Practical Ecommerce

Effective Landing Pages

This month we discuss landing pages, what they are, and how they can be used to increase your conversion rate.

What are Landing Pages

Your site has landing pages whether or not you think it does. Even if you didn’t specifically design landing pages – you have them, because the definition of a landing page is “the first page that a visitor hits on your site”.

For many of you, your home page is your primary landing page, and you might want to review last month’s article for tips on improving home pages. But an increasing number of website owners are designing landing pages that bypass their homepage, which allows visitors to skip information that doesn’t interest them.

When Are Landing Pages Used?

Landing pages are typically used when you have an understanding of who the visitor is – usually determined by looking at what they clicked on to arrive at your site. For example, a visitor who clicks on an ad for your Deluxe Widget probably doesn’t want to click through 3 layers of navigation to get to the information on that product.

Similarly, a visitor who clicks on your link from an article you submitted to a consumer review site is likely to be very different than a visitor who comes to your site after seeing your late night infomercial.

How to Measure Landing Page Success

Landing pages, like the rest of your site, should be carefully measured to determine their level of success. In order to measure, you must have determined some sort of ‘next action’ that you consider a success. Your next action might be a product purchase, requesting more information, downloading a paper, signing-up for a free trial, etc.

You should then divide the number of action takers into the number of visitors to find your ‘conversion rate’. What constitutes a ‘good’ conversion rate will be determined by the nature of your page, but based on research, typical lead generation conversion rates are about 3-5%, and typical ecommerce numbers are 1-2%.

What Makes an Effective Landing Page?

There’s a concept inherent in building effective landing pages that I call ‘alignment’. The more aligned your source (where the visitor came from) and your landing page, the higher your conversion rate is likely to be (assuming that you are aligning around the correct value proposition, of course).

I have a friend that runs a very successful beauty products company that does a significant amount of web marketing. They have found that if a banner ad shows a particular model, the landing page has to feature the same model or conversion rates drop drastically– this is alignment in action. Overall, I think there are a few key emotional-points that a landing page needs to address in order to be effective. Your site must provide:

Recognition – The idea that your visitor experience a ‘that’s what I was looking for’ moment when they hit your landing page.

Credibility – Overall your page must come across as risk-free, in other words, no red flags must be present.

Persuasiveness – Your landing page must do an effective job at persuading the visitor that your product or service can help them achieve their goals. Remember to consider the source of this visitor as a key in understanding what they are looking for.

Action – In order to turn a visitor into an action-taker, you must spotlight some sort of action to be taken.

Mat Greenfield

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