I get asked this a lot. Not like “a lot” but like “a looottttt.” Perhaps its our quest for the quick fix, but as marketers we are always looking for the immediate fixes we can roll out to increase our conversions. While most marketing pieces don’t work that way, conversion rate optimization is an exception. There is always room for improvement….
I truly believe there is always a few things you could do to your top landing page right now that would get you more signups, better engagement, or higher quality scores. The hard part is knowing which one is going to work for you.
The process usually looks a little like this;
Step 1: You see your competitor roll something out and you think, “hmmm would that work for us?”
Step 2: You tell yourself you are going to test, like a good marketer should! You create 3 to 4 tests in your head, spec’ing them out in mockups, and put together the prettiest little testing plan you’ve ever seen.
Step 3: Realize your design team is too busy.
Step 4: Realize your development team is too busy.
Step 5: Freak out that you aren’t making any moves, and roll out the exact change your competitor made to their site.
Step 6: Continue to panic since you know this is bad practice.
Oy. It’s true right? I know I am personally responsible for this way too often. The sad reality (we all know way too well) is that we don’t always have the resources available to get up solid tests. So what can you do to your top landing pages immediately, without feeling a huge panic? The usual suspects are things like best practices for landing pages. This includes things like;
• More white space/clear out clutter
• Above the fold call to action
• Larger call to action, surrounded by more white space
• A trustworthy looking layout/make sure your site looks trustworthy
And so on, and so forth.
Okay that’s all great, but what about the not so obvious improvements out there? That’s what I’d like to tackle today. I’m lucky enough to say I’ve been screwing up landing pages for close to 7 years now. It’s true. I’ve tested all sorts of things on all sorts of sites in all sorts of industries, and whether the usual experts want to admit it or not, there are things beyond best practices that can increase conversions almost universally.
*Note the “almost” okay? So don’t go bitching in the comments when you tested and concluded something different
All right, now that disclaimers are out of the way, let’s talk about 5 other ways to improve your top lander right now.
Other Idea #1: Social signals galore
We all know that adding social buttons to your site increases engagement, but did you also know that it often increases conversions? Just knowing they can reach you through a variety of social channels triggers an added trust response when a visitor is trying to choose between buying and leaving. So if you are social (which for those of you who aren’t by now…you are just being foolish) make sure to add those social buttons front and center.
Other idea #2: Numbers make people smile
Okay maybe not smile, but they are more likely to convert! It’s true! I’m not just saying this because I love calculators. If you can add numbers to your landers, often your conversions will increase. This covers things like, adding your member count, adding the total number of community members, or adding how many people are online now, etc. Remember those ghetto visitor tickers from back in the day? Yeah, don’t use those. Instead show off how much money your software tracks, or how many shoes your site sold. Show off your awesomeness in real, tangible numbers. It works, I swear.
Other Idea #3: Quotes, quotes, and funny quotes?
While we all know a testimonial helps conversions, did you know that it’s almost impossible to have TOO many testimonials on your lander? It’s true. Get them up there! Rotate through a dozen, or link to a full page of them. Also (and this surprised me!) don’t weed out informal or funny quotes. People like to see the candid nature of a true reaction to a product or service. If someone said “You da bomb!,” you go ahead, bold it, and get it up there. Word.
Other Idea #4: Logos are pretty, but faces are prettier
So you know that best practice about getting up a logo for each person that reviews you? Yeah you can kind of ignore that…as long as you get up their face instead. I’ve tested this a bunch and almost always, the face of a testimonial giver out performed the logo of their company. It seems obvious; yet way too many sites are rocking a testimonial, with a name (in text) and the logo of the company next to it. So say cheese, and get those pictures up!
Other idea #5: You want the money? Give out your number!
Whoa that sounds weird, but alas its true. In a world that is increasingly moving to the cloud, more and more sites are dropping the physical address and phone number for more scalable solutions to customer service. #hugefail The truth is you need to have a number they can call, you need an email front and center, and if you have a physical address…throw it in their face! The placement I’ve tested that wins the most is still (believe it or not) top, right corner, usually followed by a site search box. I guess not all throwbacks are lost in the hustle. So grab your digits and get them up there.
So there you have it. Hopefully some of them surprised you, or at the very least reminded you that you should always be tweaking those top landers. I’ve always believed that every page on our site can be a lander, but that us marketers need to know the big winners as they win. These are the pages you constantly tweak.
Once you nail the best practices, you owe it to your inner CRO self, to really push the envelope on what you know. And just remember…if you find yourself simply copying your competitor’s landing page changes, you should probably smack yourself. No really, that is not doing your beautiful pages justice.
So best of luck on the optimizing front friends! I’d love to hear what sort of tests you have run, and the surprising results they delivered!