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5 tips on building a landing page you can be proud of

So you’ve optimised your keywords to ensure your ad appears when people are looking for your product; you’ve ensured your ads are relevant both to the user’s query as well as to your business. Your click-through rates are increasing by the day. But so is your bounce rate and your conversions on site are simply not what they should be. Where’s the problem? Often, it’s the landing page.

People can spend millions on developing sites that do not fulfill the reason they decided to have an online entity in the first place.

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These may include:

  • Text-heavy sites that drown the user in mindless drivel which takes time to consume;
  • Sites that bore the user with breakdowns of their financial year and corporate structures;
  • Endless application processes when a simple “call me back” form would suffice;

The modern-day search engine user spends only a couple of seconds evaluating your site before moving on. Whoever manages your efforts to send traffic to your site can do their very best but, faced with the adversity mentioned above, their time and effort will be spent in vain. As the saying goes, nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising.

For a visitor to want to stay on your page, he or she will want to know:

  • Am I in the right place?
  • Does this place match what I was expecting to see?
  • Should I bother reading or click away immediately?

We can use the following guidelines to increase the efficacy of their sites:

1. Strengthen the call to action
Your site’s visitors need to be told clearly and succinctly what to do when they arrive on your site. The ‘Call to Action’ needs to be in clear view and immediately draw the eye. It should be placed above the fold in a colour that is different to the other ordinary links on the page, let’s look at WantItAll for example:

2. Reduce choices
Your site’s visitors should not have to spend more than five seconds reading options to determine what they want. If your landing page has more than 25 options, then consider giving each option its own page to reduce confusion and clutter.

In this example, Have2Have is getting it wrong:

  • There are more than 25 clickable links
  • The text-only approach is difficult to navigate
  • The links themselves don’t stand out against the page
  • There is a spelling error
  • And the page scrolls on and on…

3. Simplify your forms
Visitors to your site view long forms as hurdles. If you’re looking for information from them, then don’t make the form unnecessarily difficult. A good question to ask is, “Is this data point absolutely necessary to complete the transaction?” When making your form, consider removing unnecessary fields or asking for that information later on in the application process — this will lead to decreasing numbers of visitors dropping out of the application process.

Here’s an example of a major bank getting it wrong:

On the other hand, Clientele is making it easy for visitors to apply for hospital insurance:

4. Streamline text
Visitors to your site don’t like reading reams of text, so only show them what is absolutely necessary for them to know what you’re talking about. Make sure the important information is bulleted, which will remove blocks of text that visitors would find hard to digest.

5. Do what you say you’re gonna do
Make sure that visitors to your site (especially those from paid search) see what they’re looking for when you mention those things in your adverts. If you promise discounts or free delivery — say so on your landing page –- users feel misguided if you’ve promised them a selling point in your advert and it is not replicated on your site.

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