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.
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
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
- 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
*Linda the Mac Fangirl hopes you'll test Safari and Firefox for Mac, thx
Web-based tool to analyze website load time
Commercial tool for website load-time/performance
Yahoo Exceptional Performance Guide
YSlow/Firebug plugin for Firefox
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?
- 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).
- 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...
- 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
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- Start conversion efforts with understanding your visitors.
- Target a small set of pages - best selling products, highest exit pages, checkout process.
- 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