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These Lessons from Old-School Landing Pages Can Improve Your Site

By Charles Costa

Landing pages–those long, long pages with rivers of text, shouty headlines and big BUY NOW buttons–are controversial.

They run counter to what we’re often taught: That the best way to make a sale is to win the trust of your customer and make a soft sale over time.

Landing pages, on the other hand, tend to play on fear and urgency to compel readers to hand over their email address or make a purchase.

While you might think landing pages are obnoxious, you can still learn lesson from them that will make your corporate marketing strategy more effective.

Secrets to Boosting Page Effectiveness

Choice of Pictures is Important

Contact relationship management (CRM) suite Highrise managed to increase paid signups on their website by 47% through a radical shift in their page layouts.

Highrise converted its website from a text-heavy design to a simple layout dominated by a photo of a smiling person. While this was a radical departure from their previous pages filled with product information, A/B testing confirmed that the change made sense.

And the type of person pictured on the website made no difference. Further testing showed that conversions remained the same regardless of the gender and race of the person shown.

The most important point to note here is that, for Highrise, pages with a lot of product information caused decreases in conversions while having concise pages had higher engagement even though they had less information on the products.

Small Changes Can Lead to Big Profits

Since the recession, travel websites have taken a significant hit to their bottom line because customers are taking less extravagant vacations today than they did in the past. Despite this, Nature Air managed to boost their conversions by 591% and online revenues by 20% to 30% simply by adding a contextual call to action on all their landing pages.

Adding a box with the simple message, “Fly to [destination discussed on page] for [price]” and placing a flight booking button below the text is all it took to significantly increase purchases.

Color Plays a Crucial Role in Conversions

In a test run by Hubspot, simply changing the button color on a landing page from green to red led to a 21% increase in conversions.

While the original hypothesis in this trial said that green would be more effective than red because the former is symbolic for “going” while the latter symbolizes “stopping,” Hubspot found that the red button was more effective at converting visitors.

While you shouldn’t just start implementing red buttons blindly on your landing pages, this case study shows the importance of proper testing when it comes to even the smallest details in pages.

Testimonials Can Make or Break Your Business

Although testimonials often are cherry-picked blurbs companies use to highlight their services, they can be valuable tools when selling products online.

According to a case study for Wikijob, the company was able to increase their sales by 34% simply by adding testimonials to their home page.

These results go to show that when it comes to online marketing, you should consider all possible reasonable options because it’s impossible to know what will work. You don’t have to have dramatic changes to have significant improvements to your business.

Testing and analyzing visitor behavior

Before implementing any changes on your website, you should always perform some testing to ensure that the changes have the desired effect. While it can be tempting to look at case studies and implement the changes that appear to have the greatest impact, you need to remember that every audience is different and that works well for one site is not going to work well for another.

Although A/B testing can sound daunting, you can enable A/B testing on your website by using a tool such as Optimizely, which allows you to analyze virtually any standard website.

Another way to improve your website effectives is to use heatmap tools such as the ones provided by Mouseflow and CrazyEgg.

These tools allow you to visualize how actual visitors browse your site. From clicks, to mouse movements, and time spent looking at specific sections, these tools provide can provide you with a wealth of information into the minds of your visitors. Although not A/B testing per-se, heatmap tools still can be used to identify areas for further testing.

Ready to get to work on your own landing pages?

Here’s a guide that will give you some simple ways to create effective landing pages like the ones mentioned in this article.

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