Lately, speakers and listeners at conferences about Internet marketing tend to analyze issues not only related to attracting new visitors, new sources of traffic, etc., but more often to increasing conversions, different ways of converting visitors into buyers with maximum effect.As practice shows, in conditions when a cost of attraction of one visitor steadily grows, such approach to increase of sales is the most effective.
Let’s define the terminology. A landing page is any page of a site where a potential buyer or a consumer services can get. We are talking not only about a page where there is a big beautiful button “Buy!”. Any page on your site can play the role of the landing page: a home page, a page of a product catalog, a page of a single product or a page of search results sorting. Moreover, it can be a series of pages (“funnel”) with a common purpose to push a potential consumer to purchase products or with any other purpose (for example, registration).
It is difficult to notice all nuances of such complicated business like optimization of landing pages in one article, therefore we will touch basic moments:
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- Page relevance to user request
- Consistency in a design of landing pages
- Overflow or lack of information on a product page
- Don`t make them to think!
- Remember about human suspiciousness
Page relevance to user request
One of the main mistakes in designing a page and filling it with content is confidence that people will read everything you wanted to inform them about. It would be great if it was so, but the reality usually looks much worse:
Some visitors leave a page immediately, without waiting for its loading ends, the greatest part of visitors leaves after the first 2-5 seconds and learning just several words. Someone gives a chance to a page, but nevertheless, leaves it due to various reasons. Only a few people decide to begin the process of buying, but face at this stage with insoluble difficulties. And only «last heroes», the toughest part of people finish target action (for example, make purchase).
A sign of a low relevance of a page is a high bounce rate. How to struggle with it?
The easiest and at the same time the most difficult advice sounds like that: a user should see what he expects to see on a page. During the first seconds any visitor should understand where he is, what he is offered here, that to do next and whether he can trust you. How can this be achieved?
First of all this purpose can be reached with big understandable images and clear titles. Besides, I will hardly surprise you with a statement that larger fonts serve this purpose better than small ones. Everything seems to be clear and obvious, but why do so many sites exist where the tag <H1> is used more than once?
On the screenshot from amazon.com the large image of clock and the accurate title are the basic sources of information which gives an idea what exactly clock is on sale and helps a user to make a conclusion during the first 3-5 seconds whether it is fine to continue page review or not.
Consistency in design of landing pages
A user always gets to a landing page from somewhere else: from a search engine, from an advertising link from another site, from one of the other pages on your site, and he/she should be shown what he expects to see browsing through the pages of your site or while coming to your site by advertising references. It sounds a little banal, but it is so surprising how often this simple rule is disturbed. Generally, a user in the end of his way should drink from the same river on which he has begun his travel.
It means both a match in content between a transition source (e.g., advertisements or other pages on your site) and a landing page, and (preferably) match on design, e.g.:
In this example, the source of transition (banner) obviously matches the landing page content and design. But what to do with a case like this:
Let’s click on the third link and get on their corresponding landing page:
But where is the promised laptop? Lets click another link.
This page really displays the Acer Ferrari laptop; it is relevant to user’s query and looks like what user expected to see clicking the link. How do you think which of these pages does have better conversion?
One of well-known rules is also a decrease of number of clicks, due to which users make more purchases. In general this rule is true, but on many sites it is violated and it remains almost unpunished.
I would like to reformulate this rule in such way: the number of pages in the chain of purchases almost doesn`t play a role if each next click is obvious, and the user understands why he needs to move from one page to another one. But nevertheless some losses are inevitable. People are so impatient!
Overflow or lack of information on a product page
One of the most serious problems facing us is filling of product pages with correct content and its competent grouping.
Many disputes on a theme about landing page length were conducted: some say that it should be short, others – that it is better to give maximum of information.
The first most important rule is: Product page should contain enough information for a user to make a decision to purchase something. Not more or less. And main information should be located above the fold. A user may understand at once what a point about is, what he can do and how to do that. If he needs additional information, for example such as opinions of other visitors, he will be able to get it by scrolling a page.
What kind of information is necessary on a product page? First of all it is qualitative product image, and it is preferably to do them from several angles. If you sell trousers it is necessary to show both in front and rear view, if you sell, for example, bags, then it is fine to present a pencil sketch to understand how it looks on a human body. It is interesting that many visitors choose mobile phones not by technical attribute, but by a mysterious attribute like “beautiful-not beautiful”. Give them enough possibilities for estimation!
Always tell the truth. For example, don’t forget to inform that some products are not available.
On a page of a final product price, delivery and insurance information is absolutely necessary, especially, if it is a question of fragile and expensive goods. An absence of such information may be interpreted incorrectly: a visitor can think that a product costs so expensive, that you don’t dare to tell him a price. Or he can decide that payment for a product delivery costs as much as a product costs itself or whatever. Don’t give a reason to such doubts.
Never use pop-ups on a page where you want someone to buy something. Users are tired of obsessive advertising, which falls down on them from all sides, so even if you want to offer something important and valuable, for example, discounts inside of a special campaign – be careful and try to submit this information without using pop-ups.
It`s better not to use music or video “by default”, be very careful with using of such elements. Nothing should play, run, or jump on page uncontrolledly because these things really annoy visitors.
Don`t make them think!
In this case we are speaking about so-called call to action. There are some simple and, as at first glance, obvious rules:
- Key action (usually it`s a purchase) must be absolutely clear.
- One page should contain only one call to action. One page – one call to action.
On this image a call to action is highlighted clearly, despite of some more information. A user undestands clearly what to do here. Even presence of two options will hardly create problems – each of possibilities is too obvious.
- If a page is long – use an appeal to purchase several times, alternating images and text appeals.
- There shouldn`t be anything except necessary! Everyone probably knows that in casinos there are no clocks for not to distract a visitor from a game. So nothing should distract a user from a purpose of visiting a site. Any “noise” (purchase, call, or subscription) unnecessary for performance of a basic action should be removed from your site.
I would like to say a few words about a “Buy” or “Add to a basket” button:
- Contrary to a popular belief it shouldn’t be present on each page of a site, the best way is to put it only on pages where users are ready to make a purchase. Usually it is a final page of a product. Placing this button on other pages is only unnecessary expenditure of valuable place.
In the given example there is nothing unnecessary. A user can see the price and accept the final decision after coming to a specific product page.
- It is necessary to make more empty space around the “Buy” button than near other design elements – it саn help in highlighting it visually.
- “Buy” button should be large or very large and stand out from the other elements of a page. Convex and bright color can be used as ways to highlight the button.
- One advise about color: red buttons are, maybe, the most popular, but test results in most cases show an advantage of blue and green colors for the design of the specified element. Red is in some ways the color of danger, so it`s better not to abuse with red color in designing a “Buy” button.
Remember about human suspiciousness
How can we raise trust to a site? What can help us to do this? It can be:
- First of all – presence of telephone numbers. Be sure to include a phone number and use as large font as possible. Presence of a phone number shows that the real person is “on the other end of the page”. This is especially important for highly sensitive people who feel uncomfortable with online purchases.
As many researches show, a large percentage of visitors never make a purchase at once, without prior consultation.
Thanks to the phone you can eliminate one of the main disadvantages of online shopping – the inability to obtain competent professional advice and touch goods.
- If you have a possibility, make an Internet chat.
- If you have any awards, your Internet shop is a certificated partner etc. – write about it.
- Be as concrete as possible in a question of data confidentiality. For example, many are calmed by a simple mention that «your email address in any case will not be sold, transferred or used for other purposes.”
- An important point – presence of a possibility to leave feedback on your site raises trust of visitors to a site. Here is an approximate distribution of the visitors attitude toward feedback.
Let’s make a conclusion:
- The first 2-5 seconds is the most important in terms of “capture” of potential buyers` attention. Use clear pictures and clear titles for this purpose.
- Make a landing page corresponding to a query. The user should see everything he expects to see on a landing page.
- Product pages should not be too long or too short. Give only information which helps an user to decide to buy on a product page.
- Don’t force the user to think. It should be a laconic and clear call to action on a landing page.
- Make your visitors confident that you care about them. Give maximum information about yourself, demonstrate readiness to keep confidentiality of user data on the site.