Has your long-drawn-out and painstaking research finally led you to the Holy Grail of landing page knowledge - the best colour for a form button? Red? Green? A risque yellow? Another blog post on proposing the best colour for call-to-action buttons is likely to send me to a very dark place.
Maybe, there is no one best colour. Like there is no one best layout or one best call-to-action. Not to say testing colours and layouts aren't important, but they should only be put to experiment when the right foundations for your landing pages have been set in place.
There are hundreds of reports out there studying thousands of landing pages telling you what you need to do to convert. But are they really for you? Just because a study shows a longer landing page is likely to lead to a 15% lower conversion rate, in no way means short landing pages are best practice.
What you really want to focus on is visitor experience and intent. This seems glaringly obvious and intuitive, but businesses continue to fail establishing a basic connection with their audience through landing pages.
For example, recently I've been told I look constantly distressed. The phrase, "it's your deathly eyes," was mentioned. Naturally, due to my now strong insecurities, I looked up "cream for dark circles."
I clicked on the top ad, "Dark Circle Eye Treatment" by Olay:
Here's what comes up. What? I searched for "cream for dark circles", why do your first 6 product listings only mention anti-aging and hair removal? I don't want to go through an extensive product listings bar or navigate between all these products to see if they serve my purpose. I just want a cream for dark circles or at least eye care. I used the search function (CTRL + F) on the page and searched "dark" - zero search results:
Matching Visitor Intent - Tips:
- Before developing a page, have a clear objective for its purpose.
Is it meant to sell? Inform? Engage?
- Ask yourself what the visitor would want to see.
Do you need a single page? Micro-site? Long-form or short-form? Neil Patel believes "the bigger the ask, the longer the page," which is a great rule of thumb to follow.
- Make sure to add relevant content that is full of passion and matches visitor intent.
Sorry Landing Page demigods, but it's okay to link out - just make sure it's in a new window.
So back I go to the search results, looking desperately for a cure for my ungodly eyes. After clicking another ad:
Here's a perfect example of how one could fulfil visitor intent while religiously following a blog post titled "Best Practices to Make Your Conversion Rates Soar" and make a page that leaves you slightly unsettled.
What's going on here? A LOT. Too much gloss, too many checkmarks, too many fonts, too many arrows and images of mouse pointers? What's the strategy here? Convincing people they're already hovering over your buttons, might as well convert? I don't think that's how it works.
An excellent article written by Scott Brinker describes good design as the essence and unsung hero for conversion optimization.
His contention is that there is a misconception that landing page design is formulaic while instead it is about actionable design. Which in turn has less to do with art or science and more to do with architecture.
This means that not only should a landing page cater to a visitor's experience through beauty & aesthetics, but also serve a functional purpose through simplicity and matching intent.
Satisfying Visitor Experience - Tips:
- Use beautiful, meaningful and high resolution imagery.
Modern fonts are super important too. After Google Fonts, you have very few excuses to use Arial (stupid brand guidelines).
- Use white space effectively.
This can be all the difference between ugly and elegance. Here's a great article by Mark Boulton on how to do just that.
- Keep it intuitive.
Most visitors don't care how amazingly skilled you are with the newest web languages. Just because you have plenty of features at the table, doesn't mean you should use all of them. Keep it smooth, simple and easy to use.
The truth is, I was hoping to finish this post with an amazing example of a landing page for "cream for dark circles," that executes an outstanding combination of matching visitor intent and providing a remarkable experience. But I wasn't able to. With all the wonderful technological languages and tools we have at our disposal today, why in the world is that the case?
Though I digress; what's more important is - what do I do for my eyes? Can anyone find me a landing page that has its core foundations based on visitor intent and a highly positive experience?
I'd love to get rid of these goggles.