by Pete Prestipino
When we create
for users and measure
them accurately, we
can make incremental
gains towards improving
the financial return on
advertising and the
return on other
marketing efforts like
social media or search
Increasing site effectiveness
and visitor satisfaction through
on-site engagement optimization
ultimately results in a
higher conversion rate, which
is why it is so important.
By not engaging in optimizing
consumers’ e-commerce experiences,
risk generating fewer sales over
time. That alone should be reason
enough to consider routine
testing of page elements — and
combinations of them — to
generate more revenue from
each user session.
Many merchants are surprised at the number of users who
abandon their shopping carts before they reach the checkout.
While Web analytics tools can show us the specific percentage
of shopping cart drop-off, they don’t show us the element that
caused the drop-off.
Let’s look at a few best practices for optimizing the
e-commerce landing page experience. While it’s important to
seriously consider these tactics, it’s even more important to
test them thoroughly before a full-scale roll out.
Long For Repetition
Repeating an offer throughout a landing page provides an additional
chance of persuading users. Take advantage of this.
While we can’t always control the thoughts of our users, we
can control the words we use. Since repetition makes a deep
impression on the subconscious, repeating an offer and the
products’ main benefits on the shopping cart or order form
makes you master of the situation.
Don’t Be Needy
Collecting user information and building rich user profiles
has its merits, but asking for too much information at the outset
of an interaction can be off-putting for potential customers.
Limiting the amount of data that’s initially collected
will result in modest yet important gains in conversion percentage.
Consider using Ajax or DHTML to hide optional
form elements. Both technologies allow page sections to be
opened or collapsed without reloading the whole page.
There is no greater reassurance for consumers than understanding
their concerns are shared by others. Whenever
merchants ask for information they should also provide
a timely reassurance. For example, many e-mail marketers include
merchants include trust symbols such as the HackerSafe logo.
Perhaps the easiest, most effective and least intrusive way to
provide a sense of assurance is to remind users of merchants’
guarantee and returns policies.
Publicize Alternative Ordering
Despite vast improvements in online security since the Web’s
inception, there are some users who are still not confident
about providing a credit card to an unknown entity. Displaying
additional ordering mechanisms such as by phone or fax
allows merchants to provide their customers with a way to
order that is preferable to them. Sometimes the presence of a
phone number can increase reassurance, even if consumers
don’t actually call.
Don’t Shortchange Users
It’s happened to most of us at some point during our online
experience; buy something today and see a coupon for the
same product a day later. If you have an “enter coupon” field
on your shopping cart, consider testing whether this element
is turning people away. People often resent ordering when they
see that others are getting a better deal. Provide a link to a
search result for “company name” coupons on a search results’
list or developing a special sales page and linking to it from a
landing page or order form. This is a progressive approach to
minimizing the problem.
You will find the elements that convert browsers into buyers
are different. For this reason, it is imperative that you test
often, test repeatedly and keep track of performance — always
with the focus of beating the original conversion.
PPC Landing Page Design Trends
Each niche and marketing channel you engage in will present its
own optimization challenges. If you want to convert more visitors
into paying customers, consider looking at websites advertising
on the most competitive search terms within the most popular
Web topics (e.g. entertainment). Website Magazine reviewed
10 landing page designs within the ringtone niche last month and
uncovered some trends and common threads.
limited paths for users, using prominent images,
strong calls-to-action and leveraging
content teasing, you too can uncover more
sales. Read “PPC Landing Page Design Trends.”