Match your landing page headlines to your ads
Consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but it’s a virtue when it comes to landing pages.
The classic example of breaking this rule is bringing people from an ad straight to a home page, skipping the landing page entirely. That’s a big fail, but we still see it happen all the time.
But just creating a landing page isn’t quite enough. Take it further: Keep the messaging consistent from your paid ads or email campaigns to your landing pages, to your follow-up emails, and all the way to the final conversion.
All this might seem overly repetitive, but that’s not necessarily so for your prospects, who will arrive and zoom through your pages with barely a second thought. For them, the repetition is reassuring. And inconsistency (in offer, look-and-feel, language, headlines, images, colors) may have them questioning if they’re still on the path they chose when they clicked that first link. Worse, inconsistency makes you look sloppy and disorganized, not qualities that foster trust. People don’t engage with companies they don’t trust.
Mobile. Mobile. Mobile.
I can’t overstate how critical it is for your landing pages to be mobile friendly. For many of us, there’s more traffic from mobile devices than from desktops. That’s been true for a while.
Repeat after me: “I will never publish another landing page without testing it out on my smartphone.”
Beyond testing to make sure your pages look good on mobile, you should also view your pages in a cross-browser testing tool. There are dozens of sites that offer this, either for free or as a paid service with more features. What looks good on Chrome may not render correctly on Firefox and so forth.
Ask someone who doesn’t know your product to review your landing page and assess the goal of it. The most likely candidates for this job are spouses, roommates, and friends. Friendly people on planes are a good choice, too. But no co-workers allowed.
To get the best results, explain the basics of your campaign. For example: “We sell online accounting software for small businesses. We’re sending people who have searched for those services and clicked on our ads to this page.”
Don’t give information that’s too specific, like “We’ve been having a lot of trouble with conversions.” Many non-marketing people don’t know what is a “conversion.”
Use a timer to see how long it takes them to finish the task (Extra credit: Get them to do this on their cell phone). Ask them to talk you through what they’re thinking. Record them on video, if possible.
Common red flags include:
- They say, “What do I do?” Message to you: Your call to action and the purpose of your landing page are not clear enough
- Silence for more than 1 minute. Your landing page may be too confusing
- They wince or flinch upon first sight of the page. Your headline may alienate them, they may not like the design, or an image you’re using might be putting them off
- They have any trouble filling out the form. You’ve got a conversion-suppressing form
- If they are on a mobile device and they either hold the device up close to their face or try to zoom in on something. Message to you: The typeface is too small, or you need to simplify the landing page design
Take notes on how the reviews go. It’s helpful to get feedback from five different people. That’s an old best practice from usability tests. After the fifth user test, you’ve typically triggered at least the biggest problems.
Of course, the best “test subjects” for this are people who are in your ideal audience, and people who are not your friends. If you can’t find anyone like that, check out some of the online services out there. You can get some basic testing for $50.