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How Smart Landing Page Design Can Boost Conversion Rates

author image Written by: Lia           Categories - Design Services, Digital Marketing

Combine Creative Marketing and Web Design to Optimize Your Online Marketing Efforts

For effective web marketing, getting visitors to click on your links and ads is only half the challenge. The other half is getting them to convert once they land on your page. Poor landing page design confuses visitors, sending them to click the dreaded “back” button before they even blink. It’s a waste of your budget, a waste of your time, and a waste of your effort. But there are ways to keep visitors intrigued and on a landing page long enough to see what you have to offer. What’s more, these tricks may even get them to sign up for your offer. A combination of creative online marketing practices and web design principles to improve user experience can help you optimize landing pages for lead generation, significantly improving your online business. Here’s how:

Understanding Landing Pages

Before you can actually design the ideal landing page for your target audience, make sure you know what an ideal landing page looks like and what it does. Sometimes called leadpages, landing pages are pages specifically designed to generate conversions. In more general terms, a landing page is any page where a user lands on your site – but for our purposes, we’re focusing on how they work in conjunction with paid ads and marketing campaigns. These landing pages have specific goals, typically focused around a single user action. For example:

  • Generating email leads
  • Selling a product
  • Selling a service
  • Booking tickets to an event
  • Requesting a quote
  • And much more

These pages need effective CTAs that focus on that single user action and an opt-in process. Sadly, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating the ideal landing page. Every landing page is unique, serving a different purpose for a different target audience, but most feature an alluring, top-heavy “above the fold” section – that is, the section immediately visible when the page loads, like the literal “above the fold” section in a newspaper that attracts the most attention. Clear CTAs and benefits are also common features, but how information is presented can vary wildly, depending on the market, audience, and service being offered.

A laptop displays a stylish webpage promoting a couch for sale with the text "PRODUCT" visible.
Keep designs appealing, intuitive, and informational.

Improving Conversions with Smart Design

In the realm of online marketing, marketers tend to focus on layouts, information hierarchy, and persuasion principles. Designers focus on user experience, colours, typography, and stylistic elements to build an effective brand. “So what?” you say. “That’s their job, it makes sense that they stick to their principles.” You’re right! But when those two approaches aren’t working together, the result is a disjointed final product. Effectively using both in conjunction and cooperation with one another goes a long way towards creating better-looking, user-friendly websites that also persuade and convert. It’s not just possible, it’s reality. Digital marketing companies that use conversion-optimized (read: UX) design typically experience better conversion rates. This marketing/UX design for landing pages makes it easier for users to convert both visually and emotionally. If they like what they see and read, and there are no obstacles to clicking the big call-to-action button, then you are on your way to getting those leads and conversions you’ve been waiting for. For a handy way to remember how to create a landing page that converts, remember this acronym:

C.O.N.V.E.R.T.S

C – Clear Call to Action

Sign up! Shop now! Donate now! Contact us! Try it! These are all examples of calls to action that should be very visible and centralized on your landing page. Your call to action should be a button that is a different, preferably contrasting colour from the rest of the page.

O – Offer

Offers are incentives you offer visitors for following your call to action. These should pull visitors into the conversion funnel by being directly related to your product or service. Offers include:

  • Free versions of a product,
  • Whitepapers, or
  • A matching gift.

  • Free versions of a product,
  • Whitepapers, or
  • A matching gift.

N – Narrow Focus

Your landing page should be clear, simple, and should only focus on the task at hand—compelling them to make a conversion. The faster they can read your landing page, the better. Make sure the header and side links don’t distract from the core purpose and leave administrative links at the bottom of the page. Your main visual element should keep the reader’s attention to the most important parts of the page. In a more endearing way of putting it, Keep It Simple, Stupid.

V – Very Important Attributes

These should be two to five clearly listed value propositions, or important attributes, about how your product or service will be useful to your visitors. The VIAs should also be described from the customer’s viewpoint, explaining the problems (pain points) these VIAs will solve.

E – Effective Headline

An effective headline will grab the reader’s attention and make them want to stay on the page to continue reading. It should stand out more than the logo and name of the website. Your headline should also be in plain language, clearly explaining what the page is about. You don’t want visitors wondering, “What does this company actually do?”

R – Resolution-Savvy Layout

Since people visit pages on various devices with various screen sizes, how they see your landing page will be different than how you see it on your desktop computer screen.

A detail of an analytics chart on a web tool such as Google Analytics.
Not sure how things are going? Measure your results and adjust strategy accordingly!
To avoid hiding the most important page elements on a smaller screen, especially a mobile device, keep the essentials near the centre-top of the page – above the fold. If you want to improve your conversion rates, visitors should be able to see the logo, headline, visuals, and call to action clearly on any device.

T – Tidy Visuals

When it comes to visuals on a successful landing page, less is more. You want a page that loads quickly and has plenty of space, a visible font, and bullet points. A video can also help engage and inform visitors without taking up too much page space.

S – Social Proof

Lastly, you need to prove to your visitors that you’re worth it. The best proof? Real testimonials from real people. You can also include a list of customers, press mentions, and usage statistics to show how reliable and trustworthy you really are. If you do include client logos, make sure these don’t distract from the call to action—think smaller, greyscale logos. Don’t forget to test and monitor your landing page performance. If you find some elements aren’t working, keep these tips in mind, make changes when needed, and contact an online marketing agency to help you turn your landing pages into conversion machines.

Lia

You’ve Got the Leads, Now What?

10/17/2019

Tips to Help Boost Your Conversion Ratings

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to sales. Connecting with a prospect too early can hinder the sale if they aren’t ready to pull the trigger while waiting too long can push them into the arms of your competitor. But since timing cannot be boiled down to a science, how exactly do you take the lead traffic your website has captured and get it to convert?

How to Qualify Your Leads Effectively

One of the best ways to qualify leads and improve conversion rates is to connect with your sales prospects. It’s critical that you ask the right questions, get feedback, and build a relationship to improve your chances of gaining a conversion when they’re ready to buy.

Read More: 5 Ways To Boost Your SEO And Start Generating Leads

Before that though, it’s important to do a quick screening of the lead before passing them on to your sales team to ensure that they are a proper fit for your product or service and are therefore more likely to convert. Here are a few ways to help you figure this out:

Know Your Customer Profile

Are they a B2B or B2C company? What is the length of their sales cycle? Is the person you are dealing with an executive or a director? Knowing these things about a lead helps you gain a better understanding of who you are working with so you can prevent headaches in the future.

Understand the Difference Between Interest and Intent

Look at what your lead has been doing on your website. Have they been reading a blog post or whitepapers? Just because they are actively reading content on your site, doesn’t necessarily mean they are interested in your products or services and are ready to buy. But if you find that they have been looking at your pricing page or requested a product demo, this is a sign that they are showing intent and are more likely to convert.

Read More: Searcher Intent Is Your Golden Ticket To Effective Content Marketing

Ensure That You Are Dealing with The Correct Person

It’s important to know exactly who you are dealing with, especially for B2B companies, before passing them along to your sales team. For example, if your lead is simply an intern, they are likely not in a position to commit to forming a relationship with your business. Be sure to learn what their job title is right away so that you know for sure if they are in a position of power and influence.

Visit Their Website

Visiting a lead’s website is another great way to figure out early on whether or not they’ll be a good fit. What kind of product or service do they offer? Do they have a shopping cart function or use forms to gather information? Looking at their website can provide answers to all these questions and give you a good idea if they are actually able to utilize your products or services. four men in an office brainstorm using a whiteboard with post-its

Key Steps to Help Qualify a Lead

After the lead has been passed on to your sales team, here are some key steps and accompanying questions that should be asked:

Establish A Relationship

Building a relationship with a potential customer is one of the best ways you can close a sale. Nowadays, customers have what can seem like an infinite number of options available to them. This means they can afford to be more selective when shopping around. As a result, they are more likely to go with someone they know and trust. Therefore, establishing a relationship based on trust early on is crucial in order to seal the deal. Here are a few questions you can ask to help lay the groundwork for your future business relationship:

  • How did you hear about our organization?
  • What are you looking for in a new vendor or agency?
  • What attracted you to our brand?
  • How can we best help you make this decision?
  • Who else is part of the decision-making process?

Discover the Problem

Before you can effectively demonstrate why a lead should work with you, you need to have a firm understanding of what their needs are and why they are seeking out your products or services. Asking these four questions can help with this:

  • Why are you looking for a new agency or vendor?
  • What resources or solutions have you previously explored? What was the outcome?
  • Why did you end your relationship with your previous vendor or agency?
  • What are you hoping to get out of a new relationship?

Find a Solution

Once you’ve nailed down the root of their problem, you will have a better idea of what kind of solution you can offer. Helping the lead determine what their next move should be also helps to establish trust. It can also make them feel more confident that you will be able to help see them through the next stage of their business. Asking these questions can help both you and your lead determine the best solution that you can offer them:

  • Who do you feel are your biggest competitors?
  • What’s your budget?
  • What are your key requirements?
  • What’s your biggest priority at the moment?

Establish a Timeline

Miscommunication regarding timing can throw a wrench in your potential new deal or partnership. For this reason, figuring out what your lead’s timeline is right off the bat is important to help you get an idea of when they may be willing to buy and what kind of commitment, they’re looking for from you. Ask these questions to help get an idea of what their timeline is:

  • What is your timeline?
  • How soon do you want to see results?
  • What would prevent you from working together?

Plant the Seed Early for a Long-Term Relationship

animated image of a 2d plant growing out of a seed
Gif by Alegria
Constantly trying to earn new customers isn’t nearly as efficient as maintaining the ones you already have long-term. For this reason, it’s important to start paving the way for a long-term relationship with any potential customer, even if you’re still in the nurturing phase. Let them know how you can help them throughout any stage of growth or other big changes to help secure a long-term relationship. Here are a few questions you can ask early on to help you build a lasting partnership:

  • What are your main long-term goals?
  • How do you measure success?
  • How do you see your needs changing heading towards the future?
  • Where do you see this relationship going moving forward?

Understanding the Conversion Path

For any marketer, creating the right conversion path is another crucial way to convert qualified website visitors into leads. Designing and implementing effective conversion paths will help you to guide website visitors throughout the buyer’s journey more efficiently, helping them become lasting customers or clients. But before you can begin to come up with a plan to improve your conversions, you first need to have a solid understanding of what a conversion path actually is.

What Is A Conversion Path?

A conversion path is when an anonymous website visitor becomes a known lead, and includes an exceptional content offer, call-to-action, landing page, and thank you page. In order to convert one of these visitors into a lead, the visitor will first be drawn in by an offer that interests them before clicking on a call-to-action button that takes them to a landing page. While on this landing page, the visitor can fill out a form in order to gain access to the offer, after which they are taken to a thank you page where they will receive the offer. So, what actually makes for a good conversion path?

How to Optimize Pages to Convert

In order to create an effective conversion path, there are four key elements you will need.

1. Engaging Content

The strength of your conversion rate is driven by your value proposition, making it the most important factor when it comes to converting leads into customers. In short, it tells a prospect why they should buy from you. Think about it this way: If you had to explain to someone why they should buy from you instead of the competition in 10 words or less, what would you say? Your website content should not only be interesting and informative but also drive home your value proposition. It should speak to your buyers’ persona by touching on certain pain points and demonstrating how your product or service can help ease these problems. Your content also needs to be relevant to where a lead is in the buyer’s journey. Since most of your site visitors are likely to be in the very beginning stages of the buyer’s journey, there’s a strong chance that they don’t have any knowledge of your product or service and how it can help them. Therefore, this content should be high-level and educational.

2. Landing Pages that Appeal to Buyer Personas

After creating relevant, informative content, developing captivating landing pages will help you leverage the content to convert your website visitors into leads. Landing pages are specialized pages on your website with the sole purpose of generating leads. They should contain forms that potential leads must fill out and submit in order to access your content.

Read More: How Smart Landing Page Design Can Boost Conversion Rates

In order to be effective, a landing page should convey how the content is relevant to the specific pain points your persona is experiencing. It should also present the different elements of that problem that are most important to what stage of the buyer’s journey they are in.

3. Clear Calls to Action

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are buttons embedded in your website that promote your content offers. By clicking on a CTA, a user is transported to your landing page, marking the beginning of the conversion path. To get visitors to click on these CTAs, the message that is displayed should line up with the messaging on both your landing page and the content itself. Also use appropriate colours to help your CTAs stand out on your website.

4. Thank You Pages

After clicking the CTA and filling out and submitting a form, your new lead will be met with a thank you page that allows them to download the content offer. This marks the end of the conversion path. View SEO TWIST’s Thank-You Page Take the opportunity to move this lead further along in the buyer’s journey by including items such as CTAs that complement the offer you have just given.

Other Tools to Track Your Conversion Rate

In order to boost your conversion rate, it’s critical that you actually know what your conversion rate is in the first place. This is why tracking your conversions is so important. Here are a few tools you can use to better understand your conversions.

Heat Maps

Heat mapping is a tool that provides you with a visual depiction of how your website’s organic traffic is increasing and converting and is a creative way to gain a better understanding of data. It puts even the tiniest of changes into perspective and gathers higher quality data than other traditional analytics tools. Heat maps can tell you where visitors did and didn’t click, as well as the optimal placement for banner ads and CTA buttons. One way to utilize heat mapping is to take a Google Analytics report to create a heat map that illustrates optimal conversion rate times. This can provide you with an hourly depiction of your onsite engagement. And because it’s a visual representation, the chart can be easily interpreted by anyone.

google ad words logo Google Ads Conversion Tracking

Tracking conversions using Google AdWords gives you a clear picture of your prospects’ actions after interacting with your ads. This is quite valuable since it tells you whether or not your ad campaigns are working so you can better identify how effectively your ad clicks are resulting in purchases, form submissions, and more. Some of the main benefits of conversion tracking with Google AdWords are:

  • You can easily identify whether certain keywords, ads, ad groups and campaigns are profitable in regard to creating conversions.
  • You are able to make more informed decisions with respect to your ad spend on optimizing ad campaigns.
  • It allows you to gain insight into how you can best optimize your ads for boosting return on investment (ROI)

google analytics logoGoogle Analytics

When any marketer hears the word ‘analytics,’ Google Analytics is most likely the first tool that springs to mind. Google Analytics is an incredibly popular tool that allows you to look at your website traffic data using various dashboards and charts and track the in-depth details of your website’s data. This includes page views, bounce rates, session duration, and the age and language of visitors. Furthermore, Google Analytics tracks your data page by page in a conversion tracking context to tell you which pages on your website are resulting in the most conversions during any given time period.

facebook ads logoFacebook Ads

With 2.38 billion users worldwide, Facebook can be a great marketing tool for any business. Since the platform offers highly targeted advertising, the Facebook Ads Integration will allow you to filter your audience based on various factors like age, location, interests, and behaviour. It even allows you to retarget your display ads to prospects who previously visited your website but did not convert. Once you start to roll out your Facebook ad campaigns, you can use the tool’s tracking functionality to determine which ads bring the most conversions, allowing you to pinpoint which ads are most effective. Stop guessing when it comes to your conversions. By assuming that you know when a prospect is ready to pull the trigger, you end up missing out on valuable leads and lose the opportunity to convert them to long-lasting customers By following these tips and working with a digital marketing agency, you can expect to see a natural increase in your conversion rates over time.

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Designing Your Design

05/13/2019

Use Wireframes to Design Better Pages and Sites

“Web design” is a big topic. There’s so much to unpack in it that it’s easy to get lost in the details. What began as an attempt to build a better website suddenly becomes overwhelming and daunting. Now, you feel like you’ve got to fix 200 different issues before you can even address what you wanted to deal with in the first place: creating a better page or site that converts. Hold up! You’re quickly getting to a point where it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Take a step back, breathe, and assess your approach. Do you have a roadmap or a mockup of what it is you want to achieve visually? If not, it’s probably time to try wireframing.

What Are Wireframes?

Wireframes: chances are, you’ve heard the term before, or one like it. Sometimes called concept designs, SEOs use these handy documents to block out everything from blog posts to complete website structures. Wireframes are, at their simplest form, an architectural blueprint for any and all pieces of web content displayed on a screen. They’re not really discussed much in marketing circles, likely because once someone finds a layout or structure that works, they’re going to stick to it, with minimal (if any) changes.

Web design UX/UI gif.
We all get excited by amazing design. Gif courtesy New Media Campaigns
But if we’re going to stick with the blueprint analogy, then we also must admit that, like houses and other buildings, things have changed. What once worked might not work any more—it’ll get the job done, but why settle for the same? Stretching this analogy a bit further, maybe your first landing page structure was effective for its time and got the job done, just like a starter home. But since then, things have changed—you’ve expanded your offerings, your business has grown, or you need a more sophisticated way to convey your message. You’re ready to upgrade to something that better fits your needs and the needs of your clients and potential customers. When you think of a wireframe as a blueprint, it becomes easier to lay out what you need from a given page or piece of content. It makes planning, development, deployment (and future modification) that much easier.
A web designer's work space, with an example of a full concept mockup.
Web design doesn’t need to jump to full concept designs right away, as exciting as they are.

Why Should I be Using Wireframing?

There’s a tendency in web design to start mocking up full page layouts with detailed graphical elements once a project gets underway. This energy is infectious, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement… only for the demands of the project to suddenly invalidate hours of work. That’s where wireframing comes into play. This basic approach to design and structure lets you define an informational hierarchy in a layout, making it easier to visualize and control how users process information on a page. Not only is this a must for web design, but it’s also a much more efficient process than using full concept designs, otherwise known as mockups. But beyond this, wireframing allows you to fine-tune your approach to user experience (UX), which can make or break a page.

How Do I Use Wireframing?

To give you an example of how wireframes can help your team, let’s look at how we use wireframing at SEO TWIST.

  • We start with a basic layout. For example, a landing page supporting a paid ad campaign will have a heavy focus on above-the-fold content with sections below for additional information. Our wireframes for this are sometimes as simple as an image of boxes with minimal placeholder text. This is the blueprint our team works from, and lets us proceed with content, design, and even web development simultaneously.
  • Our designers create graphics around the layout. This is where we start nailing down the look and feel of the page. Because we’ve already given a lot of thought and planning to what we need to include, the design team can focus on optimizing their imagery and layout to ensure a user-friendly finished product.
  • Meanwhile, content creation proceeds simultaneously. Because the layout is already finalized, our content specialists don’t have to worry about what goes where or how much text will be on the finished page. The wireframe is their blueprint, too.
  • Developers can create code to help block out the page roughly. We won’t have a finished page until the graphic design aspects are complete, but developers can easily start to create a working version of the page.

It’s incredibly simple, and yet it’s easily one of the biggest time-savers we’ve encountered. Because every aspect of the project can move ahead at the same time, hold-ups in one department don’t impact production in another.

Design mockups are wireframed together on a pinboard connected with string.
Wireframing can also help you connect site pages.

How Do I Optimize for UX?

You must account for user experience and do everything in your control to ensure visitors to your site, page, or content understand what they’re looking at and can navigate it efficiently and effectively. Think about how often you click away from a webpage when it doesn’t work the way you wanted it to. That’s the power of UX optimization. We’ve touched upon a few of the major benefits of UX optimization, but how, exactly, do you do it? Start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What are the user’s goals when they interact with this page or piece of content?
  • What are your organization’s goals with this page?
  • What’s your main message, and where will you place it?
  • What’s the first thing you want a user to see?
  • Where is your call to action? Is it effective?
  • What else will a user see on your page or piece of content?

Remember, your main goal is to make it easier for users to accomplish their goals. Thus, if your page is for emergency dentist appointments, make it easy for a user to make that appointment. Because wireframing allows for rapid deployment and revision of design ideas, you can easily block out how a page should be structured. That structure becomes home to tailor-made content and design elements.

Building Trust and Optimizing for Conversions

So, you’ve got a basic layout you’re happy with, you’ve sketched out a rough outline of the page… now it’s time to add elements that build trust and push conversions. Where do you start? Remember the basic questions we had earlier? Keep your answers in mind during this process.

A pen on a notepad full of design sketches.
The point of wireframing is to break things down for better UX.
Think of your wireframe as a page on a screen. Users will read it left-to-right, top-to-bottom, so keep this in mind throughout. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) focuses on expanding on and refining how effective a page is at converting users into leads. It might sound very design-unfriendly, but there’s a ton of overlap with UX optimization. There are a few key CRO features and elements you should absolutely include:

  • A clear above-the-fold section, visible immediately when the page loads. This section is what users will see first, and thus it sets the entire tone for everything that follows. You want to entice users to continue onwards, so deliver your message right off the bat and tweak things to draw the eye further down the page.
  • Identification and contact info are above-the-fold. Users should be able to figure out who you are and how they can reach you quickly.
  • Clear calls-to-action. Remember, optimal UX is, really, all about getting out of the way so a user can take action once they’ve made their decision. Keep the CTAs instructional.

Remember, UX relies on creating a smooth, painless experience for users. CRO is largely similar but takes a different approach. How do you get them to work together? Try taking a content inventory—what do you absolutely have to include?—and build from there. For example, say you have a clear CTA and USP that highlights your business as the manufacturer of the best dog beds on the market. You’ve got to back that up—so your content inventory will expand to include graphics of happy dogs using the beds, testimonials from owners, images of the beds, and so on. It all adds up, and it all contributes to better, more effective designs before you’ve even started to ideate and create in Adobe.

A web developer sitting at a desk, wearing headphones as he works.
Finally, you can put it all together!

Putting it All Together

By the time you’ve wireframed a design and refined it with a team, your design team’s probably raring to go. The beauty of a wireframe is that it takes a lot of the nebulous guesswork out of design. There’s no need to question every decision regarding layout, because it’s already been decided. Now it’s just a matter of making it look good, and that gives designers a ton of room to work in. Of course, the real work in UX optimization comes when you’ve got data to back it up. To get this data, though, you’ll need to finalize your wireframe and put it through your full production cycle. At SEO TWIST, we use heatmaps and analytics tools to track user behaviour and actions on a given page. This allows us to review what’s working, what isn’t, and where we can improve, allowing us to optimize for user experience while touching on aspects of conversion optimization. Because, as with every aspect of your marketing efforts, the data you gather and develop will keep you informed and help you strategies for what comes next. Take what you’ve learned with one wireframe and put the results into the next one. And the next. And the next. Before you know it, you’ve cracked the process wide open and can take your designs to the next level. You’re creating eye candy that doesn’t just look good, but that gets the job done—without fail.

Not sure where to start with web design? We’ve got you covered!

Our Web Design Services  

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