From Facebook to your Website: Do you Know What Makes a Strong Landing Page? (Tech Talks - Part 3 of 3)
This Tech Talk was given by GWS Media director David Graves on February 12th, 2014
Image under Tom Woodward under Creative Commons licence 2.0
There isn't any point in referring visitors from platforms like Facebook and Twitter to your website if your landing pages are not ready for these visitors.
Optimising your landing pages is a crucial part of integrating a successful conversion rate with your social media strategy.
For an introduction to planning social media success, and for an outline of how your landing pages feed into that, take a look at part 1 of this series, How to Boost your Current Conversion rate with Social Media.
Consider what your Social Followers are Looking For
Landing pages can come in all styles, some of which are highly aesthetically pleasing and highly functional, and some that are poorly designed not not organised with the end user in mind.
The rise of digital marketing and online paid advertising (as mentioned in part 2 of this series, the Sales Process & Social Media) can enable websites to grow their traffics referrals by leaps and bounds in a short time. But all this is meaningless if your landing pages don't engage visitors.
If possible, you should have specific landing pages tailored to your planned social media campaigns, bearing in mind the motive behind your campaigns. For example, if you want to capture the contact details of your social followers, make sure your landing page is set up to encourage users to provide this information.
If you lose a high percentage of social traffic once they land on your website, which can often happen if you direct social media traffic to a standard page, why not take a look at how to improve and tailor that page to what these visitors are probably looking for?
Strategising your Landing Pages for Social Visits
If you are directing traffic from a social media channel for a charity and funneling it to a donation page, common sense predicts you're likely to see fairly high bounce rates.
At the very least, you could look at adding some softer contribution options – getting involved, finding out more about events run by the charity, etc..
Visitors may also need to be encouraged and reassured with more details of what their donations will be used for, and testimonials from people who have benefited from and been helped by the charity's cause.
Image under Mike Licht under Creative Commons Licence 2.0
If you want to capture customer details through your landing page, then ask yourself whether the content you are offering in return is compelling enough, and whether the page sells this content effectively.
Making changes to the page, its design and content can allow you to increase conversions in a big way; but don't just guess: make sure you measure the effects of your changes.
The fact that a design is fresh and new doesn't necessarily mean it will be more effective, no matter how pleased your designers are with it.
This is also an area where if the volume of traffic and income stream justifies, you may want to look into some formal usability testing.
Don't Just Use Text
It’s important to utilise attractive images, testimonials, perhaps a video (if appropriate) and clear calls to action on any landing page.
You normally don’t want to offer too many choices of action - e.g., if the page is asking for personal details in return for content, giving an easy alternative exit to view the rest of the website may reduce your sign-up rate. (See here a strong example from Diet Coke).
If someone is coming to this page from a social media campaign, consider how the page will look to them and whether it’s going to seem dull compared to the social media channel.
Remember: someone may have clicked through straight from your social media campaign - is your landing page going to look dull in comparison to where they've just come from?
Jumping straight onto a product page may just be a turn off to some if the messages aren't clear.
Image under Serge Kij under Creative Commons License 2.0
User Testing Methods
Once you’re happy you've covered the basics of landing page optimisation, test changes to see how you can improve conversion rates.
The two main testing options are as follows.
With simple A/B testing you can compare two versions to determine which gives the better result.
A is normally your existing design, and B the new one.
Over a defined period of time, you split traffic to each version and compare the results.
In multivariate testing, you select different elements (such as headlines, images, buttons, etc.) and create and combine different versions of selected elements.
Then you split your traffic amongst those combinations to see which one gets maximum conversion rate or sales.
The winning combination can then be implemented.
Generally, A/B testing is simpler.
If you're funneling Facebook traffic, consider if you really need to funnel traffic through to an external site at all.
Your campaign could potentially keep people on the social media property they've found you on and capture more data there, rather than pushing them off to your website.
It is all about your end goal, more visits to your website don't automatically equate to success.
You can have an online shop in your Facebook business page, ticket booking and pretty much anything else you can think of.
The most important things to bear in mind when building or refining your landing page are: Usability, Navigation, Aesthetics & clear Communication - test, test, test!
Once you're pleased with the basics then you can think about linking up your social media or other campaigns to your landing pages, hopefully boosting conversions as well as traffic via those mediums.
From there you can strategically plan ways to improve your ROI even further.
Return to Part 1: How to Boost your Current Conversion rate with Social Media