Does your website convert? Many business owners and digital marketers drive potential customers away due to poorly designed websites and landing pages.
I should know. As the president of a full-service digital marketing agency for over 15 years, “Why won’t my website covert?” is, without a doubt, the top question I’m asked.
Without an eye-catching and compelling web presence, zero customers will want to buy your products or services online. With that in mind, here’s a look at “commandments” for good websites and landing pages. These are the same rules we espouse to clients and they can work for you too.
Cluttered web and landing pages is one of the top culprits of poor performance and low conversions. You don’t want too many high-density images. A widget or two is fine. If you have excessive content, customers become overwhelmed. In really bad cases, it can be hard for online visitors to know where to click.
You don’t like clutter in your house or yard, so don’t put it on your website. Too many choices causes information overload. Keep it simple.
2. Create a clear call to action (CTA)
Say you’re browsing Amazon, and there’s a book you would like to buy. You land on the page, read the book summary, scroll down and click the “Click for More” option. However, you click through to an inside look of the book. You wanted to buy it. This is an example of why, hyperlinks and website buttons need a clear CTA. Instead of saying “more,” say “View the Inside of the Book.” You don’t want to confuse people, so be specific.
3. Don’t ask too much
Most websites and landing pages intended for lead generation ask for an email and one other piece of information. The less you ask, the more customers sign up. When creating lead gen forms, put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Would you take the time to answer ten questions? Is the offer worth their time? Businesses can often get data collection crazy and forget how it affects their conversion rates.
4. Think like the customer
Create “human” landing page content. A robotic, montonous sales pitch-type content seems detached. If you’re selling women’s shoes, for example, the product description shouldn’t put customers to sleep.
A description like,”Black seven-inch stilettos with elastic straps and a slight glow. Wear them to a club or out for dinner,” wouldn’t be nearly as effective as something like, “These seven-inch black stilettos are gorgeous and comfortable. They’ll turn heads and make every first impression memorable.” Engage and captivate.
5. Don’t sit back idly
If you think you can sit back and watch the money roll in then you don’t understand marketing. You have to drive qualified traffic. A good marketer will use proven tools at their disposal. Consider, social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), blogs, paid ads and search engine marketing (e.g., Google Adwords). And don’t forget to direct traffic to your website from your landing pages.
6. Create a two step opt-in
Instead of a one step sign-up process, a two-step sign-up directs visitors to a separate sign-up form (a lightbox popup or separate page) after clicking on a CTA. With this method, visitors to your page aren’t immediately pressured to fill out a form on your landing page. This way you can capture leads that are actually interested in your offer since they had to click to fill out the form.
7. Don’t cheat
When no one is visiting your landing page it’s tempting to get “creative.” Some online marketing “gurus” will offer you “easy” method to skyrocket web traffic Don’t fall for it. Cheating is never the answer.
8. Design for direction
Design directs customers through their online journey. It is an important part of online conversions. Design where you want customers to look. The key is to lead your visitor’s eye through design. This is a powerful way to control the transaction flow of your site. Focus imagery around one call-to-action on your page for the best results.
9. Make it accessible
Make sure your website or landing page works for everyone. Keep in mind that 4 percent of the world is colorblind and another 4 percent is almost completely blind. Many colorblind individuals can’t see color combinations — red and green being the worst offender. Avoid complex color combinations. If you’re not sure, run it through a colorblind simulator. For poor-sighted individuals, use large, sharp and contrasted font.
10. Test everything
Test frequently and intelligently. Test everything.
This article has been edited.