I have been spending a great deal of time lately working with clients on landing page optimization. Here are a few factors to always consider when working on designing and improving your landing pages…
(1) Keep Focused on Your Primary Objective
When writing your copy, laying out your landing page and considering multiple call-to-actions, keep your primary objective constantly in mind. You want to avoid placing strong emphasis on any secondary calls-to-action that draw visitor attention away from the primary objective. In addtion, multiple call-to-actions (e.g. offers) can confuse visitors and lead to high drop-off rates.
(2) Choose a Clear and High Visibility Headline Placement
Not only is it important to carefully craft your headline but also to select a highly visible location for your headline to appear on the landing page. Keep the headline relevant to the primary objective and connect the main text and headline to specifically what visitors are seeking. Don’t make it difficult or too metaphorical. I have discovered that simple typically wins over crafty.
(3) Present the Call-to-Action Clearly and Vibrantly Right on the Landing Page
If your primary objective involves filling out a registration form or any other information gathering or search-related call-to-action, place the form clearly on the landing page in a [prime real estate location. Draw attention to it via color, images and text. The use of white space is critical because you want visitors to feel at ease with completing the form. Don't make it feel like a burden with long forms and with information fields that don't appear relevant to the visitor's main intent for being on the landing page. You can always get other information later on.
(4) Reduce Navigational Links
In most cases (e-commerce site may be the main exception) the less navigational links the better. If I use navigational links they are typically call-to-actions that take the visitor to a second page with a new registration form (or related call-to-action) and some additional detail directly related to the alternative call-to-action link. These links keep the visitor on track with fulfilling your primary objective and help provide some research (e.g. customer insight) about what your main landing page content should focus on.
(5) Use Crisp, Eye-attracting Images
Some of the most effective landing pages I have tested took considerable time designing and developing because of the high-quality images. Landing pages that use crisp images, excellent visual hierarchy and strong relevant photos connect quickly with visitor. Relevant means being directly related to the visitors' reason for visiting your website.
These are just a few landing page optimization factors. Just like designing any new creative, it takes time and knowledge to get it right in a way that produces powerful results. I highly recommend using Google's Website Optimizer to test different ideas. It allows you to test potential factors to see what works best for your visitors in achieving your primary objectives. If you don't know how, feel free to contact me or visit Google Website Optimizer page.
Good luck on your landing page optimization.