Want to delight your first-time visitors?
Above all, get to the point right away.
So with that in mind, this post has two parts:
- Things you should ALWAYS do.
- Things you should NEVER do.
6 Things You Should Always Do
1. Make the Landing Page Purpose Crystal Clear Obvious (& Relevant) to the Visitor
If you take only one thing from this post, it would be to ask this two-part question when you’re developing the creative and messaging for your landing page:
- How did the visitor get here?
- Why did they click on whatever link led them to the page?
There can be multiple answers to each question.
For example, as far as “how” is concerned, the same landing page may be used for a paid search, email, and an ad on Facebook.
In terms of “why”, it might be to check the price, learn more, check availability, see evidence that the product/solution meets the specific visitor’s need, etc.
Remember that some part of the creative/copy in the referral source (ad, email, link, meta description, etc.) made a promise.
The anticipation of seeing that promise fulfilled led to a click. That click led the visitor to the landing page in order to see that promise met.
Did you meet it?
To get this part right:
- Review the referral source (again, the ad, the email, the link, the meta description, etc.) and note the promises made.
- Now review the landing page and make sure that it delivers on all of those promises made prior to the click. If not, the referral source is promising too much or the landing page is under-delivering. Either way, this is where you fix it.
Important note: Succeeding in making the landing page crystal clear to the visitor may sometimes result in a quick exit. Most likely, you’re not a fit for that visitor so at the very least you didn’t waste their time which they’ll (at least subconsciously) appreciate.
2. Load Quickly
This one should be obvious. Slow loading pages will destroy the experience for the visitor and you will likely not recover.
There are plenty of other options available and the visitor knows it.
Load quickly and the visitor will be delighted at the near-instant access.
3. Display Properly
File this one also under the category of “obvious”.
Visitors will be happy when you reduce friction – and delighted when you take it away.
A page the doesn’t display properly on whatever device the visitor happens to be using means a high level of friction that will likely kill any chance of a conversion.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t show properly on an iPhone 4 (released in 2010 so it’s well past time for that user to upgrade), but as a general practice, I always test backward compatibility for whatever operating systems were widely used during the past three years.
4. Provide Reassurance to the First-Time Visitor
Remember that time you clicked on a link, went to a page, and just had a gut feeling you’re in the wrong place?
Either you didn’t immediately see what you thought you were there for or the site looked sketchy. Chances are you were less than delighted and didn’t stick around long.
On the flip side, there was probably another time you clicked on a link to a page you’ve never been to before and you immediately knew you were in the right place. This page:
- Had exactly what you were looking for.
- Did NOT look to be the least bit sketchy.
To reassure that first-time visitor, here are a few things that will always help:
- Crystal clear relevance to the visitor intent (see point #1).
- Speak directly to whatever the visitor hopes to achieve by looking at your product.
- Key trust elements present on the page (testimonials, reviews, security, privacy links, history, etc.).
- Minimal interference pop-ups.