Tag Archives: website usability

Focus key elements of your landing page

13 Feb

Landing page exampleSummary: A landing page is a specific page on a website crafted for visitors and designed to achieve a marketing outcome (and we love outcomes, don’t we?). Any exposure to branding (TV/billboard/trade) will prompt consideration (search for website info – dates, times, prices and extra activities) and affirmation (checking social media for opinions). The campaign landing page focuses interest while being supported by branding and other navigation.

Top 10 elements (and absolute essentials) I track on every landing page:

  1. Headline – Clear, simple, supports nonline efforts in print, trade media *
  2. Sub-headline – No marketing, supports search accuracy
  3. Benefits – Why does it matter? Applications make most sense to user. **
  4. Primary Calls-To-Action – Above fold
  5. Features – Short bulleted list supporting Benefits
  6. Customer Examples/Proof – Short text and image (if possible); specific to product if possible
  7. Success Examples/Proof – Awards and recognition
  8. Navigation – To decrease bounce rates. This is now the homepage. Can user navigate?
  9. Supporting Image – Must clearly indicate the offer (video or image) – no stock images
  10. Content Offer – Whitepaper, eBook or Guide
  11. Resources – 96 percent of visitors are not ready to buy (consideration mode) Link to resource center to learn more.
  12. Secondary calls to action: Bottom of page opportunity to call out realtime (social) media channels





Web is a cruelly literal place

3 Jan
core website statement

Many web users will be introduced to your brand through search. They will scan the heavens for an answer to their question or search query and they are expecting a specific answer or at least enough detail that they believe they are in the ‘right place.’

Yes, I highly recommend ‘literal’ core statements for the digital experience. State your case clearly on the homepage (and every page) of your website.

The web is a cruelly literal place. Many people will be introduced to your brand through search. They will look for an answer to their question or search query and they are expecting a specific answer or at least enough detail that they believe they are in the ‘right place.’ I would minimize the marketingese as web users are turned off by overt marketing.

Look at the heat map in this example. Video that is tailored for television is for a passive audience (thinking sitting back and consuming). Video that is optimized for the web is active (think sitting forward and looking for detail). What the heat map is showing is the web user not just playing the video, but scrubbing through it and checking out supporting links and other descriptive detail. Very different from a classic TV experience.

This information focus is something that I constantly coach creative and account people as to how different a print, billboard, brochure or other passive experience is in relation to a digital experience. The user is active, in control and relentless about ‘affirming’ the information that they are researching.

So keep this in mind when you write text that communicates the website’s purpose. You are writing not for your own people, but for the users of your website.

From my favorite usability expert, Jakob NielsenInclude a tag line that explicitly summarizes what the site or company does. Tag lines should be brief, simple, and to the point. For example, Global Sources’ tag line, “Product and Trade Information for Volume Buyers,” is a good, straightforward summary of what the site offers. Vague or jargonistic tag lines only confuse users, or worse, make them mistrust the site, especially if users perceive them as marketing hype. For example, Ford’s tag line, “Striving to Make the World a Better Place,” while pluckily optimistic, doesn’t describe Ford’s automotive business in any way.

It’s OK to be pluckily optimistic, just don’t be cruel to web users.



Why test landing pages after site launch?

23 Oct
Click Test Heat Test

Click test (like the heat map shown here) for task oriented success, then update your landing pages.

Why do we test landing pages after site launch?

Landing pages are critical to overall website goals in that they direct users to a result or goal. Our best AdWords and retargeting efforts merely move users into this discovery position. The next step is to determine how effective the opportunity – that is a website landing page – delivers.

Card Sorting is the most basic entry level test of usability (often conducted during a website build). More detailed website usability testing like Tree Sorting and Click Tests help us evaluate ‘next steps’ for users.

Examples of usability tests

Here are some examples of this ‘next step’ testing:

Once we have feedback, it’s on to creating a great landing page with maximum task oriented success.