Qualified Traffic or Useless Noise?
How using landing pages will help your website make the most of each visitor.
When Al Gore “invented” the Internet, he unfortunately forgot to submit Standard Operating Procedures that would help people around the world properly and consistently make use of his invention. As a result, people search in a variety of ways, using an assortment of methods and resources. And consequently, there’s no single approach to search engine marketing. That’s why you’ll never achieve a zero bounce rate for your site; people will occasionally do an “Oops. That’s not what I wanted” search, rethink their query, and try again. So, while you can never fully eliminate unwanted traffic, you can help ensure that you’re making the most of the visitations you attract with well-designed landing pages.
Here are some landing page tips for converting qualified traffic to a selling or lead opportunity:
- Start with a Blank slate. Don’t get caught up in the current navigation or design of your site. When you do, you’re creating roadblocks to successful completion of your goal. First, think about what you want the viewer of a particular landing page to do, and work from the goal in a reverse manner. For example, if the goal is for the viewer to download a white paper, start there and work backward with your planning.
- Simple Powerful Headline. Use copy that clearly states the greatest benefit of the offer that appears on the landing page. Tell them precisely what they will get. Clever is good, but not at the sake of clarity. The goals should be readability and quick understanding. You have only five seconds. That’s all. The headline must be short, punchy and sufficiently powerful to compel readers to stay for five more seconds.
- Engaging Lead – The “lead” or first paragraph is equally important. If the headline grabs the viewer, the lead paragraph holds them, with 2-3 hard-hitting sentences that articulate the core benefits of the offer.
- Picture Power. Viewers will always be drawn to an image first, so make sure your primary image is relevant, authentic, and positioned on the upper part of the page. The image should help explain the story about the viewer’s situation, and how the offer will help them. Add a brief, descriptive caption, and if it includes an image of a product in the offer make it clickable as well. Stay away from typical, annoying clip art because, well, it’s annoying.
- Deliver the value. Think like your visitor and answer any “why” questions they may have. These answers become a series of 3-5 bullets of copy that explain the benefits – in order of importance – if the viewer takes action.
- Action buttons. Amplify the main action buttons by making them more graphic and colorful. Unusual shapes work well, and consider increasing their size, too.
- “Soft” Call to Action. Most people like to buy, but hate to be sold. Being too “in your face” is a major turnoff. So soften the call to action with easy, casual language: “Give it a try.” “Now for the fun part.” “Would you like to subscribe?”
- Give and take. If you are offering something like an e-book, whitepaper, knowledge tool, or download, it’s OK to ask for information. Just make sure that what you are asking for is balanced with what you are offering. If the visitor gets a five-page whitepaper, they will be fine with offering a little information, just not their SSN or cell.
- Secure and Professional Look. Clear brand identification, trust/security icons, and assurances all work well, in addition to a smartly placed testimonial. Also, the vast majority of viewers will not buy or take action if your landing page lacks a high-quality, professional appearance. A sloppy or homemade look is an immediate turn off.
- Alignment. If you are using pay-per-click, banners, directory links, or in-text links to bring a viewer to a landing page, your promotional messaging or text should match with the landing page content and intent.
- 800-867-5309. Add a toll-free number at the top. If they are really ready to go, they might just call. Always give them multiple options to engage beyond the primary offer.
Delia Associates works with a number of business-to-business and business-to-consumer brands in the area of qualified traffic and conversion optimization. Here’s more information.