4 Elemental Problems With Low Converting Web Pages
As “power” marketers, our work can look more like scientific experiments than creative campaigns. More and more, power marketers make decisions with data. The collection and interpretation of this data requires a new set of skills.
Nonetheless, the goal remains the same for our online initiatives. We want to get a reaction from our visitors.
We want to get them to do something. Complete the form. Download the document. Buy the product. Subscribe to the list. Water the camel.
When we aren’t generating reactions on our site, we can see the results clearly in analytics.
- High bounce rates and exit percentages
- Low conversion rates
- Low revenue per visit
- High acquisition costs
The problem is that — unlike in science — we don’t have a common vocabulary and notations in the marketing world. When someone says, “Let’s send an email to our list,” it will mean something different to each person designing the campaign.
Here is a chemical reaction you may be familiar with.
This is the reaction that powers the volcano in many elementary school science fairs. I’ve also used this to unclog my garbage disposal. The carbon dioxide creates the frothing and bubbling “lava” or drain-clearing pressure.
The notation clearly tells us what elements to combine and what the output will be.
To get frothing, bubbling visitors on our website, we’ve borrowed the chemists’ notation to help us design some online marketing reactions.
The Online Marketing Reaction
When optimizing a website, Conversion Scientists borrow from our chemist brothers to create models for designing experiments. For example, here’s the formula for the classic landing page:
The Inert Gases
In the periodic table of elements, there is a section entitled the “Inert Gases.” Inert gases do not react, hence the name “inert.” Furthermore, their gaseous nature makes them difficult to contain.
We have a similar section in our periodic table of online marketing elements.
These inert gases interfere with our online reactions, reducing conversion rates, decreasing sales and generally making us look foolish.
Having an understanding of these contaminants on our websites and landing pages will help us to improve our pages and our fortunes.
Bordom (pronounced “Boredom”) contaminates pages that present information for only one kind of visitor — one that likes reading text. However, a page full of text, no matter how well written, will not appeal to scanners. Visually-oriented visitors will be driven away if the page doesn’t introduce some images. Long paragraphs, long sentences and industry jargon will bore even the most qualified of visitors.
To eliminate Bordom:
- Add some image, motion, or sound to the page
- Use short paragraphs, frequent headlines, bullets and highlighting to help scanners
- Place text captions under your images
Melium is introduced when the copy, images and video on a page talk about your company and its products exclusively. Look at your pages and count the occurrences of “we,” “us,” “our company,” “our clients,” or your company name, logo and tag line.
Is the page full of Melium?
To eliminate Melium, mix in some storytelling. For example, your value proposition is the story of what you do, how you do it and what it will do for your customers.
Advanced marketers will mix in the radioactive element Youranium, by understanding the visitors very, very well and creating pages specific to their needs. Youranium can be created by getting feedback, generating personas and testing messages.
This contaminant is generated by unfounded “facts,” posing statements and irrelevant stock photography. We chose the same symbol chemists use for the element Helium. Helium isn’t hot air, but it behaves similarly.
Do you claim you are the “leader” in your space? By what measure?
Will I get to talk to the pretty lady with the headset if I call? Probably not.
This inert gas can be eliminated by adding some important catalysts.
Proof builds credibility and may even make the visitor say, “Oh, really?”
Trust can be added with symbols, testimonials, ratings and reviews. It tells the visitor that others have used your product or service and approve.
Use Images to show the product. Instead of manipulative stock photos of pretty people smiling for the camera, come up with images that communicate the experience of hiring you or buying from you.
This is perhaps the most insidious of the inert gases. We chose the symbol “Ar,” which chemists use for the element Argon. When someone abandons your page, they “Are gone.” Get it?
Distractions are a common source of Abandon. Visitors are just looking for a reason to delay their decision to react.
Are your colorful social media symbols enticing visitors to check Facebook? If so, they are gone.
Do you put your corporate site’s navigation on your landing pages? It’ll steal away key conversions.
Does your form ask for my title, company, budget, buying timeframe, mobile phone number and social security number? That whitepaper may not be so interesting to me if it does.
I once tried to purchase a replacement keyboard for my laptop. The first question on the checkout page asked for my “Gender.” I abandoned and paid more at Amazon for that product.
Abandon can really get in the way.
Eliminating Inert Gases
Using our landing page reaction as an example, we can look for testing opportunities that eliminate these contaminants from the reaction.
We can test some catalysts – Proof, Trust and Image – on a landing page to see if we get more reactions. The revised equation looks like this:
By adding Proof, we eliminate Melium. Trust works against Hot Air. Relevant Images work to dissolve Bordom. Then we look at all of the elements on the page. If an element isn’t clearly delivering Offer, Form, Proof, Trust or Image, it is probably generating Abandon. Remove those elements that don’t fit the equation.
The Inert Gases – Bordom, Melium, Hot Air and Abandon – contaminate the pages on your website and can be detected through your analytics. Use Proof, Trust and Images to eliminate them and get a reaction from your visitors.
Learn more about the Landing Page Reaction with our Chemistry of the Landing Page infographic.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
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