Like it or not, the Internet becomes a more competitive medium every day. These days we cannot afford to lose customers because of a poor web design. Every customer who comes to our site should find what he/she is looking for easy and quickly. Fixing every imperfection is crucial to success.
Based on what we have learned working for the past 6 years in our company and then implemented in more than 120 Landing Pages, we would like to share the 10 most important keys to successfully designing a Landing Page in order to increase sales over the Internet.
The first focus point should be, without doubt, on the value proposition. This means that we should answer in two lines the following: what we do, how we do it, and which added benefit we offer.
Based on the brief, specific and direct replies, we must transmit in less than 5 seconds to the customer the reason why should he/she use our online development. It is important to understand that the online range time per user does not exceed 5 seconds. Whoever does not understand at that time the reason to use our project will probably not buy. Basically, we have lost the customer and therefore the possibility to generate income.
Here there are two specific examples from two different industries in order to explain better what we mean by value proposition.
The first example is about a software program that manages a small business. As can be seen, the value proposition is transmitted briefly in a single title and then below it the advantages are explained:
The second example is based on a software program that measures our web site in the cloud. It focuses in a few words about what it does and includes a trigger that allows the user to start using the service by completing the registration form:
One of the first mistakes we made as a venture, in the beginning, was to think that saving in the design was a good idea.
It is for this reason that I would like to emphasize, in this second point, that we were wrong. Saving on design is the worst idea to be successful over the Internet.
When the Internet started, the design was optional; the fundamental thing was the software performance. Today, that has changed completely. Not because the design is now more important than the functionality of our web site, but because it should complement all the other items: a sense of security, the usability and the subsequent conversion of the potential customer, and, finally, the idea the user gets when he/she looks at the design of our company webpage.
Based on this learning, nowadays it is necessary for the design of an effective landing page to generate online sales, a large investment. That investment should be focused on showing safety, transparency and professionalism to the new customer who comes to our website.
To end this topic, let’s see an example of a seasonal rental site where the design conveys all these factors we mentioned above aimed to increase the conversion percentage:
This point is directly related to the previous one, but it is more focused on the online retail sites such as e-commerce. We should from the start express security to the user in the crucial moment of filling in their personal information, as well as of entering the credit card numbers (or whatever the chosen way to pay is). There, we should show a worldwide well-known symbol as VeriSign, or TrustE, among others.
In a published study made by the University of Michigan, it was proved that among 1,000,000 users the conversion increased by 21.7% in final sales, when it was explained to the client that all the information they provided would be stored with the highest level of security existent.
In that way it can clearly be seen that the customer is looking for this kind of answer; it is an uncertainty that the client have and we should resolve it in our leading page.
Note: It is valid to point out that in second and third world countries, this safety factor plays even a major role. Because, in first world countries like the U.S. and Europe, users are much more accustomed to buying online and this detail has a lesser degree of relevance.
Times have changed and we as a company are not the only ones who can deliver or offer our service. Now users want answers and comments from their peers.
Based on this changing reality, comments, suggestions, and criticism that other clients have in relation to our services are equally or more valid than what we can say about our development.
The more transparent we are with our customers, the better the results we will obtain plus their confidence on our services. In the example above, we can see clearly how companies started interviewing their users about their experience.
In this particular case, within the company’s Web site, a completely new section was created from scratch, focused on comments from current users in order to transmit and generate a relationship between them, with the additional potential that this represents for the company.
Listening to our users will also allow us to grow based on their comments, criticism and suggestions. At this point I would like to recommend “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries who teaches us how to build our online development from a minimum viable product, and that is the reason why we should start with a Landing Page.
Another factor that can play in our favor is focusing –as in the previous item—in current users of our development, but now also focusing on mass media such as radio, television, newspapers, and magazines, among others.
This factor could give us a major advantage in the user’s view. We are not only going to share what others clients are saying, but we will also explain how our company is working in the mass media context for those that do not know us yet.
In the case of our company, since we started sharing the graphic bases and mentions in the news, our conversion rate has increased by 14.2% in the sales through our Landing Page.
It is noteworthy that if we want that this section result in success, we should link and refer our clients to the media that mention us. In that way, the distrustful users or the ones that want to corroborate the information can click and see it with their own eyes.
If we can mention and show the graphic bases of the companies that we work with, whether clients or suppliers, that could be really helpful and result in a great backup.
If we are lucky and have the Wells Fargo Bank, General Electric or the American Red Cross as clients or service providers, why not show them off?
I see sometimes how many enterprises have problems finding online customers because, unfortunately, no one knows them and they do not take advantage of their partners. I recommend not underestimating the power that companies like Nike, Sony, McDonald’s, or HP, among others, have, as they can provide our potential customers with a sense of security.
Now we are going to focus on a higher level of detail; in order to design a successfully landing Page that can generate sales online, we will highlight the reasons why we should choose between a long or short one.
If the product we offer on the Internet requires a greater investment of money by the user ($ 100 per month or more), if what we offer impacts on the entire business organization of our potential customers, and besides if it is a complex-to-explain service, then we should create a long sales page.
Let’s see an example:
On the other hand, if we are talking about a simpler and economical product or a service that has a lesser impact on our client, or that is already known in the market (as a commodity), we should focus on a shorter, concise and simpler landing page as the best option.
Example of a Short landing Page:
Finally, I would like to transmit what we have learned in the last tests that called our attention.
When we created the Landing Page to improve our conversions, we decided to make the measures with Google Analytics, and over time we learned that what we thought the best choice would be was not always the page with best performance in the end.
Based on this learning, today we measure absolutely everything; from the color of a button to the wording of a title and even the smallest details. We believe that the order of the individual parts of a total can alter the final result.
We recommend to do A / B testing all the time. It means making a comparison between a page that had better results and another one that we think will achieve a better conversion. We should always be aware of the emerging new technologies; however, it is important to take into account that all new change needs to be measured.
Not always what we suppose that should work will do. What works is what our potential customers want.
One detail that is often overlooked when developing a landing page is to think how the user will interpret it.
At this point, a strong influence is the images that we use in the development. It was learned over time and with the evidence that if we use a human resource to convey our value proposition, the eyes of this person should be focused on the service we offer. Thus, the user will also unconsciously look in the same direction, as can be seen in the following example:
Last but not least, we must take into account the speed with which the page is loaded. It is important to understand that neither we nor anyone else will wait more than 35 seconds for a page to load.
According to a study made by Google, people will not wait more than 5 seconds for our landing page to open.
However well we developed all the above points, and created a perfect landing page, we will probably miss a client and will not be able to do anything to retrieve them if our website takes too much time to appear before the eyes of a customer. Investment in marketing, designing, effort and dedication are lost.
We recommend monitoring the loading speed using the Google Webmaster services, aimed to measure the response time. That service will tell us precisely how much delay our site has. It is important to remember and control this point frequently.