What Converts? Web Landing Page Benchmarks and Trends
There can rarely be any fruit of your labor as a marketer if it’s not conversions. These are what define your success. Conversions are the proof that your efforts are paying off.
But have you ever wondered how you are faring compared to your competitors?
As a brand, no matter how well you are doing, you will always need to do better. And the reason is twofold:
If you don’t, then your competitors will catch up with you and topple you from the top position.
If not that, then your customers’ growing and changing needs will no longer be satisfied by you. That also will lead them to seeking alternatives.
You don’t want to experience any of these scenarios.
To help you maintain high conversion rates, we are giving you some data to consider.
We looked around at the trends and benchmarks for landing pages. These will help you gauge your success in reference to where the rest of the internet users are.
LANDING PAGE TRENDS
Marketing is a rapidly-changing industry. And as is the case with life, adapting early is key to succeeding and remaining successful.
When you get used to adapting early, you develop an ability to “sense” when the next change could come.
This keeps you ahead of your competition because it simply means you will not be taken by surprise.
Since almost all conversions take place at the landing page, it’s necessary to look at what is happening to this great page.
There are certain trends which are increasing in popularity. If your page isn’t on board, then you can work on it.
More Videos on Landing Pages
More videos are making their way onto the landing pages. This is informed by what content marketers have known very well. And that is the fact that videos offer several advantages over text.
Traditionally, blogs and other brands used text and some pictures to communicate their message. Although all was going well, things quickly changed especially with the advent of social media.
Below are some of the benefits of using videos in landing pages:
- More engaging – engagement is key and it is not a requirement only in information-based content. Wherever you are communicating with someone, you should always jump at the opportunity to use video if you want the benefits of engagement. Studies show that almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.
- Message retention – the human brain is better at digesting the contents of a video as opposed to text. The reason is that text provides more challenges to the mind which actually sees in pictures. When reading text, your brain has to create pictures for you to see then you can understand what you are reading. But when you watch a video, your mind finds it easy to understand the message. This is because there is no extra work of creating pictures from words.
- Entertainment – even when you are giving a very serious message, videos always have an entertainment angle to them. This is tied to the sense of peace which comes into the mind knowing the message will be easily understood.
It is such benefits that have made many brands and web designers to opt for more videos.
When you consider that there will be greater message retention, it makes sense to see video in landing pages.
Long Landing Pages
For some time, landing pages were made of short messages and they would not require scrolling down.
More details would then be available either through some other page or further down the sales funnel.
Things have however started changing and the number of long landing pages is on the rise.
Primarily, a long landing page gives the brand the ability to do two things:
- Incorporate more than one CTA – for some marketers, they see an opportunity to maximize the possibility of more conversions when they provide more than one call to action. This is perfectly understandable and works well to increase conversions.
In this case, these brands will ensure the different CTAs are unique though complementing one another. This helps maintain the theme of the landing page.
At the same time, the different CTAs must be aligned with the keywords used to bring traffic to the page. This gives the communication the consistency needed in the messaging.
- Take action at different stages – more than one CTAs being used in the same landing page provide the visitors with the opportunity to make a decision at whatever point of the journey they are in. They will not have to scroll to the top or bottom of the page so as to buy.
Typically, the different sections of the page will be communicating the various features of the product. Since this is a landing page, every section has its own copy created.
With the right words to indicate the suitability of the product, the long landing page builds the excitement inside you as you read on.
Minimalist Landing Pages
Another trend in landing pages is the embracing of a minimalist approach in design. This indicates a move from relying on a lot of text.
In this approach, the amount of text used decreases and the focus is put on the quality of the text.
With a minimalist approach, you stand to benefit once you realize there are no distractions. It is very easy to have unnecessary words which water down the overall power of the copy.
In the cases where many pictures are used, the visitor may end up forgetting what he was looking for in the first place.
This is one way bounce rates eventually increase.
Bounce rates then lead to a bad reputation with search engines and much frustrations as you get little or no conversions.
Increased Use of Illustrations
For landing pages, there has been a shift from the usual visuals of pictures. More and more people are using illustrations.
Illustrations are being used as the core of the message and small amounts of text as complementary explanations..
Illustrations provide an avenue for you to express your creativity. As such, you get an opportunity to be as unique as you possibly can.
Just as there are no limitations on what you can do with drawings, there is no limit on how best you can communicate using illustrations.
When thinking of this type of visuals, it is best to see them as an open platform. There are no hard and fast rules as to what kind of illustrations you can come up with.
More than that, illustrations tend to be easy on the eye. Their informal look will make you feel like you want to sit back and look at them again.
You become comfortable and your relaxed state opens you up to the message being shared.
Appropriate White Space
White space is a treasure and anyone who knows how to use it will always win. First of all, contrary to what it may seem like, it is not a waste of space. There is value attached to this practice.
White space gives the impression that there isn’t too much to be digested. That means you are not being overwhelmed by too much information.
You probably know about the downside of too much information in regards to marketing. People get lost in it. They try to find their way around and they just can’t.
When writing copy for your landing page, this is the one thing you definitely have to avoid. And as it is said, less is really more.
It is similar to a situation where a salesman rapidly talks to a prospect telling him of the features of a product.
Although the product may be able to do everything, there is no room for the prospect to see himself using the product.
For an effective job, you must give the page visitor room to imagine himself using your product or service. Let his eyes move from the illustration to the few words which are adding value to it.
What the mind will be doing is creating a mental picture of your product solving his needs. And if you have done it well, then you get the visitor to make the decision.
Or at least become a serious lead you can move towards conversion.
Related to appropriate white space is the use of backgrounds which help ease the mood of the person visiting your landing page.
In most landing pages. You will often find that the background is a solid color. But creatives are coming out of this. When you overlay your text on a particle background, you create an atmosphere for the prospect.
Particle backgrounds remove the boredom of looking at a solid background. They show a subtle movement which is big enough to be noticed and even attract attention but small enough not to be a distraction.
Some particle backgrounds however have no motion.
They come in handy when you want to create a conducive environment for the lead. They give the page visitor a sense of calm as they draw their attention to the beauty of their implementation.
If you can come across as someone whose products are beautiful, then there is an expectation created of a good experience.
The person viewing your page gets to believe that you are likely to offer good after sales service.
Or that the product is so good there won’t be need for much inquiry.
LANDING PAGE BENCHMARKS
Trends usually create a disturbance. When many people abandon an old thing for the new one, there will always be some disturbances.
These trends also cause some changes in the way you determine the success of your brand.
This is not to mean that what others do affects how you see your brand. But what they do brings about changes in the industry you are in.
This means that whereas you have been defining success as X for the last five years, your industry may move to start defining it as Y.
How is this?
Think of it in regard to the traffic you receive. If everyone in your industry gets for example 1,000 visits per day on average, then you might all be doing well. Your industry might be experiencing good growth.
But what if suddenly your competitors started receiving 1,500 visits per day on average? Then they move to 2,000 visits while you are still at 1,000? What if their conversions are increasing at the same rate?
Your industry will be said to be experiencing a boom. But are you personally experiencing a boom?
No, you aren’t.
This is why you need to track what others are doing. It is important to stay updated on what is going on. And on that note, it is important to know what benchmarks your industry is using.
The Conversion Rate
This is what every marketer thinks about. And although you may be worried about low conversions, the average rate might serve to give you some relief.
Your competitors are working hard to outsmart you while you are working to outdo them. This can lead to a lot of frustrations when you get little conversions.
It’s important to understand that industries operate differently and there cannot be one figure for everyone to fit in. As such, conversions rate can be subjective.
It also depends on how you define success.
If you are looking to sell your product while someone else wants to sign up people for newsletters, your conversion rates will be different.
Heapanalytics looked at conversion rate data for 79 SaaS companies over a 3-month period. They noticed an average signup rate of 36.2%.
This is the number of site visitors who leave soon after they have gotten on the site.
The reasons for leaving could be as many as there are different people but there are some basic reasons.
For example, it could be that they didn’t get what they were looking for. Maybe it was something to do with how the information was presented on the site.
Or probably they read the introduction and decided they have gotten enough information.
Generally, bounce rates average at around 40% – 50%. This figure largely depends on the tools you are using to measure it.
For example, according to Google, beauty and fitness industries experience a bounce rate of 56.81%. News has 65.35%, Real Estate 49.25% while Science has 63.36%.
Ecommerce Europe also studied websites and came up with some figures. The fashion industry had the lowest bounce rate at 35.52% while electronics had the highest at 44.75% Department stores had 39.78%.
You can check more of the results from these studies here.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR LANDING PAGE
Having seen what is going on around you, you will do well to make changes where necessary. It will be necessary for you to understand that you can have more than one landing page.
So if you are wondering what to do since you already set up and launched your landing page, you can make another one.
This is in addition to optimizing the current one.
You need to maximize on your opportunities especially if you have realized that you are lagging behind.
If you are not the leader in your industry, then you can at least be at par with your competitors. Below we look at some of the things to keep in mind as you make changes to your current landing page or create a new one.
Define Your Goal
This is where you have to start whenever you are doing something. Anything. Including designing and creating the soon-to-become best landing page in your industry.
Having a clear goal makes you stay on the right lane. Keep in mind that your goal should not be as vague as “make more profit.” Or “have more conversions.”
Your landing page’s goal should be anchored on your business goals.
Do not think of them as two different things.
When you have this consistency in thinking and operation, you will be able to give your prospects the same experience whether they visit your landing page or your office.
Consistency is important. If you lack it, then you might create a situation where even your loyal customers could become confused. This can be taken advantage of by your rivals especially when the competition becomes tough.
Have a Great Headline
The headline of your landing page is as important as the headline of a national newspaper. The headline is what sells the paper. In your case, it is what will tell those who get to your page that you have something they need.
For the best results, your headline should give an idea of the solution the visitor is looking for. If your goal is clear, then you know what problem you are looking to solve. Meaning you have a solution for it.
At the same time, don’t be too wordy. Headlines need to be short.
Also consider touching on an emotional point. Make a subtle reference to the pains the customer faces. That will remind him why he is there and show him that you understand his situation.
An example headline could be: “How to stop hackers and get your emails delivered.”
As brief as that headline is, anyone familiar with email security will understand the kind of solution being offered.
Such a person knows that hackers use emails to gain illegal access to corporate networks. Moreover, successful hacking, or even successful spamming can lead to undeliverable emails.
Considering that this leads to loss in business, the fear for such a situation is real.
Write a Compelling Copy
In the realm of content writing, copy is the text used to sell a product. In the context of your landing page, you can see this as the sub-headline.
The sub-headline is the text used to give more details regarding the solution you are offering. It expands your headline and says more to cover what the headline is talking about.
Building on our example above, the copy for the landing page could be as below.
“Say goodbye to email phishing and blended attacks by use of our next generation intrusion prevention technology.”
Remember that this text should also be considerably short. If your solution is intended for technical audiences but you want to get some non-technical leads for nurturing, then consider having a long landing page.
On it, you can then put in more details with different sections explaining different aspects of the solution.
Also remember to place several CTAs along the page to allow for conversion from any part of the journey.
The place for visuals has been well earned. It is no longer something to be considered but more of a must-have. Of course, there isn’t really a problem with you having a landing page without visuals. However, it will be better to include them.
For visuals, think about some of the trends discussed above. Look for what is best to be incorporated in your page.
Should you have a solid color background? If so, then work with the colors which can help you convert.
Should you use pictures or illustrations? If so, what will the picture be communicating? Will you include video content?
There are many options for this.
Whichever visuals you decide to use, ensure they reflect the general experience you would like a customer to identify you with.
Work on Your CTAs
Every landing page must have a Call To Action. Some have more than one. It all depends on your goals and the design of your page.
Since CTAs are a natural part of landing pages, it is therefore not an issue of whether you have one. It is an issue of how effective it is.
CTAs are basically words, so there isn’t anything much about them. But for maximum conversion rates, you have to choose the right words.
In every CTA you implement on your page, make an effort to create a sense of urgency. The simplest way of doing this is by including the word “NOW” in your CTA.
This is why you see CTA buttons asking people to “BUY NOW!” or “SUBSCRIBE NOW!”
You can also move from this basic to more advanced techniques. For example, if you are a retailer, you could have a CTA button labeled “ORDER NOW!” but then include some text beside the button in red color indicating “FREE gift for the first 10 buyers.”
Remember we said you can have more than one landing page? This can be useful in promoting different products.
Maybe you want to promote a new item in your store. Together with the “ORDER NOW!” button, you could inform the page visitors that there are only 5 pieces remaining. This tells the one who has been attracted to the offer that they need to rush.
For you, this means they quickly make the decision to buy.
Reduce Load Times
Longer load times affect the conversion rate. If you put yourself in the shoes of a shopper who is looking to make a quick purchase, you will perfectly understand this.
Online shopping is meant to provide a convenience and part of that is the ability to quickly window shop then decide where to buy from.
If someone is window shopping and lands on your page but then waits for a considerable amount of time for it to load, they will be frustrated.
You will essentially be preventing them from having a quick and convenient experience.
What would you do if you were a shopper faced with such a situation?
You would very likely abandon the page which is taking too long to load. And that is exactly what prospects will do if your page takes long to load.
The ideal maximum time your page can take to load is 3 seconds. Not anything more than that. In fact you should aim at having it load faster than that.
This is not difficult since most landing pages are not heavy with media. If you have some high resolution pictures you want in your page, use lossless compression formats to make them smaller. The quality will be preserved to a good degree but the size drastically reduced.
Testimonials are crucial as they form a strategic part of your landing page marketing. These are what will add weight to your case and convince the undecided potential buyer.
This is also the reason why PR is an important aspect of marketing. Part of the PR team’s job is to ensure your brand’s online reputation is safeguarded. It is also the reason why customer service has to be great in order to avoid bad reviews.
All the same, now that someone is on your page, they need to see some positive feedback. This will make them comfortable knowing that others have had a good experience with your solution.
They are then able to make the decision which you are hoping they will make.
Like everything else, it is wise to do some tests. For landing pages, you can test it to see how good it is.
A/B testing is used to compare two web elements. These can range from ads to landing pages and everything in between.
The principle of this test is that there will be two similar elements rotated to the viewers. This is in order to measure the one with the best performance.
If you already have a landing page, then you have to consider this step. If you are developing your first landing page, well, you currently have nothing to compare it with.
However, you can create two separate ones with different approaches and test them to see which will bring more conversions.
You will use an A/B Testing tool to perform this test as it is not a manual test. The tool will automatically show each page to different viewers and show you the results.
If you ascertain that one page brings in better results, then you can safely drop the non-performing one.
Incorporate an Exit Popup
The very last thing which you should do is have an exit popup. This is a popup message which appears on your landing page when the viewer decides to leave the page.
These popups usually work by tracking the movement of the mouse cursor. When they “notice” that the page visitor wants to leave, e.g. go to another browser tab or close the tab, they pop up and show their message.
This will be good for making a final attempt at converting the visitor.
There are very many ways of going about the use of exit popups. And they are all centered on the message you use.
For example, you could include a message such as: “Not convinced that we can solve your problem? Take this 1-minute test to be sure.”
With this example, the visitor will hopefully think that a test is a good way to prove something. Also, he might not have a problem sacrificing one minute seeing that it could give him what he is looking for.
Use the message that will speak to the kind of people you attract to your landing page. Whatever you do, ensure that you don’t ask for too much information.
Also avoid taking too much of their time.
We have given you insight into the trends defining landing pages.
On top of that, we have shown you how to optimize your current landing pages.
You can use the same information to create optimized pages. Use this information to improve your conversion rates.
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