Have you had any experience of clicking an ad on a search results page that took you to the website, and you decided to come off it to look for another option for reasons unknown? I have experienced this many times without giving myself the time to analyze, when I could actually benefit from the site/page. As a marketer or a business owner, this is why you need to understand how neuroscience affects decision making and focus on creating the best landing page experience that would give the human brain a great experience in the conversion funnel.
This is Kiruba Sekaran, a marketer & Search Engine Optimizer, continuing my Conversion Rate Optimization saga. Having discussed Psychology and Conversion Copywriting in the last week, I’m excited to share about Landing Page Optimization from the CRO mini degree by CXL in this article.
What is a landing page?
The landing page is the page that is shown to the users as a response after they click on a search engine result, email promotion, a social media ad, a banner, etc. It is the page that works independently of an app/site and focuses on clear conversion goals.
A good landing page focuses on reducing the time required for the user to travel from entry to the conversion.
Thinking Process and Cognitive Biases
The human brain thinks two ways: fast thinking and slow thinking. The fast thinking is the intuitional and more emotional way of thinking, but the slow thinking is how the brain analyzes and reasons out. In other words, fast-thinking is something that happens to you and slow thinking is something that you do. These two ways of thinking affect the behavior of the user in making conversions. There are three types of cognitive biases.
Priming -Exposure to one stimulus influences the responses to a subsequent stimulus. So it is important to keep the landing page very similar to the ad copy.
Framing -The way in which the message is presented can affect decision making. For example, “glass is half full” vs “glass is half empty”.
WYSIATI -What You See Is All There Is — The audience just knows what they see and they don’t analyze more than that. So there are chances that the message is perceived wrong. Ex: The term “laptop cover” that meant insurance for a laptop was perceived as a cover of a laptop.
Information Hierarchy & Wireframing
It is suggested to first decide on the copy you will have and then go for the design. Information Hierarchy focuses on what information you need to be giving on the landing page. This information can be planned by asking yourself the following questions.
- Who should your landing page communicate to?
Your target audience could be in one the following awareness levels
- They have a problem and they are not aware if there is a solution.
- They know there is a solution to their problem, but they don’t know yours.
- They know the problem & your solution, but they are not sure if that is the right solution for them.
- They know your solution and are ready to go for it.
The amount of information needed on a landing page very much depends on the awareness level of a customer. A person who does not know anything about your brand or product needs a lot more information than the person who knows the solution given by the brand.
2. What do you want them to do on the page?
The landing page goals, i.e. what you want the user to do on this page is also a factor in deciding the information to be given on the page. The length of the copy will be much different for a page that wants the user to buy a laptop from the page that is designed to give free downloads.
3. Where are they(target audience) coming from?
Is your target audience coming from a newsletter, email campaign, social campaign, or other means? People who come through different channels have different levels of awareness.
Now that you know what and how much information is needed, you can use Wireframes to give a skeletal structure to your ideas on which you can build your landing page. Explore some of the wireframe tools to find the one that suits your needs.
Landing Page Research
It needs a lot of research to optimize a landing page and is broadly classified as qualitative and quantitative research.
Google Analytics is widely used to perform quantitative research and the following metrics and dimensions are helpful in doing this for an E-Commerce site.
- Landing Pages — A page that the user lands on after a click from SERP, email, etc.
- Second Page -The second page in users’ sessions or the page viewed by the user after landing page
- Exit Page — A page from which the user exits the website, the last page seen by the user in a session
- Age/Gender — To view the data based on age groups and gender
- Device/Browser — To analyze the data by the device or the browser used
- Sessions — A session is a group of interactions with your website by a user that takes place within a given time frame. By default, a session expires in 30 minutes.
- Bounce Rate — Percentage of the people who land on a page and exit the page without navigating to other pages
- Transactions — The total number of orders or sales
- E-Commerce Conversion Rate — The percentage of sessions that resulted in an E-Commerce Transaction.
Creating a custom report with the above metrics is very helpful in performing a landing page research quickly and efficiently. Here are some examples of such quantitative conclusions
“Only 400 out of the 20,000 E-Commerce landing page visitors made transactions”
“The landing page has a 90% bounce rate which is pretty high”
“90% of the landing page visitors visited the billing page, but only 5% reached the success page. So there could be something not right in the billing page”
If you are already a Google Analytics user, it won’t be hard to understand the above metrics and dimensions. If not, there are a lot of beginner to advanced courses that you can take online. Google has free online courses. The CXL mini degree also includes great Google Analytics lessons.
After analyzing the quantitative information, you will already have information like which landing pages convert better and which pages in the funnel have problems like higher drop-offs. By now you will have enough reasons to analyze why these things happen and this is where a qualitative landing page research is performed. There are two ways to do this.
- Interviews with customer success teams, sales teams, and customers
- Session recordings, feedback polls, and usability testing
Landing Page Copy
A great landing page copy focuses on minimizing the time required for the user while giving a clear path from landing on the page to conversion. It should be clear, answer important questions, and speak to user motivation. It also follows up on the promises made in the ad copy.
The Information Hierarchy focussing on target persona, goals, and source of traffic discussed previously in this article is made to use while writing a copy. The length of the copy needs to be more for a person who is not aware of the problem than the person who is more aware of the problem and the solution. The copy will be the shortest for a person who is already in the decision stage as he/she is a lot more familiar with the brand in this stage.
The five copy elements that help make the copywriting process effective are
- Headline: Capture attention with the headline that matches with the ad copy.
- Benefits/features: Mention the value of the offer to the user.
- Credibility: Attach Social proof like testimonials to make the content trustworthy.
- Expectation Manager: Ensure that the users are not disappointed and help them understand what to expect.
- Call-to-action: Place the right text in buttons that make users click and give a clear idea of what happens after a click. It must start with a verb and must set realistic expectations. Example: “Get a Free Quote”.
If you are interested in learning more about copywriting, I have shared some techniques in my previous blog.
Landing Page Design
The visual hierarchy by organizing the elements of the information hierarchy in the most appealing way that influences the user experience and focuses on 5 principles.
Size: There are several case studies that prove increasing the size of a CTA button resulted in a big increase in conversions. So the size of the elements matters to the user experience. The most important elements are given bigger sizes in comparison with the less important ones.
Space: Giving spaces is really important so the user does not feel that it is overwhelming.
Font: Choosing great font types and sizes is important but keeping mind that it should not be overdone that will spoil the user experience. It is good to use simple fonts, the ones without feet and some font size guidelines to consider are
Primary headline: 32 -40 px
Section header: 20–24 px
Body Copy: 16 px
Bullet Points: 16–18 px
Color and Contrast: Use colors for elements that should stand out and also contrasting colors for the CTAs to stand out from other colors on the page. Having a color hierarchy with primary, secondary, complementary, accent, and font colors with a plan of what colors to use for each of the elements are very beneficial.
Direction: Using a visual cue and other direction related images in the right way to direct to the most important part of the page if beneficial.
Forms on Landing Pages
A form is considered as another landing page inside a landing page. It means that you need a whole new optimization process just for the form on a landing page. A form needs to focus on the elements of information and visual hierarchy as well. Creating forms with best practices will gain more form submissions.
So, to conclude
A landing page plays a major role in the success of your campaign.
Methodical research helps to optimize the landing page in the best possible way.
Landing page design and copy are both important, one should not be compromised for another.
A landing page success is important but tracking the other pages in the conversion path for any ambiguity is the key to ultimate success
Always have neuroscience in mind, the human brain is motivated when they see an offer, but at the same time, it also tries to reason it out and doubts the benefit. Serve the right content for the anxiety factor along with the motivation.
Add social proof to the landing page for credibility.
I look forward to sharing more of my experience with CXL’s CRO mini degree program in the following weeks.