Successful digital marketing is rarely about making decisions based on feeling.  You’d never go on a hike without a compass, trail marks or a map; no one has to tell you you’d be in serious trouble if you walked for hours in dense woods without knowing where you were because you had a feeling it would be a good idea.

Similarly, your marketing efforts may result in beautifully crafted landing pages and creative copy, but if most of your visitors are leaving without converting and you don’t know why, or worse, you don’t even know it, you’re navigating your marketing world at your own peril.

Your site’s ultimate goal is to boost your business and without pages that are optimized for conversion, the creative effort is futile.

Before launching a landing page, you should check for various elements that would lead to conversion, such as editing the copy, and making sure it’s clear and interesting. Then look at the graphics, are they well designed? Are the photos interesting? And what about the calls to action (“buy now” download file”, etc), does the page have them. Testing everything to ensure it’s all working properly is one of the final steps, but the final check a marketer needs to make is: does the site pass the 3 second test?

What is the 3 Second Test?

It’s the time your average visitor will give your page to learn what it’s about and what they’re expected to do. Fail this test, and your visitor will leave, otherwise known in the digital analytics world: bounce.

What to check for:

  • Remove distractions: Your ultimate goal on that landing page is a conversion, but first, you want to make sure they stay on long enough to read the content. If you give your visitor too many choices, chances are they’ll get confused about or abandon the page because there are other link options available. This means, keeping the landing page uncluttered, so that its purpose is clear to the visitor.
  • Create white space, use bullet points: Make sure the page has enough white space, bold text and bullet points so that the visitor can scan it to get a sense of what it’s about and decide if it’s something they’d be interested in reading.
  • Make sure the content and graphics align: Now that they’re on the page long enough to read the text and decide if they’ll convert (fill out the form, buy the item, etc), how do you optimize it to ensure the desired action takes place?  Identify any misses in alignment between copy and images. If the conversion is a download, make sure the button says ‘download’ instead of ‘click here’ or that image on the page is one of the cover of the file or clear image of item for purchase instead of something irrelevant. You can be creative but keep it reigned in so the visitor doesn’t get confused.

Now that you’ve got their attention, what next? Create a sense of urgency (offer ends tomorrow, don’t lose an opportunity to stay ahead of your competition, etc). Remember, your page’s ultimate goal is a conversion.

Finally, be sure your analytics (the tools that measure your visitor’s behavior on your site) are properly deployed so that you can get clear data about your visitor’s journey. Did they leave the landing page to go to another page on the site then return? If so, what link did the click on? You may wish to remove it. Did they click on the “download now” button but didn’t fill out the form? Could be your form is too long? Test it, see if removing some questions doesn’t get you more leads. And every time you make a change, be sure to review the page for the 3 second test.