When you think about ways to increase sales, driving traffic to your website may be at the forefront of your mind. If you could just get more people to visit your site, surely sales would increase, right? In fact, that is only the beginning. Once someone gets to your site, you need to convert her from a prospect to a customer.
Improving your conversion rate, or the ratio of sales to visitors, will dramatically increase your sales volume. The key to success is your landing page, or the specific page where prospects land after clicking on your ad. Here are ten tips for optimizing your landing page to increase conversion rates.
1. Improve Congruence
Congruence is an abstract term that means harmony or equivalence. In marketing, it refers to how well the entire experience matches a prospect or customer’s expectations. When optimizing your landing page, always keep congruence in mind. Make sure that what you offer on the landing page is perfectly matched to what people expect to find after clicking on your ad.
Improve congruence with keyword-targeted landing pages.
Many business owners use their home page as their landing page, but that is a big mistake. Your home page is a generalized introduction to your company while your landing page should be tightly focused to match the ad and the source of traffic. For example, with search advertising, ads that target multiple keywords should have different landing pages that are congruent with the keyword searched and the ad clicked on.
You can even divide up your traffic by demographic — men versus women, or college students versus young professionals — sending each to a separate landing page. The more you can drill down into exactly who is clicking on your ads, and the better understanding you have of each market, the more congruent each landing page will be.
2. Focus on Your Headline
The headline is the single most important element on your entire landing page. It reassures your visitor that she is in the right place, improves congruence, and encourages her to read more. You do not need to close the sale in your headline, but you do need to restate the offer or another important detail from your ad. Try different ways of making it worth your prospect’s time to hear you out.
3. Test the Copy
Always focus on the benefits of your product or service. Identify the prospect’s need and clearly explain how your company will fulfill it. Avoid the urge to go into detail about features or add-ons, instead maintain a laser focus on solving your prospect’s problem or concern.
There is no magic bullet for designing perfect copy. Use trial and error to see what works best. Test plain text as well as videos. Try using longer and shorter copy. In many cases, short copy is best for a free or low-risk offer while selling a paid product requires longer copy, but these guidelines are not hard and fast rules. Play around with your copy until you find the winning combination.
There is no magic bullet for designing perfect copy. Use trial and error to see what works best.
4. Minimize Distractions
Most people scan websites rather than reading them in detail, and too many distractions can cause them to click away. Clear out the clutter to improve congruence and increase conversions. Take away confusing options, such as a top navigation menu that links to all of your products or services, and lead your prospects neatly through the sales conversion process. Provide clear instructions, obvious buttons or forms, and as few decision points as possible.
5. Test the Call to Action
The call to action is the way in which you ask for the sale. It should tell prospects exactly what to do next in order to conduct business with you. Like the overall copy, choosing the best call to action requires some trial and error. Try making it bigger and more obvious. Test different wording choices. Experimentation will ultimately show you what works best for your business.
6. Tweak the Offer
An irresistible offer is crucial to improving conversion rates. Yet some offers show better results than others. Try replacing your current offer or adding a secondary one. For example, a free consultation is a logical offer for an attorney. You could also offer a free report in addition to, or instead of, the free consultation. If your current offer requires payment, try sweetening the deal with one or more free bonuses.
7. Add Social Proof
Social proof reassures your prospects that other people like them find value in your service or product. Social proof includes testimonials, reviews, case studies, and success stories. Try to collect enough social proof that someone from each of your target markets can identify with at least one reviewer or success story.
8. Improve Your Credibility
The media is filled with horror stories of people being ripped off, never receiving ordered merchandise, and even falling victim to identity theft when shopping online. Improving your credibility helps to reassure your prospects that yours is a safe and honest business. Start by listing your full contact information on your landing page.
List business association credentials to improve credibility.
If you are a member of the Better Business Bureau, local business association, or any other professional organization, list those credentials as well. If you have ever been featured in the press, briefly mention your accolades. Also, consider obtaining a third-party trust seal if you process payments online.
9. Add a Guarantee
A guarantee addresses the risk that many prospects feel when ordering a paid service or product. A full money-back guarantee for a period of months or years is the best way to address perceived risk, but is not practical for all products or services. Any guarantee is better than none at all.
10. Include a Reason to Act Now
Finally, find a reason for prospects to act now. If you run a limited-time deal, three-day sale, or another deadline-based offer, avoid hiding it in the fine print. Make it impossible to miss by including it in the headline or another prominent location. Procrastination kills conversion, so the more urgency you can create, the higher your conversion rates will be.