The goal of a landing page is to get the highest number of opt-ins, whether they be email sign-ups, downloads, or sales.
Conversion rates are one of those metrics that everyone loves to focus on. But it’s the wrong metric. Let’s break down what conversion rate really is (with some pain-less math) to figure out what really matters.
So if you have 100 people visit your landing page, and 10 of them sign up. What if our conversion rate was 20% instead? Wouldn’t that mean we got twice the opt-ins? Not necessarily. Remember, this is a ratio, which means the bottom number can make the conversion rate look better than it is.
10 signed up from 100 visits = 10% conversion rate
10 signed up from 50 visits = 20% conversion rate
This 20% conversion rate isn’t any better than our 10% conversion rate above. We still only got 10 people to sign up. This tells us something very important… The thing that truly matters is the raw number of opt-ins.
So what was different between our 10% and 20% rate? It was the total traffic to the landing page. Sacrificing traffic in exchange for a higher conversion rate is the wrong way to get more opt-ins. The trick is to optimize our page so we get the highest raw number of opt-ins while still getting high traffic. This means our optimization can’t affect our SEO, or our linkability from social media and other sites.
Here’s how to optimize your landing page without sacrificing traffic.
1) Have A Fast Loading Landing Page
Fast-loading pages will affect your SEO and the behavior of people on your site. In other words, it’s affecting both numbers of the conversion ratio. It’s extremely important, and that’s why its first on the list.
An oft-cited research study by Akamai says 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. While that study has some limitations, it serves as a good benchmark for something that’s very true. Slow sites lose traffic.
Google has also stated recently that page-speed is extremely important in ranking sites. When Google says something, you better listen, 98% of the time.
If your site is meant to help your business, you shouldn’t be using a cheap hosting company. Switch to a hosting company that is built for fast-loading sites.
If you have a WordPress site, we recommend using ProWeb365. They are more expensive than other hosting companies, but it’s well worth the investment. (Disclosure: we are affiliated with ProWeb365, because we use their services ourselves and it’s great experience).
2) Write Your Copy in the First Person
The copy on your landing page is vital when someone is deciding to opt in. Luckily it’s very simple to optimize this copy.
All you have to do is write in the first person. Write the copy as if you are the prospect reading the sales page.
This especially applies to buttons. A button that says “Create Your Account” did 24% less conversions than the same button saying “Create My Account”. Twenty-four percent less conversions from changing one word!
Copy of button split test Whenever you are writing copy, read it as if you’re a prospect on the landing page for the first time. Every word should be read as if you’re talking to yourself.
Would you say to yourself “It’s time to create your account”? No. It sounds weird, and it throws people off.
3) Write Benefits and Solutions, Not Features And Processes
If your landing page is talking about your coding ability as a developer and how your company has ten years’ experience in PHP and Ruby On Rails, the truth is no one cares. But if you write about the solutions you can provide, now we’re talking.
Always write your copy to explain the benefits of your service. No one wants to buy the process you use to do your job. They want to buy a solution. Write about that solution and how it will benefit the prospect.
“I use ancient wood-cutting techniques from Mongolia with tips passed down to me by my grandfather.”
“I can build you a beautiful wooden drawer that holds all your clothes, shoes, and laptop.”
Which one do you think the prospect cares about more?
4) Make Your Landing Page Sexy – Really
I’m not talking about sexy in the form of a nice design and modern fonts. I mean literally having a beautiful woman on your page.
Both men and women like looking at an attractive woman. Studies have shown that time-on-page increases if there’s a pretty girl on the site.
So if possible, include a picture of a nice-looking lady.
Here’s a great template by LeadPages. They’ve stated this is one of their best-converting landing pages.
I bet you’re looking at her more than you would if it was some dude, huh?
Another important point: she should be looking at the opt-in form. This is going to direct the eye from the woman to the opt-in form.
I hope this doesn’t sound like a sleazy move. After all, we’re not discussing morality here. We’re trying to optimize your opt-ins. Every marketing company in history has done this, why not you?
5) Use Your Thank-You Pages To Further The Sales Funnel
The thank-you page that someone sees after they opt-in is one of the most underused things in digital marketing. Consider how amazing your opt-in subscribers are.
Among billions of web pages online, these people somehow find your site through SEO, social media, a backlink, or word of mouth. They’re one of the few people who find your site interesting, and like it enough to want more. They enter their email address and decide to be one of the 10% or so who opt-in. This set of events is nothing short of a miracle when it happens.
And then you send them to a stupid thank-you page that ends the conversation immediately, which is a waste of time. Since these people are on a “yes-ladder”. They are consecutively agreeing to things.
They’ve agreed to click a link to your site. They agreed to actually read your copy. They liked it so much they agreed to give you their information. At this point, they are very engaged and would probably do anything you ask.
Your thank-you page should further the conversation by giving the prospect the option to check out some of your other services.
Mention that what you offered them will arrive to their inbox, then offer a link to more of your services. That way they don’t have to wait for an email, since they are already engaged with you. Take advantage of that pattern of compliance.
Add a thank-you page that furthers the sales funnel and takes advantage of the prospect’s yes-ladder.
6) Your 404 Pages Are Actually Landing Pages
Whenever someone clicks a broken link on your domain, they end up on a 404 page. This is the page you see when you’re trying to access a page that doesn’t exist. They look something like this.
404 pages are really landing pages you didn’t know you had. Redirect your 404 page to your Home page or a call-to-action page is a good way to keep your visitors on site longer.
This won’t move mountains, but why not capitalize on every piece of traffic on your site? There’s a good chance someone will eventually land on one, and maybe they’ll take the action you wish them to.
Hopefully you now know what really matters when building landing pages. Go for those raw number of opt-ins, make sure your traffic doesn’t suffer, and make it sexy 🙂
If this article was helpful to you, share it with others so they can benefit from better landing pages too.