I’ve created thousands – yes, literally thousands – of landing pages in my direct-response marketing career.
Now, just for clarity, a landing page (in the purest sense) – is any web page that a visitor can arrive at or “land” on.
However, in the digital marketing world, we take this a step further – a landing page is a website page that allows you to capture a visitor’s information through a lead form.
Our goal as digital marketers is to convince visitors through this landing page to give us their information, buy our product, opt in, or take whatever call to action we propose on the page.
Now, being that I’ve created thousands of landing pages, I’ll admit that I’ve created quire a few that have sucked – really badly.
You might be experiencing the same thing – which is probably why you’re reading this.
Now, don’t feel bad – you’re in the right place. Yes, you might be thinking you just wasted a ton of site visitors by having a poor page, but in fact, those non-converting visitors told you a lot about your page – mainly the fact that it needs to change ASAP.
So, while there are literally thousands of variables in play when it comes to your landing page conversions, here’s a quick, 20-point checklist I run through when my landing page isn’t converting well:
1) Your headlines & subheads
Your headline should call out to your audience, identify the problem, grab their attention by the throat, and back up your big promise with a quick explanation in a subhead.
2) Your offer
Is your offer sexy enough? Is your product even wanted? Does it solve a problem people truly face?
3) Length of page
The length of your pages should depend on your offer. There is no formula for this, but you do want to make users scroll a bit on your page to give them some depth and offer them more meat than just the product itself.
4) Ease of conversion
How easy is it for the visitor to do what you want them to do? How much information are you asking for? If you’re just requesting first name and email address, your conversions will likely be high, but you will have less demographic data on your leads. If you’re asking for full name, email, phone number, career and position, then your landing page will see lower conversion rates, but you’ll have much more data to play with.
5) Simplicity/clarity of page
Is it crystal clear what you want the visitor to do, why they should do it, and how you can help?
6) Social proof on page (testimonials)
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Your page has to be beefed up with social proof.
7) Find a model landing page
Is there another landing page out there offering something similar to you? Is it successful? If yes, R&D (replicate and duplicate).
Take the best characteristics and make them your own.
8) Page design
Does the page have too much text? Not enough images? Bad images? What emotions do the colors on the page evoke?
9) Mobile responsiveness
Mobile internet users overtook desktop internet browsers in 2014, so if your page is not mobile optimized and tested for mobile devices, you’re behind the 8-ball.
10) What info is over the fold?
This is an old newspaper check, but it applies to web pages as well. A lot of times, many visitors will only take a second to check out your site, so the information that’s over the fold better be sexy enough to grab their attention and keep them reading.
11) What was your target audience?
Was copy on page emotionally relevant to this demographic?
12) Are you split testing?
If not, fire yourself…then re-hire yourself and get some split tests up – they’re incredibly important. For full reference, a ‘split test’ (also referred to as A/B testing) is a method of conducting controlled experiments with the goal of improving a website metric, such as clicks, form completions, or purchases.
A proper split test should only test one variable per test. For example: you should change the headline on one page vs. another and test that variable.
13) What page-building software are you using?
There are tons out there today (LeadPages, Instapage, Optimize Press, Hubspot Landing Pages, etc.). While these tools put out similar results (neat, clean & mobile-ready landing pages), they differ in the analytics they give you and customization they offer.
14) Is the traffic cold or have they already have communication with you?
This is HUGE. I’ve had many clients in the past tell me they’re seeing low conversion rates on their page from visitors they received from social media ads – well, duh! Social media ads are a tremendous way to drive traffic, but these leads are cold.
In the era we’re moving into today, people are tired of giving up their information on first contact for a freebie (either that, or they’ll give you incorrect information just to get your product). So, a lot of times it takes native advertising to get the opt in you’re looking for.
15) Is the value proposition or benefits explained in-depth enough?
Is the opportunity cost great enough for your page visitor to take action? Does your page scream to the visitor that by taking your offer, their jobs will be easier, their returns will be greater and their lives will be happier?
16) Overall flow of page
I’ve seen wayyyyyyy too many pages that jump all over the place. All of the assets on your page should contribute to your ultimate measuring stick – getting people to take action. If they don’t, get rid of them & re-organize.
17) Is the page hitting the pain points?
Humans are wired to avoid pain – it’s on our DNA.
Every product or service can help to alleviate pain in some way. The job of your landing page is to make your offer sexy enough that the customer will know that if they don’t take action, they will continue to be in pain.
If you can cause the user to think about their pain, they will subconsciously seek relief from that pain, and thereby be more likely to convert.
18) Showing the possible pleasure through your product/service
A lot of times, we don’t future cast enough in our landing page. It’s not enough to tell people why your offer is great, nor how easy it is to use – you have to tell them how much happier, healthier or wealthier people are after taking your offer.
19) Guarantee of results or support
These can be small sections in your page, but they serve to re-assure your visitor of their commitment.
You can say things like: “24/7 Customer Support,” or “30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee or Your Money Back,” or “100% Risk-Free.”
Simple phrases such as that re-assure your visitor that they’re making the right choice.
20) Call to action
A lot of times, you have to tell people exactly what to do and make it damn-near impossible for them to mess up … so, is your call to action clear enough? Do people know what action you want them to take? If not, get to re-writing and re-designing.
These items are all tremendously important, but are just the start of really refining and creating a truly great landing page.
And while we’re on the subject, conversion on landing pages hugely depends on the traffic and the offer (free product, paid product, application, call for more info, etc.), so it’s difficult to set baseline conversion rates you should be shooting for.
I’ve had free opt-in pages with conversions higher than 80%-85% before, but this was with very warm traffic who I had already built a strong relationship with – and I’ve had landing pages with a $97 offer convert at over 25% to semi-cold traffic.
But again, while there are a lot of variables in play, the checklist above is a great starting point to your in-depth analysis on your page.
What other criteria do you revise when optimizing your landing page? Let me know in the comments below!