Landing Page Optimization for Beginners
As an entrepreneur, you know how important your website is for lead generation and sales. That is why you want to know everything about building the perfect website or why you pay a company to build that perfect website for you. Either way, you will sometimes have to add content to your website yourself. With that content, you generally aim to increase sales. That is why you need to know about landing page optimization. If you research the term, you will find tons of ultimate guides and best guides ever, but these can be overwhelming if you are looking for a few quick tips.
Therefore, in this blog, I will give the basics of landing page optimization. I will first explain what a landing page is, after which I will present Dale Cudmore’s simple guide to landing page optimization and list essential landing page elements and landing page optimization tips.
Landing page optimization 101: what is a landing page?
Do not mistake a landing page for your homepage. According to Chaitanya Sagar, that is often the first problem small business owners face: “When I talk about landing page, you may think I am talking about your home page. We assume that our prospective clients first land directly on our homepage, and then follow the textbook method of going to inner pages and buy your products. That is hardly the truth.”
The technical definition of a landing page is any page that a visitor first visits on your site; they “land” on it. According to Dale Cudmore, the modern interpretation of a landing page, especially in the context of a business, is much different. A landing page is a page on your website with one specific goal: to get a user to perform one specific action. The most common job for a landing page is to get a visitor to fill out a basic email form and submit it. From there, you can use their information to move them through your sales funnel. You should be sending most of your cold traffic to a landing page (when possible), because once you have their information, you can direct them around your site as you deem fit.
Dale Cudmore’s simple guide to landing page optimization
I have found that Dale Cudmore has a simple guide that takes you through the process of landing page optimization step by step.
Zero in on your ideal customer
What it comes down to is understanding your target audience. There are two main areas of your audience that you need to research in order to build a complete customer profile.
- Customer Demographics: demographics are the cold hard facts about your target market
- Customer Psychographics: psychographics are more subjective and describe your ideal customer’s attitude, lifestyle, values, and behaviors.
Install analytics (if you have not already)
Optimization is not a guessing game. Every hypothesis that you make and every test that you run must be based on data.
Optimize your page for its traffic sources
- PPC ads: A big mistake many businesses make with PPC ads is that they work to create a compelling advertisement that achieves a high click-through rate but as they do that, the message in the ad no longer matches the message on the landing page. Your landing page must match your ad as closely as possible. When you can, give it the exact same title.
- Organic ranking: If your landing page manages to rank well organically in search, make sure that your meta title and description match what is on the page. Any time you drive traffic to a landing page, the messages must match.
Evaluate your value proposition
You can drive traffic to any landing page if you have the resources, but if you do not have an offer that appeals to anyone, your conversion rate will suck.
Is the content compelling?
Writing persuading content can be the difference between an “okay” conversion rate and a “great” conversion rate. There are two key things to keep in mind here: use the language your readers use and use trigger words.
What do you want the readers to do?
If it is not obvious what you want your reader to do or why they must do it, you have automatically lost a huge chunk of your conversions. Here is what you need to do: tell readers what you want them to do, tell them what is in it for them, and make it obvious and simple.
Why should users trust you?
There are a few ways you can inspire trust and confidence in visitors who are a little unsure of if they should buy from you: testimonials, social proof, trust seals and case studies.
Evaluate your user experience
Get rid of pictures that do not add to your message, navigational menus (you want them to stay on this landing page) and any distracting features of your design. Make sure that all your text is easy to read. Finally, check your landing page from multiple browsers and multiple devices.
Begin split testing
No matter how good you are at designing landing pages, your conversion rate can be improved by split testing. You may end up with several ideas of changes you can test. Design identical versions of the landing page, but change the one detail you think could be improved. Split your traffic to each page and see which one produces a better conversion rate. Repeat this process over and over, and you will see an amazing increase in conversion rate as your landing page becomes more and more optimized.
Essential landing page optimization tips
According to Dummies.com, the following optimization tips keep visitors who land on your page from moving to other sites.
Choose keywords carefully
Your conversions will ultimately suffer if your keywords are not researched and tested. Keywords provide the framework from which your advertising campaign is built.
Keep key information in the fold
The fold area is where you capture your reader’s attention. Put key content and enticing elements here, starting with your heading.
Use trust elements
To increase conversions, gain visitors’ trust with trust elements.
Know your demographic inside and out
Your landing page is designed around your demographic. The language, navigation, and pictures are all done with the demographic in mind; if not, your conversions will suffer.
Fees should never be hidden. Do not spring any unpleasant surprises on your customers. For those that really want your product, they will gladly pay that little extra in shipping — if they know about it in advance.
Write to appeal to your audience; this includes an ethical appeal, a rational appeal, and an emotional appeal.
Use contact information
Do not hide away. Visitors gain confidence when they know how to get a hold of you.
Key landing page optimization strategy: keep critical content above the fold
According to Dummies.com, a key landing page optimization strategy is to keep critical content above the fold. In landing page optimization lingo, above the fold means that important content appears on the first screen so viewers see it immediately. Otherwise, they will have to go below the fold by scrolling down to the next screen. Stay above the fold with these strategies:
Match fold content and advertising
To reduce bounce rates, tie in your advertising with the content in the fold. Not matching the customer’s expectations will create high bounce rates and low returns.
Match fold content and keyword search
Visitors will often use specific words in their search engine to find what they are looking for. Focus your keywords in the fold to match the keywords used by a visitor’s search.
Put key content in the fold
Do not save the best for last. Many visitors will not scroll past the fold so grab their attention quickly.
Avoid oversized images
When trying to impress your visitor, it is common to put too large of an image on a page. This presents a problem for a couple of reasons. If the customer has to scroll to see the image, it loses much of its effect. Also, if it takes too long for the image to load, a visitor may just give up and leave.
Craft the best heading possible
The heading in the fold has to be engaging and catch the reader’s attention fast. Test, re-test, write and rewrite your heading.
Do not get too fancy
Fancy elements, such as Flash and heavy graphics, can delay load times and draw visitors away from the content they are looking for.
Watch your header size
A header that is too large may distract or leave little room for important fold content. This will force the visitor to scroll just to get the basic information.
What can I do for you regarding landing page optimization?
As you have read, the demographics of your target groups are very important in determining the content of your landing pages. Having your content in one language greatly decreases the target groups you can reach. For continued, sustained success of your landing pages, it helps to have them in several languages. The more languages you have your content available in, the more people can or want to read it. I am the owner of translation agency BudgetVertalingOnline, which offers affordable translations English <> Dutch. Therefore, I can help you if you want to reach a bigger audience. Would you like to get in touch? Send me an email (email@example.com), send me a Tweet (@GdenHolder) or fill out the quotation form.
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