When creating a new landing page, it’s easy to get caught up in the behind-the-scenes flurry of visits, clicks and conversions that we use to measure success. It’s so easy, in fact, that many marketers lose sight of the true key to landing page conversions: the actual, real live humans behind the screens.
After all, those humans are the people you’re talking to. The humans you’re trying to win over. Your target audience. All the tools and data in the world won’t make a difference if you forget to factor in the human element.If you find yourself so buffeted by a digital data storm that you lose sight of your goals, it’s time to take a step back from all those shiny tools and analytics so that you can refocus your strategy to hone in on those humans behind the screen.
The savvy team at Hubspot broke down the elements involved in creating landing pages that convert. The secret? Design inspired by real live humans, not data. We thought their insights were so valuable, we wanted to pass them on to you. You can read the full post here, or read on below for our take.
To design a landing page optimized to appeal to real humans, you need to understand human behavior. A tall order, it might seem. But as far as your landing page is concerned, the Fogg Behavior Model for persuasive design tells us there are only three primary factors that come into play:
Master these three behavioral factors, and you have all the tools you really need to create high-converting landing pages—every time. When you make humans your focus, analytics simply supply cold hard proof of a job well done.
Motivation can be broken down into three dichotomies: pleasure/pain, hope/fear, and social acceptance/rejection. The most relevant of the three when it comes to your landing page will most likely be hope and social acceptance.
When people perform online research into companies, what are they looking for? They have a need to satisfy or a problem to solve, and they’re hoping to find a credible expert to offer them a solution. Your task is to position yourself as that credible expert.
Make your credibility apparent on your landing page. Reserve space to include evidence of the authority you hold in your market. Something as simple as a short blurb next to your logo demonstrating how you’ve helped customers – “Our Product Has Helped Over X Customers Achieve [Fill-in-the-Blank]” – can signal to customers that your brand provides the solution they’ve been hoping to find.
Appealing to the motivation for social acceptance couldn’t be easier now that we have social media to serve as social proof. Social proof is what causes people to stand in line for an hour for a popular brunch spot—we assume that with this many people lined up, it must be a brunch to die for (or at least line up for).
You can harness the same phenomenon on your landing page. Showcase a customer testimonial, feature social sharing buttons to illustrate the number of people engaging with your brand or include a ticker that counts and displays the number of downloads your offer has gotten: “Join X customers who have already claimed this offer!”
Humans, generally, like to follow the herd. If visitors to your landing page see evidence that other people have taken you up on your offer and profited from it, they’ll be more likely to do so themselves.
In order to perform a target behavior, a person must have the ability to do so. You can’t control people’s ability, but you can control the behavioral threshold required to perform the target action. For many tasks, ability is handicapped not by aptitude, but by laziness. If you want more people to take action on your landing page, you have to lower the threshold for performance.
Fogg’s behavioral model equates ability with simplicity. To optimize conversions, maximize simplicity in your landing page design. Simply put, simplicity is a function of your scarcest resource in a given moment—i.e. if a landing page form will take 10 minutes to complete but your visitor doesn’t have 10 minutes to spare, your design is not simple.
Think about the resources your visitor requires to engage with your landing page: time, attention, effort, possibly money. These are the thresholds you want to simplify.
The fact that people have shorter attention spans online is a given. Especially if a visitor is new to your brand, they’re not going to be willing to devote several precious minutes to reading through dense copy on your landing page. If you want to keep their attention long enough for them to reach the offer, you need to minimize words and use bullet points to highlight key offer benefits.
Try communicating content through visuals rather than words. Visuals are quicker and easier to consume and make the page more appealing from first glance, so visitors are less likely to click away before reading a word.
Say you’ve created a visually appealing and snappy landing page and you’ve got a potential customer on the hook, ready to download your offer. Then they scroll down to the submission form and find a dozen different fields they’ll have to complete before they can claim the offer. What happens? They experience form fatigue before they even begin and decide to bail out while they still can.
Reduce your form-fields to the absolute minimum. You may not collect as much information from each customer, but you’ll collect far more conversions overall. A landing page is meant to get a prospect’s foot in the door. Once they’ve entered your funnel, you can always collect more information later. But there’s nothing you can do about potential customers lost to form fatigue.
A trigger is anything that signals when to perform a behavior. There are three kinds of triggers: a spark motivates behavior, facilitators make a behavior easier and signals serve as a reminder.
In the hands of a marketer, triggers can be a powerful tool. A strategic trigger can stimulate someone to act immediately, even impulsively.
“Free” is The Magic Word
If your offer is free, make sure that word features prominently in your landing page title. An interested prospect might hesitate to act if there’s any doubt in their mind that the offer is free, so it’s critical that you make it very clear from the get-go. A HubSpot experiment found that landing pages with “free” in the header achieved a 3% higher average conversion rate than those that didn’t.
Adding a sense of urgency to your landing page can increase the likelihood that visitors will act. You can add urgency by using language that suggests immediacy or time sensitivity, such as “available now,” “limited availability,” or “don’t miss out.” A sense of urgency triggers a gut impulse to act immediately—an impulse people will be especially prone to act on if you keep the behavioral threshold low with design simplicity.
Harness all three factors of human behavior—motivation, ability, and trigger—on a single landing page, and we guarantee you’ll see a marked increase in your conversion rate.