Greg Ng’s Advice on Improving Landing Pages

by Stacey Alexander on September 29, 2010

in Design,Search

Post image for Greg Ng’s Advice on Improving Landing Pages

Are you happy with the way your site is converting visitors?

If you’re not, join about 70% of the sites on the Internet.

This month’s Raleigh SEO meetup was lead by Greg Ng (@GregoryNg) with a focus on improving landing pages to increase conversions. Conversions can be any goal you set for your website – anything from a shopping cart purchase to a newsletter signup.

The meetup was bursting at the seams with valuable info, but I think my favorite part was during the introduction when he said, “In the beginning, I’m going to punch you in the face with theory.”

As you can see in the presentation above, we started out with the theory Greg promised: an equation.

C = positive factors/negative factors = >1

Translation: Conversion happens when there are more positive factors than negative factors. The greater the difference, the more conversions you’ll get.

Positive factors include (These should go UP):

  • Relevance (to the person viewing the page)
  • Motivation (aka Drivers bringing that person to convert
  • Value Proposition (It’s clarity)
  • Offer (This doesn’t have to be a product, or free shipping, etc. It can be something like community too.)

Negative factors include (These should go DOWN):

  • Friction (Factors that make it difficult to convert)
  • Anxiety (The fear that something’s fishy)

10 30 Steps to Improve Your Landing Pages Now:

  1. Test – Testing of any kind is better than no testing.
  2. Remember every page is a chance to convert
  3. Message consistency – This comes down to relevance. Name things using phrases people will use to search for them. Also, the ad copy should match the landing page copy.
  4. Geo-modified personalization – This makes it more relevant to the person viewing the page.
  5. Drive traffic to product page – This means when people search for something specific, and they find you in the results, bring them to a page for that specific thing.
  6. Use countdown timer – This increases urgency and mimics motivation.
  7. Use a faux loading screen – This is great for pages that have a slower loading time. The loading screen will make people feel like you’re actually doing a service for them. Think shopping engines that use a loading screen to subtly remind you that they’re doing work for you by searching for the best price.
  8. Make sure your links work! – Track your links, too.
  9. Use video to engage – People spend more time on video. It’s a much richer experience. Another advantage is that you can communicate more complex messages, tone and personality.
  10. Benefit oriented button copy – Put words on buttons, customized for relevancy. Make them want to click the button.
  11. Test offers – Change one thing about each offer to see which gives you the best value of customer. If you name these pages, don’t put “offer A”, “offer B”, etc in the URL!
  12. The power of three – The human mind groups things in threes. Limit each variety to 3 (i.e. sections, colors, fonts, products).
  13. Avoid dismissible headlines – Don’t use yes or no questions. Say something that will make them have to click to figure it out.
  14. Explain the steps of the process – Let people how long it will take them, and how many steps. It’s important to show progress, for instance with a progress bar or by providing a “percent completed.”
  15. Give more detail – This cures anxiety. Sometimes you have to give more information than feels natural. Add more detail at points of friction. For instance, “The gift recipient will not see the receipt, which will be sent to the separate address indicated for billing.”
  16. Reduce anxiety with copy – “Risk free” “No obligation” “Information is confidential”
  17. Reduce anxiety with testimonials – Add pictures (with permission), first name and last initial. Keep testimonials concise. If you can geo-modify them, that increases relevance.
  18. Appear dynamic – Ex. On the Angie’s List website, there’s a list of most searched services for the month.
  19. Use third-party validation – Ex. Better Business Bureau, sanitation grades
  20. Use lock icon – This feels secure. It works best when placed at the point of purchase (aka next to the purchase button). It’s an emotional driver you just can’t control as a consumer.
  21. Add a phone number – If you have the capability to do telesales, do it. Sometimes people just want to talk to a person.
  22. Highlight the desired choice – Mark your product as the “best value.” This is great because you can’t quantify value. People can’t dispute it.
  23. Remove the navigation – If someone searches for something specific, all you should give them is what they asked for. Allowing them to explore and click around reduces conversion.
  24. Blue links! – When they’re blue, people know they’re links.
  25. Leverage social proof – Ex. Quicken loans puts a specific number of customers (980,121 as of yesterday). It makes them look popular.
  26. CTA above the fold – Don’t make people scroll to find it. Put it where they can see it. It’s ok to repeat the Call To Action below the fold.
  27. Promote self-consistency – People feel better about their decisions when they feel that their decisions are consistent. Make their first CTA very easy (ex. Are you a small business or large business?). They’ll have more patience with the next CTA because they will feel more invested.
  28. Add live chat – This works even for the people who don’t take you up on the offer. Figure out when the best time to offer it is so that you can afford it.
  29. Suggest offer is unique – Ex. “Bookmark this page to save this offer”
  30. Eye track your layout – This shows you where people are looking on your page. Ex. Tobii tracks the heat from your retina to show where you are looking on the page, for how long and in what order.

Greg’s final thoughts:

  • None of these items will work for everyone, but hopefully they will generate ideas.
  • It’s very important to rely on data.
  • Test as often as you can once you have achieved statistical results.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Morgan Siem September 30, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Great recap of a great meetup, Stacey. I always think that Greg Ng is a great presenter. He was really good about giving actionable tips – things that I could actually go home and test / implement. He also did a great job supporting his claims with real data and case studies. I definitely learned a lot.


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