Most web pages are created to inform visitors. Post-click experiences, on the other hand, are made to complete a campaign goal. To design these experiences the same way you would any other page would compromise what’s so powerful about these assets.
With the right inclusion and organization of elements, post-click experiences can inspire visitors to act. To achieve this, they have to be created with conversion-centered design.
Eight essential conversion-centered design elements for every post-click experience
Conversion-centered design refers to the practice of designing to elicit a goal action. About post-click landing pages, this means using research-backed design principles to create a page that gets visitors to sign up, download, buy, or whatever your campaign goal happens to be.
Here are eight design elements that every post-click landing page should include to get the maximum advertising conversions:
Convincing a user to do something begins by getting them to pay attention: To look at the images you want them to see, to read the copy you want them to read, to fill out the form you want them to complete. This is where visual hierarchy comes in.
Visual hierarchy refers to the practice of using certain characteristics, like size, space, contrast, position, proximity, and more, to get the user to consume essential things on the page in the order you want them consumed.
For example, a headline is at the top of the page and in big, bold letters. Big and bold communicate “important” to users. The top position says to visitors: “Look here first,” whereas elements at the bottom are meant to be consumed last.
CTA buttons, headlines, forms—these can all be created effectively—but if they’re not organized in the right way, you won’t get the maximum conversions.
High contrast in the right places
Contrast is an element of visual hierarchy, but it’s such a key factor, specifically on landing pages, that it warrants its section.
Low contrast elements will fit together as though part of a unit. They will blend in and not call too much attention to one or the other.
If your website color scheme is blue and white, for example, you’ll want most of your landing page components to be blue and white. This will fit with branding and not cause the user’s eye to dart left and right the way it might if you used a different bright color for every element.
However, there are cases in which you want elements to “pop” for the user. Namely, the form and call-to-action button. These two are the engine of your post-click landing page, and you want there to be no question where users have to go to convert. Using the 60-30-10 rule, you can create a tricolor scheme in which elements do not fight for user attention:
- 60% background color (usually white)
- 30% base (your brand color)
- 10% accent (your brand accent color)
The headline’s job is multifaceted. Not only does it have to introduce the content, but it has to convey a unique selling proposition that convinces the visitor to consume the rest of the page. Early eye-tracking research suggests that readers “enter” a page through the largest headline or illustration, and so the headline must serve as a useful gateway to conversion.
To do its job, it must also possess another quality.
When the user clicks an advertisement, they’re immediately driven to the post-click experience for that advertisement. Though the visitor experiences the pre-click and post-click stages in immediate succession, the advertiser often does not create them that way. They’re usually disjointed and mismatched.
Selling propositions are different, images don’t match up, and the same is true for colors, brand, and sometimes even offer or URL. This mismatch is a failure to establish trust, which almost always ends in the user bouncing.
Message match is a way to tie the pre-click and post-click stages together to let visitors know they are in the correct place, consuming the right page, brand, offer, etc. Using this technique, headlines, images, offers, colors, and even phrases in body copy are identical between pre-click and post-click assets to reinforce the brand and campaign.
Research shows that people do have the capacity to read deeply, but it doesn’t happen on landing pages. In the post-click experience, users are there to evaluate your offer and move on.
That’s why your copy should be concise (in the vast majority of cases), and it should be optimized for readability: small chunks, bullet points, headers and subheaders, and bolded words for the most important takeaways.
Most importantly, it should be personalized to continue the narrative from the pre-click stage to speak to the audience segment’s specific needs, objections, and environment.
Forms are among the most challenging post-click landing page elements to perfect. Too few fields, and you’ll get an overwhelming amount of leads, but they’ll all be highly unqualified. Too many, and you’ll get a few qualified leads, but there may not be enough to drive business growth.
Frictionless forms come mostly from coordination between marketing and sales to determine the least amount of information needed on a form. This all depends on the business, the type of landing page, the offer, the stage in the funnel, conversion value, and other factors.
They also come from knowing a few things about form design:
- Label it well. Make sure your user knows which label correlates with which form field. Also, don’t allow them to disappear within the fields permanently.
- Label it well. Make sure your user knows which label correlates with which form field. Also, don’t allow them to disappear within the fields permanently. Get rid of optional fields. If it’s optional for you to know, you don’t need to know. Optional fields make your form longer, which will add to the likelihood it gets abandoned.
- Make it easy to complete. Fields like first and last names can be made into one “full name” field. Use buttons and drop-downs to avoid keyboard usage. Social autofill can provide a quick and easy way to complete lengthy forms.
- Make it easy to correct. Form error messages are hard to perfect. When they’re triggered, the location, and what they look like are all critical characteristics of good form design. These all need to come together to let the user know how to correct a form input error.
1:1 conversion ratio
The most important and often most overlooked conversion-centered design element is the conversion ratio. Conversion ratio refers to the number of links to the number of conversion goals on the page. The ideal conversion ratio is 1:1—one link to one conversion goal.
The conversion ratio is based on the concept that more links mean more distractions for users. That’s why navigation links, footer links, in-text links, etc., should not be present on a post-click landing page. They only serve as multiple exits from the page, and the user should only have one way off the page: through your call-to-action button. This can be accomplished by maintaining a 1:1 conversion ratio.
Too often, media on landing pages is an afterthought. Including stock images on the header, product shots are not comprehensive, and hardly-customized graphics are visual representations of content. These do not provide the user with anything.
The media should be informational. It should provide some value to the user as it relates to your offer. For example, if your product is a backpack, the user is likely to care less about what it looks like on a model and more about its cargo components.
Or, if you’re offering an ebook, visitors will prefer an infographic pulled from the content to serve as a preview. This will prove your ebook is valuable, unlike a half-customized stock image of an illustrated book with your ebook title on the front. Most marketers fail to get the most value from their images.
More so than on other pages, persuasive triggers can provide the psychological nudge needed to get visitors to convert on your offer.
A few of the most popular triggers on post-click landing pages include:
- Scarcity can compel your visitors to claim something that is in short supply. It capitalizes on their fear of missing out. “Only 10 seats left” is a common phrase on webinar landing pages.
- Authority can prove that you’re an expert in your field. Have you won awards? Are you a licensed specialist in your particular area of practice? Were you featured in a well-known publication? These are just a few ways to set yourself apart from other businesses.
- Credibility proves you are valuable with hard statistics. If you have generated $10,000,000 in revenue for your clients, this would be a factor that adds to your credibility on a PPC consultant landing page.
- Urgency is like scarcity, only with time instead of quantity. “Deal ends tomorrow…” is an example of urgency, which also capitalizes on people’s fear of missing out.
- Social proof is proof of value from people you have served, like clients or customers. Glowing testimonials can be great proof that your offer is worth claiming. So can examples of well-known clients you have served.
- Security can convince visitors that you are capable of handling their sensitive information. Since post-click landing pages are almost always handling information like name, phone, email, etc., it’s important that visitors can trust you with their data. This is even more true on pages that ask for more sensitive data, like a credit card number. Security badges from Norton or TRUSTe can show that your page is safe for data transfer, as can generic lock icons, and even “HTTPS” in your URL.
Scale your conversion-centered design
Postclick is the first platform to enable advertisers to scale conversion-centered design. With a team of conversion experts equipped with the industry’s only post-click automation solution, customers can be sure that all their pages, no matter the number, will feature the elements of conversion-centered design.
We want to offer you a complimentary analysis of your ad campaigns. We will review your campaigns to analyze your post-click health, compare your site against industry and competitive benchmarks, and identify the most comprehensive opportunities to increase your ROAS. Our team will share insights on how we can increase your conversion rates, in addition to a comprehensive competitive analysis. Request your analysis here.