Have you ever thought about the mass amounts of web traffic that click on one of your PPC ads, view the landing page, then quickly click away before you could even realize how much money was just wasted? With average conversion rates hovering somewhere in the 3% to 5% range, a lot of your advertising dollars are not yielding a return. Every click is valuable, and increasing your conversion rates by only a few percentage points can translate into incredible things for the return on your campaigns. To help you capture more conversions here are 5 tips for creating better performing landing pages.
1. Use Directional Cues
Directional cues on landing pages are like road maps for our eyes. They can direct our focus to important info on the page, and more importantly the conversion point (lead form, buy now button, etc). Often times marketers place so much content, images, and widgets on a landing page that it can be easy for the design to lose visual focus on the conversion point. Using directional cues helps point a visitor’s attention where you want it to go. Many times this comes in the form of arrows (or hands such as in the example below) pointing towards the conversion point.
2. Place The Conversion Point Above The Fold of The Page
Once a visitor has clicked on your ad, and has come to your page, you’ve got very little time to capture & pique their attention. With only a couple seconds to do this before they’ll lose interest and click away, it’s very important to place the most important/eye catching info along with conversion point above the fold on the page. If visitors have to scroll down on your page to see the lead form or download button, then it’s possible they may not see it at all.
3. Include Ad Message Continuity
The idea here is simple. If you’re advertising a free software trial in your PPC ad, then the messaging on the landing page should very clearly reinforce the free trial software offer. That’s likely a large reason they clicked on your ad in the first place. If a visitor hits your landing page and expects a different experience than what you’re providing them on the page, then it’s very likely they’ll lose interest and hit the back button. The example below does a great job of clearly reinforcing the value proposition from their PPC ad.
4. Clearly Tell Visitors What You Want Them To Do
You can build a landing page with incredible graphics, helpful info, and a sleek design, but if they’re not sure what they’re supposed to do when they’re on the page, then you’ve likely wasted your advertising dollars to get them there. If you want visitors to pick up the phone and give you a call, then including large “Call Now” text at the top of the page will help ensure they know how to get in touch with you. If you want them to sign up for a free trial as in the example below, then placing text at the top of the form both reinforces the value of why they should convert, and also clearly instructs the visitor on what to do next. Landing pages that communicate clearly, and specifically what they want visitors to do are the ones with the highest conversion rates.
And finally, testing your landing pages is the only way to discover how to create the best landing page for your audience. The testing opportunities are limitless. You could implement an A/B test to determine whether a multi-page website, or a single page experience converts better. Or, you could go more granular and test variations of headlines, different types of imagery, form layouts, and so much more. There are also software packages that can help save you a lot of time with the testing process. Simply doing a search for “landing page testing software” will yield you lots of options.
The following are seven web design disasters that every SEO and UX person should know to avoid. Make sure that your business’s website has not fallen victim to one of these design flaws and make sure that your visitors, whether they be human or search engine bot, understand and enjoy your website.
1. Be Cautious of iFrames
Content that is within an iFrame is not on the URL. Each search engine views iFrames differently and may or may not spider and index a page in an iFrame.
2. Being Horribly Vague
Your navigation and anchor text should not be “page 1,” “click here,” or “more.” Make sure that every link has keyword rich anchor text and your navigation makes logical sense.
3. Only Hyper-linking Part of A Word or Keyword Phrase
Only linking part of a keyword to an internal page on your website will not give search engines a comprehensive idea about what the page is about. Your visitors will probably be pretty confused as well if one half of a phrase or word is hyperlinked.
They wreck havoc on user experience, as they are one of the most annoying features allowed in web design — which is probably why a high percentage of people now use pop-up blockers.
5. Browser Incompatibility
While we could write this as browser and bot incompatibility, you should test your website designs to make sure they can be read and understood by the largest percent of the population of people and search engines. Testing browser compatibility will help with keeping your human visitors happy and testing whether your code is readable to most search engines can help make sure that you are indexed and new visitors can find you.
6. Too Much Of (A Possibly) Good Thing
7. Indecipherable URL Structure
If one of your visitors comes to your website and wants to send it to a friend via e-mail or IM or other textual medium of choice, www.yoursite.com/bunnies will probably go over better than animals.yoursite.com/US/a9/3/small/v/rabbits/bunnies since it is easily identifiable as a page about bunnies.
Avoid these seven web design no-nos and take your website toward a better SEO and UX future. If you have a favorite SEO or UX tragedy, feel free to share it with us in the comments.
I speak with a large number of clients on a daily basis and often hear that they are already running an AdWords, Yahoo Sponsored Search or Bing campaign on their own. In other words, they have that aspect of their Online Marketing initiatives covered and are engaging us to help with other components such as: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, Web Design, etc. In some cases, this is perfectly fine and can be a viable way to save the cost to outsource their Search Engine Marketing (SEM) efforts. HOWEVER (and I have bolded, capitalized, italicized and underlined the however in this circumstance, as I really want to get my point across) there must be consistent, ongoing maintenance and management if this effort is to be kept in house.
Basically, if any client (large, small, ecommerce, lead generation, what have you) is going to manage their own Cost Per Click (CPC) Campaign, it is imperative that the campaign be actually “managed”. By managed, I mean that autopilot is not an option! Sure, a campaign will run and generate impressions and/or clicks without anyone managing it. The big issue here is that it will not run well and your clicks will not be nearly as relevant as they could be if you invest the time it takes to effectively manage it.
Here are some tips:
Let’s face it. Every dollar and every click is important and if your campaign is on autopilot, then you are effectively shooting in the dark with a blindfold on. Not too smart, huh?