Google’s 10 tips for optimising your landing pages

When I’m in the mood to watch mindless TV, I tune in to shows such as “Ace of Cakes” and “Cake Boss” on the Food Network.

I enjoy watching talented professionals use their creativity to make something special—and they usually have fun doing it. Wonderful!

Digital marketing is a lot like making cake Landing Page Optimisation

The cake specialists on those shows are geniuses with icing fondant and they make some amazing cakes. But I often wonder; how do the cakes taste? Are they enjoyable to eat?

Marketing a website/landing page digitally is a lot like working in a cake shop—the delicious vanilla sponge (the landing page) must be baked to perfection before the gorgeous icing (website traffic) is put on top.

In other words, we can attract visitors to your landing pages, but you must ensure they stay there and that a decent proportion of them convert.

So how do I do this, I hear you ask?

By optimising your landing pages for conversions.

Landing pages that work

Google give monthly talks on various aspects of digital marketing. The most recent talk was given by Shane Cassells, Online Conversion Expert at Google.

The talk, entitled “Landing pages that work” was aimed at showing SMEs how to ensure online revenue stays in Ireland.

Shane outlined 10 simple ways to improve landing pages with a view to converting visitors on your site.

So here they are:

Google’s 10 tips for optimising your landing pages

1.    Confirmation

This is about reassuring the visitor they are in the right place. Use the same colour scheme in your banner ads for example as on your website. Ensure the offer you are advertising is clearly visible and that branding is immediately obvious on the landing page.

2.    Speed

Studies by Gomez.com and Akamai.com show that we expect a landing page to load within two seconds. We are a bunch of very impatient people.

Test the speed of your landing page using Google’s Developer tools. The bottom line is that even the smallest wait time for the user will result in a loss of revenue.

3.    First Impressions

Know your audience and what they like to see in a landing page e.g. new mums will love images of babies. No layout errors or spelling mistakes please—you might only get one chance to impress. Try some split testing here –> Whichtestwon.com

4.    Branding & Site Purpose

This one was similar to the confirmation tip. Put simply: Your landing page is your storefront—reassure visitors who are returning customers that they are in the right place. Also capture new visitors with taglines that will interest them to click past the landing page.

5.    Design

When you think design, think Google’s home page—clean, crisp and uncomplicated. This (according to Google) is what you should be aiming for—but they are actually right. Less is definitely more in terms of web design—keep things as simple as possible.

Buttons with calls-to-action should be prominent – look at Booking.com and the “Book Now” button – visuals with orange and blue look very well and are extremely clickable.

 6.    Visuals

If you’re showing products, show them in use. E.g. show furniture such as a table adorned with wine glasses in an appropriately decorated room. Ensure all images are of high quality and never auto-play video unless you want your user to exit your website immediately.

7.    Text

Bullet points – keep it short & sweet. If it goes over one line it’s not a bullet point! Your sales pitch is on your landing page, it must be good. Use text to appeal directly to your target audience. Remember the F-pattern for web reading:

UX tips for making your site more user friendly

F Pattern for web reading

 

8.    Call-To-Action

Insert a Call-To-Action button on every landing page. Ensure it is clearly visible and above the fold. The words you use on your CTA button should have the user in mind – “Download your free guide” is better than “Buy now”.

Your user likes to be guided and shown what to do, so try and limit your CTAs to one per page – the less choice you give your user, the better.

9.    Value Proposition

Price is not the only influencer when it comes to purchase decisions. Added extras can also be a motivating factor e.g. a 5 year warrantee.

Highlight these added values on your landing pages e.g. “Friendly customer service team 24/7”

10. Persuasion

How do you give them the push to convert?

  • Reciprocation: If the user “books now”, what will they get in return? Try this: “Book now for 10% off”
  • Commitment: Show you are committed to the satisfaction of the user making the purchase. Highlight on the landing page that you have a dedicated after-sales team.
  • Social proof: Social influences are very important; remember to include links to your social media channels to let the user know that 3000 other people like your business.
  • Scarcity: Use suggestions such as Booking.com’s “Only 2 rooms left in this hotel”
  • Authority: Use customer testimonials and any awards you may have won for products or customer service on your landing page.
  • Framing: If your landing page has multiple products, help your user to make a decision by outlining the “most popular” products. If they have already purchased an item, let them know about other items that they might like.

 

Now back to talking about cake. A cake can be as pretty as you want, but it must also taste good. Just as advertising can attract thousands of visitors to your landing page, your landing page must be designed to keep and convert those visitors.

This is how you turn a visitor into a potential customer.

 

And that’s all folks, happy baking!

 

 

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  • @WolfgangDigital And thanks for the RT :) - posted on 11/06/2013 13:04:41

  • @WolfgangDigital It's aaall goood.We are all meeting for a team building session in Tralee tomorrow!Will send you the pics! How is it going? - posted on 11/06/2013 13:04:29

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