It's common for companies to spend thousands on pay-per-click advertising and SEO every month. Online marketing strategies are dynamic, costly and often the most effective way to connect with a target audience. However, many companies find it easy to forget about the most important factor in almost any internet marketing campaign: their landing pages.
Recent research from thousands of landing pages suggests that several relatively simple adjustments to existing landing pages can dramatically alter results. Listed below are five factors that offer the greatest improvement to almost all landing pages.
1. The Right Name for the Submit Button
Four different submit buttons were tested. They were labeled “Submit,” Free Consultation,” “Get Started” and “Next.” Both “Next” and “Submit” clearly yielded the best results. “Free Consultation” was the least successful button. “Next” is short, and it does not ask too much. “Submit” is similar.
2. The Right Headline for Each Page
It is important to understand what truly motivates potential customers before introducing a headline. The best headlines are short, tell a story and offer a clear value proposition simultaneously. The end user needs to understand the page headline almost immediately in order to gain their attention.
One easy way to test headlines is to ask others not familiar with a particular business what the first thing they notice is when looking at the page. Simply redesign the page until the headline is the first thing all users notice when vising the site.
Good headline: “Best selection of designer clothing at the right price” Poor headline: “Free shipping for orders over $100”
Also, focus on clarity before creativity. Make headers snappy, but do not make them too confusing.
3. Limited and Simple Navigation
Landing pages with less navigation options tend to perform better. There has to be enough content for users to quickly identify what a specific company is all about. However, too many options and confusing features can prompt users to bounce to a different site within seconds. Many sites see improvements in conversion rates after removing the top-level navigation on the lead-capture page. Put the most important content in obvious places on the page.
4. Keep Selling Points Focused
Short selling points are more effective than lengthy prose. Try to avoid wrapping lines of text, and limit bulletted lists to six bullets. Lists with four-to-six points and a short introduction are ideal. Also, get rid of text that adds fluff. Cliché phrases like “…and much more!” distract the user from important content.
5. Have the Right “Hero Image”
This image is an aesthetically pleasing and easy way to break up text to make blocks of content easier to read and remember. It is important to refine the image to optimize the user experience.
In general, people sell. Images of happy customers or personified brands are almost always more effective than logos or images that are overly product-oriented.
The Little Things that Drive Conversion Rates
Many small features have been proven to improve conversion rates, even on landing pages that already perform well. It is important to test concepts and be ready to perfect each individual component of every lead-capture page.
Michael Mothner is the founder and CEO of Wpromote, an online marketing firm that runs SEO, PPC and social media campaigns for companies worldwide. He's also the author of the new book, "Experts & Engines: ROI Focused Online Marketing Through Intuitive Search Intelligence."