If you’re reading this article, then chances are, you’ve probably read others outlining “X” number of ways to optimize your landing pages. Suggestions normally range from improving your value proposition to placing important information “above the fold” (though Pardot UX Designer Cliff Seal encourages users to “forget the fold” when designing the optimal landing page). While it’s important to heed this organizational and copy-related advice, keep in mind that landing pages are often just a numbers game.
Unbounce recently published an article detailing several landing page case studies, including a few ways that each could be improved. In many cases, the problem with each landing page came down to numbers — having too many choices, too many form fields, too many social sharing buttons, and in general, just having too much. In fact, optimizing your landing pages can be summed up in just a few words: “less is more.”
Let’s take a look at a few of the red flags that might be hurting your conversions rates, and see how simplifying your landing pages can make a world of difference.
You already know that you need to keep your copy short by breaking it into smaller paragraphs and bulleted text. Let’s take this one step further by incorporating another element: line length. According to some studies, the optimal line length (the width of your body text) should be between 60 – 70 characters. The reasoning behind this? If your text is too long, your readers will have a hard time focusing on it. Too short and your readers will be forced move their eyes back and forth too often, breaking their reading rhythm.
Too Many Choices
Overwhelming people with too many options can lead to action paralysis, and this is just as true for B2B as it is for B2C. Unbounce uses the example of a grocery store to demonstrate this concept: while larger displays with more selection often attract more onlookers, the products with a smaller selection actually get more sales. This also applies to your landing pages — having too many calls to action can actually decrease your conversion rates. Instead, focus on creating one strong call to action so that your visitors always understand what action is required of them.
Social Sharing Buttons
According to Unbounce, the number of social sharing buttons present on your page can actually impact the number of shares your landing page will get — and not in the way you might think. In fact, social sharing buttons function like miniature calls to action, meaning that presenting too many of them can actually decrease the likelihood of someone clicking through to share your content. Instead of including a button for every social site that you might get traffic on, focus instead on the few you know your audience uses.
You want to collect as much information as possible from your site visitors. Unfortunately, that’s not quite how it works. Studies have shown that fewer form fields lead to an increase in conversion rates (at Pardot, we recommend sticking to 3-4 form fields), which means that you need to prioritize the information that’s most important to you. Keep in mind: the number of fields you choose will depend on your goals. Do you want more leads, or more qualified leads? If the answer is just more leads, go with as few form fields as possible. If you’re hoping for more qualified leads, add some of those form fields back in. You’ll see a decrease in conversions, but the people who are filling out those forms are going to be more qualified than your average site visitor.
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