Category: UX advice / Ecommerce guides
This is part of my series explaining the core ecommerce experience funnel. Here’s the intro, landing pages are part two.
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In reality any page can be a landing page, as in web analytics terms it can simply describe the location that people enter the site. But in ecommerce we create pages specifically designed for a user's introductory experience to your shop.
A good site thinks about where the users are coming from and presents them with a page that recognises they will have a few key questions that need answering. In the early days of a website the homepage will be the dominant landing page for the majority of users.
As sites grow and marketing effort intensifies it becomes useful to have specific landing pages for certain campaigns. This is particularly important for paid search where the page and headings need to match the keywords that people have been searching for, or they won't think it is relevant for their needs.
Be it a homepage or a campaign landing page, the core requirements are the same.
This represents the top of your funnel—in retail terms think of it as your shop window—so consider the first impression you’ll give of your website and company.
As my introduction touched on, you need to tell people what you offer and why you're different and you need to do it quickly. New users are quick to bounce if they don't see the benefit of what you offer: very few people have the patience to hang around when they don’t understand.
In particular they need to understand how buying from you is better than buying something similar from Amazon where they already have an account set up (for example). Their commitment to you is low at this stage—hit them with punchy copy that explains the problem you solve better than anyone else.
You also need to show and prove to your users that you are of a sufficient quality to be trusted. This is done through forms of social proof: press quotes, logos, customer reviews and feedback. Only companies with big marketing budgets and well-known brands can dodge this part.
Then there is the most important thing it needs to do…
Landing pages should have a very clear metric for success. They succeed by pushing people into the site, usually onto search, so watch the conversion rate of [users moving to the next step] / [total users on the page].
Pretty much any other metric is a distraction. A low bounce rate is good for any landing page as you don’t want users leaving but this comes second to the conversion rate of users going to the next step in your funnel.
Having a clarity of purpose makes designing easier as everything you do can be measured against a goal. It means the link or button to search should be visually obvious.
The concept of attention ratio is useful here—an ideal page should have a ratio of 1:1 (one page with one link to the goal). Practical considerations mean you’ll probably need a few more links, but the aim should be to keep that ratio as close to 1:1 as possible.
If you’re getting to a ratio of 30:1 or 40:1 then there will be big room for improvement. All these extra links are distractions from the main thing you want users to do, and add cognitive load to their visit.