My trembling fingers hovered over my mouse's left button, the cursor flickering over the Adword Analytics panel like an attention-deficit moth around a flame. Click. 519%! Party poppers exploded, a mariachi band started playing, and the crowd went wild. At least, in my head. Now I finally had hard proof that my copy does, in fact, get the job done. Now it was time to write this blog post.
I'd like to introduce to you the method that helped me significantly improve my client's landing page conversion rates. Languex is an online translation company that allows people to transform documents of different types into dozens of languages. But they were struggling to get their expensive Adwords traffic to...well, actually do anything once they visited the page.
Note: The conversion rate increase was from 1.34% to 8.29%, comparing the week before I rewrote my client's landing page with the week after. To see the before/after, check the bottom of this post. Oh, if you'd like a free, annotated critique of your website or landing page, visit this link.
FACT 1: FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
...And my immediate first impression of Languex's site was not positive. Stock imagery combined with inconsistent design elements and salesy language immediately made me feel distrust for the company. It needed a more 'human' touch - from the tone of voice through to social proof to the logo and slogan.
With some industry and customer research (Google-fu and survey data), I dug deeper into who we were talking to - and why they would care. This allowed me to speak directly to the prospect's most pressing pain points. I also advised my client on taking a newer, cleaner approach with the layout and design of the page.
FACT 2: Landing pages NEVER exist in isolatioN (ADWORDS, DUH)
Nor does any stage of the sales funnel. When a visitor clicks on your ad (or another entry point, like a promoted post on Facebook or website link), they do so for a reason. When they arrive on your landing page, the overall messaging of the page (even the visual elements) should be consistent with the messaging of your ad.
My client was clearly struggling. Multiple Adword ad groups directed to the same, generic landing page. This caused a messaging mismatch that increased bounce rates and reduced conversion rates. Not good.
I helped create some consistency between his Adwords ads and the landing page - starting with the headline (they should be similar if not identical) and the same, key USPs in the ad and above the fold on the landing page.
FACT 3: QUALITY COPY IS CRITICAL, ORDER IS FUNDAMENTAL
What? Huh? So what I'm essentially saying here is that communicating the right things is important, but communicating the right things in the right order is vital.
Think about it like this.
You're selling adult diapers (shh...this is your life now). Would you ask your customers to buy and try without telling them about how they work or letting them ask their friends about your brand?
(if you said yes, you'll never make it in the adult diaper business. Sorry to smash your dreams. Your dad's going to be disappointed).
When a prospect arrives on your page or discovers your product or service, they have a very clear sequence of questions they're asking themselves. Your job is to predict what these questions are, and answer them in the right order (not an exact science, but there's some technique to it - see Copyhackers).
I re-structured my client's landing page to answer the right questions at the right time, turning a repetitive, erradic sequence of copy (akin to talking with someone who has schizophrenia) to a smooth-flowing conversation that answers the right questions at the right time and keeps people reading.
FACT 4: SELL THE SIZZLE, NOT THE SEITAN
Sorry, I recently went vegetarian, so there'll be no carnivorous marketing analogies here (relax....that was a joke).
This one is simple, but critical. Languex was communicating in an almost entirely descriptive manner. Features over benefits. I transformed these by thinking from the prospect's perspective. E.g. is it "We translate documents quickly", or "Languex helps you communicate with the world better"? This principle laid the foundations for the revamped landing page that I created for Languex.
FACT 5: THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT
Honestly, there are still many things I'd change on Languex's current landing page. There are even more things that I'd run tests on. Frankly, I can do my best with my first draft and suggestions but, after that, the client's resources and desire to continue optimising limit the potential progress in conversions. If you want to see the best results for your landing pages, this is a major takeaway that'll transform your results from "good" to "great".
Free Critique: If you'd like me to help improve your website/landing page conversions, I'd be happy to give you a free, annotated critique of what you've already got. Just visit this page and fill in a quick form (just your name, company, and URL).
BEFORE & AFTER
Without further ado...