If you are serious about optimising your landing page performance, then you have probably already familiarised yourself with most of the essential practices – you know, the ones about ‘message match’ and ‘keeping your page free from navigation’.

So in the interest of shaking things up a little, we, at Clickthroo decided to compile a list of landing page tips you probably never thought of, that while seemingly counter-intuitive to what you have already been told, are certainly worth testing.

1. Remove ‘wisdom of the crowds’ social proof from your landing page

There is no arguing the importance of social proof, it is probably the single element of any landing page to tackle the visitor’s hesitation to ‘commit’ head-on. An individual’s purchasing decision is fraught with many reasons not to purchase – namely, making the ‘wrong’ decision – and that depends primarily on trust.

Testimonials and positive feedback from customers and existing users is an extremely effective way of establishing trust, as is integrating social media, which is typically known as ‘wisdom of the crowds’ social proof.

Wisdom of the crowds social proof certainly has its merits. It provides the visitor with multiple sources of positive feedback, rather than just the examples given on the landing page, thereby strengthening the validity of these claims by a much larger scale.

However, the inclusion of external links can lead to traffic leakage, whilst the use of social icons only further reminds the visitor they could be browsing more interesting content on Facebook or Twitter, instead of sticking around to convert on your landing page.

2. Remove unnecessary icons

Because the information on a landing page needs to be understood by the user in such a short space of time, bullet points are frequently used to break down that information in a clear and concise way. This is an essential landing page practice for immediately getting your message across to the user, maintaining interest, and driving the sale home by communicating the key values of your offer/service.

Occasionally however, information that has been presented in bullet point format is accompanied by a correlating icon or image for each point being made. Whilst this may seem logical – using imagery and symbols to clarify what you are saying in order to strengthen your sales pitch – it can be equally harmful to other elements on your page, typically those which should be deemed ‘more important’. 

The icons used to express the value-orientated points are certainly emphatic, even emotive, but they make the page appear ‘too busy’ and draw the eye from the more important CTA Button.

3. If using video, show different running times for each version of your landing page

Having a video on your landing page to showcase your offer/product can sometimes be far more beneficial than simply using a ‘hero shot’ image. It all depends on the nature of what you are selling. Software-based businesses, such as website building or reporting, frequently use video on their landing pages to demonstrate how their applications work in a way imagery never could.

According to statistics, video-embedded landing page can increase conversion rate by up to 86% when used correctly. Used incorrectly however, a video-embedded landing page can be poorly received by your users and dramatically scupper your chances of conversion.

Aside from the standard of quality, one of the biggest factors in a successful landing page video is the running time. If your landing page video is too long then you run the risk of overwhelming your users (who already have a short attention span) with an abundance of information, while too short  a video might not be enough to effectively communicate what it is you want to say.

Unfortunately there is no magic number when it comes to video running time. Instead, you should consider running multiple versions of the same video-embedded landing page, each with a different video length – starting with your full-length video, and then refining it down the bare bones with every variant.

Segment your traffic equally and test to see which version yields the best conversion rate.     

4. Optimise your copy text for scan-reading, dark text on light background

When it comes to landing page copy, users typically scan through the content, skimming over the text in order to pick out which pieces of information tells them one of three things; what it is the landing page is promoting, the benefits of such a product/service to the user, and how to get it. That is why landing page copy is typically clean, concise, and straight to the point. It also needs to be readable.

Dark text on a white (or light) background is easier to read than white text on a black (or dark background). Forcing users to focus on white text over lengthy periods of time can strain the user’s eyes, or appear misshapen when glanced at when the user is scan-reading. This is because white reflects all wavelengths of light, and because words and letters in a landing page text paragraph are compact and close together, the reflected light scatters and runs into neighbouring words and letters.

5. Situate your call-to-action below the fold of the page

Best landing page practices dictate that your CTA should be situated above the fold, at the top right-hand-side of the page, so that it follows on nicely from your initial headline, and so that users do not have to scroll down the page to find it for themselves.

Any subsidiary information that is not as important as your opening pitch and your CTA is to be stored down there instead and browsed if the user so wishes.

However, for every rule there will always be an exception. Some people might actually want to carefully read through the information before arriving at you CTA.

After all, it is only common sense that a customer would want to find out as much about an offer before committing to a purchase or registration – especially online, where anonymity is such a concerning issue.

This is something certainly worth testing. You may want to consider running two different versions of your landing page – one featuring your CTA above the fold, another featuring your CTA at bottom of the page, following on from relevant information and other forms of supportive content, such as social proof – and segment your traffic in order to see which produces the best conversion rate.

6. Include an ‘after care’ element

Of all the concerns a user faces when coming to a purchasing decision, “what happens next?” has got to rank somewhere near the top. Even though stats and customer testimonials are an effective way of establishing trust, they don’t necessarily reassure the user his purchase/registration will be properly taken care of, after the transaction has gone through.

In other words, you need to specify what the user can expect to happen when he submits his details and commits to a transaction: Should the user expect a phone call, or an email? And is there somebody specific the user will be contacted by? These are all questions you need to answer before the user comes to a purchasing decision.

7. Scrap data capture forms and opt for call tracking

Asking the user to fill out a data capture form is the simplest way of gathering contact information, but every field is another grate on patients, which can result in the user abandoning the page altogether. Furthermore, leads tend to go cold the longer it takes to follow them up. So even if the form performs as it is supposed to, it still isn’t very efficient.

Call tracking involves issuing the user with a dynamic telephone number when they land on the page, which is then tracked as a conversion – should that call yield an action that equates to a sale or consultation (whatever is stipulated by the advertiser).

The major advantage is that the customer is put in touch with a sales person/representative immediately after showing interest, thereby improving the chances of a transaction. This means that success rate is more accurately reported; as a completed data form that is clocked as a conversion may not necessarily lead to anything at all.

Remember, to achieve real insight into what works best, you need to implement your changes and put them to practice; report your findings and do it again and again. There’s absolutely no room for complacency in the business. Every idea you have is potential to tweak, tinker and test.