Recently I’ve been consulting to a couple companies about how to increase conversion rates on their landing pages. One is a big healthcare company, and the other is an internet startup. I gave both companies the same advice.

If you want to improve your landing page conversion rates, you just need to do 3 things.

Step 1: Start with the end in mind.

This is where most people go wrong: they’re not clear on what they want website visitors to do. If you’re not clear about what you want people to do, how can you expect them to be?

Maybe you’re torn and you’d like website visitors to do a bunch of things at once. That’s a recipe for disastrous conversion rates. Chances are very good that one action is more important than the rest.

Pick the one thing you’d really like people to do, and make that the focus of your landing page.

Step 2. Make it really obvious what to do.

Now it’s time to design the layout of the landing page.

Make sure you allocate proportionate space and attention to the action you want people to take. In other words, make it extremely obvious. Don’t leave any doubt in your website visitors’ minds.

Try this test: Stand 5-10 feet away from your computer monitor and see if you can still understand what you’re supposed to do on your landing page.

Here are 4 more design tips to improve your conversion rates:

1. Reduce distractions: Limit navigational options and remove anything that’s unnecessary.

2. Keep it above the fold: Put your call-to-action at the top of the page, so people can see it without scrolling down.

3. Put it on the right: We usually see a better response when the call-to-action is on the right-hand side.

4. Super Size it: Often, making the call-to-action physically bigger will improve response rates.

At this point, we know what we want people to do, and we’ve make it really easy for them to do it. Now it’s time to add the third ingredient: persuasion.

Step 3. Give them a good reason to act

If you want more people to do something on your website, you need to make a compelling case for why they should do it.

Here are some things you’ll want to communicate on your landing page:

1. Benefits: Make a list of all of the things your product or service does for your prospect (e.g. the benefits, not the features). Next, rank those benefits in order of importance from your prospect’s perspective. And then craft your headline based on your biggest benefit.

2. Social Proof: Do you have testimonials or other credibility indicators you can include as evidence that it’s a good idea to do business with you? If so, include them on your landing page.

3. Risk Reversal: How can you make it a less risky proposition to try you out? For example, do you offer a free trial or a money-back guarantee? If so, make this clear on the landing page.

Also, how you communicate your pitch also matters. Often, you’ll get the best results when you use language that speaks plainly and directly to your prospect just as if you were talking in person.

Imagine instead of visiting your website, your prospect walked into your office. What would you say to try and convince them to take the action you want them to take?

In Summary… Keep It Simple

I could go on and on with specific tips. However, most of our biggest conversion rate breakthroughs come from focusing on the basics.

Here are the 3 steps again:
1) Focus on the one thing you really want people to do
2) Make it really obvious what to do
3) Give them a good reason to act.

Here’s What To Do Now

Go take a look at your landing pages. And if you’re not currently advertising, take a look at your home page.

What’s the 1 thing you want people to do when they visit that page? How could you simplify the page so it’s totally obvious what people should do?

Come up with at least 1 idea for a new landing page test to implement.

If you need help coming up with an idea, then post a comment below and I’ll provide a suggestion.