As you start digging into your holiday campaigns, and begin thinking deeper about your plans for 2011, I’d like to offer these ideas for boosting your landing page conversion rates. 

  1. Differentiate – It’s so easy to fall into the pattern of following patterns; this is especially true in the world of landing pages. It’s easy to always use the same formula: headline, subhead, image, form, blah blah boring.In a post on landing page differentiation earlier this week Anna said, “I get what drives these similarities – if the format works, why break it?” but she also asks, “Isn’t it our responsibility as marketers to push outside the boundaries to find something that both works and helps us stand apart from the competitive fray?” And the answer is, of course, yes.In a competitive world where everyone is starting to look the same:

    Do you dare to be different? 

    In this case it lead to a HUGE lift in conversions. 
  2. Mirror your target – Help your landing page visitors quickly picture themselves as a customer. Swap out images, videos, headlines and copy as needed based on what you know about your audience. Maybe your male audience should see this:

  3. While your female visitors see the above image with the female model. A strong visual cue that says “Look! You’re just what we’re looking for” can quickly win you the conversion. 

  4. Be credible – Your landing pages should convey a strong sense of trust. If you’re a big brand, you’ll likely be able to achieve this easily through brand recognition, but if you’re smaller you have to win the trust. Two of the most effective ways to do this are through: expert recommendations and independent recognition through peers (testimonials, reviews, rewards). We also recommend using client or customer logos and media mentions to build trust and credibility. 
  5. Have velocity – Test many landing pages, and often. In the least you should have one landing page dedicated to each ad campaign you’re running, but having many very specific landing pages can help increase your conversion rates. 
  6. For instance, when we started working with Overland Storage that had less than five landing pages and also less than a 1% conversion rate. After they started creating thousands of campaign specific landing pages their conversion rate increased to 8% (double the industry average!). And they’re not the only ones, when we started working with Bronto Software their conversion rate was 2% and they also had less than 5 landing pages. They now have thousands and are converting at 18%.
  7. You may be thinking that you don’t have the resources to work on that many pages, but it probably isn’t true. If you’re working with landing page templates and landing page software, you can do it. Read their case study here, and an interview with their director of lead generation here.
  8. Experiment – This one goes along with differentiate. Don’t be afraid to create outside-the-box landing pages. Test what you know works against what you’re not sure of. Try using tabs, try multi-step pages, swap out an image for a video, try anything that can get you a conversion lift. 

One really important thing that is easy to forget in the world of landing page testing is that your pages should be disposable. Testing a page means going through lots of trial and error, being able to make fast edits/tweaks, and getting new, optimized pages out as fast as possible. 

You may be afraid to experiment because your current process requires weeks or months to create and launch one new landing page. And if that’s the case, I don’t blame you. However, landing page software can help you create high-quality experiences in minutes, hours or days (depending on whether you’re just making small changes or creating entirely new landing pages). 

Your conversion optimization environment should be highly dynamic because it’s in a constant cycle of evolution. Don’t be afraid to differentiate yourself and experiment with new ideas because new and different doesn’t mean scary or bad. It means moving one step closer to the next big thing that will skyrocket your current conversion rates.