How to Rescue Bad Landing Pages

Landing pages are important for both organic and paid search. It’s a good thing that landing pages can be consistently analyzed, updated, and improved… because there are still horribly optimized and designed landing pages that exist out there. Here are a few things to look for to make sure that you’re making the most out of your landing pages.

bad landing pages

1) Bounce rate – If your bounce rates are high, it could be a clear indication that the page isn’t helpful to visitors. If this is the case, it’s time to revamp your content and research the keywords you’re targeting to better connect with what customers are looking for. The design could be off-putting or they might feel misdirected by clicking. This is a starting point where you can dive deeper into what is causing the high bounce rate.

2) SEO friendly web design – Are you using Flash? Is your navigation easy to navigate? Is there too much text? Do you have pop-ups? All these could be a factor in visitors not sticking to your landing page. Although it’s natural to want to share a whole lotta content, it’s good to refrain from adding more clutter than you need.

3) Objective – Clarify your main objective and ask yourself what exactly you want to accomplish with the landing page. It’s best to have 1 main objective per landing page and this overall view will help with content creation. Again, clearing out the unncessary clutter.

4) Call to action - What do you want visitors to do? Here are some things you could emphasize: Call a number, fill out a form, download a free e-book, signup for a newsletter, etc. Another thing… don’t forget to make it easy for them to do so!

5) Trust factor – Sometimes, the nature of landing pages can seem spammy and untrustworthy. This is where social networking can work to your advantage. You can display positive reviews, Tweets, number of Facebook likes and other small blurbs that help reassure visitors that they’re making the right choice by choosing your company.

Good, bad and ugly… landing pages have seen it all. Let us know what you think and if you have any good/bad examples. And make sure to read more about “Identifying and Fixing Your Worst Landing Pages” here.

Optimization for a Lower Bounce Rate

bounce rate How high is your website’s bounce rate? Obviously, a lower bounce rate is desirable. But depending on your industry, the “norm” can greatly vary.

If you take a look inside your Google Analytics account, it’s important to remember to look not only at the OVERALL bounce rate, but the bounce rate of individual landing pages. This applies whether you’re reorganizing your website or setting up new pay per click landing pages. Let’s say that your overall average is around 40%, but if you take a look at your home page, you find that the bounce rate is 80%! This means that 80% of customers aren’t finding what they need and leaving very quickly.

As a starting point, here are a few things you can look at:

Page load time: Let’s face it, who likes sitting around waiting for a page to load? If your site is slow, you can make it more effective by optimizing photos, your layout and cutting down on unnecessary content.
Design – Do you have a search engine friendly web design? Sometimes, a more complex design might sound appealing to make your site stand out while squeezing in all the information you want customers to find. But this won’t help your website unless it’s something that your customers are responding to, and not what you’re personally partial to! Take a step back and do some testing between some more simpler designs to find out for sure.
Relevancy – Here’s one more reason not to use broad keyword terms all over your website. Although you may want to rank for a variety of different keywords, your customers will want to find exactly what they’re looking for. If a certain keyword brings them to your site and they find that it’s irrelevant, your site is not useful. The last thing you want to do is to mislead potential customers. The best solution is to optimize per page/section and use specific keywords that describe exactly what they can expect to find on that page.

In the end, remember that a bounce rate is only one of many factors you can use to gauge your progress. But it is an important one as optimizing for a lower bounce rate can also improve your content focus, site design and even SEO.

Using Breadcrumbs for Effective Site Navigation

breadcrumbsFollow the Breadcrumbs
If you’re looking to improve your web design and site navigation, breadcrumbs are a good place to start.

Breadcrumbs refer to navigation links that help visitors see where they are on your site. Do the home > resources> articles etc. links look familiar?

Like in the classic fairy tale, these links are named after the breadcrumbs Hansel and Gretel left as they made their way into the woods so that they could find their way back. Depending how much content you have and how deep it’s buried within your site, it’s easy to see how visitors can get lost.

Some argue about the value of breadcrumbs and say that they are not used by average users. Breadcrumbs take only a second to implement on each page and I think the effort is worth it. You can also use Google Analytics to see where visitors are clicking on EVERY page of your site. I find that the majority of clicks will go Home, Contact, and social media icons but it may differ for your site.

More Reasons to Love Your Breadcrumbs

Your customers will appreciate it when they can get to the place they want while using the least amount of clicks possible. Breadcrumbs can also help reduce the bounce rate on your site. For example, let’s say a new user has come across an article on your site and finds it interesting. As shown in the image above, they may continue looking for more information by clicking the Resources and Articles categories. While the neat-freak in me loves the organization and visual look of breadcrumbs, I like them even more because they’re so useful to customers. And anything that will encourage more people to stay on your site longer is always a good thing!