Fun fact: The average internet user can only focus for 8.25 seconds. So, you want to grab the attention of users who are either easily distracted or short on patience. How do you minimise the bounce rate on your website?
The bounce rate looks at how many of your website visitors will continue browsing through to other sections of your website after landing on it, or if they will simply leave after checking out one page. This varies depending on the type of website and industry.
Source: Smart Insights
Sure, first step is directing traffic to your site with SEO and digital marketing. It can be through social media posts, guest blogs, adverts, or search engine results. But once they reach the website, how do you convert them?
Your landing pages are a make-or-break factor.
Remember how “You only get one chance at a first impression”? Connect with your readers through a well-created landing page. Here are 5 ways how to do so.
Optimizing Your Landing Page
- Keep your headline short and sweet
It’s the gateway to the rest of the content.
What’s the first thing that convinces someone to click and start reading the content? The headline. It gets 4 times more attention than the actual content body of the webpage or blog.
So be bold, unique and intriguing. e.g., We could have chosen to go with the bland “5 Tips to Improve Your Landing Page” for this particular blog post, but that would lose the article in the sea of similar posts online that share the wording. As such, we opted to go with “Landing Pages – 5 Ways to Keep Your Visitors Hooked“.
Definitely, the headings should be more visible than the normal text, that way users may distinguish them quickly.
Length also matters. The headline should be understood at a glance – not feel like reading a paragraph. More verbal clutter is a turnoff. The recommended headline length is 6 words (plus or minus two depending on the message being conveyed)
e.g., Would you prefer:
“Are You a Vegan? Try Out These 5 Recipes for Your Menu“
“5 Recipes to Spice Up Your Vegan Diet“
The second, less wordy option comes off as more friendly to the reader.
Don’t just slash off the word count in your headlines. The choice of words themselves can be used to elicit emotions from the reader.
How? One effective way is using negative wording. Basically, these draw on the insecurities of the reader, grabbing their attention and giving them incentive to read through the rest of the content.
The principle behind negative wording is simple. If you tell your audience to “Stop” something, they’ll want to know why, and what’s the alternative.
e.g., “Hitting the Gym? STOP and Read This First“
You’ll want to see what the warning is about, the exercise tips involved, and ways to protect yourself from injury. However, don’t go overboard with the negative wording. Overusing them with the same audience will cause them to have less impact over time.
Who is your target audience? When you try to please everyone, you will end up not pleasing anyone.
Which demographic are you targeting? Are you after a particular gender, age group, career people, graduates, or interns? Do you want to target parents or real estate agents? Are you after job-seekers or retirees? Whichever the case, start by defining your audience, then use headlines that target them in particular. Address the concerns of the group, and provide the solution – of course in line with the content that is being posted on the landing page.
For instance, if you’re a real estate agent targeting property owners looking to sell the premises, which of these would you go with?
“How To Sell Your Home“
“How To Close a Sale In Under 24 Hours“
While the first headline does point to the content of the webpage, the second one uses trigger words and promises that will encourage the reader to go through the rest of the content.
- The CTA Factor
How is your Call-To-Action?
If it’s the usual “Join Now“, “Submit” or “Click Here“, it comes off as generic, and will have less chances of intriguing your readers.
On the other hand, if you go overboard with sensationalising it, like “Why Wait? Book your Appointment NOW!” won’t do you any favours. In fact, this will turn them off.
The key is finding a suitable middle ground – where you emphasise the value that the reader gets when they click the CTA. The conventional “Join Now” doesn’t communicate the benefits to the reader, part of the reason why such CTAs have low conversions.
For instance, if you run an online food service, having a CTA like “Order Today’s Special” – especially when the landing page already describes what the special menu item is- tells the reader what they get when they click on the CTA.
Then there are the elements of the CTA – including the colour and design of the buttons, as well as the placement on the webpage. There are no rules here, and this will depend on the design of the particular website. However, remember that the CTA needs to pop out from the rest of the page, so it is recommended that you give it a contrasting colour.
Regarding the placement, the CTA should be on a section that quickly grabs the eye. Give it a prime spot on the landing page for the reader to quickly notice it – not squeezing it to the bottom corner of the webpage.
Extra tip: Landing pages have a cardinal rule when it comes to CTA: “One Page. One Goal.” Basically, it is recommended that use a single CTA button with a focused purpose, and remove the secondary buttons cluttering the page. When you increase the number of choices that readers have, you increase the time they will take to make a decision, meaning less leads and sales.
- Add the human element to your landing page
One word: Interaction.
You want to build a connection with your audience – not to make them feel like you’re pushing them to take a particular action. Make them feel that they are part of the process.
For instance, how particular do you ask for their phone number?
Alternative 1: “Enter phone number here _______“
Alternative 2: “My phone number is _________“
It’s a simple tweak, but the “interaction” with alternative 2 above will generate more leads compared to the “order” on alternative 1.
Using 1st person messaging and personalised quotes gives the readers a sense of being acknowledged – which is a plus when it comes to generating more leads. There are different ways to create interactions on your website. These include:
- Setting up a questionnaire (Where the “My email is…“, “My address is…“, “I’d like to set up an appointment at…” and the like come in handy)
- Product story-telling to evoke more emotion from the visitors. This actually cranked up the sales of the online women’s boutique store Raven + Lily by 150%.
- Bring on the visuals
Packing your landing page with text is a disservice to your business. Sure, you want to pass on lots of information – but this ends up being a turn-off. You can break apart the chunks of content into paragraphs, but more will still need to be done.
Simple turnaround: Use images. They bring a crucial appeal to the landing page, and break up those heavy loads of text.
However, you can’t just go using any images. They need to be relevant to the content on the landing page. There are also images that evoke more connection than others – such as those with faces (human or pets). It helps connect to the temporal lobe of the brain – the part responsible for aspects like perception and recognition, to processing memory, and speech.
Check out this PayPal landing page for instance:
Images of your product being used, or a service being carried out will be an effective way of communicating to your visitors, showing them what they can achieve with the product/service.
For example, here is picture on Vivaldi Music Academy‘s landing page for piano lesson:
- Leverage the power of heatmaps
- What are your visitors looking at?
- Where are they clicking?
- Which parts of the landing page are most confusing?
Heatmaps answer these questions, showing you where the attention of your visitors is on the landing page – and whether it is what you want them to be focusing on. There are different types of heatmaps, including:
- Click maps – They indicate where users click most and can show you which CTA’s and prompts are most convincing, as well as problematic areas such as where there are broken links.
- Scroll maps – Do users landing on the webpage scroll halfway through and lose interest? It can be a pointer to the page being too long, or there are problems with navigation. Scroll maps show you the behaviour of users as they move through the webpage.
- Hover map – It’s basically a “mouse-tracking heat map”, a combination of the first two maps above. It tracks the scrolling and clicking behaviours, as well as the movements of the mouse. That way the business owner and web designer can see what interests users more beyond just the links and buttons on the page.
Example of a heatmap from Crazy EggWith the heat maps, you get an important tool to analyse consumer behaviour, which allows you to use the data to improve user experience. Find out more at Salt Marketing, with the features and modifications needed to improve your landing pages.