When I redesigned my WordPress website, Alphametic.com, early this year, I thought my marketing was all set.
My web pages where well-optimized, or so I thought. I had nice design, big calls to action, forms, social proof, testimonials, offers, sales copy, and best-in-class lead generation plugins, including pop-ups and content upgrades.
Then, I concentrated my efforts on building niche landing pages featuring specific products and services to target profiled audiences through organic and paid (Adwords) channels.
I started with a test campaign for one of our most popular services, SEO Workshops.
I thought I was doing everything by the book, but when results came in I wasn’t so sure…
After spending over $300 in Adwords test campaign (buying targeted keywords such as ‘SEO workshop’ or ‘SEO training’), I’ve only gotten two inquiries, none of which resulted in sales.
I realized my landing page was a leaky bucket. According to Beth Morgan on Kissmetrics blog:
If you don’t have a good landing page, it’s like going fishing without a net: you might land a big one on your hook, but you won’t be able to drag it into the boat.
It was time to get expert feedback, so I reached out to my closest network of successful online entrepreneurs for tips to improve my landing page conversion rates.
I’ve summarized every valuable tip I received in this blog post, along with expert conversion rate optimization best practices and ‘before-after’ visual examples. I am really generous to have these amazing people in my corner because my landing page converts (and looks) much better now.
Table of Content
- 1 Speak to consumer pain
- 2 Put why before the how
- 3 Your Call-to-Action seals the deal
- 4 Build trust with social proof
- 5 Build credibility and showcase expertise
- 6 Eliminate anything that may cause friction or distrust
- 7 Communicate value proposition in Headers
- 8 Use long-form storytelling to build trust
- 9 Use a floating form
Speak to consumer pain
What we read first makes us decide if we want to read anything else. That means that the top of your page needs to be a headline that speaks to consumer pain if you are looking for them to keep reading and eventually buy.
The key to converting with sales pages is making sure your consumer feels like you are talking directly to them and helping them see a more successful version of themselves.
“SEO workshop” could be for anyone, and as result as we all know in marketing, when you pitch everyone it becomes a product for no one. Think of your ideal client and the craft the name of workshop around that person.
Ex.) From Invisible to Invincible
Or: “The SEO Webinar that will make you BFF’s with Google and make your company the first name people see when they search.”
Put why before the how
More from Michael Roderick
Nobody cares about the how without the why: If you describe the workshop, each description needs to be tied to a specific result or the consumer will ignore it. So right now calling a collaborative workshop that ends with a makeover of the website doesn’t speak to the customer’s pain and your solution. You can describe the workshop later in the copy, but at the top you need to get them to feel the pain:
“What if every day you went to your website and you had so much traffic your servers were straining to handle it all. What would that mean for your online sales?”
“What if tomorrow you had a ten percent increase in people visiting your company’s site, what would that mean for your sales?”
“And what if rather than paying hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads, marketing, and PR, you could pay much less and get the results described above? It’s not magic. It’s SEO.”
“Imagine you own a coffee shop and after owning that shop for a few months and doing business, someone else opens a shop next door. That’s what’s happening on the web with your business.”
“Only instead of one coffee shop next to you it’s 1000 or more. How do you compete on GOOGLE.?”
“When you rank high on Google it’s as if everyone else just had a huge construction sign blocking their business logo on the block except you. You get to be the first one people see so they barely think about the fact that there are others there.”
“You’re gonna sell a lot more. That’s what we address in our workshop.”
Describe your product and have testimonials to prove it.
Your Call-to-Action seals the deal
More from Michael Roderick
Remember, your call to action seals the deal: “Contact us” is like walking up to someone on the street and asking them for a dollar. Make your CTA something that makes them want to contact you now.
“If you want to unlock the power of SEO to open the flood gate of traffic waiting to hit your site, we have 5 spots available for our latest workshop. CLICK HERE (hotlink to application) to apply to join us before your competition does.”
The first thing you might want to look at is what people do after they go through your ads. In fact, one of the first questions they ask themselves is “Can I trust this person or company?”
Testimonials are one of the best ways to build trust with social proof.
Build credibility and showcase expertise
The second thing you might want to look at is whether your site visitors view you as a credible expert. Especially those who don’t know you.
You can convey credibility and expertise in various ways, including ‘as seen on’ media mentions….
…or showcasing your client rolodex.
Eliminate anything that may cause friction or distrust
Let me approach this from a UX standpoint since that’s what I teach. I’m going to be picky and let me explain why. You want to eliminate anything that may cause friction or distrust while viewing your landing page. There may be things that unconsciously make them uncomfortable … enough of this leads to no sales.
UX Tip 1: Text spacing and styling
Also check out: 9 WordPress Design Tricks to Increase Engagement
UX Tip 2: Pay attention to font and margin
UX Tip 3: Clean up your visuals
If you have Photoshop, add a Levels adjustment layer & click “Auto”. That should help with the lighting. I’d also like to see a subtle treatment on that text to make it stand out. Try adding the text in Canva using one of their templates. While the subject of this picture is great, the quality doesn’t feel professional.
UX Tip 4: Optimize your form
Communicate value proposition in Headers
Try using headings that highlight value proposition more.I think changing “SEO workshop” at the top to something that highlights benefits/outcomes while still making it clear what it is would help. For example, “Learn the most most effective and up to date seo strategies” , “rank on google…” etc. Maybe also a line about who it’s for (ie “marketing teams at large companies” – or multiple segments) Could also try a larger font. I like the format of a long-form sales letter that tells a story while highlighting value propositions. Could also consider offering a free consultation here to incentivize sign up.
Use long-form storytelling to build trust
I approached this from a storytelling perspective. Your blue text with the quote on your photo looks blurred and is difficult to read. I suggest using large block letters, with some translucence, covering the right half or third of the photo. This will make it easier to read, will still allow us to see the photo and will catch more attention, and not compete with the photo the way the blue does.
The photos of you below are great, and they demonstrate you have done this in several environments, so there is credibility. However, how many times do we need to see you by yourself on the stage or in front of a room? We get it. If you have it swap out at least one photo with one that shows you actually interacting with one or more participants in that photo grouping. Give us a reason that there are several photos, from an information standpoint, a story arc standpoint. Tell us the different parts of the experience by the photos you show.
Use a floating form
Many experts have given their value here and I’m late to the party, so I’ll just add a quick couple of pointers!
Also keep a wider-width form at the bottom for users who want to take the time to read the whole lot.
Don’t overload users with info, it all seems like hard work so get your points across succinctly and encourage visitors to take action by hooking them in with exclusivity and urgency. Think; ‘Only 8 places left’ or add a countdown timer for a discount deal. Put all your trust signals at the top of the page (past clients, testimonials on slide).
I hope you’ll find this information useful when you design your own high-converting landing pages.
I’m sure there is still a lot I can do to make my landing pages even better, so please drop me any feedback or share your own landing page optimization learnings in the comments below.