Your customers have several ways to find and enter your website. Whether this is through paid search (pay-per-click), organic search, e-mail marketing or any other method, you need to make sure that when people visit your website, they stay. Bounce rates remain high amongst many online merchants, a phenomenon which is highly unnecessary. Hence this post.
The first few seconds after someone followes the searched link to the website are the most important. It is paramount that the visitor (in this case, me) is triggered to stay on the website. Hubspot created a very helpful infographic on this topic, which lists the following design tips: Get to the point, use contrasting colours, stamp on a logo, avoid visual clutter, never underestimate formatting, and add social proof.
A list to live by. We are going to take these tips to heart, and analyse a random website to see if it can be optimised.
Optimising your landing page is important in achieving a higher conversion rate and for lowering your bounce figures, which is not that hard to do. For the sake of visualisation I will use Virgin Holidays’ website after an organic search click through. Search term: Holiday to Thailand.
1. Get to the point
The first point refers to the – generally – short attention span of people. Why do we indulge in long page copywriting when we know readers don’t like to read through an entire page of information? Virgin’s website doesn’t give you much; when you enter the page you get hit with some beautiful pictures and you can enter your own preferences to selectively read information.
This is all about making your CTA (call-to-action) pop off your landing page. You want people to perform a certain activity? Help them! At Virgin they want us to fill in the travel form, so they display it next to the beautiful picture in a framework of a contrasting colour. Additionally, the “Find Holidays” button is designed to be bright red.
3. Stamp on a logo
Making sure the viewer knows exactly where they are. Virgin displays their logo at the top of the page, but it disappears when you scroll down. It would have been better if the complete white menu bar including the logo would scroll down with us, to keep the brand top of mind when browsing.
4. Avoid visual clutter
Although visuals are attractive, you should watch out not to overdo it. Using many or large visuals may distract the viewer from the main point of the page, creating more friction on the landing page instead of supporting conversion. Additionally it can lead to slower loading times, on which Aberdeen Group has done some research which shows that “a one second delay in page-load time results in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in conversions”.
Virgin does quite will in this point. They use visuals, but only in a supporting manner.
5. Never underestimate formatting
Formatting is one of the easiest tips in this list to follow; low effort, high reward. Nicely and clearly laying out headlines, images, copy, etc. can highlight the value of your offer and push your conversion by creating a friendly user experience.
The image to the right shows how easily you find your way through the titles, visuals/video’s/maps, subheadings and copy. Great use of mixing large visuals with limited amounts of copy.
6. Add social proof
This adds third-party credibility to your content and offers and can help boost conversions. Scan your social network pages for positive comments, or add something on how many people have already enjoyed your sevice/product/content.
Virgin doesn’t add any social proof on this landing page. Which is actually a shame; knowing how many people fly with Virgin there are bound to be some nice comments and stories out there to use on the website.
All in all, Virgin Holidays scores highly on our made up ranking table. They do well on every point on the list, 5 out of 6 were perfect!
Apply on your own landing pages
Take this post as an example, and critically and objectively walk through your own landing process. Enter your page via any search engine, and see if your page meets up to all the requirements on the list above. It was said before, but I’ll say it again: many of these tips are low effort, but reward highly in terms of conversion. Reason enough to get to work!