Landing pages have are a magnificent way of generating both valuable traffic, and revenue to a website. The way landing pages have the power to do this is by using CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) techniques that display the page in such a way that influences the visitor to take action when on the page.
Behavioural psychology is a key factor in the way in which CRO works. What makes your visitor tick? How do they think? What are their main influencers?
Depending on the specific audience it may be a slightly different page but landing pages are in essence all trying to the same thing in the same way: try and influence the user to complete an action without getting distracted or bouncing out. We came across a really comprehensive (and be warned – very long!) article on how to make effective landing pages recently which inspired us to share our knowledge with you.
Optimised Landing Page Layouts
Using images and symbols that point in the direction of your call to action are fantastic. Examples of this are people pointing or looking in the direction that you want your audience to look. This was highlighted recently by Thijs De Valk at Yoast where he points out the ability of the human face to either distract the user or draw attention to a desired area. This is call facial distraction.
As you can see from the images above, when the baby is looking directly at you, research shows that the attention is drawn to the baby’s face. However when the exact same page has an image of the baby looking towards the text users were naturally more inclined to look in the same direction.
The most influential symbol to use as a directional cue is an arrow. We are taught from a very early age that an arrow means the point of interest is in the direction the arrow is pointed and it is deeply instilled in our behaviour through to being an adult.
Drawing Attention to a ‘Call to Action’
The attention of your audience is the most important thing. If you have it, then that attention can be manipulated, if you don’t have it, then the war is lost. Firstly, removing all distractions limits the chance of your user looking somewhere you don’t want them to, for example if you have 10 buttons on a landing page with 1 goal, what is the point? Quite simply put, this page will likely require only 1 button, don’t over complicate things. Now you only have 1 button (in some cases it can be necessary to have more but this in my experience is rare), it is important to make this the focal point of the page. Using inviting and bright colours will make the button stand out and draw users into clicking it, for example it has been suggested that a warm orange colour is the most inviting colour for a call to action button.
The ‘Call to Action’ Button
The button itself is best suited to being a rectangular shaped button as it is likely that this is what the user will affiliate with a button, and therefore know that it is a clickable option. It varies a great deal what accompanies a call to action button, goals are different from business to business which could mean it could require simply clicking the button, or perhaps information is needed to be collected in order to proceed. For the latter it is common to have a form above the button to collect the information. There are many different ways you can display a call to action button, and everybody will have a preference, however the vast majority will be influenced by the same fundamental principles.
The example above is a great landing page. There are no distractions from the call to action, it is in warm orange as previously mentioned, and the action box has an arrow pointed at it so the user is influenced in that direction. I would argue you they maybe could have more trust signals near the button itself, perhaps an accreditation of some kind if they have one
The CTA Button Text
The texts you have on your CTA button either make or break a landing page conversion. Some absolute disaster words for this button which are used far too regularly are ‘submit’ or ‘register’, or even ‘sign-up’. None of these words and phrases sound or look like you, the user, is getting anything positive from the action. It is statistically better to use welcoming phrases that entice the user to click. For example, how much different does ‘Join our community’ sound than ‘sign-up’?! This language draws a user in just as much as the giant arrow/ incentive to look in that direction.
Cementing the Conversion
The Closing Lines/ Final Selling Points
The closing lines are the text near to the CTA button, which is most commonly above or left of the button as most users will read top to bottom and left to right. These lines are your last chance to cement the conversion and remove any doubt that they may have at this point. Some companies like to state a money back guarantee here to remove the sense of risk in clicking, which is a proven successful method; however I feel that a tailored approach depending on both your business and your particular customers is the winning option.
For example, if it was a surf board landing page, the closing lines would be something like ‘The only surf boards made from authentic New Zealand oak’, ‘Experience riding waves more smooth that you ever have before’ and finally you should finish with a line that creates urgency. Continuing the example it could be an offer like ‘this offer is available until’ or it could be something like ‘due to rarity of New Zealand oak there are only a limited number of these boards available’, or ‘Get yours now ready for the start of the surfing high-season’.
Accreditations/ Trust Signals
These are key factors of gaining a conversion. The most common form of this that you will see regularly is payment card logos; of course, these apply mostly to e-commerce websites. The reason these work is that they are recognisable, and people trust what they recognise, especially when what they are recognising are trusted logos such as Visa and MasterCard. Alongside these can be an SSL Certificate logo (such as VeriSign or Godaddy.com) so the customer knows their details will be safe.
Accreditations can be a powerful way to gain trust of the user at a key moment. An accreditation is usually an industry recognised badge that signifies an award or passing certain requirements. These badges can validate a business and instantaneously gain a users trust over the legitimacy of its claims.
Directional Cues are important for telling your user where to look.
Keep your landing page simple, and remove any distractions that are not relevant to the desired goal.
Make sure your call to action button stands out using desirable, inviting colours.
Give your CTA button unique compelling text to encourage users to click.
Provide closing lines that are unique, personal and create urgency to convince your customers to convert.
Use accreditations and trust signals to reassure the user you are a safe, trustworthy business.