Whether you’re a seasoned Digital Marketer, CMO or business owner, you know Google has been on the move this year, overturning rankings with Penguins, Pandas and manual penalties as it breaks through sly, manipulative techniques on its quest for best possible experience and search results for its users. The key takeaways from Google this year? Everyone needs to get with the program and provide their visitors with an outstanding user experience. That should be your primary digital strategy. From better experience comes improved rankings; from improved rankings comes improved traffic; from improved traffic (hopefully) comes improved conversions and revenue. This is where you can start calculating ROI from your digital marketing efforts, but it’s going to take an investment in time, effort and money, especially if you don’t have the time or knowledge to carry out the work yourself.
Given the ever-increasing importance of User Experience, I’ve put together this guide to provide:
But first let’s go over some basic terminologies:
User Experience (UX), or Usability, is a design principle whereby the goal is to provide the end user with a visually appealing, easy-to-follow experience, enriched with valuable content, ensuring the user’s query can be answered, or their problem solved.
When a user visits your webpage and leaves without visiting any other pages, this is considered a Bounce. Your Bounce Rate is a percentage worked out by dividing the number of bounces by the total visits for a prescribed period.
Firstly, I want to stress that while CRO is mentioned heavily throughout this blog post, and is indeed a fundamental part of UX, the focus of this post is Landing Pages and their importance to UX.
Conversion optimisation is the process of constantly reviewing the performance of conversion goals for a landing page, tweaking elements and comparing several versions (called Multivariate Testing) in order to find the best performing page. But it doesn’t stop there. Every time you find a winner, it becomes the control for your next round of testing. In this way, CRO is a never-ending process, as you can always improve conversions and income.
Now let’s dig into the insights!
Think back on your first interview with a current employee. How the candidate was dressed, the initial handshake and their first words likely made a lasting impression, and this would have been firm in your mind when it came time to fill the role.
This is how you should think about your visitors. Is your website corporate interview material? Does it provide the first impression you desire?
Research into usability has shown:
If that task is a conversion, you’d want to make sure your landing page is set up to meet the criteria of the ‘right path’ for the user; if not, you’ve almost halved the possibility of the user converting, as the first click usually comes from organic or paid search results. This is why we recommend having a dedicated page for each keyword your targeting for SEO; high specificity on a topic is going to give you better ranking results (and user interaction) than a generic page that touches on a variety of different keywords.
A Human-computer interaction (HCI) research posted on Nielsen Norman Group’s website states:
This means a Value Proposition needs to be clearly communicated within 10 seconds! Open up your website and if the answer to a user’s query can be clearly identified within 10 seconds, you’re doing well. If not, it’s time to start rethinking your landing page design.
The most common issue here is when a home page ranks for a specified keyword, instead of a dedicated landing page. Unless your home page content is relevant and answers the user’s question, expect them to bounce.
CRO is all about taking your landing page and optimising the layout, content and style around principles that have proven to be successful in attracting higher conversions and testing new ways to make users convert.
In his recent workshop, Oli Gardner, Co-founder of Unbounce, provided some great insights into landing pages design and Conversion Centred Design (CCD).
Here some the key takeaways:
Because every website, industry and product differ, so too does the recipe for converting consumers. And just like any good recipe, everyone’s got their own secret ingredients, a special method for mixing, and their own way of presenting and serving their dish. If you watch MasterChef you’ll know they sample each dish (testing), note the pros and cons (evaluating) and repeat this for each competitor before declaring a winner. If they picked one dish every week and sampled it, the results wouldn’t be accurate; because they judge the dishes all at once, the memory is fresh and can be accurately compared. This is the same for conversion optimisation.
Of those companies that identify a page isn’t performing well, they usually go about changing the page and measure the results 3-6 months later to see if it’s been successful in improving conversions. However, like the previous example of judging a dish weeks apart, the data isn’t fresh for you to accurately judge success upon. This is why CRO is so great. A/B (Split) or Multivariate Testing allows two or more versions of a landing page to be created and tested on live users. Data is collected, such as heat maps, clicks, conversions and bounces, providing insight into which page works best. But it shouldn’t stop there!
Conversion optimisation is an ongoing process. After the first test, which should have fairly significant differences (e.g. block text vs. bullet points) and should provide you with an insight into the right layout for converting, the second test should refine this further (e.g. Hyperlinks vs. bold text on bullet points) and the next level could test styling (e.g. Arrow from bullet points to buy button vs. no arrow). Each time you’re getting closer and, yes, you will have some short-falls, but it’s all about experimenting to find the perfect formula.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, same goes for a well converting landing page. You can always improve your conversions and user experience, so you should never stop testing and experimenting.
Keen to get testing? Get onto a Landing page tool like Unbounce or contact Search Factory for advice!
Image 1 Credit: http://www.siliconcloud.com/Portals/55887/images/8%20Tips%20to%20Optimising%20Your%20Landing%20Pages.jpg
Image 2 Credit: http://www.martalain.net/Portals/188576/images/ux.png
Image 3 Credit: http://www.conceras.com/assets/img/in-text/insights_ideas.jpg
Image 4 Credit: http://www.digitalimperia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Conversion-Rate-Optimization.gif
Image 5 Credit: http://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/i/keep-calm-and-repeat-73.png#sthash.YMskCCYx.dpuf
Oli Gardner SlideShare Presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/oligardner/how-to-create-delightful-highconverting-landing-pages-with-conversion-centered-design