So, you’re getting a lot of traffic to your site using social media, SEO and content marketing.
But the job is only half done. You need to get sales, sign-ups and conversions as well.
In this article, we’ll take a trip into the wild and look at an actual website and conduct a makeover of their landing page with the aim of increasing their conversions.
This can apply to a website or a blog. What’s more, it can all be done using free tools and a little ingenuity.
First, a little background on the site. It’s for a debt consolidation business called Debt Fix. As you probably know, the competition for any services in the financial space is fierce. All of the big banks want a piece of the debt consolidation pie and there is a specialist debt consolidation company that has the lion’s share of the market. So this is a real-life David and Goliath story and in this instance, there is more than one Goliath. Don’t you love a challenge?
I’m sure you’ve all read the stories and case studies about companies like Coke and Red Bull and their amazing tales of digital triumph. But not everyone has multi-million dollar budgets, an international marketing team and a retail brand that has been built up over decades.
Step 1: Get the information you need to win
Luckily, we live in an age of disruption and there is a vast amount of information available online. Google provides an amazing set of tools for people running an online business. Two that you need to know about are Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. The difference between them is important.
1. Webmaster Tools
On the one hand, Webmaster tools gives you information on how Google’s search engine sees your site and provides information such as which pages can be indexed and errors on your site.
2. Google Analytics
On the other hand Google Analytics provides information on the visitors to your site. It is a lot more than a hit counter. It provides a vast treasure trove of information on your whole site. It is our slingshot.
For those who have never used Google Analytics, it’s pretty easy to setup. You sign up for an account and then Google will provide you with a code snippet that you can insert into each page of your site. If you’re not technical, you can get your web guy to do this for you.
Today’s battle will take place on the key landing page of Debt Fix, which has information on their Debt Consolidation Service. Here’s what the page looked like before the makeover.
As a first step, let’s take a look at the page statistics in Google Analytics to see how this page is performing. When you are analysing the performance of a single page on your website, the best place to go to is the Content section in Google Analytics. The important figures to look for are bounce rate, average time on page and the number of page views.
- Bounce Rate: Your bounce rate is the proportion of people who visit this page and then leave more or less straight away – they bounce. The lower the bounce rate the better and a good target for the bounce rate is below 30%. In the case of this page, the bounce rate is over 50%, so we have some work to do.
- Average Time on Page: The average time on page reveals how engaged the user is with this page. The longer they spend on the page, the more they are viewing the content there. Here, the average is over a minute so visitors are engaging with the page, but I’m sure we could do better.
- Page Views: You’ll also want to see how many page views this page gets relative to the total number on the site. The higher the number of page views, the more time you’ll want to spend optimising the page. Being a key service of Debt Fix, this is an important page and so it’s definitely on the action list.
Step 2: Look at the site through the eyes of your customer
When you work in a business day and night it’s really easy to write from the perspective of what you want to communicate to the potential customer. But that’s the wrong end to start from.
It is much more effective to start from the other end and write as if you were a customer visiting your website. So, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Think of the situation of someone coming to this website who is looking for help with debt. You are probably paying off a bunch of credit cards and other bills. You’re stressed out, tired of going backwards financially and a little embarrassed that you’ve got yourself into this position.
What are you yearning for? Someone trustworthy, someone who gets you, a pathway out of difficulty. We’ll cover the details of how to do this in the next two steps.
Step 3: Write copy that connects
As you can see in the screenshot, the page leads with an immediate call to action – ‘Contact Us Now’. Not bad, it’s direct but probably a little too direct for most people. It’s like the guy at the school dance who just goes around asking girls to dance with him. Sure, it will work eventually but the success rate is pretty low.
Instead, we could use some copy that would connect with how the visitor is feeling.
There are two ways you could go here.
- One is to connect with the difficulty that they are facing, with a headline something like ‘Are you tired of struggling with debt?’
- The other way to go is to connect with the difference you can make in their life, maybe using ‘Don’t you dream of having a debt-free future?’
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you which one would work more effectively. The best bet would be to have two landing pages and see which one converts better.
Step 4: Design that connects and makes stuff easy
There’s a lot to good design and I won’t pretend that I’m an expert in it but I do know that the three key components are:
As we saw in Step 2, we want to use these three elements to show that we are trustworthy, that we understand you and can help you. Have a look at the design below and you be the judge of how well we’ve done that.
Another crucial feature of design is that it makes life easy. In other words, it makes achieving your goal easy by simplifying and removing all unnecessary obstacles. I lived in Japan for a while and they treat design as a high art. Craftsmanship is still treasured in Japan even in a modern, fast-paced society. We need to take a leaf from their book when designing web pages and craft them for our users.
You can do that by asking the following:
- What is it that the user would want to achieve on this page?
- What do they need to do that?
- What can I do to make this as easy for them as possible?
Here, we’ve reduced the amount of information on the page and focused the design around connection and then offering a pathway to action – a telephone consultation or online chat.
Presenting the new landing page
This is how the new landing page looks after its re-design and we have implemented the four key steps.
- Getting the information we need to win
- Looked through the eyes of the customer
- Written copy that connects
- Created a page design that connects and makes it easy.
So, that’s it folks – a real-life before and after makeover of a landing page. Will David beat Goliath? You betcha, the great thing about the web is that you can keep making changes until you find what resonates with your audience.
What about you?
How would you go about improving a landing page? Looking forward to your comments and reactions. We’ll share the results with you as they become available.
Author bio: Peter is a digital producer and social media strategist working at Quantum. You can connect with him on Twitter @PeterLightbody
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