SEO

5 Must Read Articles on Landing Page Best Practices

Running a successful PPC account requires more than just having a well organized, thoroughly researched paid search account. When SEER signs on with a new client, we learn about the company’s history, mission, business model, products & services (including inventories & margins) and main competitors as well as goals and expectations. But even with the most knowledgeable Account Manager and a great product or service, unless you can seal the deal once the visitor arrives at your website, you’ll have a difficult time succeeding.

Just how much do landing pages matter for PPC success? Here are some examples of the impact the SEER PPC team has seen on clients PPC metrics as a result of landing page testing:

Client #1: Geographic Information System Software

We recommended that this client feature a click-to-play video tutorial highlighting the main features of their software rather than the static image featured on the page at the time. The primary concern was that the landing page wasn’t communicating all of the advanced features and usability of the product since it was a free standing page, with all key points appearing above the fold. Here are the results:

  • 35% increase in conversions
  • 47% increase in conversion rate
  • 43% decrease in CPA

PM

Client #2: Cable Provider

This client was looking for a way to increase the conversion rate of lead form fill-outs, so they worked with a landing page testing company to launch a multivariate test using Google’s Website optimizer using 4 variations:

  1. Control page
  2. Variation of control page with a cleaner design and longer page. The CTA being tested was “Free Quote”
  3. Mirror image of the variation above, with the CTA “Order Now”
  4. Different design than all other pages (colors, page length, etc.) with the CTA “Free Quote”

Variation #4 ended up winning with 99.4% confidence. Here is a summary of the cumulative impact of the test:

  • 52% decrease in CPA
  • 140% increase in conversion rate
  • 100% increase in conversions

DN

Often times, clients ask us for feedback on their websites and PPC landing pages. We’re not designers or usability experts, but we’re happy to recommend designers and usability experts we’ve worked with and trust. We’re also happy to share what we do know on these topics with our clients. There are oodles of great blogs and articles out there on Landing Page and design best practices that we often pass along to our clients so I decided to dig into some of our team’s Delicious accounts and share some of my personal favorites.

10 Useful Usability Findings and Guidelines

Informative Product Pages Help You Stand Out
“Provide detailed information about your products, but don’t fall into the trap of bombarding users with too much text. Make the information easy to digest. Make the page scannable by breaking up the text into smaller segments and using plenty of sub-headings. Add plenty of images for your products, and use the right language: don’t use jargon that your visitors might not understand.”

MM

Apple does a great job explaining the advanced functionality of the new Magic Mouse. The three product features Apple wants the visitor to be aware of are in bold, making them scannable. They text is broken up with clean, sharp images making the page visually informative as well.

Quality of design is an indicator of credibility
“One interesting finding of these studies is that users really do judge a book by its cover… or rather, a website by its design. Elements such as layout, consistency, typography, color and style all affect how users perceive your website and what kind of image you project. Your website should project not only a good image but also the right one for your audience.”

Most users do not scroll
“Jakob Nielsen’s study on how much users scroll (in Prioritizing Web Usability) revealed that only 23% of visitors scroll on their first visit to a website. This means that 77% of visitors won’t scroll; they’ll just view the content above the fold.”

31 Ways to Improve Your Landing Pages

Compare your landing pages to your competitors
“Go out there, sign up for their email lists, click on their ads, revel in the glory that your click just cost them $3. See what online marketing strategy they have in place — and determine how you can do it better.”

Have a clear value proposition
“To win conversions in online marketing, landing pages need to focus on a distinct and compelling value proposition—preferably the same one that prompted the click—and communicate it in the simplest language possible: ‘Lowest price.’ ‘Biggest selection.’ ‘Best technology.’ You get the idea.”

Have a clear, defined Call to Action
“An effectual CTA will be the cohesive next step for the respondent to take. Don’t confuse your respondent with too many actions they can take. Keep it simple! A strong CTA tells the respondent what to do, why they should and when to do it.”

CIQ

CommercialIQ is a great example of a well executed CTA. When the visitor arrives at the page, they are encouraged to “Find Commercial Property”. The “Search Now” button directly below the CTA makes the path to conversion seamless.

7 Form Tactics that Drive Users Crazy

Insisting that passwords have certain characteristics
“While your goal – keeping your users safe – is noble, going about it in this way serves only to annoy and frustrate them as they try to join your website.”

Requiring information that has no business being required
“Given the choice, most users wont fill in information they don’t want to give out”

T

The screencap of Tumblr’s homepage above is a great example of a well executed form. It is above the fold, featured prominently, and requires a minimum amount of information from the visitor.

Having to re-enter all your data just because you messed one thing up
“It’s bad enough to complete an entire form and have to go back because you left something out. “

7 Tips To Increase Landing Page Conversions

Digestible Content
“Good content on your landing pages are a must, but make this content easily scannable.”

Minimize Choice
“If you can’t summarize the purpose of your landing page in 5 words, then your visitors will never be able to figure it out. Give users one option, the conversion option.”

Evoke Trust
“Use logos that convey credibility like awards your company has won, professional association memberships and accreditations. There are a lot of choices on the internet and you want to assure your users that they are making the right one.”

BC

Basecamp uses both client lists and a shout-out from BusinessWeek.com on their Pricing & Signup page. Featuring brands like Addidas, The World Bank and BusinessWeek help Basecamp to establish credibility on this page.

5 Copywriting Keys to Landing Page Credibility(no longer active)

Scent
“They’re called landing pages because they’re where you plan for visitors to “land” after clicking through on PPC and targeted search terms. So before you do anything else, convince those visitors they’ve come to the right place by prominently featuring their “trigger” or search terms on the page.”

AR1

ArtRiver‘s ad above is a simple, but great reminder of the importance of scent. The ad above was triggered by the query “Francesco Clemente prints” and directs to a page with only Clemente prints. It seems like a no-brainer, but there are plenty of product specific PPC ads that direct to home pages rather than product pages. Imagine if the ArtRiver ad had directed to the homepage (below) instead of the Clemente page. Would the visitor bother looking through the left navigation? Maybe, maybe not. But why take the chance?

AR2

Transparency
“People are rightfully cynical. They want to know all the angles. Provide that to them through a transparent explanation. Once they believe your explanation, they’ll have gained a world of confidence in your offer.”

Readability
“Use short paragraphs not to exceed 5 stacked lines. Use headlines, sub-heads, bullets, and bolding. Make sure your page is skimmable and scanable and that your key or trigger words are featured within your headlines, bolded text, and hyperlinks.”

Have a favorite article on landing page best practices? Post it here!