When a customer navigates to your website, their first impression is your landing page. A landing page's purpose is to get your visitors where you want them to go next. After all, these pages are what will compel visitors to explore your site after they read an email, social media post, paid ad, or any other online experience. But if they can’t figure it out, you’ll see poor performance across your site. By streamlining your landing page design, you can help direct the actions they take, and increase conversion rates. While properly designed landing page elements can drastically improve your conversion rate optimization (CRO), if done incorrectly, it can affect your bounce rate and your page ranking on Google. Let’s go over some baseline tips that will help you maintain relevance, increase conversion rates, as well as some recommendations to test A/B design elements successfully.

1. Clean up the clutter

You don’t want to lose potential conversions because of clutter, especially on your landing page. Avoid overdesigning your pages and keep content limited to what’s applicable. It’s easy to be distracted by wild colors, text, CTAs, links, etc. but step inside the shoes of a new visitor and decide whether the journey you want them to take is clear. You don’t want distractions to be the reason why customers didn’t purchase your product. Try testing your landing page with a variety of colors, text sizes, featured links against a more succinct page with minimal distractions.

2. Utilize Call-to-action buttons

CTAs are incredibly effective landing page tools to drive customers further into your site. You should consider the following rules/best practices when it comes to implementing CTAs on your landing page since bold CTAs can increase conversion. Let’s examine some of the CTA elements that one of our clients, Coffee-mate, does well on their homepage:

  • Avoids generic CTAs – it doesn’t simply say “Shop” or “New Flavors.” Rather, is very fun and unique to its purpose.
  • Isn't overly aggressive – This CTA is more of a friendly suggestion, rather than a pushy command. It complements the copy and the image of the sweet coffee creamer, and informs the visitor where to navigate to find it.
  • Is clear and obvious – This CTA transparently directs visitors into what they should do, while enticing them to go do it: “Stir Up Sweetness.”
  • Chooses Bold Colors – While bold colors help CTAs stand out on a landing page, you don’t want them to violate the design. Coffee-mate does a great job complementing the CTA colors with the page design colors. With the bright red cap and light tones of the bottle and background, that red background they use is plenty bold, and matches the rest of the design.

Luckily CTAs are fairly easy to test. You can either conduct an A/B color test or word test. For example, while red pops out at you on the page - is it too aggressive of a color compared to the calming color of blue? If you’re promoting a sale on your landing page, will a button that says “See the Sale” or “Hurry, sale ends soon!” perform better?

3. What if visitors still don't know where to go?

Landing pages should lead visitors into taking an action to enter your site, but it might not work for everyone! In the event they don’t see what they’re looking for, make sure to streamline navigation usability on your landing page. Consider these best practices when developing your landing page’s search bar, using Athleta as an example:

  • Easy to Identify – An open bar to type, with the search button (magnifying glass icon) next to it.
  • Strategic Placement – Upper right corner of the page is the accepted standard.
  • Text to help with direction – It tells us to “Search,” but an improvement could be to “Search for products, categories, seasonal, etc.”
  • Populated Search Query – To remind visitors of what they’ve already searched.
  • Usability – Please, please don’t let them search and find the dreaded “404 not found” page.

You can test a larger, more prominent search box vs. a smaller, more minor element on the landing page. Also ask us about running a diagnostic test for the presence of 404 pages on your site!

4. How much content is too much?

This one is tricky, and the answer is different for every business and landing page. Do visitors want a lot of information or just the minimum? As long as the information serves a purpose, it has a place on your landing page. Here are a few elements to consider, and potentially test, on your landing page when thinking about content:

  • Copy – If you link to your landing page from an ad, make sure that copy matches. Don’t confuse visitors with jargon-heavy copy that’s difficult to understand. Finally, beware of information overload! Too much copy can overwhelm and increase bounce rates (but that doesn’t mean you should leave it bare). You can A/B test two landing pages against each other, one with more copy than the other, and see which page directs more visits onto your site.
  • Offers – You can test a landing page with an offer against one without it to see if users visit the offer page at a higher rate. Make sure to monitor if you’re losing interest/visits on other pages as a result.
  • Images – This adds value to your landing page by showing more details and benefits, leading to higher conversion rate (which is the point of your landing page!). These images should complement your copy and call-to-action button, and be displayed prominently on your page, especially if it’s a product. There are many strategies to persuasive image selection, but always remember to mix up the content variety!

Need help?

If you want to improve your conversion rate optimization numbers, we can’t recommend enough the usefulness of A/B testing. Even the seemingly minor elements on your landing page can influence your conversion and bounce rates. If you have any questions on how to further optimize your landing page’s relevance for your business, we’re here to help!