As a marketing strategist with a digital focus, I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing, tweaking, testing, and generally thinking about landing pages. The topic of conversion optimization is one that’s been widely written about and discussed. And yet, I continue to see landing pages from businesses that are falling short in critical—and familiar—ways.
If you haven’t acquainted yourself with the basics of landing page conversion strategy—relevant copy, prominent contact info, multiple methods of contact, etc.—there are plenty of resources out there to get you started. If you’ve incorporated the basics into your landing page and your conversion rate still leaves something to be desired, perhaps it’s one of these less obvious conversion killers.
Slow Load Time
Do you know who doesn’t like to wait for things? Everybody. Your average online visitor expects your page to load within two seconds. According to KISSmetrics, 40% of visitors will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load, and a one-second delay in response can lead to 7% fewer conversions. When those visitors bounce from your page, you can be assured that they’ll find their way to your competitors. On top of that, slow load time can hurt your search engine rankings.
- Get rid of any extra content, features, or widgets that you don’t need (do this regardless of your site speed)
- Use static HTML instead of PHP
- Optimize images
- Utilize a Content Delivery Network
- Use external files for CSS and scripts
Holes in the Social Proof
Yes, social proof is a great marketing tool. According to a CompUSA & iPerceptions study, approximately 63% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a site if it has reviews and customer ratings.
That said, not all social proof is created equal. For example, far too many landing pages feature testimonials like this:
“This company is good.” –Tim
Not only are these generic types of testimonials unexceptional, they look made-up. In a perfect world, you’ll include video testimonials, as these tend to be the most memorable. If video isn’t feasible, you can still add credibility by including a picture with the testimonials, adding the last name, and—if appropriate—their professional title.
Ambiguous Call to Action
While landing pages are increasingly incorporating a CTA (call to action), most are pretty vague. CTAs like “Contact Us” and “Send Message” are clearly not persuasive. The most effective CTAs are descriptive and succinct; they efficiently answer that important question: Why do I want to contact you? Will I get a free quote or consultation? Will a salesperson contact me? Will I instantly gain the strength of 500 apes by clicking submit? Determine a (physically plausible) conversion point that your target audience will find compelling, and speak to that in the CTA.
Lack of Brand
The importance of brand and the personality of your business shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to your landing page. (If you aren’t sure what your brand is, stop worrying about your landing pages and go figure that out.)
There are plenty of landing pages that look professional enough, but you don’t get any impression of the company or their people. They use stock photos, stilted language and corporate jargon, and they don’t make it easy to determine who the people actually are, what they’re all about and what work they’ve done.
You don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) include all of this info on one landing page, but you can include some of it and make the rest easy to find. Remember: if you’re not giving your visitors any glimpse of your company’s brand and personality, you shouldn’t expect them to take the leap of faith and give you their business.