Last time, I shared with you the 10 landing page elements, such as the call to action, that make up the anatomy of a landing page.
Once you have identified your elements, there are five dimensions to evaluate if the elements will work at converting your visitors. The five dimensions are:
Everything else about your page can suck (the technical term we use in Brooklyn), as long as you manage to understand your visitor's intent and meet it with a page that is relevant to their needs, matches their expectations, and explains things in terms they understand for where they are in their buying process.
First: If your visitor came from an advertisement, be sure to maintain scent between the landing page and the advertisement. If it is a search or PPC (define) ad, then your ad and landing page should match the query the visitor used. And, the offer used should match from ad to landing page. If it is a display ad, the offer, imagery, colors, etc., should match from the ad to landing page.
Each of the 10 landing page elements should be relevant to the visitor's goal while ensuring they complete the action you want them to. Remove anything on the page that is not relevant to their buying process and anything that does not help them convert. This will also ensure the message's clarity.
Your message must also speak to the correct persona for their preferred way of gathering information, making decisions, and stage of the buying process.
The better each of your elements are crafted, the better your results. Your copy should be engaging and easy to read, both from a relevance and visual appeal. Your copy should be skimmable and scannable - visitors won't waste time reading until they scan the page and make sure it is relevant to them. Your landing page and any graphical elements you use should look professional; that doesn't necessarily mean it needs to look pretty. Often times, ugly but professional pages convert better; don't let your graphic designer kill your conversion rate. Even the quality of a voiceover in a demo can make a conversion difference.
Where elements on the page are located can make a huge difference. Try to get the most relevant information and calls to action above the fold. If you have a multiple column page, what elements appear in what column also matter. The order of your elements matters too; this is often the case in copy where I have found that if I take the last paragraph of copy that is on the page and make it the first paragraph, it will usually increase conversion rates.
Be conscious of what elements lay next to each other. An example I use is Overstock.com. A graphic next to the internal search box reads "Kids Titles for Learning and Fun" on its movie page. When the two elements are looked at together, visitors think they are related. They ended up thinking that the search box was for searching kids' movies. As soon as we swapped the graphic to "search over 24,000 movies," it accounted for a 5 percent increase in revenue. It was that big of a deal. Or as my friends from WiderFunnel will tell you: be careful of adding trust seals next to calls to action; sometimes the visual distraction causes visitors to not take any action.
Stand 6 to 10 feet back from your page - what stands out? Is your call to action obvious? Can your visitor tell who you are, why they should trust you, and how you are relevant to their need in just a matter of seconds? Make good use of color, layout, and white space so key elements jump off the page and make the visitor's eyes flow from one element to the next. Attention heatmaps, like AttentionWizard from fellow ClickZ columnist, Tim Ash, can be used to simulate visitor visual processing and attention to judge element visual prominence, but it can't account for visitor motivation and your relevance.
These five dimensions of the 10 landing page elements, in conjunction with some testing, can help you have the most effective landing page for converting your visitors to take action. In my next column, I'll share with you the seven factors of form design that are critical to your conversion rate.
Bryan Eisenberg is coauthor of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times bestselling books "Call to Action," "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?," and "Always Be Testing." Bryan is a professional marketing speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as SES, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, SEM Konferansen Norway, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others. In 2010, Bryan was named a winner of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation's Rising Stars Awards, which recognizes the most talented professionals 40 years of age or younger in the field of direct/interactive marketing. He is also cofounder and chairman emeritus of the Web Analytics Association. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of SES Conference & Expo, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and several venture capital backed companies. He works with his coauthor and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at BryanEisenberg.com.