Top Landing Pages & Usability Tips:
This article offers top level considerations for your website’s landing pages. Any landing page where a visitor enters your site should be of great importance and aligned with organisational goals. Consider how your brand or promotion is being received in a digital era where the attention span of web traffic is plummeting. Also, consider that landing pages are an important part of your website content hierarchy, and traffic to these pages can be from website referral, organic and/or Google AdWords paid search as well as social and email channels. Landing pages form the basis from which you can turn web visitors into relationships before they bounce.
Much of this is based on a Google presentation by Shane Cassells (Online Conversion Expert) as well as various other professional tips / sources.
Consider the following:
How much time & thought is spent by web users doing the following:
- Choosing search keywords: no time at all.
- Looking at adverts: a little longer.
- Landing pages: longer still.
Landing Pages: The Key Ingredients:
Confirm for the user that what they clicked on to visit your website is here on your landing page:
- Prices & offers in adverts should match, and be clearly presented on landing pages.
- Do so without requiring the user to scroll. And, without relying on big blocks of text.
- Use bullet points and great headings/ sub-headings.
- If advertising and attracting visitors with display banners – try to match the colours of your display banners with the colour used on your landing pages.
Speed covers a broader volume of issues. This includes:
- How fast you are to fix issues, misinformation, spelling mistakes, missing pages on your website.
- How fast the user can move forward on your site.
- Page load & or server load times.
- Typically, 2-3 seconds is the patience of the average web user. It’s less for older people & mobile users.
- Amazon example: For every 1/ 10th of a second increase in page load times, for key product pages: Amazon revenue increased by 1%
From the moment a web-visitor first clicks on whatever brought them to your site, the clock is ticking. And with each passing nanosecond the visitor is judging your website:
- Make sure that landing pages are modern.
- No clutter. And avoid duplicating top menu items and side menu items.
- Stay away from dark/black backgrounds.
- Remove anything that looks dated / old fashioned (telcos websites for a bad example).
- Stay away from template (1 template suits all) websites & stock images.
- Branding & site purpose: Always include your logo & a tag line. Spell it out for users.
Consider the design elements that impact on the first impression discussed above:
- Avoid elements that distract users such as advertising.
- Your call to action should be above the fold.
- 40% of Americans don’t scroll!
Use Images of happy people doing something that relates to your business’s unique value proposition:
- Don’t be afraid to put really, really happy people on landing pages, but again, avoid stock images and make sure these images are highly relevant and even branded. Two people in business suits shaking hands and smiling is NOT what I mean.
- Establish a relationship through visuals.
- Video is fantastic: nice & short & ask users to do something (call to action).
- But don’t ever auto-play a video!
- Use Bullet points!
- Short & concise.
- Consider what the user is looking for.
- Positive creative, & activating text.
- Stay away from negativity (don’t just say you are better than the competition).
Call to action
Ask yourself – Why did you build a website? Because everyone else has one? Wrong answer.
- Think about what people may be willing to do on your site.
- Use “I would like to…” and “Find my…”
- Avoid using call to actions like submit and click here.
- 1 call to action per landing page max.
- The more choices you give – the more difficult the decision making process.
- The call to action should always be above the fold.
Promote your differentiation from the competition:
- Do you offer great after sales service? – put these things front and centre!
- Do not ever say things as mediocre as: “40 years in the industry…”
We’re all sheep (not really – let the rabbits wear glasses!). And, we like to do what other people are doing (or have done):
- Social proof: As web users, we want to know other people did this too.
- Highlight your (real) most popular product – (real) top sellers – (real) top service.
- Reciprocation: consider an exchange for your call to action such as a discount on first purchase.
- On mobile devices, users visiting a landing page are most likely to scroll with a “1-2-weeeeee” behaviour characteristic. They typically scroll a little, and then a little bit more, and then all the way to the bottom before bouncing.
- On desktop browsers: eye movement and visitor behaviour still follow the traditional “F” figure.
- Avoid guess work. Do A/B split testing on all landing pages, all the time!
And lastly, Do not build websites based on Hippos (Highest paid person’s opinion).