Deciding what to test on your landing page can be difficult – especially if you’re new to landing page optimization. With literally thousands of variables to choose from, you can easily find yourself in a “can’t see the forest for the trees” situation where swinging for the fences seems like the only way out. To help you find the right path again, here are 3 obvious but overlooked elements that are effective and easy to test.
What you need to understand before reading this article
The active word in this article is “Test.” The point of optimization is to find out what works best in your particular case and on your specific target audience. Since all products, offers, and companies are different – just like the motivations of potential customers are going to be different – there really is no “one size fits all” solution that works every time.
So use the tips in this article as inspiration – but make sure to test what works best on your landing page.
1. The placement of your call-to-action
The placement of your call-to-action has a major impact on conversions. And, “No,” above the fold is not automatically the best solution – despite what many best practice believers out there want you to think.
I’ve seen many cases where the CTA has performed best above the fold, just like I’ve seen cases where a CTA below the fold has gotten the best results. My general observation, from a wide range of landing page tests, is that there is a correlation between the complexity of the product/offer and the optimal placement of the CTA.
If the product/offer is complex, and the prospect has to digest a lot of information in order to make an informed decision, positioning the CTA lower on the page generally works best.
And vice versa, if the product/offer is very simple, and the prospect doesn’t have to do hardly any thinking in order to make an informed decision, positioning the CTA above the fold generally works best.
Here’s an example from a case study where a landing page treatment, with the CTA placed way under the fold, outperformed the control version (CTA above the fold) by 304%.
We are looking at a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) landing page that pitches a subscription service where busy families can get recipes and ingredients delivered to their doorstep 3-5 times a week. This is a relatively complex offer. It turned out that the version that waited until the very bottom of the page to ask for the conversion got 3 times as many signups as the one with the CTA above the fold.
(Read the full case study here: http://contentverve.com/how-moving-the-call-to-action-below-the-fold-generated-a-304-lift/)
What you should do now:
Experiment with different placements of your call-to-action and see which one performs best. Try different versions with the CTA either at the top, the middle, or the bottom of the page.
You also could try a combination where you place the CTA both at the top and the bottom. I’ve seen this combination work well on very long landing pages where potential customers end up scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page.
2. Your button copy
Button copy is just as important as the button itself, and even minor changes can significantly impact conversions.
Here’s an example from a case study where changing one word in the button copy increased conversions on a B2B landing page by 38.26%.
(Read the full case study here: http://contentverve.com/how-changing-1-word-in-the-call-to-action-generated-a-38-26-lift-in-conversions/)
Even though changing that one word represents a minor change on the page, it markedly changes the messaging. “Order” emphasizes what you have to do. Whereas “Get” emphasizes what you’re going to get – rather than what you have to do to get it. In other words, the treatment copy conveys value.
However, conveying value is not always enough. To get the best results, your button copy must also be relevant to the conversion scenario at hand.
Here’s an example from a case study where a button that conveyed only value significantly underperformed a button that did the job of conveying both value and relevance.
We’re looking at a landing page on a popular essay site. The page features a preview of an essay, and the goal is to get potential customers to click through to the signup page.
Although “Get Instant Access Now” conveys value (It could have said “Buy access”), it’s very generic compared to “Read Full Essay Now,” which is the real motivation for clicking the button and moving further down the conversion path.
What you should do now:
In my experience, the more value and relevance you can convey via your button copy, the more conversions you are likely to get. So review the button copy you are currently using on your landing page. If it’s something generic like “BUY NOW,” “CLICK HERE” or “SUBMIT,” work on a treatment that conveys more relevance and value to the potential customer in the specific conversion scenario at hand. Experiment with different variations until you find the one that works best on your landing page.
For more on writing calls-to-action that convert, check out this how-to video on high-impact button copy: http://contentverve.com/high-impact-button-copy-how-to-write-calls-to-action-that-convert/
3. The amount of information on your landing page
Marketers seem to be divided into two groups here: those who swear to short-form landing pages and those who swear to long-form landing pages.
But again, there is no “one size fits all” solution. Your landing page should contain as much information as your potential customers need in order to make an informed decision.
In my experience, long-form landing pages perform well in connection with complex offers that have a high level of related anxiety. On the other hand, short-form landing pages work well with simple offers that have a low level of related anxiety.
Here’s an example from a case study where a short landing page outperformed a longer version. In this case, we’re looking at a PPC landing page where the goal is to get potential customers to buy a gym membership.
That’s a pretty simple offer with very little anxiety involved in the decision-making process, and the version with the smallest amount of information had the highest conversion rate.
In this next example, a long landing page outperformed a shorter version significantly. Here we’re looking at a PPC landing page where the goal is to get potential clients to sign up for a home energy audit.
A home energy audit is a rather complex offer. Moreover, there’s quite a bit of anxiety related to having someone come to your house and do an audit of your home that could lead to a large investment in insulation.
What you should do now:
Review your landing page and ask yourself these questions:
“What do my prospects need to know in order to accept my offer?”
“Is there any important information that’s critical to the offer – special circumstances they need to be aware of or maybe an incentive that will make them act now?”
“Are there any specific points of anxiety or friction that we need to mitigate?”
If your landing page is very short, consider whether there’s any important information you’ve left out. But, if your landing page is very long, consider whether there’s any information that is not necessary.
Try experimenting with different amounts of information until you find the fit for your offer.
Time to start testing!
All right – now that you know what to experiment with, it’s time to start testing, so you can find out what works best on your particular landing page and on your specific target audience. If you have any questions, simply post them in the comments section, and I’ll be happy to answer.
About the Author: Michael Lykke Aagaard, is a self-employed, self-confessed split test junkie and landing page fanatic who’s obsessed with finding out what really works in online marketing. He’s Danish and hails from the fair city of Copenhagen. You can follow him on Twitter, or check out more of his work on his newly launched international blog ContentVerve.com.