There’s something about a ten-item list that makes us want to get all Hestonian on you and break out the archaic pronouns, especially when it comes to something like getting people who visit your site to actually buy from you. After all, you work hard to get clicks. What could be more important than turning those clicks into customers?
Convert Your Clicks
But we’re kind of a live-and-let-live bunch here, and we’re not so big on telling people what they have to do. So consider these a set of suggestions about how to help optimize your landing pages. That way, when people get to your site, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase.
1. Tell them why they should buy from you
Clarity of your value proposition is the most important factor in determining whether a customer buys from you or not. Ask yourself the question: “Why should I buy from this site?”
2. Keep ‘em with you
Protect your landing pages from the #1 threat to conversions: site flow disruption. After identifying a unique and compelling Value Proposition, you must ensure that you express it throughout your sales process in a clear, consistent and compelling way. Eliminate site flow disruption to help maximize conversions.
3. Don’t try to say too much
Don’t clutter your landing page with unnecessary details. Instead:
• Clearly state your key message using as few words as possible
• Use summary descriptions, sub-headings, bulleted lists and short paragraphs
• Adopt a standard one-column format for easy reading.
4. Make it simple
Improve the user experience with a site that is easy to navigate. A simple page layout that employs a clean visual and straightforward design is best. Here’s how:
• Design your site with a clear hierarchy with color and contrast for easily legible text
• Use meaningful and high-quality graphics (don’t clutter with too many)
• Use breadcrumbs to let visitors know where they are on your site
• Employ a clickable logo that takes the visitor to your homepage
• Use color to distinguish between visited and unvisited links.
Just as important, make sure you don’t:
• Employ horizontal scrolling
• Direct links to new browser windows
• Have flash-based content unless required.
5. Call them to action
Focus on one primary action per screen (don’t stuff too many products onto one screen). Make the call-to-action button clearly visible without having to scroll; don’t bury it under pages of information. Consider using tabs or a pop-up box to consolidate information.
6. Get specific
Provide product details and a large product image while displaying incentives—such as free shipping and warranty information—high on the page and close to the product. Don’t discourage visitors by requiring registration to your site.
7. Flaunt what you’ve got
What differentiates you from your competitors? Free shipping (both ways?), discounts, a 365-day warranty, price protection, privacy, customer service, etc.? If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
8. Search yourself
Make your site easy to navigate by helping potential customers find what they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible. A search feature box should be simple and visible with a type-in field, not a link. To help increase conversions, make sure your search results link to product pages.
9. Rally the believers
Credibility is a true testament: people don’t buy from websites, people buy from people. Thus, testimonials from devout customers—or even a letter from the CEO/Editor—persuades the unbelieving.
10. Let them make the choice
“Why should I buy this specific product?” Almost every e-tailer forgets about this, but it’s the question that’s key to Mr. or Ms. Customer’s mind. Prove to him or her why they should buy this over the competitive product by offering reviews, ratings and comparisons.