Love Your Landing Pages – Webinar Recap

Thanks again to Ayat Shukairy from INVESP Consulting for sharing her expertise on conversion rate optimization for landing pages with us. You can check out her company and subscribe to the INVESP blog to keep up to date with Ayat’s pearls of wisdom.

View the free on-demand version of the webinar »

INVESP uses a “Conversion Framework” with its clients, based on 8 principles:

1. Understand visitors – build personas
2. Build confidence and trust
3. Engagement – “sticky copy”
4. Impact of buying stages
5. Deal with FUDs – Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts
6. Utilize offers and incentives – free shipping both ways
7. Testing
8. Iterative approach – conversion is long time commitment. Optimize, deploy, test – fine tune results

Exploring Conversion Rates

  • Average online conversion rate is around 2.2%

  • Electronics 0.4 -> Catalog Retailers 5.8%
  • Popcorn Factory 29.5% – double digits are possible!

Ayat recommends setting a target of 10% conversion. INVESP achieved an average conversion rate for clients of over 14% in 2007.

Why Invest in Landing Page Optimization?

  • Simply “buying” traffic is getting more expensive

  • Taking a user focused approach means higher customer satisfaction
  • Major shift in marketing – you can measure and quantify results for online performance
  • Helps you justify new initiatives – with analytics tracking you can track ROI and where traffic and conversions come from

Ecommerce Landing Page Optimization

General

  • check browser compatibility – java script errors

  • Min. site support IE6 and above, Firefox and Opera (Analytics software will tell you each browser’s frequency among your visitors)*
  • Load time for images
  • Javascript in footer loads faster (images) than loading in header.

*Linda the Mac Fangirl hopes you’ll test Safari and Firefox for Mac, thx

RESOURCES:

Web-based tool to analyze website load time
tools.pingdom.com

Commercial tool for website load-time/performance
www.httpwatch.com

Yahoo Exceptional Performance Guide
developer.yahoo.com/performance/

YSlow/Firebug plugin for Firefox
developer.yahoo.com/yslow

Main Home Page

  • Clearly state your value proposition for the customer – this builds trust and confidence. Every element on the page should support the value proposition. Watch out for competing value propositions on the same page.

    BookPool does this well – “Discount” proposition reinforced in various places including tagline. What is Powell’s proposition?

    Value Proposition Examples

  • Keep top navigation consistent! Nothing worse than feeling like you’ve landed on a completely different website. (Linda’s thoughts – I’m a bit put off when colors change between different sections of a site, too. I’m probably not the only one.)
  • Design must appeal to different personas: Impulsive, price sensitive, emotional vs. logical etc. (Emotional – how you use a product vs. Logical – knows what looking for, pre-researched, looking for information/price, ready to buy now)

    Jason commented that fashion retailers often shy away from showing products on home page but showing products can be very effective call-outs. This may be worth testing this with your users.

  • Drive home promotions. Example from Endless, which shows value propositions in name and tagline, offers like “Negative $5 Shipping,” a “Get it on Time” dynamic counter counting down time to holiday shipping cut-off and
    free gift with purchase offer for Godiva chocolate (the image is a great attention grabber to complement the text).

Endless Screenshot

Category Pages

  • Large lists of categories can hinder conversion. Rule of thumb is 7 +/- 2 categories.

  • Make use of white space – avoid clutter on product listings for a category page, makes it easier to navigate. It’s better to show more products on a page than several pages to click through as it’s easier to scroll than click. Offering a “View All” option is great usability.
  • Consider the impact of buying stages. Visitors may know or not know what they want, and some are just browsing.
  • Filtered navigation is great. Provide the ability to sort by price, top sellers, brand, uses, by gift recipient etc. Remember not everyone is a technical persona – some will respond better to emotional filters like uses, filter by personality type… An example would be body washes – filter by fruity scents, floral scents, sweet treats…

Filtered Navigation from Hasbro

Product Pages

  • Optimized images are powerful: multiple views, colors, zoom.

  • Imagery in the form of movement – video, 360 view etc. have conversion rates higher than static images.
  • Test products in action – flat clothing vs. model images. KnickerPicker.com shows items on various body shapes. Anything that helps a person visualize how a product will look on them is good.
  • Reviews bump conversion by 35-55% and people expect them these days. If you’re using a tabbed layout with reviews and hide reviews behind a tab, it’s not exposed unless a user clicks. Think of ways to push that data right away – emotional buyers will need the call out whereas the logical buyer is more likely to find and click the tab. Test ways to make both review content and the tab stand out.
  • Test calls-to-action (buttons and so on) – colors, sizes and placement. Tip: test CTA’s when they are the same size, color and shape as your other buttons agains bigger, different color, or more noticeable buttons. Or test location / white space, label etc.
  • Deal with FUDs (Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts) at every page with trust builders, fear-easers like:

*best price guarantee
*we value your privacy
*secure shopping

Copy

  • Create it on site personas.

  • Focus on benefits not just features.
  • You want to compel visitors to make a purchase, not bore them with bland copy.
  • Utilize offers and incentives. The way an offer is phrased impacts how a visitor values it. “Order in the next 2 hours and receive an additional 25% discount” and “free shipping.”
  • Test %discount vs. $ discount – 50% may be more compelling though it’s the same $ value.

Formatting

  • Bullet points are your friend! Line spacing can have an impact too. Amazon’s line spacing is more vertically compressed than Circuit City, and thus tougher on the eyes. Circuit City uses bold at front of paragraph – easy to scan.

  • Font types: David Ogilvy hails Palatino as the most reader friendly font – for print. Serif fonts present a challenge on the web – sans serif is better for paragraphs. But you might want to play with bigger font, even a serif font in headlines.
  • Advice for an enterprise site with thousands of products would be to start small with top 500 products.

Campaign Specific Landing Pages (Banner Ads, PPC, Email etc)

  • Keep “search scent.” Maintain relevance by matching your ad offers to landing pages.

  • Even keeping imagery consistent is important – use the same model and colors, and why not show products on the landing page too?

    Maintain Scent!

  • PPC tip: If the title of page matches the copy in your ad, your Google Adwords “Quality Score” improves. Your CPC can come down because the ad system perceives this as a better matched product to the keyword. Title Tag and headline of your landing page should match tightly to ad copy.
  • Clean URLs are better and short URLs can increase click-throughs in organic search results.

Summary

  • Start conversion efforts with understanding your visitors.

  • Target a small set of pages – best selling products, highest exit pages, checkout process.
  • Test!
  • Shoot for 10% conversion.

Thanks to the guest bloggers that attended the event, we will be posting recaps as they come in.

Live Blog Link Love

Thanks to our lovely live bloggers who attended the webinar and posted blog summaries of their own:

Mhairi Petrovic of Out-Smarts Marketing
Monica Hamburg


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9 Responses to “Love Your Landing Pages – Webinar Recap”

  1. When the webinar refers to increasing their customer’s conversion rate from 2% to +10% what are you defining as a conversion? It is implied that the conversion is equal to a sale. Is this the case? Or should there be clarification stated when using the term?

    Thanks. Great webinar.

  2. Ayat says:

    @Dave, That’s a great question, and certainly a valid concern. Conversion for each company can vary tremendously.

    Some companies consider an add to cart as a conversion, whereas other companies may consider merely selecting the product from the main or category page as a conversion. Lead generations define conversion entirely differently. So from project to project the definition of conversion varies and a project may very well have a number of conversion goals.

    In terms of what I was discussing regarding the 2 – 10% conversion rate, this reflected a final order or sale. Of course cart abandonment is certainly a very important topic but would require an entirely separate webinar!

    Again, remember that each phase until that final sale requires some sort of conversion optimization. And every business will define the conversion goals they hope achieve with their platforms differently.

    I hope that answers your questions. I’m very glad you enjoyed the webinar.

  3. Great webinar!

    Really informative for someone just about to launch a web based business!

    As someone tuning in from Northern Ireland – do I win a prize for person furthest away from you guys? lol

    Love the site – have picked up some great info from it and have recommended it to lots of colleagues and friends

    Kev

  4. Kevin, if you stayed up in the middle of the night to catch the Webinar, you are to be admired!

    Glad you liked the Webinar. Your prize is a free copy of the $95 landing page handbook. Sure, everyone else is eligible, but let’s pretend yours is for being our farthest away attendee – as far as we know ;-)

  5. Marie says:

    RE: Large lists of categories can hinder conversion. Rule of thumb is 7 +/- 2 categories.

    Could you please state your reasons or research method for making this statement? Were the long-list sites you tested well-designed or not so great, as in the example on the webinar? I suspect design had more to do with their failure rather than the number of links.
    Miller’s magic number 7 research applies only to short term memory – not to the number of items a person can perceive.
    Web businesses should be careful not to apply this as a “rule” and end up with vague category names that try to encompass too much, lose their users in an unnecessarily deep structure, or worse, losing the user at the start because they see no clear category to start looking for their product (no “scent of information” or trigger words).

    Long lists of categories can be very user-friendly, often preferable, however they need to be displayed well – with white space, chunking, proper font size.
    Good article on the background of this issue, and information on how to approach navigation breadth vs depth:
    http://www.ddj.com/184412300

    And from George Miller himself:
    “the point was that 7 was a limit for the discrimination of unidimensional stimuli (pitches, loudness, brightness, etc.) and also a limit for immediate recall, neither of which has anything to do with a person’s capacity to comprehend printed text.”

  6. Ayat says:

    @Marie,
    You’re absolutely right in that there is a no size fits all solution most aspects of conversion optimization as we mentioned several times during the webinar. This is why each solution for our clients are customized to meet the needs and demands of their target markets.

    Limiting categories and having a clean hierarchy of choices for your site visitor has proven to work well with the majority of our clients. Experiences have helped us form certain general guidelines. However, some of our clients have had great success with larger lists. So again, it depends on the types of clients, their products, and most importantly, the target market.

    I hope that addresses your concern.

  7. Great comment Marie – I can go back and listen to confirm what I stated, but the intent was to reduce unruly nav lists by chunking in to manageable groups (7 +/- 2 being a reasonable chunk size). Using chunk headings, whitespace and the like is exactly the sentiment I wanted listeners to come away with.

    The need for these navigation strategies varies greatly between catalog size, type, industry. Linda did a post recently on Office Max’s navigation: http://www.getelastic.com/office-max-redesign/

  8. The HttpWatch costs about $400, there are some other good http traffic analyzers.
    For example http debugger ($50) http://www.httpdebugger.com or fiddler (free) http://www.fiddlertool.org.

  9. dunk sb says:

    thansk linda, another great art of work, i will keep my eyes open on you.

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