I’ve spent the last few weeks optimizing pay-per-click landing pages for a client that sells enterprise software.
Before starting the project, around 1% of visitors completed the form to request more information. With more than fifteen new landing pages live, conversions now average 4.5%, with some landing pages converting at 10%. Not bad, when the industry average is 1 ½ - 2%.
Here are some tips on how you can improve the conversion rate of your landing pages.
It’s All About Focus
The more focused the page, the higher the conversion rate. Online searchers expect that your landing page will closely match what they are looking for, and what your ad promised. If it doesn’t seem to fit, they will bail. Over 50% of visitors leave within 0-8 seconds of reaching a landing page.
Build Your Copy Around Keywords
Before you start writing, consider the keywords the landing page will support. Select the keyword phrases that are most valuable to your business and have the highest number of impressions. The keywords should share a similar theme, focused on solving the searcher's problem.
Write a headline that includes the keywords. If you use a graphic at the top of the page, the keywords can be included in the graphic as well. I’ve found that simple headlines that include keywords outperform clever headlines. For example, “Business Intelligence & Analytic Applications — Free Demo.” This headline would work for searchers that typed the following keyword phrases into the search engine:
> business intelligence
> business intelligence applications
> analytics software
> business intelligence software
> analytic intelligence
> BI demo
Repeat the keywords again in the benefit focused body copy—which should be short. I try to keep my body copy to less than 100 words. Use the opening sentence or two to show visitors that you understand their problem and can help them. Bullets work well to highlight benefits, both to break up the page and to encourage readership. Studies show that only 20% of visitors will read much, if any, of this copy.
Don’t Forget the Offer
Make sure you don’t overlook the offer you used to get people to click through to your landing page. Include the offer within your body copy, and repeat the offer in the call to action copy on the submit button, “Request your FREE Business Intelligence White Paper”, or “Register for the FREE ‘Analytics in Action’ Web Seminar”
Don’t let your visitor become distracted. Focus their attention on performing the most desired response, which for most software companies is completing a form for more information —a white paper, case study, product demonstration or web seminar.
Generally, the fewer links on the landing page, the better. That means removing standard navigation. Make sure to include your phone number. I also like to include a link to the home page – not large, but it adds credibility and it is a convenience for visitors that are really interested.
Include Supporting Content
You can’t fit all the content outlined below on the landing page, but it gives you some ideas of what you can include. Remember that additional information or cross-sell items can be included on your confirmation, or thank you, page.
> Logo. The expected place is in the upper left corner of the page, this helps to orient your visitor.
> Primary graphic. Depending on the focus of the page I use a screen capture of the product, or a graphic that supports the offer.
If the offer is a report from a well known analyst I use a thumbnail of the report showing the company’s logo. If the offer is a web seminar, I include a picture of the speaker.
Most of the time, I like to use a screen image of the product presented as a thumbnail that zooms to full size. Select an image that will engage the viewer and illustrate core product functionality.
> Graphic caption. Graphic captions are the second most read copy on the page. Highlight the offer, or identify product benefits from your screen image.
> Testimonial. Include one concise (20 words) user or analyst quote that “sells” your product. Include the source name, title, company and logo.
> Award. Has your product won an award? Been rated 1st by industry analysts? Include the logo and name of award. This helps to add credibility.
> Feature list . Some categories of business software have come down to a functionality battle. If your buyers want to know, “Does it do this?, make it easy for them by providing a list that highlights your product’s most desired features. Graphically, I like to show features with a little check mark next to each.
It Sounds Simple, But ….
Focusing on your buyer’s needs is simply good marketing. However, writing, designing and managing multiple landing pages and corresponding thank you or confirmation pages can consume your resources.
To keep your landing page project manageable, analyze the results of your PPC campaign before you begin, and focus on optimizing landing pages for the keyword phrases where you will get the best return on your investment.
To Learn More
MarketingSherpa offers a handbook on how to improve your landing page conversions.