One of the secrets to generating sky-high conversion rates – especially from online advertising – is high-converting landing pages.
Landing pages are standalone web pages with a single purpose – usually to capture email addresses, enquiries or even direct sales.
Ideally you want to ensure that the first page a user sees after they click on your banner ad, PPC ad or promotional email is tuned for optimal success.
When we’ve done this for clients, we’ve typically increased results dramatically, like this case study where landing pages converted 331% better than the home page.
In this article I’ll share with you our complete process for not only building effective landing pages, but also scaling suites of landing pages to grow your lead volume exponentially.
The Landing Page Scaling Process
High level, here’s how we scale landing page campaigns:
There’s a lot here, so let’s unpack this in more detail and look at some examples…
Step 1: Conceptualise – Build Your Seed Landing Page
You have to start somewhere. Going from “no dedicated landing page” to “dedicated landing page” will usually pop results right out of the gate.
Here’s one client who was driving traffic to their home page. When they switched to landing pages, this is what happened to their conversion rates:
Yup, that’s an 11X increase.
Results such as these aren’t typical. In fact they’re very far from typical. But it’s not at all unusual for a good landing page to at least double results.
Put that in context: you could be making twice the return you’re now making from paid advertising (AdWords, Facebook Advertising, LinkedIn Advertising etc.) if you only had good landing pages in place.
OK, so how do you build that first page? We follow the high level process and thinking outlined in the Ideal Landing Page Template:
Start by ensuring that your landing page design follows best practices. Brilliant copy formatted the wrong way can still fail.
So here are some of the most important design rules to keep in mind:
Top 7 Landing Page Design Principles
- THE GOLDEN RULE: Place your juiciest benefits “above the fold” of the page. Without scrolling, the user should be able to answer these 3 questions:
- Where am I?
- What can I do here?
- Why should I do it?
- Sell benefits not features – load up your page with reasons to respond now
- Include proof elements to bolster your case
- Use a clear Call To Action – in other words, make it crystal clear how the user is expected to respond – fill in a form, call your office etc.
- The observant among you will note that the first four points play out the trusted copywriting formula AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action
- Remove distraction where possible – you might test removing the menu bar and footers (although I’ve seen both “with menu” and “without menu” versions work)
- Use clear, legible fonts – a page that doesn’t get read, doesn’t get responded to
Here’s a screenshot from the “above the fold” section of a landing page for Health and Hearing, a Brisbane-based Audiologist:
And let’s run this through our three questions:
Where am I?
I’m at the website of a Brisbane-based Audiologist who offers unrushed hearing consultations and the latest invisible hearing aids.
What can I do here?
Book a free hearing consultation or phone for information and advice.
Why should I do it?
“Accredited and truly independent”, “Free unrushed hearing consultations”, “Latest invisible hearing aids”, “Regain clear, confident hearing and fullness of life”. Plus there are several proof elements; hero shot of the owner, Australian Government accreditation, health fund accreditation and five local clinics.
You get the idea – all of these things can be done using landing page design and copywriting best practices alone. (Click the link to find 17 more very strong landing page examples.)
And once you’ve built your “seed page”, you’re on the dancefloor.
The next step is…
Step 2: Versionalise – Break Your Landing Page Into “Themes”
After building a killer seed landing page, we usually then “versionalise” the landing page into multiple themed versions.
Note that I am NOT talking about “split testing” (yet).
What I’m talking about is taking your seed landing page and customising it for different types of inbound traffic, based on heuristic (i.e. experienced-based) methods.
We know that one of the best ways to QUICKLY increase conversion rates is to match the intent of an ad very closely to the landing page.
So what we do next is to create multiple versions of the seed landing page with some copy tweaks that do exactly that.
For example, in the case of Health and Hearing…
If the user searches for “Hearing Aids”, they’ll go to this page:
Whereas if they search for “Hearing Test”, they’ll go to this page:
If they search for “Hearing Loss”, they’ll land on this page:
And so on…
This strategy is very effective for driving up conversion rates across the board.
Once you’ve covered most of the obvious keyword themes, the next step is…
Step 3: Optimise – A/B Test Highest Traffic Pages
Recall that in Step 1, we built your seed landing page based on best practices.
Best practices are useful. They’ll typically leapfrog you up to an initial level of at least “competence”.
But there is no substitute for actually testing in the marketplace.
And that’s where A/B testing comes in. (I’ve limited this discussion to A/B testing as opposed multivariate testing, because relatively few websites have anywhere near enough traffic to test multiple variables with statistical significance. If you don’t have 50,000 visits a month, forget about multivariate testing).
The aim of A/B testing is to move the conversion needle and ratchet up your lead volume.
In practice, we’ll usually take the highest volume landing pages and try to test something that may be able to scale to other landing pages if it works.
Examples of this testing are:
- A radical new design
- A big proof element above the fold
- Removing the menu
- Call to action style/text
We need to test something pretty BIG, because small increases are unlikely to be statistically significant.
Here’s an example A/B split test based on the landing page example above:
This is intended to be a straight A/B test aimed at bumping conversion rate.
It’s not a “single variable” test, where we change one thing to quantify the effect of that one change.
Instead, we’re testing “one splash against the other”.
A few of the changes are:
- Changing the headline to a more natural “Free Hearing Tests In Brisbane”.
- Starting the copy with a flag-down that speaks to BOTH the potential patient AND their “significant other” who may be enquiring on their behalf.
- Changing the typography to “Sentence case” instead of “Title Case” in order to come across a bit less shouty
- Mention that getting a hearing test is the first step toward being able to hear again (and the benefits of that). After all, the goal is to sell an eventual solution, not just to give away free hearing tests all day. So we may as well “prime” the ideal prospect for this outcome.
- Invite the prospect to feel free to “Call for info and advice” – adding value to the phone call and potentially using the phone call as a “bridge” between the landing page and the consultation.
I should also note that we’re measuring TWO outcomes here – consultation form submissions AND phone calls (tracked via a special tracking phone number).
Should a test like this beat the Control, we would then move onto…
Step 4: Rationalise – Expand Winning Common Elements Across Your Landing Pages
Let’s say you’ve done Step 3 and you’ve hit a clear winner.
It then makes a lot of sense to simply roll the winning change out on your other landing pages.
In practice, you’ll usually do this WITHOUT testing each time, because:
- Minor landing pages almost certainly won’t have enough traffic to test, and…
- The opportunity cost of re-testing is higher than testing something new
In order to do this properly, you have to have a lot of statistical confidence about your “main” A/B test. (A good rule of thumb: at least 30 conversions for the LOSING variation.)
Once you roll out the really big changes to ALL your landing pages, they are ready to…
Step 5: Optimise Lead Management
Up until this point, we’ve talked about how to get more leads in the door.
However, if your game is generating tonnes of leads and converting them into sales, then you need to ensure you follow best practices around lead management.
In other words, treating your inbound leads like gold dust and ensuring you don’t lose any through the cracks.
The biggest lead management errors are:
- Responding too slowly – this is a killer, especially in “high urgency” situations such as emergency plumbing
- Not responding at all – yes, it happens more often than you realise
- Messages not being passed through to the right person
- Poor lead handling procedures
Here’s a great infographic to get you started on best practices in lead management.
To summarise, the golden rules are:
- Respond fast
- Have a system to ensure EVERY lead is responded to
- Be persistent in responding – 6 attempts to connect is optimal
OK, so your lead management is now top notch. Now it’s time to look at…
Step 6: Top and Tail With Marketing Automation
This basically means plugging in marketing automation BEFORE and AFTER the lead is captured in order to maximise lead volume, quality and conversion rate.
BEFORE capturing the lead, you could add some email address capture and lead nurturing strategies designed to educate and “warm up” the lead.
There are a gazillion ways to do this, but here’s one very effective starting process that you can implement – the 8-Step Lead Getting Sequence.
Similarly, AFTER the lead is captured, you might add further automation to help move the prospect closer to a sale.
Again, the possible strategies are many and varied but examples are:
- Allow the prospect to directly book a consultation time in your calendar using a tool such as ScheduleOnce, Timetrade or Calend.ly
- To send follow up “decision making” materials via email (or snail mail) such as case studies, testimonials, FAQs, how to make the best decision info etc.
- Use sales workflows to ensure the lead is effectively managed at every stage
All of these things can pay good dividends – but only once your lead flow is sufficient to justify the investment of time, effort and focus.
Now that everything is humming along real smooth-like, it’s critical to…
Step 7: Report and Re-Align
As your ecosystem of landing pages evolves, it gets harder to see “at a glance” how everything is performing AND what levers need to be pulled next in order to optimise results.
This is where management-level reporting comes in.
The high-level reports we typically create for clients include:
- Lead volume (segmented by web vs. phone call)
- Cost per lead (segmented by traffic source)
- Conversion rate of lead-to-sale (by source), and cost per sale
- Where the data is available, ROAS (Return On Advertising Spend) by keyword/ad/adgroup
Viewing these reports on a weekly or monthly basis allows us to see what’s working and what’s not, and also where the biggest optimisation opportunities lie.
“Digital marketing” is so big and so diverse now that your problem is not lack of options – it’s too many options.
Our aim is to show clients how they can prioritise their scarce resources on only those high-value activities that are going to “move the revenue needle” the fastest.
As you can see, making the most of landing pages is much more than “build-and-pray”.
The right strategy involves:
- A solid creative approach with strong direct response design
- Multiple, focused pages
- Split testing for higher conversion rates
- Lead management
- Fast Build-Measure-Learn cycles
If you’ve found this article useful, feel free to follow our approach and let us know how you get on.
Or if you want to discuss a more tailored, “done for you” service, then get in touch to talk more about your situation and how we can add value.