On average, marketers see a 10-percent website conversion rate on landing pages. Now, imagine all those missed opportunities with the other 90-percent! Sound intriguing? Better yet, let us ask you this: How can you optimize your landing pages to increase your conversion rate and ultimately generate more business? Our simple response: You need to focus on designing for conversions.
The Seven Principles of Conversion Centered Design
How does the buying public make decisions? While the scientific, biological answer to this question requires a great deal of analysis and study, and may be extremely complex, let’s discuss how they more specifically make decisions on the Internet. Conversion-centered design works hand-in-hand with website copywriting to convert leads to consumers and increase click-through rate; as a business owner, your goal should be to help your customers complete a task and reduce the leaks from your landing page.
1. The Right Choices
When a visitor lands on your page, he or she should have a clear focus of what they should do, or choose, next – a conversion-centered design will help them make that decision. Here’s what we recommend keeping in mind when providing choices to prospective customers:
Number of Choices: A potential buying prospect may very well get a bit rattled and end up not making any decision if you give him or her too many choices; this theory was tested and proven when Sheena Iyengar, a professor of business at Columbia University and the author of The Art of Choosing
, conducted an experiment known as “The Jam Study” in which one group of customers was shown six different jars of jam while a second group was given a choice of 24. The results showed that the 30-percent from the first group made a purchase, while only three-percent of the second bought a jar.
Disparity Between Choices: The choices you provide the customer arriving on your website should be different enough for the user to quickly decide which one he or she wants.
Relatable Decisions: The choices that you present should be able to be related to in some way; for example, choices between a free trial and paid premium package, choices between online-only membership and physical membership et al.
2. Custom Landing Pages
When different leads arrive from various marketing channels, how do you deal with it? We can tell you with sincere honesty that it is best to create segmented landing pages for each following conversion centered design principles– it creates immediacy and assists the consumer with relating where he or she has come from to where he or she has landed.
Here’s a good example of what we mean: One customer sees your ad on Facebook and another sees it next to a thread in his or her Gmail inbox. Now, both have the same goal but ultimately discovered your site through different portals, or channels. If you take them to the same landing page, you may not be able to address them personally – and believe us, a personal touch is what it’s all about when convincing a customer to make a purchase.
3. Sequencing the Process
Your landing page should yield a logical sequence of steps that leads can follow to become a customer. Here’s our professional suggestion: Create a step-by-step “story” of why they should subscribe to updates or make a purchase…then, once they’re convinced, tell them how to sign up. Using this method, you won’t spring the decision up on unsuspecting users.
4. Balancing Logic and Emotions
It’s no secret: When we make decisions, we base our judgements on two elements: logic and intuition. To convince your lead to convert, your website’s design must not only be logical but also appeal to the customer’s emotions. Logically, it should be sequenced and should provide sufficient evidence for judgement, while emotionally the design language should boast characteristics of your target audience’s profile, reflect your brand’s values, include content that evokes an emotional association with the brand and guide the customer through the process.
5. “The Fold”
What we’re going to get into here are the dangers of placing your call-to-actions in the “wrong” place; if you place it above the “fold,” in some cases, but not all, it might be too soon to ask the user to make a decision, and if you place it at the end of the page, it might be too late…a prospect’s interest has fizzled out. Usually, your call-to-action would lie directly on top after the fold in conversion centered design, so that whatever decision you want the prospect to make is staged immediately after the first scroll.
6. Focus on Benefits for the Prospect
Most websites boast a form for the prospects landing on their page. But you must make sure you provide enough motivation for users to fill out this form; one technique we can recommend is to provide five bullet points telling the prospect what he or she will get out of going with your service or buying your product(s). Additionally, your call-to-action should describe what the prospect will get – instead of using a “Submit” button for a form to get a free white paper, for example, consider using copy that reads “Download Whitepaper Now.”
7. The Bandwagon Effect
In 1969, an experiment proved that people tend to follow trends and mimic the actions of those around them: A man was told to stand amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy New York street, looking towards the sky. Not long after that, other people noticed him, five of whom started looking upward themselves curious about what the man was watching. Later, 18 more people joined the crowd. You know what that equates to? A 400-percent increase!
Similarly, when you’re designing a webpage for conversion, use this bandwagon effect to your advantage by showing evidence that other people have signed up/bought/subscribed – and if you link it to a social network and provide a roster of prospects’ friends who have opted to do the same thing, it’s even better.