Ryan's experience ranges from higher education to SMBs and tech startups. When not doing digital marketing, he's sure to be enjoying some kind of nerdy pastime.
Landing pages are more important today than ever before. As the internet gets more and more congested, the effectiveness of your website to convert is critical to maintaining a high ROI.
The sad truth is that landing page conversion rates are not a complex mystery. That’s good news for marketers, but sad because few actually take the time to do it well. It’s laziness, plain and simple.
But, in this article, we’re going to peel back the curtain and examine the eight things that will help you get optimal landing page conversion rates. And, we’ll throw in some examples so you can see them in action.
Getting High Landing Page Conversion Rates
A lot of marketers look for best practices when they build landing pages. They get a checklist, and make sure they check off each item. But, their landing page still sucks and doesn’t convert.
The hard truth is that getting higher landing page conversion rates is a bit of an art form. You have to know how to sell the offer. Salesmanship training is not lost on a landing page. And, the best marketers study salesmanship so they can be more effective in driving conversions.
The purpose of the landing page is to sell the offer. Even if it’s free monetarily, it’s not really free. You’re asking the visitor to give up their contact information and give you permission to market to them. That’s not free.
So, if you want me to give you something, you have to exchange something of equal value. Now, regardless of how valuable the offer is, if the landing page sucks, it will convert at a low rate. So, yes, the landing pages job is to sell.
Just as a car salesman uses tactics to get people to want to buy a car, you have to use salesmanship to make people want to convert. If you can do that well, these eight tips will give you a major boost to your conversion rates.
Start With a Clean Template
Starting with a clean landing page template is important. You don’t want to just use a website page, because the normal footer and header will introduce “leaks.” In other words, any link on the landing page that takes the user to another page is considered a leak.
If you have too many leaks, your conversion rate will suffer.
If a visitor arrives on your landing page, they should have two options: convert or leave.
Make Your Message Congruent
If you want higher conversion rates, you should double-check the pathway the user is taking to reach the landing page. The message needs to be congruent all the way through the conversion.
For example, if the source of traffic is a paid ad, the headline of your landing page should match the headline of your ads. Or, if your main source of traffic to the landing page is through a blog post call to action, your message should match the copy that was on the CTA.
Make Your UVP Headline Compelling
When your visitor lands on the page, the first thing they will notice is the biggest boldest text at the top of the page. That text needs to communicate instant value.
Most marketers default to pitching the offer in the headline. But, that is usually much less effective than pitching the benefit of the offer in the context of the pain points of the visitor.
Notice, the main headline you see when the page loads says nothing about the book the landing page is pitching. Instead, it appeals to the motivations of the user to “Find Your Message, Build A Tribe, And Change The World…”
VSL vs. Sales Letter
In the days of direct mail, the sales letter was everything. You would get an envelope with a huge letter, pages, and pages long, designed to walk you through the buyer journey and make you buy the product by the end of it.
Today, a lot of people still use the sales letter, but instead of sending it in snail mail, they paste it onto their landing page. You can see an example on the Expert Secrets landing page here.
Scroll down, it’s a long-form sales letter. And, it’s very compelling. Russell Brunson is one of the top sales copywriters in the business.
For others, copywriting isn’t their forte. So, they do the same kind of content and put it into a video. Then, the video is the main value prop of the offer on the landing page. Here’s an example of a VSL page from Russell Brunson. You can see that he does the same process of the sales letter, but in a video form.
Which one should you use? It depends on your personal style. They both work. If you’re best at copywriting, maybe a sales letter is the best choice. If you’re not so good at copywriting, maybe a VSL is the right choice.
Regardless, it’s how well you sell the offer that makes the most impact.
Images vs. Videos on the Landing Page
There’s a lot of debate on whether or not having a supporting image vs. a video is better for landing page conversion rates. The truth is, it depends.
Most people report experiencing a higher conversion rate when they implemented videos on their landing page. Still, some people, Russell Brunson being one of them, has said that video can often negatively impact the conversion rate.
The difference seems to be on specificity and the content of the video. The bottom line consensus seems to be that videos alone will not improve conversion rates across the board.
The best-converting pages have great copy. It’s the compelling copy that most impacts conversion rates.
When the copy is on-point, an emotional supporting image can improve conversion, and videos can do the same thing.
The nutshell of the matter seems to be, sell it in the copy first. Then, make an educated decision on whether or not you’re better going long-form content with images, or going short-form content with videos.
Writing Page Copy that Converts
Neil Patel, one of the best content marketers in the world, wrote a post on HubSpot about writing compelling landing page copy. He lists eight tips you should follow, and you can read the entire article here.
His eight tips are as follows:
- Use customer testimonials.
- Emphasize the benefits, not the product/service.
- Spend time writing a killer headline.
- Keep your writing simple.
- Write like a human.
- Use numbers and get specific.
- Ask for readers to take action.
- A/B test your copy.
Mastering the Form
Several studies have revealed the process humans use to comprehend landing pages. We read the headline, look at the images, and eventually, our eyes move to the right side of the page to the form. That’s why most landing page forms are on the right, we don’t want to give the “ask” first, and if we put it on the left side of the page, it’s one of the first things the visitor will look at.
However, some landing page forms are blended in with the page. They don’t draw the eyes at all, and conversion rates suffer. The form needs to pop against the background and stand out in contrast.
You also must be very choosy on how many fields you add. For new leads, we try our best not to ask for more than name and email address. Some businesses force a phone number, and conversion rates tank. However, for some companies, more information is necessary.
The main thing to understand is that, for every additional field, conversion rate goes down. So, if you ask for first name, last name, and email address, you will get fewer conversions than if you just asked for a first name and email address.
For longer forms, like sales orders and such, splitting the form into two or three steps can increase conversion rates. There’s a psychological desire to complete something we start. So, when you ask for a couple fields on page one, and I discover more fields on page two, I’m more likely to follow through, because I’m already engaged in the conversion.
The text of the form button has a huge impact on conversion rates as well. Do your best to connect the text of the button with the desire or promise of the offer. “Submit,” should never be used. Instead, make the button connected to the benefit of the offer, like “Get X” or “Claim X.”
In his Expert Secrets landing page, Brunson’s button text says, “Yes! I want this free book now!”
The Secret of High Conversion Rates
Rather than spending your time looking for a checklist, spend your time studying salesmanship and how to write effective sales copy. Even if you produce great videos for your landing pages, the copy of the page will have much more impact on the conversion rate.
All the tips and tricks in the world won’t really help you if you don’t execute them well. Mastering copywriting is the single, most important skill that will impact your conversion rates.
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