The Anatomy of a Converting Landing Page

Frog anatomy

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This little guy, you may be surprised to learn, is your landing page

No, seriously. it is.

This article will give you the five parts of your landing page that help it succeed. Without even one of these variables your page will collapse, your web traffic will bounce, and your conversion rate will suffer.

I’ll tell you why this metaphor works, define these five variables and finish off with some awesome math that will inspire you to build your own landing page or optimize the one you have.

Let’s get rolling.

A: The Face – Your Landing Page Image

Your image is the first thing people see when they traffic to your landing page, just like the face is the first thing people see when you meet them. It’s what attracts them to you and has the most subconscious effect on people’s first impressions.

In short, your landing page image is what grabs the eye of a passerby and encourages them to step forward and shake hands.

Here are a few recommendations to test:

  • A rotating album of 3 photos with their corresponding USP (see below). Test the time between each image – yes, this kind of detail can actually matter.

  • An image of a smiling person (real people test better than models). Test having them look at the page’s USP – this has proven to increase conversion rates.

  • A smiling cartoon or brand mascot to lend your business personality and humor

  • An image that works with your USP to communicate a feeling of success or understanding

Ideally your image will blend into the background of your landing page. Try to avoid glaring square images of a different color than your page.

As important as your landing page’s image is, I’d recommend A/B split testing a few of your favorites and see if they have an affect on your conversion rates over the course of a few days. There are many great A/B testing tools available on the web (Optimizely and VisualWebsiteOptimizer to name a couple) that make it pretty straightforward.

B: The Smile – Your Landing Page USP

If your image is your landing page’s face, your business’ “Unique Selling Proposition” (USP) is what ensures that face is a smiling one.

It’s what makes a pretty face into a smiling pretty face. Your USP promises value beyond simple good looks.

Seriously, how creepy would this be?

face

Here are a few examples to show you what I’m talking about:

  • AcmeSaaS: “Three easy steps to lead generation”

  • AcmeSpas: “Voted the #1 shiatsu massage in Vancouver for the third year running”

  • AcmeDental: “Wake up pain-free with full sedation”

  • AcmeSocialSuite: “Our clients are, on average, experiencing a 72.8% return on investment”

  • AcmeAccounting: “24-hour-guarantee on your taxes. We get ‘em done or your money back!”

I recommend you brainstorm around five individual USP’s, ensuring you can 100% come through on each of them. For instance, if you’ve found that the average ROI on your tool is 84%, quote 70%.

C: The Pointing Hand – Your Landing Page CTA

Communicating value and making a visually appealing page for your business is only half the battle. Without an “Ask”, your page traffic won’t know how to act on their interest in your business.

Unless your landing page points where you want people to go, they’ll just smile and keep walking.

Your CTA needs to be above-the-fold, and obvious when someone lands on your page. Don’t hide your CTA amidst other links and ensure it’s eye-catching.

I recommend you go with a CTA button of orange, green or red – provided your landing page’s color scheme is dark blue, grey or white (remember these colors communicate sophistication and professionalism).

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It’ll be no surprise to you that a lot of how we respond to things around us is based on minute physical and emotional cues. You meet somebody for the first time and, for no reason you can really tell, you dislike them. Or you find yourself absolutely gushing over how cool they are, and, if asked, you couldn’t possibly say why you feel this way.

Landing pages are the same. Your CTA is one of these minute cues upon which your conversion rates depend.

Instead of telling people what to do, tell people what they get. Instead of “Buy Now” try “Get Results”. Instead of “Order Now” try “Get Leads Now”.

These small changes can affect the tone of your whole page. I also recommend you use the word “you” and “we” as often as possible to communicate relatability and friendliness. It’s these small details that can make the difference between a page that converts at 8% and a page that converts at 11% (which may not sound like a lot, but can mean thousands of dollars in revenue).

D: The Body – Your Landing Page’s “More Information List”

The “more information list” is the meat and bones of your landing page. The image and USP are the flashy, eye-catching, intriguing bits of your page but your “more information list” is what completes the deal. These three or four additional pieces of value or explanation are what give your landing page traffic that little extra nudge they need.

The “more information list” is what supports your USP. It holds up the head.

There are two options for your benefit list:

  1. Three to four bullet-points describing in more detail what your service or product offers

  2. Three to four bullet-points describing in more detail how your service or product brings about results

It’s up to you, or perhaps your next A/B test, which one of these you choose. Basically what these are accomplishing is more information. You’re giving people a better understanding of what they stand to receive, without boring them with paragraphs or a long list of unnecessary blather.

Here’s a three-point example of what your product’s “more information list” could look like (this would be for an ecommerce site, selling winter jackets):

  • AcmeWinter’s proprietary down technology offers maximum protection from sub-40 degree temperatures

  • Our 10 year standard warranty ensures any possible defect can be taken care of, no questions asked

  • Consistently rated in the top three sub-zero jackets since 1982

Here’s a three-point example of what your products “how we do it” list could look like (this would be for an SaaS sites, promoting lead generation tools):

  • Our award-winning customer service team works exclusively with you to determine your business’ lead generation objectives – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

  • Professional content curators and editors hone in on the right pieces of your content to show to the right possible lead audience, ensuring the best possible ROI

  • Sophisticated analytics show you which pieces of content are performing best for your business in which markets, and our experts tell you why

Again, I recommend you test each strategy for yourselves. Does your market need more information about how you do what you do? Or do they respond more to an increase in value?

I also recommend you keep these lists in bullet-point format. Avoid paragraphs. If possible, include eye-catching icons, logos, or images as the bullet-points to attract your traffic’s attention.

E: The Legs – Your Landing Page Customer Testimonials

Customer testimonials are what make the rest of your page believable. They are the legs you stand on, and without them you’d keel over.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. You are not the most trustworthy source when it comes to your business. You have a certain vested interest in seeing your own business succeed. Your landing page traffic knows this.

But, theoretically, your previous customers aren’t so biased. In fact, the UK’s largest graduate jobs site WikiJob found a 34% increase in conversions with the simple addition of customer quotes.

This is the importance of social proof. Something that is, increasingly, an essential part of any landing page promoting a product or service.

People want to know that A) someone has bought from you before and they’re not being swindled and B) someone has had success with you before, and you’re not just spouting unfounded results.

Blame it on Amazon’s review system, social media endorsements, or the fact that none of us will buy a single T-Shirt on the internet unless it has at least 4.2 stars. Whatever the reason, adding customer testimonials to your page is fast-becoming the basis for your landing page traffic trusting you.

Three variables to test:

  1. Include a headshot of the customer giving the quote. This increases the customer’s trustworthiness (and therefore yours)

  2. Test a great customer testimonial as your main USP with the person giving it as your main image – or as one of three rotating image/USP combos.

  3. Test a somewhat counter-intuitive customer testimonial, like “Initially I was sceptical, but was pleasantly surprised when we found our expectations exceeded by 50%!” or “After a few weeks of no results, we worked with AcmeAccounting’s awesome customer service and everything worked out!” These will increase the believability of your testimonials (also worth testing a very specific statistic over something more general).

Math!

Welcome to today’s class. Today we’re going to show you how important landing page optimization is for your business. For all you readers who are muttering in the back about how “there’s no way changing my CTA from “buy now” to “get leads now” can actually affect anything in concrete terms” I say hah!

Let’s check it out. And yes, all these are real case studies which took me about 15 seconds to find around the web.

  • The Face: Highrise Marketing found adding a smiling girl to their landing page increased paid signups by 102.5%

  • The Smile: The Sims 3 found that making their value proposition (USP) more prominent increased clicks by 128%

  • The Pointing Finger: Marketing automation company Performable found changing their CTA button from green to red increased clicks by 21%

  • The Body: WikiJob reduced the amount of content on their page and made the benefits of their service into bullet-points, resulting in a 62% increase in sales

  • The Legs: WIkiJob also ran a test on their page which included customer testimonials, and found a 34% increase in conversions

Results of all these tests: 347.5% increase in conversions overall. But that’s crazy, right, so let’s halve it for effect. If these tests had been run on a single page, converting at 12%, and the results had been halved, that page would now be converting at 20.85%.

But let’s back up a bit. If the original page was seeing web traffic of 10,000 views a month, and their average purchase was $45. How much was that page bringing in revenue?

Answer: $54,000

But, what if we implemented the changes I’ve recommended above and even half the case study results occurred? Our landing page would now be converting at 20.85%, and seeing the same traffic and same average purchase value. Now how much is that page bringing in revenue?

Answer: $112,590

That, my friends, is a difference of more than $58,000

Over the course of the year, a landing page that converts at 20% vs 12% increases your business’ revenue enough to hire more staff, buy more stock, put more into advertising and marketing, and still buy that hot tub you’ve been eyeing for the past two years.

Conclusion

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the anatomy of a landing page – and perhaps a few ideas on how to optimize your own. Remember that even the smallest details, that you think can’t possibly have a real-world effect, often do. Just this very week one of my own A/B tests found a 34% increase in conversions simply by having the email submit box already highlighted – meaning my web traffic didn’t have to find it and click on it, only start typing.

Seriously.

Good luck with your own optimization, and let me know how it goes!

Photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
James Scherer

James Scherer

Content Marketer at Wishpond
James Scherer is a content marketer for Wishpond and author of the ebook The Complete Guide to Facebook Ads. Wishpond makes it easy to run Facebook Ads, create landing pages & contests, email automation campaigns & manage all of your business’ contacts.