page makes. Remember the Three Second Rule from above? If your Average Session Duration is under three seconds, you may be doing a poor job of communicating your value proposition. If your bounce rate is really high, you might be doing a poor job at targeting the right audience.
While Google Analytics can help you get a surface understanding of how your traffic is moving, there are other tools out there that can help you dig in at a much more granular level.
A popular tool for understanding exactly how your traffic interacts with your page is Hotjar. Hotjar creates heat maps that help merchants understand what their users want based on their interactions with a landing page. These heat maps take everything, from clicks and taps to scrolling behavior, into account and paint a clear picture.
EMBED A FACEBOOK PIXEL
Facebook pixels are an incredibly powerful way to build audiences and are one of the most underutilized landing page strategies. A pixel works by placing and triggering cookies that track users as they interact with your landing page.
A Facebook pixel is a piece of code that you place on your website that tracks every user that lands on your page. Pixels can help site owners do everything from track conversions from Facebook ads, build an extremely specific targeted audience for future ads, better optimize ads based on the data collected, and remarket to people who have already qualified themselves by taking a specific action on your website.
Pixels help merchants collect data in a relatively non-intrusive way and get much more out of every single visit on their landing page.
One of the biggest advantages of Facebook pixel tracking is remarketing. For example, pixel tracking data allows merchants to show targeted ads to people who previously visited your site down to a particular product they abandoned in a shopping cart.
Facebook pixel tracking also allows merchants to create lookalike audiences who have similar interests, likes, and demographics to people who have already interacted with your website. This allows you to reach a larger audience that is more likely to find some sort of value on your page, allowing you to tap into an engine for killer growth.
A few standard events that come right with the copy and paste of a standard Facebook event code include tracking someone who: lands on a landing page, uses the search function, adds a product to cart, initiates the checkout process, adds payment info, makes a purchase, signs up for a trial, or completes a registration. As you can imagine, each of these provides an extremely specific avenue for future remarketing efforts.
A countdown timer is a simple way to trigger a psychological sense of urgency that helps place visitors into a conversion-ready state of mind.
When utilizing countdown timers, it’s incredibly important to emphasize a certain action that must be taken. If visitors feel like they are being rushed for no reason, they will likely bounce at a much higher rate. This is why you need to tie a specific benefit or outlined reason for the urgency with the countdown timer.
A few great countdown timer CTAs include:
Get Early Access
Get 20% Off
As long as your CTA reasonably pushes the needle toward urgency, visitors will respond positively.
GET ANOTHER SHOT WITH RETARGETING
“Maybe next time.”
This phrase has been hopelessly uttered by salespeople for generations. With retargeting, however, “maybe next time” turns into a highly efficient strategy.
The internet is a distracted, busy world and, at the end of the day, not everyone who lands on your site is going to buy something. On the other side of the coin, just because someone leaves your site or abandons your cart doesn’t mean that they won’t be willing to purchase from you in the future. On average, retargeted users convert 70% better than non-retargeted users.
All it takes is a single notification or distraction to completely derail a checkout process. Retargeting allows merchants to capitalize on missed opportunities. Just because someone left to go do something else doesn’t mean that your marketing efforts and money should go to waste.
Retargeting makes it possible to show targeted ads to users who visited your page but didn’t convert. If they were looking at a specific product, they’ll start seeing ads for that particular product while it’s still fresh in their recent memory.
Other retargeting strategies include introducing new discounts or relevant blog content that is related to your landing page.
Your landing page is essentially a bridge that connects visitors from all over the internet world with your brand. If it’s a shaky bridge, no one will want to risk it. If it’s a sturdy and polished bridge, you will start to see a steady flow of traffic funnel into your product pages and email lists.
When it comes down to it, your landing pages determine whether your marketing efforts will successfully convert traffic into revenue. The above strategies are useful to reap the full return on your investment while simultaneously firing up your landing pages to attract more attention and rank better in search engines.
Utilize these strategies to refine your landing pages and improve the amount of value you can deliver to your visitors. It’s important to understand that each industry is different, and very few visitors are the same. Understand your visitors at a behavioral level and cater to their needs.
These strategies should be a great platform to help you launch and iterate your landing pages to perfection in your particular niche.
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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