- Landing page type #1: Accidental or organic
- Landing page type #2: Intentional landing pages
- Product landing pages are built to generate conversions
- How do people come to your website? And why?
- Oh, behave! Understanding visitor behavior
- Step-by-step guide to landing those product pages
- Real-life landing page teardowns
- Ways to deploy your landing page improvements
When we talk about website optimization for conversion, the term we encounter almost immediately is “landing page.”
When referring to a marketing campaign, the usual questions are:
- “Are your landing pages optimized?”
- “Do you have a specific landing page for that?”
It’s enough to make you think that landing pages are only reached through specific portals, like ads — a common misconception.
If only ecommerce customers arrived on your website in so linear a fashion.
But they don’t. They won’t. They’re squirrelly that way.
So let’s take a step back for a moment and ask:
What is a landing page?
The term gets thrown around with little explanation. Essentially, a landing page is the first page on the site that a visitor sees or hits.
It’s where you get your first (and very likely only) chance to impress a first-time visitor and persuade them to look around your site.
Landing pages come in two main groups:
Landing page type #1: Accidental or organic
“Oops, I made a landing page.”
“Accidental” landing pages are pages on your website that you never specifically intended to use as a visitor’s first touchpoint.
These pages just happened to be indexed by search engines and offered up as responses to keywords, or maybe someone shared the links through email or social media.
The problem is that you never expect anyone to see that page without first seeing any introductory content on your homepage or intentional landing pages (the ones you planned).
Unless the visitor is already familiar with your website, they will likely end up being confused. Without the right visual cues, they might take a quick look around and leave.
That’s why you should treat every page as a landing page.
Before you think “But I have too many pages for this!”, know that some pages should be optimized over others.
First, check your Google Analytics to see which pages get the highest traffic, especially traffic consisting of unique visitors, and focus your efforts there.
The rule of thumb is that the page should attract at least 10% of your total website traffic to be worth the effort of optimizing it.
You can optimize these accidental landing pages by using qualitative research, conducting user testing and experimenting with potential keywords in the search engines.
Only attempt this time-intensive process if you detect a significant amount of traffic — and if, based on your research, you find that a certain page has significant potential to directly convert users or lead to their conversion.
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the special case of ecommerce product pages and category pages.
Thanks to search engines doing their work, visitors sharing links to their favorite products or your own marketing efforts, many users will reach your product pages directly.
That makes these pages — i.e. product pages — landing pages in their own right.
By using tried-and-tested techniques for making product pages and with small adjustments these can successfully act as landing pages.
Be careful though: limiting navigational options on these pages may result in a high bounce rate. Make sure the content is clear and conveys trust, relevance and purpose to visitors, otherwise visitors may get confused.
When Product Pages are Landing Pages, You Must…
Solve uncertainties in advance by answering any questions your customers may have.
- ‘Do they have my size?’
- ‘Can I pick up in store?’
- ‘What’s the expected delivery time?’
- ‘Is this item in stock in store so I can go try it on?’
Your customers need to know everything about the purchase as soon as they can in their buying journey!
- Donald Pettit, Sales & Partners Manager, SalesWarp
Landing page type #2: Intentional landing pages
“I totally meant to do that!”
Type 2 landing pages are highly targeted, very specific pages on your website. They’re typically linked to popular search keywords, ads, PPC content, banners and social media advertising campaigns.
The content of these pages is specifically tailored to support the message of your marketing campaign and address the intent and interest that your visitor has already expressed by clicking the relevant ad.
And, importantly, these pages should visually and tonally match the page to which they’re linked — because clicking on an ad and arriving on a landing page that isn’t consistent with the ad’s message is an easily avoidable conversion killer.
Each landing page has a job to do, and a specific conversion event to influence.
Each one should also, ideally, speak to one target audience to be effective. For more information about planning and writing your landing page copy, check out this interview with conversion copywriter Joanna Wiebe.
Product landing pages are built to generate conversions
Landing pages –– i.e. your product pages –– are specifically created to increase conversions. It’s why they’re so important to get right.
A conversion is any defined action that you’d like your page visitors to take:
- signing up for your emails or deals
- subscribing to your blog
- downloading an e-book
- following your store on Instagram
- And, of course, that conversion can be a sale.
Sure, your homepage is (by far) your most frequently viewed landing page — but that doesn’t necessarily make it your strongest conversion-generating asset.
In fact, other pages or entry points of the website might be your real conversion magnets, or have the potential to be.
And while you’re spending time and resources optimizing your homepage, you’re neglecting your other landing pages.
Let’s look at the structure of visitors on an ecommerce site, for example.
The site below is the Google Analytics demo account, which features Google’s own web store selling merchandise. Here, we have a landing page report displaying the main metrics — bounce rate, conversion rate, visit duration, etc.
Obviously, the homepage is where most visitors end up — nearly 90% of them. But what about the homepage’s other metrics?
- The bounce rate on the homepage is by far the highest of all the observed landing pages.
- Its engagement rate is also the lowest, at 90 seconds average time on page.
- And its conversion rate is a meager 0.75%.
This is not at all uncommon.
Many homepages today serve as portals to the pages where your visitors really want to be, and those visitors don’t waste any time getting where they’re going.
So if you see similar metrics on your homepage, don’t worry. Your conversions might just be taking place elsewhere.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have the same web store’s landing page for the Nest thermostat, which shows a conversion rate of 28.35% and a bounce rate of only 13.73%.
Obviously this is a highly successful landing page. And this is the sort of result you can expect to achieve with properly designed and optimized landing pages.
The product page as a landing page has only a single call to action: “Add to cart”
How do people come to your website? And why?
It’s a question for the ages. So before we delve into more landing page analysis, let’s take a moment to talk about visitors.
After all, your website — and every page and product on it — was built for them.
Visitors to your website can be divided into a million different categories, but here are two main ones:
1. Window Shoppers
They’re curious about your company, but don’t have any specific reason or motive for visiting. They come to your website because they might have heard of your company from their friends or read something about you.They may be vaguely interested in your offer, but they will most likely just browse a bit and leave.
If they find something and buy it, this will be the exception rather than the rule.
Think of them as window shoppers who might poke their heads in for a moment, maybe check prices, and then leave.
They’re motivated and seeking a solution to a specific problem. These visitors most likely don’t randomly stumble upon your website; they’re driven by the result of a specific search keyword, ad, or post that pointed to your website as the solution to their problem.Naturally, the conversion rate of these visitors should be higher.
The operative word here is “should.”
In brick-and-mortar terms, these are people who need shoes and go to a shoe store looking to buy. They have a clear idea of what sort of shoe they want and will search for the size, style and price they want. If you have what they’re looking for and you treat them well, you’ve got the sale.
The same idea works with websites… but it’s a little more complicated online.
The question that immediately comes to mind is, “What can I do to ensure that seekers will actually convert?”
It sounds simple, but it’s not.
Unless you’re the only ecommerce store in the universe offering your product or service, the people who come to your page via a search engine (and who are motivated to solve their existing problem) may turn elsewhere.
And they will — if they don’t see immediate confirmation that your website, product, or service is the solution they’re looking for. To make them convert, you need to provide them with a very compelling reason not to choose your competitor.
Your product page has the job of convincing that seeker that you can offer an immediate solution and that you understand their problem.
For your page to do its job successfully, you have to have a solid understanding of what they need.
Oh, behave! Understanding visitor behavior
To create a landing page with a high conversion rate, you first need to understand the behavior and motivation of your visitors.
I like using B.J. Fogg’s behavioral model to graphically represent this.
As you can see, converting an individual visitor depends on three things:
- A trigger
Visitors with higher motivation are more likely to respond to conversion triggers, even if it’s hard to do. And the flip side is also true: the easier it is to convert, the lower the motivational threshold required.
This is a basic model that is useful to keep in mind for your entire website.
The other popular model of visitor behavior I find useful is called the LIFT model, defined by Chris Gowan at WiderFunnel.
This model has become a virtual industrial standard.
The LIFT model uses six main factors to explain visitor behavior and what influences the decision to convert.
These factors are:
- Value proposition
Your landing page must take these factors into account to have a chance at converting your visitors. Here’s how the model looks in graphic form:
So, to optimize your landing pages for conversion, you need to:
- Have a brilliantly written, relevant and clear value proposition.
- Add action — i.e. an element of urgency (also known as a trigger) to compel your visitor to act now.
- Show them the way forward to minimize and neutralize their anxiety, and you’ve got to make an effort to eliminate distractions on the page.
Omit any of these factors, and your conversion rate will suffer. Getting them right is what product page optimization is all about.
And you have to get them right fast.
Research from Google shows that you have less than 5 seconds (sometimes as low as 17 milliseconds) to impress your visitors enough for them to stay on your site. To keep the attention of your visitor, you need to make your unique value proposition obvious, clear and attractive.
Your page also has to be attractive and, most importantly, relevant to your customer’s issue. But this is only the beginning of the landing page optimization process.
On product landing pages, focus on trust
There's so much that goes into ecommerce product page optimizations, including things like product focus, great images, copy quality, product reviews, button placement, access to important information, etc.
The list goes on and on.
My #1 piece of advice is to focus on aspects of your product page that instills trust while diminishing anxiety. These usually come in the form of reviews, shipping, return policies, etc.
— David Feng, Co-Founder and Head of Product, Reamaze
Step-by-step guide to landing those product pages
So how do you go about optimizing a landing page?
Unlike your homepage, where the visitor may have ended up out of sheer curiosity (or *gulp* your poorly devised promotional campaign), visits to a landing page or product page are generally the result of your visitor’s direct, conscious effort to find a solution to their problem.
Armed with this knowledge, you can make a conscious effort to make it easier for your potential new customer to actualize their initial desire.
Let’s take a closer look at the six factors of the LIFT model, and how you can create an “offer they can’t refuse.”
1. Create a clear, unique value proposition
What’s a value proposition?
This copy contains the most important benefits that your product or service delivers to your visitor, plus what differentiates you from your competition.
Because it’s such an important conversion tool, your value proposition should be present in some form (and prominently and consistently placed) on every page of your website.
Here’s a Soundwall product page example with a unique value proposition. See the full product page as landing page here.
You will frequently encounter the advice that you should keep your value proposition short. While this advice is meant well, it is not absolute.
For some products and services, especially those that are expensive or require deliberation, you might need a longer value proposition in order to explain all the benefits to your potential customer.
When creating a landing page for a particular product or service, concentrate only on the benefits of that single product, since the customer who arrives on that page will likely care only about that product.
Native Union also does this well. Here’s an image of the top of the product page serving as a landing page. Click on over to see the full thing.
Here, Native Union creates an experience above and beyond any other product page design in their industry.
Be different, but track your metrics. Don't be afraid to go above and beyond the status quo. Most product page designs are very generic and follow a similar pattern as the competition. That said, the most important metrics for ecommerce product page optimization range from social and referral traffic to conversion rates. You want to see referral traffic coming to your site because it indicates that the story your product page is telling is compelling. You want to track conversion rates because it's important that your visits are turning into sales. - Ross Simmonds, Founder, Foundation Marketing
Be different, but track your metrics.
Don't be afraid to go above and beyond the status quo. Most product page designs are very generic and follow a similar pattern as the competition.
That said, the most important metrics for ecommerce product page optimization range from social and referral traffic to conversion rates.
You want to see referral traffic coming to your site because it indicates that the story your product page is telling is compelling. You want to track conversion rates because it's important that your visits are turning into sales.
- Ross Simmonds, Founder, Foundation Marketing
2. Ensure you match the message
Relevance is the essence of effective landing pages.
If you fail to be relevant to your prospect, all of your efforts, no matter how brilliant, will be wasted — and your prospect will bounce right off the page.
The stakes are high, but this part isn’t hard.
You just have to make sure that the copy, images and branding of your ad or promotion (the link that brought the visitor to your landing page) is consistent with what’s on the page itself. This is also known as message-matching, or creating a “scent” for your prospect to follow.
For example, if your promotion or ad promises the visitor a 20% discount on a specific product, your landing page should reinforce this message immediately.
It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised at how many ads lead to pages that seem entirely unrelated.
Here’s an example of a Greg Norman product ad — leading back to a product page serving as a landing page:
And here’s the product page example it takes the user to:
Be sure your ads leading to your landing pages have all the same information you advertised.
3. Prioritize clarity in your product description and product page design
Clarity goes hand-in-hand with your value proposition, because clarity begins with clearly stating why and how your product benefits the buyer.
But clarity also involves using language that your ideal customer uses, understands and identifies with.
For example, the language you’d use to sell a niche smartphone would be very different from the language you’d use to sell a T-shirt to a teenager.
In fact, to target your best existing customers and attract similar people, try this copywriter hack:
Use some of the exact words and phrases your customers use in their reviews, blog posts, social media interactions, forums and other sources of user feedback.
Doing this type of “message mining” means your new visitors will be more likely to readily identify with your content and feel like they belong.
Now, let’s look at the the product descriptions on a niche smartphone site versus a teenager tee site.
Here’s an image from Kodak’s product page design. You can see they call out network capabilities, keep the colors simple and the photos clean.
What isn’t shown here, but what you can see here, is the amount of technical information and videos this product page includes — which helps serious buyers drill down into if this is the right product for them.
Here is their product description. Clear, concise and to the point.
Bring powerful imaging wherever life takes you. Classic styling that’s iconic in design, the KODAK EKTRA brings the DSLR experience to smartphones for the first time.Network Compatibility: The KODAK EKTRA is an open market unlocked GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) device, which means it is compatible and will work on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the USA. It is not CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) compatible so will NOT work with Sprint, Verizon or US Cellular.
And here is The Mountain, a T-shirt company that sells meme-like t-shirts mostly to college students.
You’ll notice immediate differences in the offers being promoted (end of summer), the colors used and the overall “fun vibe” of the page.
Here is their product description. Fun, light and relatable.
King Kitten is at it again, but this time the mice are fighting back! The details on this cat apparel are so spectacular; the city buildings are immaculately detailed, the airplanes are flawless, and even one mouse has managed to escape its flaming plane and is parachuting to safety. There is action, humor, and a fearsome fluffy kitten all realistically depicted in this scene. Who will win this epic battle? Wear this cool cat shirt to find out!
Base your landing pages (i.e. your product page design) on the personality of those you are targeting — using their words and their aesthetic to get them to convert.
Get Inside Your Customer's Head
You need to get inside the head of your buyer and know what vital statistics about your product are most likely to drive a purchase decision for your product. Ensure all of that information is clearly displayed along with a high-quality, attractive product image and a highly visible "Buy Now" button above the fold on your product page.
Remember, these vital statistics include important elements such as price, but could also include some summary technical specifications, information about your business or your suppliers, or a shipping cost estimate if your customers are liable to believe your products will be costly to ship (e.g. you are selling bedroom furniture).
The best metric to measure here is simply the "time on page" for the product page when a customer's interaction results in a successful sale. The less time a customer had to spend on this page in order to make the purchase decision, the more certain it is they've got everything they need to make that decision.
- James Brown, Client Engagement Manager, RANDEM
4. Make your prospect feel a sense of urgency
To increase the likelihood that your visitor will convert (and boost their motivation to buy), add an element of urgency.
You can create a sense of urgency by creating a limited-time offer, and/or “agitating” a user into imagining how much worse their life will be if they don’t buy.
You can also try creating urgency through scarcity, meaning that you display the limited number of products available, or note how fast the product is selling.
Beatific uses an app from the BigCommerce App Store to remind page visitors that people are buying the products they want. This serves as both social proof and a scarcity tactic. Fomo is a good option.
BombTech Golf includes availability on each of the products, reminding customers that these items sell out –– FAST. This is how you add action to your product page.
It is a well-known economic fact that scarcity increases the perceived value of a product.
But don’t be the guy with the permanent “Going Out of Business Sale” sign in the window — people will catch on if your scarcity claim or limited-time offer isn’t legit.
You’ll undermine consumer trust that way, and trust is key to generating conversions and retaining customers.
Play Up Your Scarcity
In terms of scarcity, adding things in like "only 4 left" or putting something on preorder almost always has a positive impact on conversion.
One of the most overlooked metrics on product pages is the time to load the site, and with a lot of ecommerce traffic coming from mobile, this becomes even more important. We've seen with several brands massive improvements in conversion just by increasing the site speed.
- Eric Carlson, Co-Founder, 10X Factory
5. Avoid potential distractions
Distraction refers to any element that hinders the conversion potential of your prospect.
On landing pages, distraction often occurs as a result of your page trying to do too much, or being cluttered with things that aren’t directly related to the “one job” your page is set up to do.
Distractions can come in many forms, but the most frequent distractions are links that lead outside of the site (like social media icons) or links to pages not directly relevant to the product or offer (like links in header or footer navigation).
Avoid including distractions on your landing page at all costs.
Your landing page should be only about one thing: conversion. That means one reader, one call to action, one product or offer.
See how BPI Sports uses a clean landing page design to promote their sales and promotions. There’s nothing here but a few products that encourage you to take action.
Take Simplification One Step Further
Product page optimization should be someone's full-time job. This process should be codified in your procedures, measured and executed continually.
The three metrics we currently use are 1: Search Results Page Rank, 2: Sub-Category-Page-Rank (online marketplaces), and 3: Sales Volume.
Sometimes when sales volume dips against historical numbers it is due to changes in the way pages are ranked. If you're keeping an eye on these metrics and trends, daily, weekly, monthly you can adjust pretty quickly in order to regain your sales volume.
- Jason Boyce, Co-founder & CEO, Dazadi
6. Ease anxiety and fear
Anxiety is anything that creates doubt and uncertainty with your visitors. These emotions are major conversion inhibitors — so a big part of conversion optimization is devoted to reducing them.
Note that this is true both for your entire website and your specific landing pages.
Professional copy and design can play huge roles in increasing your prospects’ confidence and trust in your product and company. But you need more than just a nice website to successfully overcome customer anxiety.
To increase trust, we recommend adding security indicators like:
- Seals of memberships in professional organizations
- Security signatures
- User-generated social proof
- And anything else that shows users that they will get what they pay for
At the same time, be careful not to overdo it. Too many security indicators, and your customers may intuit that “The lady doth protest too much.”
Of these options, your best bet to increase trust is to include:
- Social proof from satisfied customers, either in the form of reviews, testimonials, Facebook likes, Twitter tweets, and other positive social media engagement.
- Reviews by third-party sites (like professional magazines or community sites) also go a long way toward making your offer more trustworthy.
See below how Andie Swim incorporates both of these on their homepage.
Build more trust with your audience You need to build more trust with your audience. I continually see ecommerce sites that put very little energy into making their product pages look better than just a generic page with no social proof. Obviously you want to make it easy for the buyer to buy the product, but you don’t necessarily want a empty page. Displaying reviews below the product and testimonials from major magazines or other outlets can be incredibly effective at building trust. Overall, it’s important to provide real evidence that your ecommerce store is more than just another generic site. - Daniel Wallock, Marketing Strategist, Wallock Media
Build more trust with your audience
You need to build more trust with your audience.
I continually see ecommerce sites that put very little energy into making their product pages look better than just a generic page with no social proof.
Obviously you want to make it easy for the buyer to buy the product, but you don’t necessarily want a empty page.
Displaying reviews below the product and testimonials from major magazines or other outlets can be incredibly effective at building trust.
Overall, it’s important to provide real evidence that your ecommerce store is more than just another generic site.
- Daniel Wallock, Marketing Strategist, Wallock Media
Real-life landing page teardowns
Let’s now apply what we’ve just gone over to a few real-life landing pages.
First, we searched for a specific digital camera model (a Canon 5t SLR). The search keyword was “digital camera slr canon t5”. The search engine returned the following results:
Now let’s look at the landing pages to which these keywords led us.
The first result is from Abt.com:
We landed directly on the product page of the product we searched for — that’s great!
The first thing we see is a Canon T5i digital camera, and directly next to it is the call to action button “Add to Cart,” along with social proof in the form of 60 reviews and a 4.5 star rating.
We also see some value adds, like free shipping and a low price guarantee. If we scroll below the fold, we can find out basic information about this camera.
Since we clicked this site’s paid ad after searching for this specific item and found what we were looking for, we can safely say that this landing page is good.
There are a few distractions on this page, and the design could be updated, but we got what we were promised by the ad: A T5i digital camera, requiring just one step to buy. (Ease is a huge factor in conversions!)
On a 10-point scale, with 10 being the highest and best score, we’d give Abt the following ranking:
- Relevance score: 10. This page is highly relevant to the searched keyword.
- Clarity score: 7. While the offer is clear, it lacks content. There is no real copy to speak of.
- Value proposition score: 5. The value proposition is basically nonexistent. This business could have much better results if they added copy pointing out the awesome advantages of this camera, and the benefits of purchasing it from their store (rather than the thousands of other stores offering the same camera).
- Urgency score: 6. Beyond the mention of Cyber Week deals in the banner (though more of a distraction at this stage as we’re already viewing a specific product), additionally, there is an indication of an end date for rebate price.
- Distraction score: 5. There are a few distracting links and content. The navigation bar at the top of the page could be less prominent and only breadcrumb navigation left for this to serve as a proper landing page. To alleviate the risk of distraction, I’d make the call to action a bit larger and more prominent.
- Anxiety score: 5. While there is ample evidence of the product quality (provided by the 60 reviews), the only indicator of trust in the company is the top banner, where it says the company was founded in 1936, and where the phone number is given. Security indicators are at the bottom of the page, far below the fold and after very long copy listing all the device specifications. These indicators should be moved above the fold for greater impact.
Total score: 6.5.
For a landing page, this is a very fine effort. While it could be improved, it fulfills the purpose by providing a matching message, urgency and clarity.
Go for the Long Tail
The longer the keyword tail, the better, generally speaking. Search for your keyword phrase to see how "busy" the Google listings are for it. If it looks crowded, go farther down the long tail.
Google's autocomplete feature on searches is an easy way to get ideas for alternate search phrases.
Also make sure you use your browser in Incognito Mode while doing these searches, so that Google doesn't mess with your results.
- Brett Owens, Marketing Director & Co-Founder, LeadDyno
The second result was for a store called Adorama:
Notice that after having us click their paid ad, this company took us to their homepage.
While we were looking for a specific product, we now have to take an extra step to see if they even carry the camera we want. That’s reason enough for most people to bounce.
Their ad also promised deals with prices 80% lower than competitors, but none of this is evident on the page we see here.
This is a perfect example of a poorly made landing page — because even if it is the home page, it’s what we landed on! As it stands, this company is wasting their money on that paid advertisement.
- Relevance score: 1. This landing page has no relevance to the search keyword or even the search result. It gets 1 point for being a camera store and not a petting zoo.
- Clarity score: N/A. Keeping in mind that this is (or rather should be) a product page, there is no content that could be rated for clarity.
- Value proposition score: 4. “More than a camera store.” This value prop is so vague as to be meaningless, and doesn’t show benefits to potential customers. In fact, “more than a camera store” actually works against them if the customer arrives — from the very ad we just clicked — looking for a camera!
- Urgency score: 1. The ad promised Cyber Monday deals of up to 80%, but we don’t see any of that on this page. Also, free same-day shipping or free expedited shipping on Cyber Monday could add a sense of urgency to buy.
- Distraction score: 0. The entire page can be viewed as a distraction. If we are going to judge it as a landing page, it’s a failure.
- Anxiety score: 5. The website makes a concerted effort to appear trustworthy, but the very fact that we arrived here looking for a particular item on the promise of a steep discount, and don’t see that item, undermines trust and bolsters anxiety immediately. The site gets points for having security indicators, but they are at the bottom of the page instead of above the fold. They also get points for displaying their phone number and offering a live chat: two options that can help put prospects at ease.
Total score: 2.
This page is a homepage of the store and not a landing page. If you have a paid advertising campaign, never direct prospects to a homepage.
Of the two examined pages above, the first is closest to an effective landing page. Some parts of it could be changed, but on the whole it serves the purpose.
The second landing page is an example of a mistake too many businesses make. If you have an in-progress campaign, the least you can do is to make a dedicated landing page that is consistent with your ad.
Grammarly subscription landing page
If you’ve ever used a grammar correction tool named Grammarly, you’ve certainly received their email offers for a subscription to the premium version of their tool.
When you click that button, you arrive on this page:
It’s a landing page containing all the necessary elements we’ve described. Let’s see how it stacks up according to our rubric.
- Relevance score: 5. The email offer nowhere mentions the things that are visible on the landing page, and the page headline does not match. However, the offer itself is identical, and in both instances the same price is prominently featured.
- Clarity score: 8. The value proposition is very clear, as is the tasks that are expected of users. There is not that much to improve here.
- Value proposition score: 4. While the headline is catchy, it consists of largely empty words (“full power of Grammarly”) that don’t make for an immediately clear, attractive, unique value proposition.
- Urgency score: 1. While the headline of an email offer mentions the sentence “Time is running out,” this claim is not substantiated by any other element that indicates there is limited time to use this offer.
- Distraction score: 9. There are a very limited number of distractions from the main call to action. In fact, the only two links you can click aside from the call to action are the links on the security indicator icons.
- Anxiety score: 2. The landing page does a fine job in most areas, but there are a couple of critical failures that likely increase anxiety with prospects. The first is the message mismatch we mentioned in above in the “relevance” score. The second, and potentially even more serious issue, is the lack of any choice in terms of payment plans. Although the “Choose your special offer” copy above the call to action button leads you to believe you can select different payment schedule options, this is not the case. When you click on “Select Plan,” you are given only the option to pay $72 for an annual plan, and no option for a monthly subscription. This may have a serious consequences in terms of credibility, as prospects will expect a choice but get none.
Total score: 5.
We can conclude that Grammarly’s intention is to get as many users as they can to commit to the annual plan and reduce their monthly churn rate. However, they do this in a way that may leave prospects feel cheated out of the monthly option.
Although a $72 annual subscription is an improvement over the higher regular-price annual subscription, most prospects would probably like to try the service for a month or two before committing to a year.
By locking prospects into a single option, Grammarly actually creates a seed of suspicion as to the quality of service. If the service is really valuable, people would certainly keep subscribing or even sign up for an annual package.
ManCrates - Unique Gifts for Guys
ManCrates offers unique, customizable gift boxes for men. This is the ad they use to get prospects to the site:
The ad headlines with “Awesome Gifts for Guys and Men”
The ad invites you in — promising awesome gifts. Let’s see where this ad leads us:
The landing page for the ad.
What we see here is their homepage — rather than a specific landing page. This could be seen as a negative, except that their homepage language and product options mimic the ad and brings someone further down the purchasing funnel.
That experience actually works well for a general search. However, the brand is using the homepage as a catch all even for specific ad copy — where things get a bit mismatched and the relevancy goes down.
Here’s an example ad that also leads to that homepage:
Let’s see how this page stacks up according to our rubric:
- Relevance score: 2. The ad offers a specific product, yet clicking the link lands visitors to a homepage, where they need to go below the fold to find the ‘Jerkygrams,’ not related to the ad headline in any way.
- Clarity score: 8. Overall, offer is clearly presented on the page and copy aims to steer emotion in the prospects. Call to action button is prominent, though in no way related to a specific product.
- Value proposition score: 6. The value proposition is a promise of an awesome and exciting gift for men. While it could be a bit more specific, it manages to evoke emotions.
- Urgency score: 0. There’s no urgency created by any message on the site for prospects.
- Distraction score: 4. As the page we landed on is a homepage, there is remarkably little to distract us. All the navigational menus lead to gift categories and the prominent Shop All Gifts leads to a page that allows easy filtering of the gifts. However, a better approach would be to direct a prospect directly to the jerky categories, which is indicated in the ad headline.
- Anxiety score: 8. The homepage does its best to alleviate anxiety. The page displays two security and trust seals at the bottom and they should try moving them above the fold or featuring them more prominently.
Total score: 5.
Mancrates has specific ecommerce product pages and linking them to the ad, especially ads as specific as ‘Awesome Jerky Gifts Basket,’ should be preferred to landing prospects on homepage.
What is that advantage, you might ask? Well, research shows that dedicated landing pages are 25% or even more likely to convert on average than regular product pages.
Primal Pit Paste - Natural Deodorant
Primal Pit Paste sells natural deodorant both B2C and B2B. Here’s a look at their ad.
This is a general search ad, and it leads us to the following landing page.
Let’s see how this stacks up:
- Relevance score: 5. Since the ad does not offer any specific product, landing on the homepage is somewhat more justified in this example. A prospect searched for a natural deodorant and landed on the page that has a sub-headline ‘Long Lasting Natural Deodorant’ so it is relevant to the search term. Other elements of the ad are also present on the page, such as $49 free shipping and it features a video made by the owner displaying how the product is made. The ad message is further reinforced by a number of indicators mentioned in the ad copy.
- Clarity score: 8. Clarity of the offer is good and the message ‘Natural Deodorant That Actually Works’ is used both in video and on the pages to highlight what the page is about. This should be clear to all prospects within seconds of landing on the page.
- Value proposition score: 6. The value proposition is ‘Smell Awesome, Worry Less.’ The value proposition reflects the fact that it is a natural product, made from organic stuff, so you don’t have to worry about its influence on your health. It also alleviates a worry that it was tested on animals, making it acceptable to a large share of audience conscientious about animal rights. Finally, it promises customers they will smell better.
- Urgency score: 0. The homepage features no urgency indicators either in the form of items remaining in stock, time to shipping or special time limited offers or deals. They should attempt to experiment with the time limited offers or ‘shipped today if ordered by’ to increase conversions.
- Distraction score: 7. Despite the page the prospect landed on is a homepage, there are few distracting elements that may drive prospects away from the site and conversion.
- Anxiety score: 8. Homepage employs several methods to alleviate any distrust. First off, there are expert opinions about the products. Secondly, there is a testimonials page linked to the store’s Instagram account. There a prospect can see the real customers and read their opinion on the product.
Total score: 6.
Although the prospect landed on the homepage of the store, this was the result of the too general search term. The homepage as such has a relatively good score in terms of the elements we graded.
Having said this, it still would be better to take the prospect directly to the deodorant category (or even a specific deodorant — for example, the most popular product), rather than the homepage itself.
Ways to deploy your landing page improvements
Landing pages are an essential ingredient of any marketing campaign, especially those involving paid ads.
If you’re already paying to attract visitors interested in your offer, but you’re not matching your ad message to a landing page with relevant, clear, urgent content… you’re wasting a large part of your investment.
Remember, all the practices and advice in this post are only general guidelines.
Prior to creating your own landing page, or turning your product pages into landing pages, you must analyze your target audience and develop your value proposal to match their expectations.
The best practices listed above can help you in this, but any solution should always (if possible) be tested.
If you have multiple landing page designs, sufficient traffic, and a relatively limited time during which those pages will be relevant, at our agency we often recommend using bandit testing (if your website traffic volume allows for that).
Bandit testing involves setting up multiple variations of your landing page, and discarding the worst-performing variations sequentially until you get a clear winner. For more on bandit testing, read this post.
And remember, your landing pages have only an instant to impress your visitors.
Use that instant wisely… and make them an offer they can’t refuse!
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