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Quick And Easy Ways To Improve A Lowly Landing Page
By Victoria Taylo
Fact: It’s easier to capture leads from a well-designed landing page than from a typical blog or website. Because while a blog or website may satisfy a range of objectives, the landing page is built for just one: capturing leads. In some cases, all you need is a high converting landing page to bring in the big bucks. If only it were so easy. Fortunately, there are several quick and easy tweaks that can hugely improve your landing pages. Here are ten.
10 ways to improve your landing page right now
1. Narrow the focus
Often, the more options you’re given, the longer it takes to come to a decision. Too many landing pages try to do too much, and as a result, don’t achieve anything at all. Instead, every landing page should have a single and clarified goal, and all information on the page - from the headline and body copy, to the images, call to action, and
design
- should be focused on achieving that goal.
Image from Unbounce
In the above example, the headline, body copy, graphics, form, and call to action are all supportive of the main the page’s main goal: a 30-day landing page conversion course.
2. Strengthen the headline
The headline is the most important element of a landing page. It is where
interest, attention, and understanding
all begin. Indeed, your headline is the first thing most visitors see, so it’s really important that it hooks and reels them in. In fact, 80 percent of readers never make it past the headline. So how do you ensure your landing page doesn’t lose 80 percent of readers? Here’s a mini checklist for composing strong headlines:
  • Is it bold and clear?
  • Is it benefit driven?
  • Is it above the fold?
  • Does it inform the reader?
  • Is it short and to the point?
    Around ten words
    is best practice.

Additionally, here are some overall headline preferences:
Image from Conductor
3. Add a value proposition
Every landing page should include a solid
value proposition
. A value prop is simply the reason a consumer should buy from you. They’re formatted as clear and simple statements which are...
  • Relevant
    - Explains how the product or service solves customers’ problems or improves their situation.

  • Quantified
    - Delivers specific benefits.

  • Unique
    - Tells and convinces the customer why they should buy from you and not from the competition.
Your value prop should explain what you’re selling, who it’s for, and how it’s useful. Speak in the language of the customer and write with their pain points in mind.

Brevity and clarity are key here. Things can get wordy for complex products and services, but fight that. Your
value proposition should be read and understood in 5 seconds
.
Recommended Reading:
Value Propositions: How To Get It Right
Image from Pinterest
Pinterest does this well. The value prop is simple, clear, quantifiable, and enticing.

4. Emphasize the benefits
Benefits help support the value proposition and provide more specifics (often in list form) to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” Rather than features (factual statements about the offer being promoted), benefits emphasize the advantage or profit visitors gain from converting. For instance, how will the offer impact their work or lives? If you can’t easily answer this question, reconsider the purpose of the offer. Remember, it's about them. Instead of calling your product “the latest in home technologies,” explain why this is significant, with a focus on benefits over features. Also, keep in mind that brevity goes a long way. Craft copy that's both brief and informative. A bullet point list is adequate here. Showcase
two to five benefits
most likely to strike a chord with your audience. Refer to your
buyer personas
, and pay attention to buyer challenges and pain points. Describe how your offer helps solve these problems. Here’s a great way to demonstrate them once you’ve nailed them down:
Image from HubSpot
5. Beef it up
If you’re selling an expensive or particularly complex product or service, you may need to use longer form copy to make a compelling case. Costly and/or complex products and services require more rational thinking from the consumer. Therefore, these offerings require more info (more meat) to effectively persuade visitors. Use
explanations, proof, and testimonials
to make your case. Ensure that the content is designed in a way that visitors can easily consume and digest. Avoid large chunks of text and information overload. And don't be so afraid of length.
Moz
increased revenue by $1 million by redesigning a landing page that turned out to be six times longer than the control.
Image from
Conversion Rate Experts
6. Utilize social proof
A potent and commonly used method of conversion is social proof, such as displaying testimonials and showing your numbers. People value other’s opinions, and they take solace in knowing they’re one of thousands (or hundreds) of others. This added perspective can be seriously persuasive. In fact, researchers at the Washington Post found that
positive social proof is more influential than money
! What to know about displaying social proof:
  • It works better with pictures. Pictures are found to increase trust, even when the photos are “nonsensical.”
  • Negative proof, i.e., “4 years ago, over 22 million single women did not vote,” is terrible for persuasion. Avoid it.
  • People are influenced by people like them (people they can relate to). Go back to those buyer personas.
  • Use
    storytelling
    to better connect with customers. They are persuasive and more trustworthy than statistics.

  • It’s better to use no proof than low proof.
Here are some great examples:
Image from Unbounce
Image from Wordstream
7. Add in a video
As the saying goes, seeing is believing. A study by
eyeviewdigital.com
found that using video on landing pages can increase conversion by up to 80 percent. In fact,
Moz
achieved a 52 percent conversion increase after augmenting landing page text with a video. The visual and auditory nature of video helps persuade visitors in ways not possible with text alone.
The benefits
include better retention, increased trust, and meeting customer preferences (
Unbounce
found that many people prefer to watch a 5-minute video than read an article). Multimedia is especially important for those selling products or services that require assembly or visual components. The
brain processes visual information faster than text
, so why waste time telling them when you could show them? The following landing page from
Code Academy
uses video to convey the benefits and features of coding. Just knowing the subject of this landing page, you can imagine how heavy it might have been if they’d written it out.
Image from
HubSpot
8. Make the call to action compelling
Circling back, the best landing pages emphasize a narrowly focused call to action. Provide more than one, and visitors may take the wrong action. Steer clear of potential distractions, and follow these best practices:
Recommended Reading:
Create A Call To Action That Converts
  • Display your main CTA in a visually distinct and obvious way, like with a button.
    Buttons
    are found to be much more successful than text links.

  • Make buttons large and use bright, poppy colors. This is not the time for subtlety.
  • When deciding on the placement of your button, consider that most people read web pages in an
    F-Shaped pattern
    .

Image from Prodality
  • Use visual cues to draw the eyes to the CTA, like arrows or other relevant images.
  • Test the shape of your buttons. A
    ContentVerve
    test found that a rounded green button performed better than a blue rectangular button. You’ll only know if you test it.

Here is an example of two simple, successful calls to action.
Image from Lyft
Your may be wondering, doesn’t this defy the cardinal rule of sticking to a single CTA? Not in this case. Lyft was smart about this; both calls to action achieve the same result, they just use different paths to get there. This is also smart because the company can target folks in two different stages of the
buying cycle
(purchase versus evaluation).

9. Add an incentive
The page should also provide an incentive: something to motivate or encourage the visitor to convert (this is not to be confused with benefits). An incentive is basically an added bonus - a golden parachute, if you will - and should be based off customer surveys and market research (i.e., things your audience actually wants). Depending on the audience’s needs and desires, your landing page could:
  • Offer a free trial or pilot
  • Provide a discount or free shipping
  • Include an additional product or service for purchases made by a certain date
  • Include an additional product or service for purchases made by a certain date
  • Offer to pay for an associated product or service
Recommended Reading:
15 Powerful Incentives Your Customers Will Love You For
The incentive should be closely related to the call to action and displayed nearby so visitors associate it with the act of converting. It should never distract from this. Here’s a wonderful example:
Image from SocialMouths
The incentive here - placed directly above the signup form - is a free Square Card Reader. All you’ve got to do is sign up.

10. Optimize your signup form
Forms are one of the most important elements on a landing page. It’s the part that allows marketers to collect valuable visitor data and guide leads down the conversion funnel.
Your landing page forms should be:
  • Simple
    . Make them easy to fill out. Including predictive text and drop-down boxes wherever possible.

  • Speedy
    . The fewer form fields, the better. After removing a single form field
    Expedia
    increased annual profit by
    $12 million
    .

  • Sizeable
    .
    Larger form fields
    are more likely to attract the reader’s eye. This is especially important for mobile devices.

  • Seductive
    . Use a
    secondary headline
    , surrounding copy, and compelling images to persuade visitors.

Image from Basecamp
In the above examples, the landing page is simple (the CTA is clear and obvious), speedy (there are just four entry fields), sizable (the form takes up most of the page), and seductive (the headline uses positive social proof, and the supporting copy reduces common price barriers).
Conclusion
In review, your landing page should be:
  • Visually appealing
    . All images, multimedia, and other design elements of the page must work together to draw in the eye, hold visitor attention, and guide them to the primary call to action. Everything should be aligned to reiterate the basis of the page.

  • Focused
    . Visitors should be able to size up the purpose of your page in a fraction of a second. Everything from the headline and copy to the visuals and design should contribute to the page’s main goal.
  • Easy to consume
    . The most successful landing pages are direct and easy to digest. Be clear, and get to the point, fast. Keep your text on the shorter side (unless the offer requires otherwise), and use images and video where possible.
  • Unique
    . Whatever your offer may be, describe what makes it unique. Be sensitive to the needs of your audience, and really make the case for the offer. How is it different from competitors? Following best practices is important, but you’ll never stand out if you don’t work to set yourself apart.

Related Articles
Victoria Taylo
Victoria is the Content Marketing Coordinator at
Readz
and editor of
Readz Magazine
. Victoria has a background in marketing and PR, and is a Boston University College of Communication graduate. Connect with her on Twitter
@VPTaylo
.
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