It’s an unfair assumption to say ‘the customer knows nothing’, but it’s the best assumption to make when it comes to designing your landing page. Even the most intent customer who knows exactly what they came for will never be in full possession of the facts.
When it comes to conversion marketing, recognizing the questions and barriers facing your potential customers – and understanding what your customer is thinking when they arrive at your page – is absolutely key to ensuring a healthy conversion rate.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the preliminary concerns all customers are faced with when arriving at your page, and discuss the best ways in which to overcome them.
Upon arriving at your page, a visitor will have the immediate question: “What is this page about?”
Image: Clickthroo landing page example with a clear message of exactly what the application does
This is the question that poses the first potential barrier. If a visitor is unable to understand the nature of your landing page straight away, then the chances of them staying put are slim.
Without a clear indication of what your landing page is about, a visitor will question the relevance of your page, question whether or not they are in the correct place, and very quickly leave without bothering to scroll through your content in order to find out the answer for themselves. It isn’t necessarily because your visitors are too lazy to do so, it’s more than likely because people tend to avoid things altogether when faced with uncertainty.
How to Overcome: Verification
At this stage, visitors are looking for verification –
- Make sure your headline matches the copy used in the link or advertisement that drove your prospects to your page. Visitors arriving at your page most likely clicked on a link, or came to your page with the intent to purchase your product or sign up to your service already in place.
You want to make sure that your landing page headline parallels the copy that originally prompted them to visit in the first place. This will reassure visitors that they have arrived at the relevant place and clear up any initial confusion they may have about landing on a new page.
- Make your headline directly answer the question – “What is this page about?” Or more specifically, “What is this page offering?”. A quick statement explaining what the customer has to gain by completing a purchase or user registration.
Make it a rule to include a header that clearly explains the benefit – “With this service, you will get…” or “Sign up now and you could win…” – and your visitors will immediately be made aware of what they have to gain from sticking with your page.
Arrange your message hierarchy accordingly; you need to lead the reader through your message in a way that makes sense. Use decreasing font size to help illustrate the relative weight of importance – starting with the headline, then the header and any supportive points that may follow.
Once a visitor has established the meaning behind your landing page and the concept of your offer, the next question they will be asking is: “How can this benefit me right now or in the future?”
This is the question that poses the second barrier. If a visitor is unable to immediately grasp the benefit of your product or service, they will begin to doubt the necessity of your offer and ask themselves the following questions:
- Do I really need this?
- Is it different to what I’ve already experienced?
- How can I trust you?
With these questions in mind, it makes it much easier to put strategies into place in order to overcome these barriers.
How to Overcome: Validation
At this stage, visitors are looking for information in order to validate their purchasing decision –
- Focus on the benefits of your offer over the features. Your landing page isn’t a detailed manifesto of your products and services, it is a tool used to sell efficiently. This means quickly and effectively educating your visitors on what your offer cab do for them, focusing primarily on the benefits rather than the features.
Demonstrate how your offer can improve the quality of life of your customers, and always write in the Second person. Using “You” and “Your” at the best opportunity can really help forge a stronger connection between your offer. Establishing value on a more personal level helps readers visualize how the offer can be of benefit to their lives – not an abstract person.
Use an image that really puts your offer into context. To trigger a sense of need in a customer, you should be illustrating how exactly you product/service will integrate with their day-to-day life.
- Show your product or service as being unique. Even if your offer is not too dissimilar from your competitors, there will always be something different that sets you apart – so show it to them.
Demonstrate how these differences can be of benefit to the customer, and solidify their impact by including them in your contextual illustration.
- Use Social Proof. Because webpages are such ‘static’ environments, they rarely account for the concerns that go through a consumer’s mind in the real-working world before making that kind of commitment. After all, your visitors aren’t just clicks. They are real people with genuine thoughts and opinions. These concerns may involve the legitimacy of your business, the validity of their decision to purchase, or the typical fears that come with making an online transaction.
Image: The use of social proof is vital to improve landing page visitor trust
Inclusion of social proof can remove any ambiguity your customer may be faced with, and reduce any doubts and concerns they may have about committing to your offer.
So you’ve made it all the way to the point of conversion – your customer is fully informed of what you’re offering and how it can be of benefit to them. But now they’re asking the question: “How do I get this?”
This is the question that poses the final barrier and can often be the most crucial. If a visitor can’t understand how exactly they are supposed to claim your offer, then they won’t be able to. It’s that simple.
The chances are, most people will arrive at your landing page and scan through the bulk of your content, looking specifically for the element of your page that tells them how to purchase/sign up/enter the offer that you are promoting. They won’t necessarily have the time (or the need) to carefully seek out information they don’t actually need to know – it’s basically a case of some people do/some people don’t.
Image: Clickthroo landing page example call-t0-action. Large, clear, and contrasting the other page colours.
How to overcome: Direction
This is the stage where visitors will need most help; navigating their way through your landing page content in order to get to the page element that allows them to complete the offer they came for in the first place.
- Structure your content accordingly. Structure your content to that visitors are able to find their way to your call-to-action, assigning appropriate font sizes according to importance along the way. You want you visitors to remain informed and engaged, but always constantly steered toward your CTA.
Think about what you’re trying to achieve; leading your visitors via a trail of breadcrumbs that arrive at a clear, easy to find “X” that marks the spot!
- Make your CTA big, clean and contrasting. Making your CTA obvious is the best way of ensuring it doesn’t go unmissed. If people can’t find your CTA then they won’t hesitate to leave your page as a result.
Use a clean, flat button that demands the visitor take action. Think about the size and how it complements the overall design of the page. Size shouldn’t be determined without taking other factors into consideration – it is tightly related to the surrounding elements and overall context of your page.
Contrast is one of the most effective graphical techniques you can apply to calls-to-action. The fastest way to grab someone’s attention is by making your CTA stand out from the rest of the page and making it dominant. You can achieve this by picking a color for your button that contrasts the background.
- Make sure your CTA answers the question – “How do I get this?” Or more specifically, where do I get this?
There’s no point in having a big, shiny, attractive CTA button if nobody understands its purpose. Yes, believe or not, but people will need their hand held constantly throughout the process – haven’t you picked up on this already?
Go for clarity over creativity. If you want your visitors to take action, tell them exactly where they need to click. Concentrate on text over graphics and explicitly tell them to “click here now”. It really is that simple. You can always incorporate more action-orientated language later and test which variants of your copy works best.
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