By: Arian Fernandez, Sr. Designer at Calculated Creativity
The war for search engine positioning intensifies by the minute, but even if you are in good shape in this matter, it is only the first step. A good “Landing Page” will ultimately achieve what everyone is looking for: a conversion.
When a user clicks on a search engine result, promotional e-mail, or banner advertisement, they are then referred to a “Landing Page”. This page will usually display content that is a logical extension of the advertisement, e-mail or link. Once the potential buyers get there, they need to find what they are looking for. They need to feel comfortable, believe, and trust in what they are seeing in order to generate a sale. Time is very short. Statistics have shone that website visitors have to be convinced in a matter of seconds. So when it comes to designing a Landing Page, it is crucial to thoroughly analyze the target audience. Then, based on the analysis, devise a strategy that can successfully approach potential buyers effectively. The most innovative ideas, the greatest products, or a superior service succeed only when you market within the context of people’s perceptions.
There is no formula, only different strategies that will vary depending on the needs of whoever is behind the screen (with a mouse ready to click on the submit button). Here are some useful guidelines, by Luca Catania, that should definitely be considered in the design of a “Landing Page”.
1) The more you inform, the more you sell. In order to push someone to make an action or a purchase it is essential to include as much information as possible; the user will have to find answers to their questions, see their doubts solved and feel the need to do something straightaway! Your job will be to tell and show them everything they would expect to find in the best product in the world; you will have to give them enough information to persuade them, make them feel ready, firm and comforted to make the purchase. Plan meaty pages provided they are interesting and motivating.
2) The product is the only protagonist. Don’t waste a single pixel of your page talking about anything that isn’t about the product you intend to promote. Every sentence, image, multimedia content that isn’t of use to sing its praises is only a waste of time for you and your users. The product must be the only protagonist of your page.
3) Show your product. The web is not a shop; users can’t touch what they are seeing. Do all you can to show them just how beautiful and irresistible your product is using all the means at your disposal (2d/3d images, photographs, videos, interactive films, audio, music etc.).
If what you are promoting doesn’t physically exist, carry out an ad hoc graphics that can make it as real as possible (e.g. for a software only available in download, create a winning 3d box that represents it).
4) Show it in action. Appearance is very important but the user needs to see the product in action! Always remember to make a demonstration of the potentialities and functionalities of what you are promoting and you will be able to sell more than with any other technique. A demonstration attracts the attention and stimulates the user’s need.
5) Use graphics to support the promotional messages. Users understand and remember messages better if they are repeated several times and provided with various techniques. Make sure that they appear both in textual and in graphic form the same number of times. A good idea is also to provide messages in audio format.
6) The power of the “perceived value”. The effectiveness of your offer depends on the perception that the user has of it, more than the value itself. This is the reason why many offers include products free of charge that increase its perceived value.
7) Play it again Sam. After having finished reading this article try and write on a piece of paper all the rules you remember. You’ll understand why repeating messages is so important. Draw attention to messages that are meaningful if you want users to remember (check guideline 5)
8)Be persuasive. I know, it’s not fair, but you will seldom find someone holding their credit card waiting to purchase or to register to a newsletter. If you want users to do something persuade them into doing it! You will have to convince them that what they are seeing is really what you are describing. You have to persuade them that their lives will be more exciting, richer and simpler if they buy your product and the exact opposite if they don’t.
9) The importance of “details”. You’d be surprised by the number of hesitations and wrong ideas that arise in the user’s mind when he looks at a commercial offer. Every one of these ideas is strong enough to distract them from the decision to act. Make a list of all possible reasons that a user may have not to make a purchase and try and answer as many things as possible. Concentrate on the details and on all that at first sight may have been taken for granted!
On internet there’s no tomorrow; if users want to buy, they must do it straightaway!
10) Give them good reasons to believe you. If what you’re offering is better than anything else a user can find elsewhere, you have to tell them why. What science is hidden behind your product? What technological innovation or recent discovery does it use? Always remember to give good reasons to make what you are saying more credible.
11) Reinforce your credibility. Creating a good credibility is a very complex job but just as important. Take advantage of as many testimonials as you can, known graphic icons (e.g. logo visa, w3c, etc.), mentions from third parties or everything you own that can help you reach an aim (e.g. press release, reviews etc.)
Take into account the fact that the coherence between what you say about your product and what it really is will help you improve your credibility towards the user.
12) Testimonials work. It is comforting for users to hear about what other people say about your product, especially if they underline how their life has improved since they’ve bought it (e.g. the “before and after” effect).
Use various techniques to give proof: simple textual comments written by who has tried the product, audio files with the real users’ voices, films and what more can pop into your mind. In order to realize whether this technique works and is effective, try to compare a page with testimonies with one without.
13) Don’t give them any possibility to choose. Everyone appreciates having a choice, but what would happen if you asked a user to choose between 2 or more options? Exactly! They would start wondering what is best for them instead of buying. Users must only have one choice to take, to act or not.
14) Often repeat what to do. Tell the user exactly what you want them to do and do it often. Repeat the message regularly perhaps using different methods.
15) Look at them straight into the eyes. When you create contents (text, audio, multimedia etc.) remember to address the user being on first-name basis with them. This makes them feel protagonist and gives them the impression that you are considering them unique and important.
(16) The content is all you have, treat it well! Make sure that:
- the text doesn’t contain mistakes, the grammar is correct and it uses adequate words
- text blocks are not too long and the page is not too heavy
- any link works correctly
- buttons and links are well recognizable
- all messages are clear and comprehensible
- the page is compatible with all the browsers and operating systems
17) Show problems and then solve them. Show the user the problems they could face if they don’t buy the product and show them how the product could solve them.
18) Minimize the user’s risks. The lower the risks for the user the higher the sales. A way to reduce risks is to offer a warranty, what we call “satisfied or refunded within 30 days”, to include a note on privacy, etc.
19) Try, verify, modify and verify again (The good ol A/B Split Test)! Good, now the moment to verify that everything works has come:
- create at least two pages that differ for some details
- put the first one on-line and leave it there until it receives 500 unique visits for instance
- analyze and keep the results obtained
- substitute the first page with the second one and keep the latter on-line until it reaches the same number of unique visits the first page has.
- verify which of the two has given better results
- create a third page applying what you have learned from the two previous experiences and carry on testing until you obtain the “perfect page” (the one that gives you the best results!)
Have any other tips you’d like to include? Leave in the comments section below!