The first page a new visitor sees is your landing page. Turns out, first impressions really do matter. As a marketer, my most important goal is to improve landing page conversions by minimizing landing page bounce rates.
Why landing page conversions matter
According to a Databox survey, 68% of site visitors are new.
These are people who have never seen you before and they don’t know who you are. You may be the best choice on the market but these new visitors don’t know that yet.
So it’s clear we need to do a killer job optimizing this group for high conversion rates. But there is more.
Conversion rate of new visitors
I don’t need to show you a research article that shows the conversion rates of new visitors. You already know your conversion rate—and you know it’s low, which is why you’re here today.
Don’t worry. By the time you finish this article, you will know exactly what needs to be done to improve landing page conversions.
But first, I must share another piece of bad news.
The average return rate for new visitors
30% is considered a good website return rate. You can see return rate of your visitors in GA by going to the Audience –> Overview report. Here is mine:
Let’s stick with my example to understand why landing page conversions really matter. If 68% of my site visitors are new and 11.8% return it means for every 100 people I bring in 68 are new and ~8 of the new visitors return.
That’s a really bad number because it means 92% of my marketing is being wasted.
Bottom line: we can solve all of these problems by simply applying buyer psychology to improve our landing page conversions. And it isn’t that hard (hint: you have to add just one tiny button and it’ll make all the difference).
Types of landing pages
There are two types of landing pages. Type 1 and type 2 shown in screenshot below:
Landing page type 1 is a Google PLA (product listing ad) and when clicked it’ll take the user to a product page.
Landing page type 2 is the more traditional landing page and will either take visitors to a category page with a listing of products -or- to a page that looks like a personalized homepage (personalized for the search term). I did a search for “back pain relief”, clicked the ad, and was taken to this personalized landing page by sleepnumber.com:
This landing page is a sales pitch personalized for people Googling “back pain relief”.
Buyer psychology of visitors landing on your site for the first time
You may think you’re a clever marketer but your buyer is pretty smart too because when they do a Google search they don’t just open your ad, they right click and open a few more tabs:
See, our marketing arrogance makes us believe shoppers come to a landing page, pay close attention, and read it from top to bottom. In reality, your landing page is just one of the open tabs on their browser. They are looking at us and all our competitors at the same time.
But our brains aren’t capable of processing all of this information. So the shopper slips into System 1 mode (this is the emotional mode).
In System 1 mode the shopper is processing information far too fast. They are not reading your marketing sales pitch the way you imagined they would. They are quickly looking at the open tabs and within a few fractions of a second deciding if it’s worth spending more time.
If there is even a hint that the landing page and your business might be a waste of the time the shopper is going to simply click the close button. And, as we saw above, once a new visitor clicks the close button there’s only an 8% chance of them returning. 92% will never come back!!!
Don’t worry, we’ll now show you the trick we’ve perfected over the last
11 12 years of A/B testing to minimize landing page bounce rates.
The reveal: how to boost landing page conversions
Now that we’ve got the nitty-gritty of the way let me tell you how you can dramatically boost landing page conversion. The trick is to answer one question; and the question is: “why we exist”.
This is the content your new visitor is looking for. In a world where there are millions of marketers screaming for the buyers’ attention buyers are in the driving seat. It’s like an interview. If you are interviewing for a role and have to go through 500 candidates your selection criteria will quickly shift to “why should I be looking at your resume?”. A great candidate will address this first before they get into the job history. You must do the same for your landing page.
Crafting “why we exist” copy
At Frictionless Commerce, we play a game with clients to get to the heart of “why they exist”. The scenario is that you are sitting at a bar in a fancy hotel. You’ve had a really good day and your business is doing well.
While enjoying a relaxing drink you strike up a conversation with a fellow bar patron. As you tell them a little about your business you notice them lean in with interest.
Turns out, the thing you’re selling online is the very thing this person has been researching online but gave up in frustration.
You can see that this person is willing to pay a premium.
They are excited to hear your origin story.
How would you tell it? Here are some things that you would cover:
— You would talk about your initial inspiration. Initial light bulb moment.
— You would talk about the research you did to see what options were available online. And how you were frustrated that the solution didn’t satisfy the need.
— You would talk about the size of the market. And how important it is that you exist. How much worse the world would be if you didn’t exist.
— Running a business is hard but there is something that gets you out of bed each morning. You would talk about this.
— If the patron asked how you were keeping ahead of the competition you would have a very compelling pitch.
— You would talk about the guiding principles of your business.
Add a few of your own questions to this list and you’ll have your “why we exist” pitch.
Testing “why we exist” copy on your landing page
Now that we have the first version of our “why we exist” story we need to test it. The way I like to do this is by adding a prominent button on the landing page that simply says “why we exist”.
The advantage of adding a button is that we can leave the rest of our landing page unchanged.
Remember, this new visitor is already overwhelmed by the number of choices, they already have multiple tabs open, they’re thinking to themselves “why should I spend more time here?”. That question in their mind will immediately connect with your “why we exist” button.
When they click it they’ll see a popup with your “why we exist” story.
Go ahead and A/B test the button. Make it visible for 50% of visitors and invisible for the rest. This will allow you to calculate the actual $$$ impact of “why we exist”.
One thing to keep in mind: when you set the A/B test track button clicks, it’s very important that an adequate number of people are clicking the button. Because if they aren’t then we can’t really know the actual impact of our “why we exist” story. If the number of people clicking the button is surprisingly low then redesign it and change its location so it’s more visible. Then rerun the test.
Now that you’ve fixed leakage on your landing page you’re ready to optimize your entire funnel: How to Increase Online Conversions and Sales.