Tips for Better Landing Page Conversion
Guest Blog from SharpSpring Partner Jacob Baadsgaard of Disruptive Advertising
Landing pages are great. They’re the ideal way to deliver focused, relevant content. I’ve been using them since before “landing page” became an official marketing term and I’m a big believer in the power of a good landing page.
But what do you do when your landing page doesn’t convert?
You create what you think is the ideal page, send your traffic to it and…nothing. Your conversion rate is terrible—too low to justify continuing to send traffic to your page—and you don’t know why.
Maybe you even tried tweaking a few things on your page, like your call-to-action, headline or hero shot, but you’re still not getting the results you need. What do you do?
While there’s a lot of great information out there on landing page best practices, most of it tends to deal with testing and adjusting certain elements of your page. There’s not a lot of advice on what to do when your page seems to be fundamentally broken.
That’s what we’re going to address today.
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume that you know the basics of creating a landing page and that your page ticks all the boxes for a good landing page. So, rather than focus on the technical aspects of landing page design, let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture of landing page conversion.
Most of the time, if you have a decent-looking page that just won’t convert, the problem is much more fundamental than the copy or images you’ve chosen. Your page isn’t a good fit for your audience’s expectations or needs, and—if you want your page to convert—you need to figure out why.
Is your page meeting people’s expectations?
Often, marketers think of their campaigns and their landing pages as two separate things. Since they require different skill sets to develop and optimize, you may even have different people working on them.
For your audience, however, your ad or email campaign and your landing page are part of one continuous experience. They like what they see in your ad or email, decide they’re interested and click on your link. Your messaging has set certain expectations, and your audience believes your landing page will meet those expectations.
Take the ad and landing page below, for example. The ad gets you excited about finding an adorable, perfect pug and the landing page reflects that messaging.
As a user, you immediately feel like you’re in the right place from the moment the page loads. Your click was a vote of confidence in the ad, and that vote has been rewarded with additional information and direction.
But what if things didn’t work out that way? What if you clicked on that ad and ended up on a page like this instead?
You clicked on an ad because you want that “perfect pug”…and ended up on a page for cat adoption?
While this example is a bit extreme, it’s a good representation of the sort of thing that advertisers do to their customers all the time. Even big, brand name businesses create great ads and emails that point to confusing, irrelevant landing pages.
Your audience doesn’t want to hunt through your landing page to find the thing that got them excited about your ad in the first place. They clicked on your ad because it seemed like a simple solution to their problem. Your landing page should make finding (and acting on) the solution easy—not send them back to square one!
When your landing page isn’t converting, there’s a good chance that it’s because you’re not meeting people’s expectations. If your email is all about a sale or discount, that sale or discount should be front and center on your landing page. If your ad is focused on how happy your clients are, your landing page better feature obvious testimonials from satisfied customers.
Campaigns that get clicks are focused on a message that works for your potential customers. They’re interested in learning more and open to potentially converting. So, if your landing page is getting good traffic and isn’t converting, there’s a good chance that you’re just not fulfilling the expectations that your campaign is setting.
Are you asking for too much?
Another common mistake many marketers make is asking for more information than they need. It’s a natural impulse. After all, the more information we can collect about our potential customers, the better we can market to them.
However, from your customers’ perspective, giving you information is a sacrifice.
People are cautious about handing out their personal information, and the more you ask for, the more hesitant they will be to convert. This is especially true when the information you’re asking for feels unnecessary.
If you’re asking for their email so that you can send them a copy of your free eBook, that makes sense. But if you also want their name, business name, number of employees and average monthly revenue, they’re going to think twice about converting.
So how do you get around all of that?
The easiest way is to only ask for what you absolutely need. However, if you really want to try and get more information out of people without killing your conversion rates, you can also try using optional form fields.
No one likes being forced to hand over their personal information, but…make it a choice and they’ll be a lot more cooperative.
For example, one of my marketing agency’s clients is a retreat center. When they first started working with us, their landing page form required people to submit their name, email address and phone number:
Now, you may be thinking, “That’s not asking for a whole lot”, and you’d be right. Compared to many businesses, this is a fairly simple ask.
That being said, we wanted to see if we could reduce the ask even further. We talked to the client and found out that they didn’t really need the phone number. So, we decided to make that an optional field.
That was it. The only difference between the two landing pages was whether the phone number field was optional…or required.
As simple as that test was, the results were profound. Making the phone number optional improved our landing page conversion rate by over 75%! Yes, you read that right. That tiny little change almost doubled the conversion rate.
And the ironic thing about this test? People didn’t just fill out their name and email address.
Over 30% of the people who converted on the optional phone number page submitted their phone number. It wasn’t quite as many phone numbers as they would have gotten when the phone number was mandatory, but with the huge increase in conversion rate, they were still getting a ton of phone numbers.
So, if you’re trying to figure out why people aren’t converting on your landing page, you may want to take a close look at your ask. If you’re asking for a lot and offering very little in return, you may need to tip the scales more in your customers’ favor.
And, if you just can’t let go of a particular piece of non-essential information, try making it optional. You might be surprised at how willing people are to give away that information once you make it a choice—not a requirement.
Does your page confuse people?
Finally, what’s the biggest conversion rate killer? Confusion. As marketers, it’s easy to fall into the trap of giving people too much information, too many distractions or too little direction.
Most people won’t take the time to read through everything on your landing page. And that’s okay. You don’t want them to. The less people have to think about your offer, the more likely they are to convert.
Despite what we all tell ourselves, most people convert on a landing page because it “feels” like the right thing to do. Your job as a marketer is to make your landing page so simple and intuitive that people want to convert—even if they’re not fully certain why.
To do that, though, you have to understand exactly what you’re trying to get people to do and why they would want to do it. If you don’t understand both of these things, there’s no way that you’ll be able to seamlessly guide your audience from initial interest to enthusiastic conversion.
Think about your audience and their problems and challenges. Then, think about how your product or service will solve those problems and how it will make life better for them. Once you understand all of this, you just need to connect the dots in the simplest, clearest and most emotionally compelling way possible.
If you take the time to figure all of this out, you won’t convince everyone to convert, but everyone who sees your page will know exactly what your offer is and why it makes sense for them to convert. From there, all they have to do is decide whether or not they actually want to convert.
Landing Page Conversion Fundamentals
When you get right down to it, a good landing page isn’t some gimmick that you can fiddle with until it starts producing conversions. A good landing page clearly and effectively meets your audience’s expectations while providing a compelling case for converting. It’s as simple as that.
If you don’t understand where your audience is coming from and what you want them to do, your landing page conversion rate will almost certainly be poor—no matter how you tweak your page. But, if you’ve taken the time to build the kind of fundamentally sound page we’ve discussed here, you’ll win over your audience and get the conversions you need.