When it comes to business on the Web, conversion is truly king. Whether it’s email subscribers, new accounts or good ole-fashioned purchases, conversion makes or breaks businesses online. Thousands of articles, hundreds of papers and dozens of books have been written on the subject. In fact, a whole discipline, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), has been born out of the intense need to transform traffic into transactions. So without further ado, we throw our top 13 best tips to increase the conversion of your landing pages and improve your business.

13 Landing Page Tricks that Increase Conversion

1) Test, Test, Test – Start testing before you even start spending. Run your design up the flagpole with fivesecondtest.com and learn what users think, remember and do with your design. Then, once you’ve found a direction you’re comfortable with, put it to the test immediately. Start with A/B testing to try larger variations of design and copy, and fine-tune with multivariate testing of discreet elements.

2) Epic headlinesMost people abandon your landing page within 8 seconds, so your headline is often your one and only shot at convincing them to stick around. So be clear and concrete in what you’re offering and what they’ll get out of the deal. If you can’t summarize what the user will get from you in five words or less, keep iterating until you can. In most cases, cute or clever wording doesn’t convert. People won’t work that hard to figure out what you’re trying to say. Be specific, be brief, and be compelling.

3) Write Killer Copy – If you’ve hooked them with the headline, you’ll need to land them with awesome copy. Having a content strategy for your landing pages ensures you tell a compelling story in a way that resonates with your users. You need to communicate the essentials while weaving in the brand narrative, all while maintaining crystalline clarity. Great copy is explicit, bold and direct. A user needs to be able to quickly understand what you do and what you’re offering. Use bullets and short useful sentences to explain the benefits of your product or service. Clarity is king in conversion-driving copy.

4) Eliminate Options – Don’t create analysis paralysis for your visitors. Give users one choice, not three, not five. Multiple choices lead to confusion and confusion leads to … well, no where good. Eliminate choice and you make the conversion option easier to understand and easier to take action on. And less friction means more conversions.

5) Ask for the absolute bare minimumFewer fields = more conversions. This is a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people fight for fields that in-the-end do little more than kill your conversion rate. Fight for Fewer Fields! It’s our new call to action.

6) Keep it above the fold – As designers, we hate the notion of boxing ourselves into the top 600 pixels of the design. But the fact is, people don’t scroll on a landing page unless they’re really, really intrigued. Don’t bury the good stuff, particularly main benefits and the call to action. Keep it up top and easy to digest in that initial eight-second look. If you go long, repeat the call to action near the bottom of your page to save the user the scroll back up.

7) Use Real, Happy People – Trust is huge in conversion, and people trust people. Putting a person’s face on your landing page can drive real results. 37Signals put people on their Highrise pages and increased conversion 102.5%, and plenty of other studies have been done about the impact of human faces on website conversion.

Highrise used A/B testing to improve conversion 102.5%

8)Try a Video – Need to do some product ‘splanin? Try a video that shows off the benefits of the product in action. Pay attention to the video thumbnail, too. That’s what users will see when they first hit the page. Yobongo saw a 70.9% increase in conversions when they changed their video thumbnail. So, go with fewer words and give visitors a pithy and enjoyable video to watch. Then, sit back and watch your conversions go up, and to the right.

Yobongo increased conversion 70.9% by A/B testing their video still image

9) Use Social Proof – Logos, Likes, Pins – whatever it is, show the visitor that other people love your stuff. When visitors lack information they’ll turn to what others have done to help guide their decision. Reinforce the conversion with respected logos, testimonials and other points of social proof that help a visitor on the fence make the decision you want them to make.

10) Design for Context – Different inbound traffic sources have different needs and expectations. Someone coming from an article or lengthy blog post needs less information than someone coming from a Tweet. Each user has different needs based on their inbound source. By understanding those user heuristics you can create landing pages tailored to them — and crank conversions higher.

11) Craft your Buttons CarefullyButtons count, big time. In many cases they’re the primary call to action. So pay attention to the look, feel, shape, color, size and placement of your buttons. And be sure to test. Simple changes can have a big impact.

On landing pages - buttons matter.

12) Keep it Snappy – Speed kills on the Web. Slow speed. You can lose up to 7% in conversion rate for every one second of lag. Use the Google page speed tools for suggestions on ways to optimize your page speed. Reduce and optimize image elements, and leverage CSS and typography to keep your code light and your page lightning fast. Check out more ways to speed up your site.

13) Keep it Sexy – Design wins. Great looking pages convey expertise and professionalism. They create trust and security simply by being better than the other options out there. So pay attention to design. The quality of design transfers to the quality of the product or service the visitor is considering. A bad design can hurt conversion for an amazing product or company. A great design can super-charge your conversions.

So there you have it. 13 ways you can increase your conversions and drive your business. The real trick to each of these points is iterating, testing and refining based on results. Landing pages aren’t things that are launched and done; they need to be continually tweaked to find the combination that really moves the needle. Craft and attention to detail to key elements such as the headline and call-to-action buttons can give your conversions lift above and beyond simple A/B testing of the design. Put these tricks together and you’ll have a landing page that works hard for your business and gets you real results. Have a tip or trick to improve conversion that’s worked for you? Share it with us in the comments.

  • Morgan Brown

    My favorite study while putting together this post was the A/B testing that 37Signals did on their landing pages. I highly recommend reading their series of posts on it (linked above).

  • Wow, this was an excellent post! There’s a few points here I was thinking and a few I hadn’t considered. Thanks for the five second test link, also. I was wondering if something like that was around.

  • Morgan Brown

    @DesignToads – No problem. And I’m glad you like the five second test site. It’s a gem and a great way to get quick, actionable feedback before moving into code.

  • I agree with most of this post. A ‘five word rule’ for headlines might not be one I would use. Longer headlines can often work better. They provide the full value proposition plus require more time to read. A longer headline can often be stickier.

    “How to Keep Landing Page Visitors Reading Your Copy, Sticking to Your Page, Reading Even MORE, then Joyously Plucking their Credit Card Out of their Wallet and Buying Your Product or Service.”

    A bit longer than five words but I bet this would work.

  • Good collection of landing page design that increase conversion rate, glad to find such details and thanks for your hard work.

  • Hey Morgan, we just launched our new landing page at http://www.talhotels.com. Any advice/feedback is appreciated 🙂

  • Scott – Great point. I think I conflated that point in my writing a bit. What I meant to say was if you can’t summarize the offer on the landing page in five words you’re not being clear enough for the user. The headline itself can be longer than five words and should be tested — but if what you’re selling/offering can’t be distilled to that level, it’s probably too complex or lacks focus.

    Thanks for the comment — totally agree.

  • You also might consider using click tracking to determine, why certain variations in your A/B tests doesn’t perform as you would expect. Sometimes this can help you create even better variations than you would without this knowledge. This is actually one of the reasons we build EhaviorClick. 🙂

  • Matthew Lawson

    So nice to see copy stealing the lime light… We use AIDA when constructing our pages.

    A killer headline is where we start the page then develops from there.

  • Great blog, Morgan. I like your advice on limiting options because it’s very easy to over do things.

  • I can’t argue with any of these. On point #9, I agree so it’s important not so show your social media profiles until you actually have a decent following.

  • All great and valid points. Thanks for sharing these. I also agree with the face-value. It does have a tremendous effect on the visitors, visiting the site for the first time and seeing a real person’s picture does infuse him/her with assurance. And eliminating options does have its benefits.

  • Great article. But, “Eliminate Options” is great, but not always achievable. I would love to hear about some data and advice for how to deal with landing pages like company home pages or parent brand home pages that must have multiple actions.

    If anyone can help me with the following, I’ll be eternally grateful:
    – Is it better to take the user from landing page to another page to make their decision?
    – What are the best examples of home pages with multiple actions?

  • Hey Morgan, Great article! We just launch our landing page what do you think? http://www.goplaceit.com

  • Wonderful insight. I have been looking for about a month for help with this topic and you have set up actions that are really clear. Thanks!

    • Jason Amunwa

      Thanks, Annmarie! We’re looking for new ways to get these ideas out there, so keep ’em peeled – got some exciting announcements in the works…

  • Hello,

    Thanks very much for this article. Doubling the call to action button on top and bottom of a long article is indeed an excellent advice. Cheers

    • Jessica Moon

      Great to hear! 🙂

  • I’m so glad I found this article. What I realize now is that my newsletter landing page is really terrible. Time to re-design the entire page, starting with all the good stuff above the fold. Thank you.

  • Keep in mind that what works for others might not work for you. For some sites, having an aggressive call to action above the fold can be a bad thing. Also, having a few options can actually increase conversions. I have created pages that have drastically better conversion rates with no call to action above the fold and offering visitors a few options.

    Always test. Don’t make a change because it is considered “best practice”.

  • Great article and well written, it’s common sense really but some companies have no idea. The case study proved the point well and I will be showing it to a few people for sure! Many thanks J

  • Thanks for the tricks, as the example of well converting landing page I could recommend this one: http://themeforest.net/item/converting-landing-page/3473546
    Hope that the link might be helpful for some people.

  • bonnie

    thank you

  • lee

    Awesome post

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  • Thank you for clearly pointing out these guidelines. I just started learning about PPC and with my self-confessed still-thin understanding of its concepts, even an effective ad copy becomes useless when its corresponding landing page doesn’t sell.

  • Morgan these are great tips, I must agree one should try videos on the landing pages. I have seen a massive increase increase the conversions after started using videos.

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