SIX. Use meaningful graphics.
Graphics must be consistent with the campaign and generate empathy for the audience. Don’t underestimate the importance of quality graphics – stock graphics rarely work. It is difficult to assess how graphics influence conversion rate, so the implication is to test, test,test.
SEVEN. Remove menu options?
Another guideline that causes disagreement. Removing menu options will often increase conversion rate since less choice of where to click is offered, but for those who don’t respond will give a poor experience and prevent them browsing other parts of the site. Often a compromise is best with a reduction in menu options to top-level options only.
EIGHT. Consider using a “flowable” or liquid layout design.
This maximises real estate at a given resolution on different devices. These days it’s also called responsive design.
Although this can work well for a retailer to show more products above the fold in a category, this is achieved with a loss of control of design. For landing pages, a controlled, fixed design will often work best.
NINE. Remember search marketing.
There are three aspects to this. First an offline campaign will lead to people searching on your brand or the campaign strapline.
Make sure you are using paid search to direct visitors to the relevant pages particularly during the campaign.
Second, if the page is integrated into the web site and will be used in the long-term, optimise it for relevant search keyphrases using standard search engine optimisation techniques described .
Three, Google sends out a robot “Adbots Google” to test landing page for relevance and speed, so make sure your <title>, headings and body copy include the keywords you’re using to trigger your ad and including in ad copy.
TEN. Remember the non-responders.
Provide a choice for those who don’t respond despite your carefully crafted landing pages. Provide a reasonably prominent (trackable) phone number or perhaps a call-back/live chat option. Also provide some options for them to browse or search elsewhere on the site.
TIMITI is a term coined by Jim Sterne, author of Web Metrics
It stands for Try It! Measure It! Tweak It! i.e. online content effectiveness should be reviewed and improved continuously rather than as a periodic or ad-hoc process. Because the web is a new medium and the access platforms, user behaviours and competitor approach all change continuously, what works at the start of the year will certainly not work as well by the end of the year.
Today, using AB or Multivariate testing tools like Google Website Optimizer is an essential part of Landing Page Optimisation.
TWELVE. Consider landing page longevity
Landing pages are often used for short-term campaigns. If so, you need to carefully manage when they and links to them from within the nav are expired. Risks include out-of-date offers and visitors typing in URLS which are no longer valid. Use of a custom 404 Error page is essential to manage these problems gracefully.
If you’re researching landing page examples, I also recommend this excellent post, deconstructing 10 landing page examples.
Finally, remember that there are always exceptions to guidelines and some have suggested that many of the commonly held usability guidelines are myths. See also Bryan Eisenberg’s ten unwritten Internet design rules.
So that’s my guidance, as always, tell me what you have found. Share the approaches you have found effective. TIA! Dave