Stick the Landing: Perfecting the Balancing Act of SEO Landing Page Optimisation
It’s amazing when you experience a surge in traffic to your website. It makes you feel like people are paying attention to who you are and what you do.
But how true is this? A spike in visits could be down to several factors: an SEO strategy that’s starting to pay dividends, savvy social media presence across multiple platforms, or evolving site architecture that makes it easier than ever before for visitors to navigate everything about who you are and what you do.
Will this Do Your Business Any Good?
Getting visitors to your website is all well and good, but you need to give them a reason to stay there. Your content needs to be focused and purposeful, adding value and creating an experience. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that everyone knows who you are and what you’re all about – there’s only one Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Amazon!
Businesses invest tens of thousands of dollars in getting visitors to their website and keeping them there. They execute long term SEO strategies and perfect their website aesthetic and user experience. They get tweeting and build their Facebook friends list. But there’s one aspect of organic search marketing that many businesses overlook in their quest to reach and influence as many people as possible – landing pages.
Why Have Landing Pages?
Think about a business homepage for a moment. There’s a lot going on there, right? Most are loaded with content to pique your interest: visuals that draw attention, intro information about the site, editorial content for SEO purposes, social media feeds encouraging you to explore the ‘personality’ of the business, some even have marketing pdfs and case studies. The list goes on.
Having informative content is all good and well, but it won’t do your conversion rate any good.
Now, a landing page has a singular purpose: to convert website visitors into leads or customers. How does it achieve this? Well, when all’s said and done, landing pages focus on two things: attention ration and customer message.
What you CAN do on a page compared with what you SHOULD be doing is called the attention ratio. The more you have on a page to distract visitors from becoming leads or customers, the poorer the page is.
So, if a page has social media links, case studies, testimonials, infographics, an image slideshow, chatbot and, well, the kitchen sink, there’s just too much content there is to visitors focused on what you want them to do.
You want visitors to stay on the page and get in touch, right? So, don’t distract them. Oh, and don’t offer them an easy way to navigate away from the page – who’s to say if they’ll even come back? Remember too that your landing page is not a blog so don’t swamp the page with loads of content. Visitors won’t bother reading it.
Matt Cutts, former Head of the Web Spam Team at Google, current Administrator of the United States Digital Service, and all-around SEO guru, said it best, ‘Everyone thinks their web presence is above average.’ Can you honestly say that your landing pages drive visitors to your website?
How often have you booked a holiday only to arrive at the hotel to find that the reality doesn’t quite match what you’ve seen online.
Making sure that marketing messages match reality is paramount. Think of it this way, how often do people arrive at what they’ve been promised is paradise only to find a dirty hotel suite, dingy pool, or no air and then ask to change rooms? It’s the same when people browse online.
Most visitors will leave your page in seconds if it doesn’t match their expectations. You must reinforce your message and make sure the buyer journey flows seamlessly, you might as well say sayonara to winning new customers, let alone brand advocates.
Don’t believe us? Targeting pages correctly can increase conversions by up to 300%.
Landing Page Optimisation
Just like products, landing pages must appeal directly to your target personas, compel them to act and meet their expectations. So, how can you create a landing page that ranks well and converts traffic into customers and brand advocates? Follow our guide.
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a simple landing page is uninspired. This is wrong. Too much visual clutter will distract and frustrate visitors. You need to keep your eyes on the prize: getting visitors to act.
You only need a handful of elements, business name and CTA, maybe a contact form, clickable button to learn more, and the color scheme and images. That’s it.
Want to build great landing pages? Check out the go-to site for small businesses – Leadpages.
Make Sure Offers are Clear
Good marketing makes a business look great. Great marketing makes a customer feel great. If you want to boost landing page conversion rates, this should be your mantra.
Don’t relegate offers to the bottom corner of the page. Stick them up front, bold and clear. Be clever with your copy. Any good landing page optimization checklist should also include how you’re going to say something. ‘Cheap broadband deals no one knows about’ is better than ‘Broadband deals in your area.’ It’s all about making sure visitors feel that offers are clear – and valuable.
Choose the Right Form Length
This length of the form is entirely dependent on opinion. Some marketers swear by incredibly short forms. They say you only need to ask for an email address. Anything more and its unlikely visitors will fill out their details and you’ll lose a lead. Other marketers disagree. We believe form length is not quite as simple as that.
If you want to quantify leads for an expensive product or service, longer forms are more effective. You might get fewer leads, but every lead will be more qualified. Asking someone’s budget on a form may add an additional field, but there’s a big difference between someone with a $1000 budget and a business with a $20,000 budget… and probably a question you should ask! Make sure that your form length is tailored to your business offering.
Important Information Should Be Above the Fold
High converting landing pages tend to engage customers and then ask them to complete a short form or type in their contact details to receive a call back – all without customers scrolling down the page.
With more and more people browsing online on their mobile devices, getting enough information above the fold is challenging. However, the good news is that you can use a scroll map to easily identify the location of the average fold on different devices and once you know, you can add all the elements you can put a business logo, headline, short copy sentences, CTA, even form front and center on the page.
Use Simple CTAs
Effective CTAs tell visitors everything they need to know in two or three words. Think ‘Get Offer’, ‘Buy Now’, ‘Find Out More’, ‘Am I Eligible?’ ‘Switch Provider,’ ‘Try for Free.’
You don’t need anything more than this. Try to use fancy CTAs and you’ll come across as pushy, overbearing or trying too hard. More importantly, if visitors cannot recognize a CTA, how are they going to click it? This really is landing page best practices 101.
Sounds simple, right? Well yes. But, for anyone scratching their head, undecided over what CTAs would work best on their landing page, breathe a sigh of relief. Search online and you’ll discover a wealth of CTA generator websites to help you nail down the right one for your landing page.
Don’t Highlight Abundance
If people think that there’s an abundance of something they want, they won’t be in a hurry to buy, why do you think that marketing messages choose phrases like ‘Limited Time Only’, ‘While Stocks Last’ or ‘Only Three Left!’
Scarcity creates urgency. It makes buyer’s minds up for them because they don’t want to miss out on something they want or need. If you want to encourage people to buy now, tell them the clock’s ticking for them to do what you want them to do – buy.
Think About the Design
Images draw attention. Words sell. No matter how good your written content is, if you have a boring or confused landing page aesthetic no one is going to be bothered to read anything about you.
First impressions are 94% design related. The pressure is on to create a stellar landing page design that’s in-keeping with your brand tone. Now, bad impressions aren’t just about design (we mustn’t forget that an overly corporate feel, too much text, and small print don’t exactly encourage interaction) but if your SEO landing page optimisation design meets expectations, don’t expect to get many leads.
If you want a landing page that integrates seamlessly with Google Ads and other popular ad networks, choose Unbounce. Supporting both dynamic and parallax content, Unbounce will increase AdWords Quality Scores for PPC campaigns by automatically building landing pages based on the keywords being searched by users in search engines.
Try Different Headline and Copy
The old saying of if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it isn’t really the best approach to landing page optimisation! You should always A/B test headline and body copy to see which performs best.
Why? Well, put it this way, why wouldn’t you if it meant discovering that one way of saying things was far better than another!
Short of ideas? You’re in luck. A quick Google search and you’ll find websites to help you craft that killer headline. Title-generator.com is one site that can provide you with 700 awesome headlines in just one click!
Use Conversion Coupling
Conversion coupling means maintaining a consistent message throughout your campaign. This all falls into user experience. If there’s a disconnect between what customers expect and what they experience at any stage of the journey, they’ll likely be put off… and you’ll lose a lead!
Make sure that the messages you promote across your social media, PPC, even email marketing are consistently aligned with your landing page. If not, visitors may just question if your landing page is really yours!
Don’t underestimate the power of a strong testimonial. The right endorsement from the right person can sway any buyer’s sitting on the fence. Trust is paramount and what better way to instil trust than to get someone admired and respected to say, ‘Yes, this product is great!’
Quotes work well, so too does video content. Not every, or indeed any, landing page for WordPress or any CMS needs to have several quotes to secure leads, but boy can they help.
Unsure of how effective testimonials could be? All you need to do is test landing pages with any without testimonials. You could also test different testimonials. Whichever generates the most lead is the on to run with!
Stick the Landing
So, there you go, our ten ways that you can stick the landing and strike the perfect balance of landing page optimization. Interested in learning more? Contact Digital Next today.
The post Stick the Landing: Perfecting the Balancing Act of SEO Landing Page Optimisation first appeared on Graphic Design Junction.