Creating a landing page that converts is incredibly important for any membership website or web-based business. They are surprisingly easy to get wrong, but the following guidelines should set you on the path to profit.
THE most important component of any landing page is knowing what action you want visitors to take. If you have more than one action then consider setting up separate landing pages for them. Conversion rates are always highest on landing pages with a single, clear call-to-action.
The actions themselves are almost always trying to get a visitor to do one of the following:
1. Go to another page
2. Buy something
3. Subscribe to your emails or RSS signup
4. Tell a friend about your site
5. Provide feedback
Generally any call-to-action will have a button which completes the action, like a free trial, or contact button. Make it “pop” by using a highly contrasting colour. If you use a promo box then you can either make the whole box a contrasting colour, or just the button. This guides a casual reader scanning the page right to the conversion point, hopefully increasing your conversion rate.
Copy is the foundation on which a great conversion rate is built. The following tips are all essential to any landing page:
Engaging headlines – Excite or interest the reader so they want to read the paragraph underneath rather than skip past.
Simple, clear, specific language – Present information simply so the reader can digest it quickly. They aren’t going to look up any obscure words and will not appreciate re-reading a complex sentence to make sense of it, if they even bother to try.
Benefits before features – State the benefits a reader will get with you, then go on to explain the feature that provides that benefit. This engages readers earlier, maintaining their interest. For example, instead of writing “our special infusion technique makes for a great taste but with low calories so you needn’t feel guilty” you could write “enjoy a delicious drink, guilt free! Our special infusion technique makes for a great tasting low calorie drink”. See the difference?
Proofread – A landing page is the cover by which you will judged – triple-check your spelling and grammar or risk a terrible first impression that could cost you.
You should now know what your action is, so you need to explain its premise to the visitor. A simple way to make sure you are addressing this and that you are writing persuasively is to use a persuasive copywriting tool. Try using AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) or the 4 Ps (Promise, Picture, Proof, Push). Have a look at this great article from Copyblogger – Crafting a Marketing Story that People Embrace and Share
Formatting is the simplest step on the road to an improved conversion rate. There are a wealth of great templates out there for landing pages – this article from Unbounce is just one source of inspiration. Notice that in every template the call-to-action button stands out with a contrasting, bright colour; this is very good practice.
Website visitors will scan a page for the information they want. This is where formatting can make or break a landing page. Break up your copy and give sections a clear heading so that a reader can quickly find what they are looking for.
Your logo should be present on every page of your website, preferably in the same place. Achieving this will allow visitors to immediately recognise that they are on your website, building familiarity and trust, and increasing the chances of a conversion.
As with any content, images need to reinforce or expand upon the text, not distract from it. It is better to use simple icons or smaller graphics that do not draw the eye away from text and call-to-actions. Using big images also increases load time. Optimize the file size so the image looks good with the minimum resolution. A one-second delay in load time can decrease conversions by seven percent.
The following article from “Search Engine Land” focuses on a very surprising and interesting case study – Copy Vs. Design: Which is Most Important to Conversion?
Social proof can be powerful tool for converting those fence-sitters. A cautious reader is far more likely to believe a third party than you — so if you have the option to, use the following:
Testimonials and case studies — they are a great way for readers to learn about your company, exactly what you do and see some of your previous (hopefully top-quality) work. Video testimonials are great, but post a choice quote next to them; the short attention span of the average visitor means they won’t be willing to commit to watching a video.
Include quotes from great reviews, with a link to where the review is posted so that a visitor can trust that is authentic.
Got any awards? Show them off on your landing page, it will show visitors that you are at the top of your field and will inspire more confidence in you, leading to a higher conversion rate.
Embed tweets or Facebook posts from clients so a visitor can see that you have good customer service and that you are active on social media.
If you are active on social media, show off your follower base – there is safety in numbers and if lots of people are following you, you must be good.
If you have followed the above advice then your landing page should be great, but it will never be finished. You should be continually optimizing to ensure you are always converting the maximum percentage of visitors. Can you afford to let potential customers slip through your fingers? Not many people can, and even if you can, you shouldn’t. Keep testing and monitoring the effect each change has on your conversion rates. You will be surprised how small changes can make a big difference.
We like to think that we practice what we preach, so check out the SubHub homepage:
Our call to action buttons pop with bright colours
The premise of our offer is clear in the slider
Icon bullet points mention the benefits before the features
The features/benefits are separated for easy-reading
There are two testimonial videos with quotes extracted
We have a box dedicated to our inclusion by Capterra as a “leading membership management solution”
For more articles on content that converts have a look at our Your Content articles