Success by Design II: Website Abandonment & Landing Pages

In an era of instantaneous data, there’s little patience for wasted time. As people browse the Internet, they usually have a specific goal in mind and whatever isn’t directly relevant to their search is considered an obstacle. Across all websites, the global bounce rate is nearly 40%. This means that the first action of over a third of all users on every webpage is to abandon. If you don’t want your website to get passed over by fast-paced users, then you need to spend time perfecting your landing pages–the pages on which users arrive directly after clicking on your advertisement. As with most marketing tasks, there is no best way to make a landing page, but some methods are better than others. The following tips will help you create a landing page that will keep users’ attentions, reduce website abandonment rates, and reinforce the ad you’re running.

Consistently Consistent
It’s fitting that consistency is a recurring theme throughout our blog entries. This is because, simply put, consistency is a supremely important element in almost every aspect of marketing. Much like two parents taking a cohesive stance on disciplinary issues, consistency is a prerequisite to moving potential clients to a singular goal. Parents strive for a lifetime of good behavior, while marketers strive to convert a sale. When it comes to designing landing pages, consistency is particularly important in…

Design. Creating an email remarketing campaign generally requires making a great deal of small design choices. From picking the proper font to deciding which product images to display, every element is selected with the conversion and website abandonment in mind. Make sure to mirror these meticulously picked design choices on the other end of the email’s hyperlinks. By keeping design choices consistent between advertisement and landing page, you’ll keep consumers focused and involved on their path to the sale.

Message. It’s essential that whichever ad you’re showing a consumer matches the page to which it links. This may seem like common sense, but it’s not uncommon for advertisers to get excited at the prospect of reaching a potential customer and over-promote. Each paid AdWord or email advertisement dispatched has a goal–make sure that the attached landing page matches that goal exactly. Highlight the specific product, free-trial, or showcased service without distraction.

Calls to Action. The essential piece of every ad is the call to action. If you’re asking potential customers to sign up for a free trial, make sure that same request is the focus of the landing page. Don’t try to cross-sell on a landing page, as it will only distract consumers and increase website abandonment.

Get the Ball Rolling
While generating catchy AdWord copy and a well-designed email remarketing campaign is the first step in getting potential customers to convert, there are a few steps you can take on the other end to make a huge difference in reducing website abandonment. For your AdWords, be sure to direct visitors to the page expressly related to the relevant keyword. For example, if someone searches for “Maui Jim Sunglasses,” the sponsored link should drive them directly to your selection of that particular brand–not to a generic eyewear catalog. If the landing page doesn’t match the ad’s anchor text, many users will abandon early.

reduce website abandonment

A quick visit to Zappos’ page highlights another smart tactic.  On your landing page, use prompting words to inspire action and create a sense of urgency.

Notice how the promotional text in the ad is perfectly reiterated in the header of the entrance page. For non-retail websites, more aggressive phrases such as “Try Our Award-Winning Software Now!” or “Sign-Up Now for Great Discounts!” may yield better results than “Download a Trial Today” or “Join Our Newsletter.”

Behind mounds of data and unending optimization, the complexities of marketing boil down to a simple point: Simplicity is king.  Follow this golden rule when designing your landing pages and keep your messages simple.  If you’re selling a product, quickly explain to your readers why this item is the right choice and why now is the right time to buy. If you’re trying to bolster newsletter sign-ups, list the benefits of membership and require only an email address to enroll.  The fewer barriers between the user and the end goal, the better.

Simplicity should also reign supreme in your site’s layout. On pages created to receive visitors from a specific ad, don’t allow for extraneous navigation throughout your site.  Although it may seem beneficial to have users explore all of your content, the purpose of the ad is to expedite movement directly down the conversion funnel.  Removing sidebars and menu trees and instituting a simple, linear path from ad to completion is best for conversions.  To further simplify navigation, make sure any buttons in the design are clearly labeled and–most importantly–large. Studies have shown that bigger buttons get more clicks, so don’t be afraid of using a sizable chunk of pre-fold real estate on a button.

No Worries
As we discussed in last week’s blog, there’s a lot of anxiety when it comes to giving out information online. If you want users to respond to your ad with any sort of data, you’ll need to do your best to assuage these concerns. If you’re to prompt a visitor for their email address, then clearly state your intent.  Let the user know that their information will not be sold and that they can opt out from receiving messages at any time. If you’re selling a product or offering a free trial of a service, display any testimonials from authoritative figures in your industry.  If trusted members of the industry are singing praises about what you have to offer, then it’ll be much easier for new users to hop aboard.  Note that the testimonials should not include links to the source of the quote or to the speaker’s webpage–we’re keeping navigation linear, remember?

Human Testing
While simplicity is key when crafting a great landing page, the process is anything but simple.  The best landing pages have been tested, re-tested, and then tested again.  Continually analyze results and make small changes where necessary to see if you can drive down your website abandonment rate. Tweaking button sizes and colors or rearranging design elements may have more dramatic results than you realize.

A well-designed landing page will help you lower bounce rates, reduce website abandonment, and increase revenue.  In addition to keeping your landing page simple and effective, there are a variety of other ways to lower your site’s cart, product, and checkout abandonment rates. To learn about how the highly-customizable tools provided by UpSellit can help your business recover lost revenue, schedule a consultation with us!

 
Written by Bryan Gudmundson


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