The most successful brands in ecommerce use landing pages as their virtual store-fronts, to entice online visitors to browse the rest of their site. SaleCycle explores how landing pages can be optimised and enhanced to capture leads, drive traffic, and increase sales – all whilst boosting conversions. We will also be delving into landing page best practices, as well as pointing out some common mistakes to avoid.
What Is A Landing Page?
A landing page is the initial page a browser/ consumer will ‘’land’’ on after they have clicked a link, advertisement or have followed a call to action (CTA) to a website. Not necessarily the home page – the landing page should be relevant to the link that the user has clicked, and should ultimately be the start of their ecommerce customer journey.
Therefore it is essential that online brands make sure that their landing page is both attractive and efficient, to establish effective lead generation and reduce bounce rates, as well as increase conversion rates. This can be achieved by focusing on landing page optimisation.
What Is Meant By Landing Page Optimisation?
Landing page optimisation (abbreviated as LPO) is the measured process of improving elements and functions on a website in order to increase time spent on a site, and overall boost conversions.
Elements of a landing page that can be improved could include:
- Onsite messaging, such as calls to action (CTAs)
- Website speed
- Colour and imagery placement to improve your brand presence
- The text to white space ratio
We can recognise landing page optimisation as a form or subsection of conversion rate optimisation (CRO), as the initial testing and trialling of optimising a landing page involves using methods such as A/B testing to tailor the landing page to its specific audience.
What Is The Main Purpose of a Landing Page?
The main aim and purpose of a landing page, especially in ecommerce, is to ensure the consumer that they have come to the right place to browse and choose their desired product or service. This may sound pretty standard, but there are a number of elements to a landing page that can deter potential customers and lead to browse abandonment, which we will explore further when we look at landing page mistakes to avoid, further into this article.
Landing page optimisation can benefit every business, and should be the first step in improving your on-site marketing and sales funnel. It’s important to continually check, monitor and review your landing page tactics and improve your conversions.
How Do You Optimise a Landing Page?
Optimising your landing page can take various amounts of steps depending on the outcome you desire. So, to assess and distinguish the steps you need to take to improve landing page conversions, we suggest A/B testing.
Also known as split testing or bucket testing, A/B Testing is a process of comparing two versions of a web page or element to find out which one performs better – (e.g. version A versus version B).
The variants of these pages are shown to customers, and statistical analysis is used to determine which version provides more positive results. This can be described as an online behavioural experiment, much like our social proof model, which also delves into the behaviours of how people act online given different circumstances. A/B testing allows businesses to make estimated changes to their consumer experiences, mainly on the landing page, all while collecting insightful data on the outcome. Once the results of an A/B Test are collected, this could allow you to construct a conclusion to learn why certain elements of their experiences and actions impact customer behaviour when they initially visit your landing page.
Constant testing, mainly A/B testing, and result driven revisions is the key to quality landing page optimisation. From here, you can begin to focus on other areas of your website knowing that the initial landing page is driving consumers to other areas.
What Are The 5 Essential Elements of a Landing Page?
Now that we understand the basics of how to test the effectiveness of a landing page, we have compiled the most effective and essential elements of a landing page to use as a checklist in your next optimisation trialling period:
1. Strong Call To Action (CTA)
A call to action can be placed anywhere on a landing page and can lead the user to their desired place – for example, the ‘’sale’’ or ‘’new arrivals’’ section of your website.
A/B testing your calls to action (CTA) strategy helps you make the most effective conversion rate optimisation choices all from your landing page.
Effective CTA design is about finding (and testing) the right combination of size, colour, placement and wording which ensures that shoppers have no difficulty in finding and using them.
2. Clear unique selling point/s (USP)
Your unique selling point (USP), should be known and presented well on your landing page and throughout your website. Letting your consumers know the essence of what makes your product or service better than competitors is key to staying relevant within your sector.
When it comes to marketing this on your landing page, communicating your USP clearly is an essential step to getting potential customers to browse further and convert on your site.
3. Unique Benefits
Benefits such as special offers and promo codes aren’t just promoted in email marketing campaigns, and are a great way to keep visitors on your landing page and website. Promo codes have long been used as a way of driving conversions and increasing revenue, so much so they have become part of the furniture of the customer journey.
4. Clear and Compelling Copy
Concise and well-written copy, or microcopy, can have a significant effect on the user experience. Written elements can be utilised as a guide in the customer journey, assisting them throughout the stages of the purchase funnel, e.g. helping them to complete online forms, or address customer concerns where they are likely to occur once they have arrived at your landing page.
5. Social Proof
Social proof can be used to inform and persuade website visitors to undertake a range of behaviours, online sales and micro conversions. In an online context, it’s about showing the opinions and actions of others to influence visitor behaviour.
Used well, social proof can be very useful and effective, and it’s something that most ecommerce sites use in some form to reassure visitors and persuade them to buy.
Is a Landing Page Important for SEO?
Landing pages can be used as a great implementation to help boost your site rankings in search engine results pages, for example in these Google shopping analytics. In order to achieve great SEO rankings, however, effective CTA elements should be in place in order to be able to convert users – especially new and organic users who are visiting your landing page and website for the first time.
Overall, landing pages are one of the main ways you can drive your digital marketing strategy and improve conversions in the long run. So an ineffective landing page with very little interactions, CTAs and click-through rates (CTRs) is something to continually improve for your target audience – and for the success of any online business.
Can a Landing Page Rank On Google?
A main goal for your brand should be to be recognised, well-known and trusted – and on a site-facing level, rank on major search engines like Google. Adjusting your website to be more marketable and popular amongst your target audience (such as your landing page), is typically part of a larger inbound marketing campaign, where the goal is to increase your share of total search traffic within your industry to be able to compete with similar businesses.
Landing page relevance plays a large part in earning that share, and Google Ads stores the relevance of your landing page through a ‘’Quality Score’’. Google describes their Quality Score system as:
“The Quality Score is Google’s rating of the overall user experience that your ads and landing pages provide when users search for your keyword(s). This is represented on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.” – keywords being the relevant and useful terms used by someone searching for a particular product or service.
So, the better your landing page and the better your keywords, the higher your brand will rank in Google search results.
What Are The Biggest Landing Page Mistakes? – 7 Landing Page Mistakes To Avoid
1. Unclear Call-to-Action
The main job of the CTA is to ensure that, when visitors are ready to make a booking, a purchase, or some other conversion, it makes the next step obvious. Effective CTA design is about finding (and testing) the right combination of size, colour, placement and wording which ensures that shoppers have no difficulty in finding them.
Calls to action shouldn’t be too subtle, so make them big enough to catch the attention of your shoppers. It makes sense for them to be the largest button on the page, to help it stand out from the background and underline its importance.
Exactly where you choose to place a CTA can affect how noticeable it is. Many ecommerce sites now use multiple CTAs to ensure that shoppers can see them no matter where they are on the product page – but there’s also a matter of balance when it comes to the number of CTAs used, as too many can be confusing.
2. Visual Distractions
Using too much imagery and/ or website animations can be just as harmful as using low-quality images and bad typography, or not using images at all. It’s important to remember to keep a modest image-to-text ratio so that consumers aren’t confused and distracted from the important CTAs and purpose of their visit.
Designing with mobile as a primary focus is also something to keep in mind when choosing visual elements for your landing page, as our latest stats and trends report has revealed that over half (56%) of our clients alone opt to shop via their mobile devices.
3. Slow Page Loading Speed
Website speed is a crucial aspect of any online presence, yet it is often overlooked in the development and maintenance of a landing page. In today’s fast-paced digital world, users expect websites and landing pages to load quickly.
If a landing page takes too long to load, users may become frustrated and leave the site, leading to a high bounce rate and low engagement. Research has shown that even a one-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions, and 47% of people don’t wait for more than two seconds for a web page to load. This highlights the importance of customer service in all aspects of your ecommerce site, especially when it comes to efficiency.
A slow loading website or landing page can have a negative impact on the ecommerce customer journey, search engine rankings, conversion rates and micro conversions, and even hosting and bandwidth costs.
4. Too Much Text
Cluttered and poorly written copy can mean the difference between visitors staying or bouncing once arriving on your landing page. With the average attention span said to be less than 8 seconds, you have a small window to capture your audience.
This is why it’s imperative that your written elements are easy to scan or quickly read by using descriptive or interesting headlines to break up sections of landing page content – make the intention of the text obvious to avoid confusion and/or boredom.
5. Lack of Trust
Without trust, customers may be reluctant to shop in the first place, or return to buy again after a negative experience.Shoppers think about trust in a number of ways; whether they trust the site to deliver on its promises, the security of the payment process and/ or their personal data.
One possible answer is to reassure customers with:
- Trustmarks, or site seals as they’re also known. These badges are designed to reassure customers when browsing a site, and specifically at the point of purchase when they’re most likely to be thinking about payment security.
- Site security. Sites should be secure, which includes using https for a more secure connection.
- Page Design and Usability. If it looks like the landing page was designed ten years ago (and hasn’t been updated since), visitors will likely avoid further action, as they can assume the functions of the site are just as out-dated.
- Customer Reviews. Social proof in the form of user reviews is another way to reassure shoppers that a site can be trusted. It’s vital to build trust on ecommerce websites.They improve a site’s credibility, telling users that other people have bought from a retailer and have been happy with the experience.
6. Asking for Too Much Information
A lengthy lead capture form on your landing page, such as a mailing list or membership sign-up, can deter visitors from continuing with your site. Nowadays, ecommerce users want efficiency and ease when browsing between sites, and are less likely to want to hand over copious amounts of information. Remember to focus on the main pieces of information needed to capture key data, rather than information that is less useful.
7. Too Many Choices / Distractions
In the same vein as the last point, visitors want to have the most simple and easy customer journey possible. By adding too much or too many of the above features (too much imagery and animations, too much text and CTAs, long and confusing forms), your visitors are more likely to give up and move on from your site, since their needs may not be met as quickly as they desire.
Optimising your landing page will ensure that you achieve boosted conversion rates from visitors who arrive at that landing page and choose to stay (and convert further). As well as better conversions rates, regular landing page improvements and optimisations can ultimately help to maximise the value of your ad spend and lower customer acquisition costs, all while acquiring new engaged customers.
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Casey is a Fashion Journalism graduate & ecommerce marketing executive at SaleCycle. Casey is committed to producing high quality content backed by in-depth research and data. She has experience developing content in a range of sectors including fashion, ecommerce and sports.