Landing pages are a fundamental part of most digital marketing efforts, especially direct response campaigns where the end goal is a specific action such as a lead or sale. Even the smallest of changes may have a significant impact on conversion volume, and ultimately, ROI. Sometimes the change is as simple as the positioning of the call-to-action button, but other times a more comprehensive change may be required. How do you know what changes should be made, though? There are so many landing page do's and don'ts out there, but they may not be a one-size-fits-all solution to every problem. Here is my take on the subject. Time and time again I see marketers making the same four mistakes, which more often than not, have had significant impacts on their conversion volume.
The Landing Page Has Too Much Clutter
We are constantly reminded that consumers have short attention spans and that they are unwilling to dig through convoluted material to find what they are looking for, so it is especially important to remember this when asking them to choose your product or offering. When you put too many options on your landing page you wind up burying your key message and desired conversion path. Consumers click through to your landing page for a reason, so make sure to address why they came clearly and succinctly, then, make it easy for them to get what they came for. You may have spent a lot of time building great assets and writing great content, but if it doesn't support consumers reaching your and their end conversion goal, leave it off of that particular landing page.
The Landing Page Provides Consumers With Too Little Information
On the other end of the spectrum are the landing pages that provide too little content to keep the consumer engaged and interested in completing the conversion. Some products have a shorter and easier sales cycle than other products, but all require compelling reasons for the consumer to convert. Make sure you are able to clearly demonstrate what those reasons are and then support those reasons with the appropriate information that consumers need to believe you.
The Conversion Path Is Unnecessarily Long and Complicated
Although there are certain products that require longer conversion paths than others, try to make the path as simple and easy as possible. With every new page that you send a consumer to comes another group of people who drop out of the conversion process because they either change their mind, lose interest, or don't have the time to finish the process. Cutting down on the steps you require for a conversion will ultimately help funnel more people through to the end.
The Biggest Mistake of All: There Are Not Any Landing Page Tests Being Conducted
David Ogilvy once said, "Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving." Though he said this years ago, his advice still holds true to this day. Testing is one of the most important things that every advertiser and marketer should be doing with their landing pages and it is a lever, that when pulled, can have a tremendous impact on a campaign's performance. Just because a page is converting for you does not mean your work is done and that you are garnering the best conversion rate you are going to get. Though it requires more creative and development costs, the benefit to constantly running A/B split tests, or multivariate tests, will almost always outweigh the losses. Think about it this way: if you run a simple A/B test and are able to boost your conversion rate from 3 percent to 3.5 percent, you are going to get a 17 percent lift in your conversion volume.
So, if you are looking to enhance your landing page experience, and ultimately, your conversion volume, spend some time with the page to make sure that you do not fall into any one of the above categories. Most importantly, always make sure that you are able to comfortably move through the conversion process, because if you are, so will your consumers.
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As Media Supervisor for Overdrive Interactive in Boston, Leah is responsible for strategy development and campaign execution for a multitude of clients, spanning across various industry verticals. Her expertise is founded on numerous integrated roles, where she has been responsible for both traditional planning of print and out-of-home media as well as digital tactics including display, mobile, social, and paid search. Over the course of her career, she has serviced clients who were strictly focused on building brand equity as well as those focused on meeting aggressive direct response goals.
Leah is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with a M.A. in advertising. She launched her career at MediaCom Interaction, New York.
March 19, 2014