Monthly Archives: April 2017

Create More Engaging Website Landing Pages

If you’re concerned that your current landing pages may be driving visitors away instead of encouraging them to engage further with your content, consider the following strategies to optimize your landing pages:

1. Create custom landing pages.
Keep in mind that you aren’t limited to a single landing page. You can create multiple pages, each customized to a particular type of visitor.

Ideally, a landing page should form a bridge between your traffic referral source — such as a link in an ad or from social media — and the rest of your website, providing information that’s tailored to the individual visitor’s needs. For example, if you run a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign promoting a specific product in your ad and then drop your visitors onto your home page, they may feel discombobulated.

 

2. Split-test your landing pages.
Landing page optimization isn’t over once you’ve created custom pages for distinct groups of visitors. To truly improve the performance of your website, consider running split tests on your individual landing pages. Split testing essentially allows you to compare two or more versions of a web page to determine which elements or features are most effective.

To determine which landing page features are more effective, you can do A/B split testing. You modify small variables on your landing pages and then serve up each variation randomly to visitors in a live environment.

The test variables could include:

  • Your landing page headline’s wording, font, color or page location.
  • Any images used on your landing page.
  • The design of your landing page, including background colors, column size or navigation elements.
  • The specific benefits described on your landing page.
  • Your landing page’s call-to-action.

Test as many of these variables as possible using the free Google Analytics “Content Experiments” program. Then, use the results of your experiments to make your custom landing pages more effective in converting new visitors into lifelong readers.

3. Experiment with video landing pages.
If you aren’t seeing the results you want on your plain text landing pages, you might want to try something different: video landing pages. A video landing page features a single video file instead of blocks of text. Engagement rates tend to be higher with interactive content than with text-based elements, so you may capture visitors’ attention better by conveying the same information via video instead of text.

The easiest way to create video landing pages is to use your computer’s built-in webcam and record your introduction with YouTube’s video recorder. Once your video has been recorded, it can be embedded into your landing page in place of your text.

Your Landing Pages Can Maximize Conversion Rates

This article will discuss the rising importance of personality and trust in brand communication, particularly in landing page optimization. I’ll give you five strategies for presenting a user-friendly landing page and a personable business that you can apply to improve your conversion rates. We’ll go through techniques that can give your website that certain “something” which gets a visitor to convert.

Landing page optimization is a continuous exercise of testing. It is pitting control against variation until you’re satisfied (which you never should be).

Add Personality and Trust to your Landing Page

When we meet someone new, we unconsciously process minor, inexplicable cues. For no specific reason that we are aware of, we either like the person or we don’t.

An example of this unconscious decision making is the fact that we tend to trust someone who is confidently poised, has an open air, and speaks calmly, slowly, and directly. We are less trusting of people who appear weak, closed off, and (here’s where it gets a bit crazy) not very good looking.

Landing pages are no different.

When someone lands on your landing page, the decision to stay takes between three and eight seconds. This decision is made half consciously and half unconsciously. Half of it is based on the value that is communicated quickly and clearly, and half of it is based on those indefinable factors that just “connect” with your landing page traffic (or don’t).

Conversion Page Optimization

These are some of the best ways to ensure your landing page gets as many conversions as possible:

    1. Optimize your layout for mobile devices. According to SimilarWeb, more than half of all traffic now comes from mobile devices, which means your landing page should be optimized for a mobile audience. Make sure your design elements are responsive, make your text easily readable without zooming, and make your features easy to interact with, even with bulky fingers doing the work.
    2. Eliminate distractions. The main goal of your landing page is to get conversions. Any other functions, information, or interactive elements you include will only serve to dilute the number of people you convert. Obviously, you’ll need some peripheral information to inform your visitors, but your call-to-action should be big, bold, obvious, and shouldn’t have to compete with other elements.
    3. Make a more compelling offer. According to Neil Patel, one of the best ways to secure conversionsis to give something valuable to your users in exchange. If you’re looking for incoming leads, give them dense, valuable content as a reward. If you’re selling a product, consider throwing in additional benefits or free gifts with a purchase.
    4. Speak to the benefits of your product. When writing about your offer, make sure you emphasize the benefits of it, rather than just describing it blankly. As a simple example, you might say that your vehicle “helps users get to their destinations” rather than saying it’s “capable of traveling great distances.” This simple change in perspective helps users understand how the product fits into their lives and personalizes your messaging.
    5. Reduce the amount of information you collect. According to ConversionXL, the more information you ask your users to submit, the less likely they’re going to be to fully convert. You need to make the conversion process easy to understand and simple to execute, or you’ll end up alienating the bulk of your target audience. Reduce your form fields as much as possible – for example, requiring just a name and email address.

Your Site’s URL Structure

Throughout the big launch, one important thing might be forgotten. While the aesthetics may have been addressed, there may be far less regard for the project’s fundamental core: its URL structure. And this goes a long way to determining the way your site is structured, which has an effect on how it performs in search engine rankings.

  • Better organization leads to easier crawling. For any website, a logical and easily mapped out structure is desirable. If you were to sketch out how your website’s pages are connected to the home page, you would ideally end up with something that looks like a pyramid, with an increasing number of pages the further down you go. This top-down approach can be seen on a number of very successful websites. In almost all cases, the next level beneath the home page will be represented visually in the navigation menu. See this approach on the dermatology website amiea.com. Visit any of the menu navigation categories or subcategories; the URL structure is logical and easy to match with the menu item without knowing too much about the site. You could even guess the URL of a page just by looking at the navigation menu.
  • Logical mapping leads to themed content. By keeping a clear and logical navigation structure, you will make your site more accessible for users to explore, but the organization of the site’s directories will also enable search engine spiders to easily crawl your site. Everything can be contained easily within categories. Inside these categories will be content and pages that are similar and organized around the same theme.

  • Avoid hiding your lower pages. Despite the fact that I’ve been preaching about the importance of a pyramid style of website pages, don’t go too far. It would certainly be a bad practice for you to start including buried treasures beneath your pyramid. Retailers with a large portfolio of products face a challenge in requiring various levels of categories. If your online presence is lucky enough to not have this problem, then make every effort to minimize the number of directories your site has.

You can easily keep track of this by examining your URL structure. Each time there is a forward slash after the main domain, this denotes a new directory, adding an additional layer. It isn’t wise to have too many. I believe a maximum of five layers should be sufficient. My website, Trip Tipping, has four layers after the main domain: domain/content type/continent/city/article. This is possibly one layer too many, and I intend to test out having one less layer.

 

Reasons Your Website Will Never Be Finished

Your company’s website will never be finished. You will never sit back, breathe a sigh of relief, and say, “Finally! We’ve got this thing wrapped up; now we can move onto other things. That is, this will never happen if you’re doing all you should with your website. And this adds up to some good news because if you’re constantly updating your site, you’ll develop an advantage over your competitors who aren’t.

Here are three reasons you should never stop working on your website:

1. Web design trends are evolving. Compare websites designed within the past few months with those designed a few years ago, and you’ll notice some differences. Web design trends can sometimes be mere fads, but often they are driven by changes in technology. Two modern trends in web design are flat design and responsive design. Gradients, drop shadows, bevels and elements designed to resemble real objects have no place in flat web design. Proponents of flat design eschew the fancy in favor of simplicity, clean lines, bold colors and a focus on content and usability. Flat design also means cleaner code, faster-loading pages (good for SEO) and greater adaptability, which factors into the next trend.

2. Consumer preferences are changing. Customers expect something different from your website now than did two, five or 10 years ago. When high-speed internet became widely available, users started to anticipate rich content, such as high-resolution photography and HD videos. As desktop screens grew larger and wider, consumers looked for sites that would take advantage of the additional real estate. Today’s consumers don’t want to waste time. Everyone is busy and wants to get to the point as efficiently as possible. Many companies have understood this to mean that content should be clear and concise. Design agency Teehan+Lax embraces long-form content in its portfolio section, in a post about working with client Krush. The segment delivers value, by helping potential clients understand what the process of working with the company would be like. Long-form content is also good for  SEO.

3. Search engine optimization rules. The premise of SEO is that if a company sells widgets and its site shows up No. 1 in a Google search for the term “widgets,” then viewers will be drawn to that corporate site. But it may not be the only company desiring to market widgets. Therefore, the company’s task is to convince Google that when someone searches for widgets, any user arriving at the company’s website will find it especially appropriate for the search term. If users aren’t happy with Google’s search results, that’s bad for Google. It used to be that a lot of SEO firms would trick Google into sending traffic to their clients’ websites. But Google employs thousands of people with doctorates to systematically filter out search engine spam. Google’s search algorithm updates like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird have forced websites to provide real value to visitors or see their rankings in the search engines fall and traffic dry up.