site critiques

What does a landing page have to do to generate more software trials from visitors?
One of the sites I reviewed during my webinar The Science of the Landing Page with Avangate was Mac Mail to Outloook Converter. The primary call to action on this page is to download and try the converter.

Watch the Critique (4:24)

http://conversionsciences.wistia.com/medias/r3fxndpadd?embedType=seo&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=501
You can get a critique of your landing page. Find out how.

The Headline Should Match the Ad

I didn’t have information about what brought the traffic to this page during my critique. If the promise was “Mac Mail to Outlook Converter”, then the headline is perfect. For best results your headline should match the language used in the ad or link that brought the visitor to the page.

The headline should match the promise made in the ad or link that brought the user to this landing page.

The headline should match the promise made in the ad or link that brought the user to this landing page.


Bullets help people scan the copy before they decide to read. However, one of the bullets here contains a bit of jargon. Terms like “native encoding” can leave non-technical buyers scratching their heads.
Bullets are easy to scan. Be careful about using jargon.

Bullets are easy to scan. Be careful about using jargon.

Handling Objections in Copy

[pullquote]The purpose of copy is to anticipate and handle objections to taking action.[/pullquote] This page uses quite a bit of space describing the features and benefits of the product.

Be sure to tell the visitor what they will get if they take action.

Be sure to tell the visitor what they will get if they take action.


Don’t forget to answer the question, “What do I get?” This is the key question and applies to products, content offers, free consultations, etc.

How to Use Screenshots Intelligently

If you put screen shots on your landing pages without explanation, it just looks like… work.

Screenshots can be a powerful way to communicate through images, but rarely can stand on their own.

Screenshots can be a powerful way to communicate through images but can rarely stand on their own.


If you use screenshots, explain the point of the image. Why did you choose to show this image to the visitor?
There are three ways to accomplish this.

        

  1. Add text to the images
  2.     

  3. Add a caption under the images
  4.     

  5. Do both

Testimonials Add Proof and Trust

Testimonials are a great way to prove to the reader that your product works.

Testimonials can provide proof and build trust.

Testimonials can provide proof and build trust.


Testimonials span the gap between proof and trust. Success stories provide proof. I trust this page more because others have had success with the product.

Always Repeat the Offer at the Bottom

Someone who has read to the bottom of the page is probably well-qualified. Repeat the offer there so they can take action.

We call the offer at the bottom of a page the "dripping pan." It requests software trials as well as purchases.

We call the offer at the bottom of a page the “dripping pan.”

Focus on Software Trials or Purchases. Not both.

The split button approach taken on this page may work against them. When there is more than one offer, it is important to help the visitor choose.

Be careful about using non-standard elements on your landing pages. They can confuse visitors. There are two offers: software trials as well and purchases.

Be careful about using non-standard elements on your landing pages. They can add friction.


The page features the trial, so Download is the primary call to action. A treatment de-emphasizing the purchase offer may be better:
A mockup of the how this page could "help the visitor choose."

A mockup of the how this page could “help the visitor choose.”

Choose the Right Button Color

The key when choosing the right button color is to pick a color that is not found elsewhere on the page.

Call to action buttons should stand out on the page. Use color to create contrast with the rest of the page.

Call to action buttons should stand out on the page. Use color to create contrast with the rest of the page.


Notice how green and blue buttons appear more significant on the page than the orange ones.
Here is how a blue "dripping pan" would appear on this page.

Here is how a blue “dripping pan” would appear on this page.

See all of the Critiques

With a few changes, this landing page could be generating a higher number of software trials for the Mac Mail to Outlook Converter.
If you’d like to see all of my critiques please watch the webinar on demand.
[signature]

Well-heeled travelers will enjoy a private guided tour of the world’s various wine-making regions. Colin Simpson of Into the Vineyard arranges these advantures for them. Into the Vineyard tours are tailored and personalized to the individual, setting themself apart from other packaged, run-of-the-mill wine vacations.

The Into the Vineyard luxury landing page

The Into the Vineyard luxury landing page


Colin came to us with a landing page built on Unbounce.
They have had fairly good success with these landing pages, boasting conversion rates of over 5% and more. Colin had a number of questions for Conversion Sciences about how to optimize his landing page to see a lift in conversion rate while maintaining high lead quality.
Many of our suggestions are included in the annotated infographic image included in this post. However, one of his questions was one that we are asked all the time. Its answer is important for you to understand when you create your own landing pages.

Is the placement of the form too far down the page?

The short answer is “No.” This may be contrary to the above-the-fold or very-close-to-the-fold rule many of you follow, but there are good reasons to place your form towards the bottom of your landing page.
Into the Vineyard offers a luxury item and appropriately uses a value-building approach. Furthermore, part of the value of their offer is the ability to customization the product. Bombarding visitors with a form too early not only gives them no time to appreciate the luxury of the offer but also may elicit feelings of impersonality.
This is something to consider if you are in the luxury market. Even if a form placed “below the fold” produces a lower volume of leads than would one above the fold, you may find these leads to be better qualified. They have not only read your content to the bottom but they also know what they are going to receive in exchange for their information.

Landing pages should show the steps of the process

Laying out the steps of the process puts many visitors at ease. The use of the red arrow draws the visitor to take action.


We saw this strategy work very well in split testing for a similar company, a company that sells golf tours to Scotland and England. [pullquote]A landing page that added the steps of the process after filling out the form generated a 300% increase in leads.[/pullquote] Note that this was not the only change to the page.
The bottom line is that the content of your landing page must make a clear offer, regardless of form placement, and your copy must support the offer, not just your product or company. Into the Vineyard does an excellent job of explaining what will happen if a person fills out the form.
The long answer to Colin’s question is “I’m not sure, let’s test it.” One of the awesome perks of using the Unbounce tool to create landing pages is its A/B testing feature.
For most online websites, A/B testing is the most reliable way to know where to place a form on your page to maximize leads and sales.
When you create your own landing pages, consider your market. Are you in the luxury market where your visitors may need a little more information to get excited and convert? Or, are you using this landing page to give the visitor a freebie in exchange for their information?
These two situations will lend themselves to different form placement. If you have the traffic, test the difference because no two business are the same and what works may not work for all.

More recommendations

[sitepromo]
[signature]

The Conversion Sciences team is packing up the coffee cup beakers and the lab coats and heading to downtown Austin for the Which Test Won Live Event happening this Thursday and Friday. We know you have a few questions, so here’s the rundown.

What is Which Test Won Live?

“WhichTestWon’s The Live Event is the most advanced — and practical — show of 2013 for digital marketers who care about conversion rate optimization (CRO). Be inspired by 17 new Case Studies, create a hands-on testing plan for your site at 11 exclusive workshops, and then network (and party) with your peers.

Sounds cool! What will the Conversion Sciences Team be doing there?

Our usual mix of mayhem and useful information of course! Come by our booth in the exhibit hall for a first crack at our new ebook Business Video Through the Eyes of Your Prospects. Thursday is the official launch, so stop by for specials and maybe a giveaway or two. We’ll also be doing live site critiques at the top of every hour. Step up for a critique or just watch as the Conversion Scientist gives real live businesses the skinny on what’s working (and what’s not) on their site.

I have to be there! How do I get a ticket?

Head over the Which Test Won Live site to get a ticket. We can promise you will not be disappointed. Remember, it’s this Thursday and Friday May 9th and 10th at the Austin Music Hall. We hope to see you there!
business video cover

You can still pre-order a copy of Business Video Through the Eyes of Your Prospects for a special discount. Get yours reserved today!

The fun folks over at Marketing Words assembled a group of website experts to critique a site, and invited the Conversion Scientist himself to submit his thoughts.  iSiteBuild was kind enough to put their site out there for some constructive feedback!
The great thing about this group of professionals is that they all have different backgrounds, and they were given no specific guidance or rules. So their thoughts and feedback are strictly from their own experience. Each one brings a unique perspective to the table and all provide valuable feedback.
Thanks to iSiteBuild for allowing their site to be used, and thanks to Marketing Words for including Brian.
To read the full post, head over to Marketing Words.