Optimizing a landing page to increase conversions or sales is not as hard as you would think. Or at least where to start isn’t.
A common myth about landing pages is that it’s all about visual design and visuals, not necessarily. You can take the prettiest looking website with advanced animation and it might not perform well. There should be a framework.
Visual design is a part of what makes a web page appealing and performs well, yes. But digital marketers do marketing so there’s an emphasis on content instead. Digital marketers should focus on understanding customers and their pain points.
How to optimize landing pages?
Disclaimer: I define landing pages as web pages that offer a solution. This includes pay-per-click landing pages coming from paid marketing or non-PPC pages coming from organic traffic like search engine optimization.
I’ve read many landing page optimization tips and tricks that promise on increasing conversions. I welcome you to look for those resources to get a better understanding of how to improve landing pages, no problem. I’ll try to show what I understood from those articles.
Introducing the RVCC Landing Page Optimization Framework
The RVCC landing page optimization framework is what gets me started on what I need to check on landing pages. It’s a written guideline for me to start landing page audits. What does RVCC mean?
- Value Proposition
So let’s start…
The first thing people look for is the actual product and any information about it. Users would have strict expectations once they land on the website from a marketing campaign.
Relevancy answers the question, “Where’s the product I’m looking for?” Users will suddenly default into finding what they searched for.
Killer headlines and keywords in the content
For example, if users searched in Google web analytics consultants, they would expect the words ‘web analytics consultants‘ (or something similar) on the landing page immediately. This could be put above the fold where the headline is located to show what page is all about
High-quality photos would educate users quickly on what the page is all about. Put high-quality photos of your apparel business, or coworking space, or SaaS tool.
Price and product descriptions
Price and product descriptions are self-explanatory. Users have little patience to look for important things. Don’t be coy and just give critical information to them immediately.
A software provider can benefit from showing videos. Videos could be a way to showcase what makes the product different or how the product works. Presenting in video format can explain technical jargon to users.
2. Value Proposition
The 2nd thing users might look at is value proposition. Businesses need to look at what makes them unique in their niche. Landing pages should also reflect that uniqueness.
Value proposition answers the question, “What makes this brand different?”. This is the hardest to pull off. There are countless resources on how to create an amazing value proposition. The most important thing is to stand apart from the competition.
Benefit driven copy
A benefit-driven copy is hard for marketers to warp around in. Marketers with their copywriters try to be clever (or funny). The best rule of them when creating copy is the maxim, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.” by Theodore Levitt. Always think of the customer and show the benefit that gives them.
Special offers are more applicable for eCommerce sites providing discounts throughout the year. An apparel store can offer better deals for the holiday season than its competitors. It’s no wonder eCommerce sites do everything to grab attention from buyers during specific seasons.
Frequently Asked Questions are a great way to showcase what makes the product different. It’s explaining what the product can do (and can’t do). This approach can also be great for SEO ranking.
“Free Trial” or “Try It Free”
This is more applicable to SaaS tools. SaaS tools in specific industries compete with the best pricing packages. Though it’s important to note that it’s not just plastering your pricing with “Free Trial” but the features that come with that free trial is the deal-breaker.
The 3rd thing users look for is trust signals. Companies need to show they are legit companies that provide trustworthy products.
Credibility answers the question, “Would I trust this brand?”. This is the most human of all because this is social proof. People want to listen to other people’s opinions. We are impressionable that we seek any form of validation from others about something.
Reviews and ratings
Reviews and ratings are the best kinds of credibility and social proof signals. It tells a company’s history with other customers. I suggest contacting your customers (or clients) and request a review. Ecommerce websites benefit from this approach the most.
Examples of badges are “Google Premier Partner”, “Shopify Partners”, “Top 100 Places to Work in 2019”, “Winner of … Awards”, and “GDPR Ready” to name a few. They show the company’s credibility that they have the body of work and professional history.
Company logos or “Companies we worked with” is another way to give trust signals to users. Like badges, it shows the company’s past clients. Important to note that this should be honest. The brands that you claim to have worked should be real.
Case studies are amazing ways to bolster credibility. Digital marketing agencies and growth hacking companies will benefit from this the most. Or any provider that helps other businesses grow.
Along with case studies, statistics also boost trust signals. Examples of these stats are “x clients served”, or “% increase in revenue”. These are hard facts that are irrefutable. Just make sure they are true.
The 4th thing users look for is clarity. This is where the content of your landing page should be more readable. This part is where the website will provide critical information that would nudge the user to buy.
Clarity answers the question, “How do I buy this?”. The rule of thumb is to never force your users to think. Steve Krug wrote a prolific book called, “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” that preaches what the title says. Always try to make it easy for users to navigate your website.
Call-to-action is essential to any online business. It serves as an instruction to the user. Tell them what they need to do on your website. “Sign up for a trial”, “Buy now”, “Contact us”, “Let’s talk and get an audit!” are good CTAs. Just make sure the buttons are functional.
Simple contact forms
Simple contact forms are critical for B2B services. Remove unnecessary form fields like salutations. Prioritize the fields that are important if the business model requires them. Otherwise, remove them.
If mobile phone numbers on contact forms are essential in the conversion funnel, it’s ok to leave them. If they aren’t, remove them since it’s an additional burden.
Simple checkout process
A simple checkout process is critical for eCommerce. Like the contact form, remove unnecessary form fields if they are not needed. Another tip for eCommerce checkouts is to have instructions when are errors occur. Show the users an error explicitly if they input an invalid zip code or email.
The payment method is something I’d like to add for clarity. Users who want to buy something want to know what payments the online store supports. A website needs to ensure the available payments across the website not just on the checkout.
I recommend putting payment methods along with the product description and not just on the footer links.
Readable text is when you display the text content in a readable and professional way. The general recommended size for paragraph text is 16 pixels. Paragraphs shouldn’t be longer than 5 line breaks. Use bullet points effectively when showing critical information. These are just a few examples.
Don’t over maximize font sizes. Maximizing font sizes into an unacceptable level would make your website appear as too sales-y. You want to avoid being branded as a hard sell.
The RVCC Landing Page Optimization Framework is not sequential
The RVCC landing page optimization framework doesn’t mean that users are looking at these things in succession. The concepts can be combined, as well. Reviews may contain value proposition and credibility. Case studies may contain relevancy and credibility. A killer headline may contain both relevancy and clarity. Reviews in video format may show relevancy, value proposition, and credibility.
Conclusion – optimize landing pages and increase conversions
Note that these changes should be backed up by data. There should be evidence on why a landing page should be changed to increase conversions.
Another thing to note is to A/B test the change. If your website has enough traffic, test the changes first to confirm that users react differently based on relevancy, value proposition, credibility, or clarity.
Landing page optimization is one of the important elements in the digital world. It finds the root causes of users’ frustrations. Digital marketers need to come closer to users and listen to their pain points at a pathological level. This is how businesses grow.