Recently I participated in an engaging roundtable discussion where the topic was “Improving Landing Page Conversion Rates”. The questions submitted in advance by attendees produced a highly interactive session and I’d like to share some of it here.
During the discussion, which was organized by Paul Mosenson of Focus.com, the audience was encouraged to give real-time feedback to the panelists, letting us know whether they thought we were being interesting or not. It certainly added to the excitement and stress, but definitely kept us on the task of delivering value!
But the point of this post isn’t the interesting discussion format.
The experience reminded me that you probably have similar questions about conversion optimization. So, I’d like to answer some of the most interesting questions raised.
Here’s the question that was ranked most popular in the discussion:
What are the key design elements in landing pages that contribute to increased conversions?
And here’s my answer:
Continuous improvement vs. tips and tricks for Conversion Rate Optimization
The one strategy that’s by far more important than tips and tricks for improving conversion rates is having a structured approach to continuous improvement. A recent study by eConsultancy showed that “Companies with a structured approach to conversion are twice as likely to have seen a large increase in sales.” Looking at conversion rate optimization as a short-term project to tweak design elements isn’t going to give you big improvements. As with anything, having a strategy and working your way through it systematically will maximize your returns.
Use a Conversion Optimization Framework for Heuristic Analysis
If you think in terms of the LIFT Model that we use to analyze landing pages, the design of the page must maximize Clarity, Relevance and Urgency of the Value Proposition communication, while minimizing the Distraction and Anxiety. Use this approach to do a quick review of your landing page to give you some direction on the design elements you should tackle first.
The top two conversion design components? Eyeflow and Calls-to-Action!
If I had to recommend design changes that will likely give you more bang for your buck, I’d tell you to look at your eyeflow and call-to-action design. There are usually some pretty obvious opportunities for improvement in those areas: competing and/or hard to find CTA’s, unclear information hierarchy, clutter & distration, etc.
In reality, eyeflow design is the result of the interaction of all design elements working in harmony, towards a specific purpose. The wireframe or content layout, imagery, colours, stylistic treatments, visual elements, interaction design are all factors that influence the eyeflow. A skilled conversion strategist will plan the visual stimulus to effectively guide the visitor’s eye through the important messaging points and ultimately to the call to action.
Also, don’t miss the recorded webinar from March 21, 2012: “How to Get an 18% Lift in Sales in Competitive E-commerce Industries“