There are a number of factors to be considered when designing a landing page with the goal of successfully converting site visits into new clients. Through an analysis of more than 350 companies (from small start-ups to international corporations like Apple, Coca Cola and Nike), combined with experience from our own projects, we have isolated one main factor that has a strong impact on conversions.
We named this factor the “exclusive conversion trigger.” It is the biggest mistake webmasters make when designing a landing page: failing to clearly define the value proposition.
Defining the Exclusive Conversion Trigger
An exclusive conversion trigger refers to expressing the main message in less than 5 seconds: “What is the single value proposition that we want to transmit to our potential clients?”
According to the Google Webmasters official blog, a new visitor’s first 5 seconds on a website are the most important. This means that we have no more than 5 seconds for new visitors who enter the site to understand exactly what you offer.
Based on the structural design of the website, those 5 seconds will define the future behavior of the user — whether they will abandon the website or explore it further. This is one of the main reasons why Google has emphasized the loading speed of a website during the last few years. To illustrate this point, we will show a concrete example of a landing page where the concept of an exclusive conversion trigger was successfully achieved and compare it to one in which this factor failed.
The images below are screen shots of the landing pages of two actual travel websites. In the first example, we can clearly see that there is no direct option for buying without distractions. This company even pays for CPC (Cost Per Click) in Google Adwords to generate new clients.
Now compare the website above to that of its competitor in the image below.
At a glance we can see that by offering the visitor one single option, the Kayak site has a much better chance of achieving the goal of converting the customer in less than 5 seconds, thereby lessening the likelihood of losing the user. From this example, we can conclude that keeping the landing page simple and focused is the key to successfully converting visitors into clients.
Implementing an Exclusive Conversion Trigger
Designing an exclusive conversion trigger is not complex, but there are certain guidelines that should be followed. These include:
- Defining the value offering in a single line of text
- Explaining the benefits of the service in no more than two or three sentences
- Showing why you are different from your competitors
- Efficiently clarifying the solutions that you offer to your clients
- Focusing on the language of the client (on a landing page, don’t state the mission of the company)
- Avoiding superlatives like “the best”, “the most efficient”, “the fastest”, etc.
The image below is a screenshot of a landing page for ConstantContact, which is a great example of the correct way to incorporate all of the points mentioned.
To start, it directly presents the value trigger in two text lines (title and subtitle). Next, the site is focused on the language of the client, solving each problem users face. Lastly, there is no use of unnecessary superlatives. The company simply lists the characteristics of its services in a clear and organized way.
Distinguish Your Company from Competition
One action that strongly increased our conversion rate was studying the competition with great dedication.
The user who is searching for the service we offer likely visited a competitor’s website in order to compare and choose the best one. Many Internet users have already integrated this habit into their purchasing process. Unlike in the offline world where the competition is a couple of miles away, it usually requires very little effort to open one or two more pages.
Every webmaster should study the competition and transfer the same advantages to their landing page, whether it is free shipping, a product or service warranty, or refunds. Each of these actions has made the difference in our final conversion.
Even today we still analyze our competitors in order to stay one step ahead. When we started elMejorTrato, our competitors were not offering customers a free one-month trial of their service. We decided to add that benefit to our landing page as a value trigger that would differentiate us from the rest. By the time our competitors began offering free trials, most of the clients were already using our software and did not want to try a new one. Our pre-emptive action had generated a great retention barrier for our company.
Apply to Other Pages, Too
The landing page should not be the only and last place where you express your differential value to the client, i.e. “Why they should choose us.” The value proposition should be replicated in the complete process of your site, from the moment the user enters the website until he/she becomes a client. Once the client enters the initial landing page and responds to the call for action (by clicking on the main button “Request”, “Trial”, “Search”, etc.), we must confirm our value trigger on additional pages.
CrazyEgg is a great example of a website that has correctly implemented this process. After the initial landing page, the website showcases each one of its advantages, and even includes a list of current clients in order to transmit more confidence in the process.
Learn from Trial and Error
The value proposition always maintains one single position based on your work as an enterprise. However, there are many alternatives to express and transmit the message of your service to the potential customer. The responsibility is yours to find out the vocabulary of potential clients in order to generate empathy with them.
Making constant adjustments to the exclusive value trigger will generate more clarity for users, reduce the bounce rates, and increase sales. Testing new landing pages, making mistakes and then learning from those mistakes is all part of the process, and with technological advances, the landing page that worked successfully for desktop computers can now be redefined for tablets and mobile phones.
Finally, always remember to measure results of the design changes implemented on the landing page. Google Analytics is a free tool that can help you do this.