We previously discussed the differences between roles, personas and cognitive styles—all essential components of understanding webpage optimization. Now that you know who your visitors are, what their needs are and how they think, consider how you’re going to get each of their individual attention. You may think that your ideas represent the average consumer, but the fact is that not everyone has been programmed to like what you like, understand what you understand and process the way that you process. In this two part series, we’ll discuss how optimize your landing page for the masses.
1. Know When to Keep it Simple: Some direct response practitioners like an exciting – if not circus-like – atmosphere in a landing page. Perhaps for some consumer categories it works well. But in today’s “give-it-to-me quick-or-I’m-out-of-here” world, you need to keep your landing page focused and pretty simple. Let’s face it, staring into a light source and reading long tracts of information is stressful and hard work. Help the visitor to your landing page digest what you are offering quickly and easily. Use short paragraphs and bullet points.
2. Tell Them Where They Are: Think about it. When a reader clicks on a link within an email, they’re being redirected to a new source—namely, the web. Putting language at the top of the landing page telling them they’ve landed in the right spot takes away the first question that any visitor understandably has.
3. Don’t Take Over My Computer: As my 7th grade English teacher used to say, “K.I.S.S.—Keep It Simple, Stupid.” This couldn’t be more appropriate for the way that some web designer’s create their landing page. As consumers, we don’t need a gazillion bells and whistles going off in our faces to be interested in your product. In fact, we usually prefer it the other way. The average user is more likely to just close their web browser than wade through all of the fluff.
4. Offer Multiple Avenues for Interaction: Some people are prone to click on the first link they see on a webpage. Others will fish around a little bit more. Keep your links as user-friendly as possible, by placing them at the top, bottom and middle of your page. This way, visitors can get the information they seek as soon as they are ready. Track everything. Try to custom tag each link so you know which ones are the most used. This will come in handy for the next time. If you have a multi-stage process, like a survey, shopping cart, or registration form, see where you lose people and work on that.
5. Experiment with Your Registration Forms: Research typically shows that you lose 30% of respondents with each registration field. Only take the necessary information for your business. If you can manage, consider only taking their email addresses. That way you can start as many new relationships as possible and worry about the other stuff later.