UX Designer, HubSpot Design & GDD Certified, Designer for 70+ Sites for HubSpot and Various CMSs
September 23rd, 2015
Last week I had the opportunity to attend a KISSmetrics webinar run by Thue Madson and Barry Feldman. The two candidly discussed topics like the true meaning of “conversion” and the effect your website's copy has on your user’s engagement.
But the real goldmine of information came about 20 minutes into the webinar when Barry began talking about a prospect’s “comfort zone” and what causes someone to feel, as he describes it, “discomfort”.
I immediately began to think about what areas of a site we all probably struggle with this the most -- Landing Pages. When it comes to landing pages our prospects NEED to feel a certain level of comfort before they convert.
Think of these “areas of discomfort” as roadblocks in your prospect's journey through your landing page.
These roadblocks are what stop your prospects from becoming leads. They build up invisible walls between you and your audience making it impossible for you to form a connection with them, ultimately leading to them hitting the back button.
Check out and address these six roadblocks on your landing pages to put your prospects’ minds at ease (and increase conversions at the same time.)
Roadblock #1: Confusion
Making a form hard to find, A page that has copy that isn’t clear or has too much jargon, these are the types of elements that cause confusion.
The second a person thinks your page is confusing you’re going to start losing conversions.
How Do You Overcome Confusion?
Combat confusion with clarity. There are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your audience is able to clearly understand your message.
1. Write clear and simple headlines
A value proposition is a person’s first interaction with your page. Feldman says “Don’t let cleverness or cuteness stand in the way of clarity.” However don’t let that you deter you from working some personality into your headlines, just be sure the message remains clear. 2. Align your CTA and landing page If you’re noticing a high bounce rate on your landing page then chances are there’s a disconnect between the CTA and the landing page itself. When creating a CTA keep the page you’re linking to in mind. The transition from the CTA to the actual landing page should be a seamless one in terms of design and messaging. You don’t want people to click through and land on a page that doesn’t seem like it belongs. The text and imagery you use in your CTA should align with your landing page. Check out this article for some great examples on how to do this right.
“Executing Real World Operational Strategies to Propel Innovation”
...what? What does that even mean? That offers me no emotional connection. Instead of something like this, give me something helpful and speak to my pain points.
Roadblock #2: Distraction
When creating your landing page it’s easy to go overboard by adding unnecessary elements to the page. You’re trying to help people get as much information as possible, but at a certain point it becomes too much.
How Do You Overcome Distraction?
The key to overcoming distraction is focus. Focus on your message.
Keep your page simple with just the essentials on it. Don’t be scared to have a longer page, but make sure the elements you include are all building to your goal. Review every section on your page and ask yourself “Is this going to help build my pages case”
Barry Feldman best described it by saying “Don’t count characters, but make every character count”.
Roadblock #3: Apathy
The fundamental goal of our websites is to simply make a connection with people. We want people to be bought into our brand. Without that connection, there’s no drive for people to interact with us.
Imagine someone who arrives on your landing page and their only reaction is a blank stare. No impressed look, no intrigue, just apathy. People who feel apathetic while on your landing page don’t feel a sense of urgency to fill out a form and in turn aren’t feeling a connection to your brand in general.
How Do You Overcome Apathy?
At no point in your visitor’s journey should they feel apathetic. Overcome any feeling of apathy your visitors might experience by making sure nothing begins to feel optional or less urgent.
Speak to your visitors needs and be specific, almost polarizing. Your offer isn’t going to be for everyone but keep your targeted audience's attention.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but you’re not going to bore anyone into converting on your landing page. If we can’t keep people’s attention or get them right to the point they become bored.
Unfortunately, dealing with boredom can be a massive challenge, especially for those industries that aren’t considered “sexy.” You can imagine that insurance agencies or cleaning products rarely elicit the same excitement as say the Tourism industry. Sorry guys.
How Do You Overcome Boredom?
Fear not; the solution is a simple one. Make it fun!
Remember you’re talking to another human being, so don’t be afraid to introduce a little of your charming personality. All types of companies can start to work some fun into their brand.
Try the following tactics:
Lighten up the tone you use in your copy
Tell people a story that speaks to shared memories
Introduce characters people can relate to
Push emotional buttons
Make sure you also keep your landing page “skimmer friendly.” People don’t want to read huge chunks of writing, instead they’d like to get the gist of a page and move on from there.
Write your copy with short paragraphs, noticeable headers, and short bulleted lists.
Roadblock #5: Friction
As Marketing-savvy people, we know the techniques to move someone through the sales funnel, but what do we know about conversions arch nemesis, friction?
Friction is why people are hesitant to convert and it can stem from even the most subtle details on your site.
You can easily work this mentality into your copy by using words such as “shortcuts, checklist, templates, or cheat sheets.” For example, “7 Shortcuts to Optimizing Your Blog Posts” is a title that assures readers you’re leading them down the fast and easy path.
You also need to address the “What if” that is always lingering in the back of a visitor’s mind.
“What if I don’t have the time for this”
“What if I don’t like it”
“What if I can figure out how to use this”
Introduce safety nets into your content. Terms like “cancel anytime, try before you buy, no obligation” help to give readers a peace of mind and entice them to convert.
Roadblock #6: Lack of Trust
Between credit card fraud and viruses, the internet can be a worrisome place for some people, so it’s should come as no surprise that they often need to trust a brand or company before surrendering their personal contact information in a form.
How Do You Overcome a Lack of Trust?
Before we can gain a user’s trust, they need to like us and be sold on our brand.
Speak to your visitors casually and conversationally instead of like a Marketer. Remind them that there’s a person on the other end of the computer.
Ann Handley, the author of Everybody Writes, says the key to building trust is to develop a pathological empathy for you customer. In other words, understand how they feel and look at things from their point of view.
In addition to the tone you use to speak to your visitors, also include elements that serve as proof. Testimonials and social proof are great ways to put users’ minds at easy. They’ll love to see that someone else like them has found value from your product.
Being mindful of these roads blocks can mean the difference between connecting with a prospect or interrupting or even stopping their journey all together.
I’ve found that it’s easiest to start breaking through these roadblocks on your most highly viewed landing pages and then working your way down to the rest.
Review your landing pages and decide what’s necessary and what’s fluff (i.e. remove unnecessary content, graphics that serve no purpose, etc.) From there, review the content you’ve decided to keep and make sure the tone matches your brand.
This will give you a good foundation to build off of and start optimizing.
Thanks again to Barry Feldman and Thue Madson for running such a powerful webinar!
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