Have you ever stopped to think about the sort of difference improving conversion rates could make to your blog or business?
What would an increase of just 3-5% do for you?
In this post I’m going to show you 9 different ways that you can use to get better results from your landing pages and start converting more visitors quickly.
Improve your websites loading time
Here’s an important fact for you: website loading times matter.
Just a few seconds make the difference, so don’t take the chance because most visitors will never return to your website, let alone your landing page.
Testing the loading time of your landing page can be done easily by using Pingdom’s speed testing tool. For the more technically savvy, Pingdom will highlight exactly which scripts running on your site are slowing it down.
Setup a CDN
If you have not come across a CDN before – it stands for ‘Content Delivery Network’. This is just a large number of servers spread out across different data centres around the world.
The key benefits are that a CDN will usually improve the loading time of your blog and also enable you to cope better with traffic spikes since web elements and scripts will be loaded through your CDN rather than your server.
Do you need a new webhost?
In most situations a CDN will have a great impact on the loading time of your website but the unfortunate truth may be that your web host just sucks.
If your website is a shared host that runs those ‘unlimited’ plans, chances are that the web host is cramming as many customers onto each server that they can.
Sure it may be cheap but it’s not going to do you any favours in the long run so consider going for a VPS (virtual private server) or even a dedicated server.
This means you won’t have to share resources between so many other customers.
There are other benefits here, a perfect example is the last shared hosting account I had, someone on the server was blasting spam emails through the server and before the host stepped in the server was blacklisted. This isn’t what you want to happen when you run a business.
Update your design
Design matters – it’s a fact and people will make decisions based on the appearance of your landing page.
If the design of your landing page looks like it’s from 2001 then chances are that they may think that whatever you’re using the landing page to promote is just as outdated.
If your website is running WordPress then there are some powerful plugins on the market that can help you create an extremely smart landing page without a steep learning curve or any coding experience.
What if you don’t use WordPress? You’re covered there too, tools like Leadpages allow you to create landing pages without relying on WordPress, although you can still use WordPress too.
What I love about Leadpages is that they have a lot of templates and allow you to filter them based on conversion rates. Split testing and everything is all taken care of.
How do your landing pages compare to your competitors?
There may be something that your landing page is missing but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
If you have some successful competitors within your niche then take a look at some of their landing pages to see what they have included that you might be missing.
I’m not saying copy them because that won’t do you any favours but it’s good for some inspiration.
What’s important to note is that you shouldn’t base your landing page solely on your competitors, instead you should use it to inform design changes and then test them against other variations.
Reassess your target audience
In order to get better conversions you need to understand the key motivations and what can influence their decision making process.
Your landing page needs to communicate the benefits of what you are promoting clearly and it has to solve a problem that your target audience has.
The best way to do this is to plan out personas of your target audience – they are fictional characters to represent different types of people that you will be targeting.
Crissy Campbell wrote a great guide that explains the full process very clearly.
Don’t rest everything on best practice
The marketing and blogging world is full of advice and what is considered ‘best practice’ but best practice changes and there are times when best practice just won’t work for you.
One of these times is when you’re optimizing for conversions because the truth is that different target audiences will react differently to other target audiences.
Best practice can only get you so far and should only be used as a foundation – the next step is testing which I’ll talk a little bit more about in a moment.
Chris Goward from Wider Funnel talked about this in an interview with John Rampton from SEJ:
Is your traffic the right traffic?
This is an important question to ask yourself because if you’re not getting targeted traffic to your landing page then it will just ruin conversion rates.
If you’re buying traffic then you may have to consider if there is a way of improving how targeted your traffic is.
For example if you’re using Google Adwords or even organic search – are you targeting the right keywords? Have you thought about search intent? What about positive/negative keywords?
This begs another question – are you getting enough traffic to actually inform any decisions? The more traffic, the better.
Do you need to rethink your expectations?
We all build a picture in our own mind of the types of results we believe we should get from any project and the same can happen with landing pages.
You may need to lower your sites slightly, but ultimately it’s important to put measurable goals and KPI’s in place.
Use a heat map
Chances are that you will need to see exactly how users interact with a page; and find out where they are clicking and where they aren’t.
In these situations you can use the Google Analytics In-page analytics tool, but there are better tools out there and Crazy Egg is a great example.
There are a number of different ways to visualize this data so you get much more than just heat maps.
Run a split test
I have saved the most important to last.
The only true way to improve the conversion rates of your landing pages is by testing. Data is the only reliable source to influence your decisions.
That could be quantitative data from your analytics or it could be qualitative data sourced from your visitor’s feedback – either way, you need to use data to design variations of your landing pages and then test your variations against the original.
If you’re using Leadpages then you’ll have this built in, but you can use Content Experiments (you can find it within Google Analytics). There is a way to get better results out of this and keep track of variations of your design; you can find a tutorial on Pro Blogger.
You may get to a point where you think you have your landing page as good as you’re going to get it but it shouldn’t end there.
Testing is a continuous process and by carrying on with testing you can make sure that as your audience evolves your landing pages can evolve with them.
Just think if you could improve your conversion rate by just 3% or even 5% – what would that make to your blog or what would that make to your business?
Would you want to pass that up? I wouldn’t.
Which tactics have helped you improve conversion rates for your landing pages or any other element of your blog/website?
I’d love to hear more in the comments.