Digital consultant Rick O’Neill discusses the best practices and tools that will help yield more enquiries from your landing page visitors
Since the launch of the World Wide Web, businesses have sought to drive people to their landing pages in order to sell their wares, from books, to widgets, to vacuum cleaners. In medical aesthetics, we have an even tougher job to do with our landing pages. We need to communicate education, credibility, qualifications, social proof, and of course the treatments and services we offer, all with a view to giving the patient the confidence to book that first consultation. All of this in an increasingly competitive market, where patients have an almost overwhelming choice when it comes to choosing a clinician. In this article, I will lay out some of the fundamental principles of a strong landing page, as well as methods for testing and optimising them that have worked well for my clients.
Let’s start at the beginning. A landing page is a webpage specifically designed to convert visitors into leads or customers. Typically, a landing page is created for a specific audience or campaign. It might be the destination for a Facebook advert, email campaign or the search result for a high-traffic keyword, for example.
Any page on your website can technically be a landing page if people tend to ‘land’ on it from certain searches on Google, but a dedicated landing page typically converts at a higher percentage, has no navigation to the rest of the site, contains one focused offer or topic, and is ideal for paid ads on Google or Facebook, or targeted email campaigns. As an example, a popular blog article on your site could be considered a landing page when it ranks for certain terms and often people ‘land’ on that article from a search result, whereas a dedicated landing page would be created specifically for a particular campaign as described above.
As with all things in digital marketing, genuine success comes from continual trial and error, but as we enter the World Wide Web’s 25th year, there are thankfully some research-based best practices for landing page design that have been shown to increase the rate at which they convert a visitor into an enquiry. I’ll split out these best practices into three distinct types: design, content and layout; technical performance; and user experience.
Let’s start with the message. The message of your landing page needs to match the expectations of the visitor. Match the headlines and copy to that of the email campaign or social media advert. This ensures the visitor immediately recognises that this is what they came here for, and will read on. If the message differs from the ad or email they came from, it can feel disjointed and less relevant and may lead to them leaving the page prematurely.
Next, consider your call to action (CTA). This needs to be clear, simple, and designed in a way that contrasts to all other elements to draw the visitor’s eye to it over all other page content. In fact, according to TechJury1 more than 90% of people who are directed to a landing page read the landing page’s headline as well as the CTA that took them there.2 In addition, think very carefully about the wording of your CTA. For example, research by HubSpot3 has shown that using the word ‘submit’ on a form can decrease conversion rates by 3%,4 this is typically because more ‘active’ language encourages users to take action more often. So get creative with your copy here and consider alternatives like ‘secure your consultation now’, or ‘get started’ and monitor the results by documenting the number of enquiries per month before you change the forms, then comparing the months after the form changes are published.
Use emotionally-driven ‘social proof’ that connects to the condition you’re treating or the service you are offering. Social proof can include patient testimonials, case studies, and data, and with 55% of online users considering customer reviews helpful in their buying decisions,5 it’s important to utilise this type of content at key points on your landing pages to reassure and educate your potential patients as they consider making an enquiry.
The position of your CTA also matters. But contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t mean that the CTA should necessarily be placed at the top of your page. In fact, a split test by Content Verve showed that moving the CTA to the bottom of their landing page contributed to a 304% uplift in conversions.6 This goes against a lot of the advice you will see online, but the test revealed that visitors that are motivated to take action are typically those that have read more copy and seen more social proof before doing so. Just as a great consultation will educate your patient to make an informed choice about their treatment, so must your landing page – and in my experience that in turn will lead to a greater percentage of your web visitors to convert into an enquiry. (I have observed this happening on many client sites over the years).
Focus on the conditions you’re treating, the emotional attributes that these evoke, and the benefits of the treatment you’re offering, rather than the technical aspects or the clinical language around the medical device or capital equipment being used. You are talking to a human, with emotions, frustrations, fears and desires on your landing page, just as you do when you consult, so it’s important to reflect this in the copy used to communicate your offer.
You should also consider the images you use carefully. Landing pages featuring images of real people are proven to convert at a higher rate (up to 33% higher according to a study by Taboola) than other types of graphics.7 Furthermore, images without text, and featuring a closer crop of the people are shown to increase conversion rates.8
For the ultimate landing page, you’ll need to consider more than just the content and layout. The technical performance of a landing page can also have a significant impact on its performance. Technical performance starts with speed – just a one second delay in load time on a landing page can decrease conversions by 7%, so ensure that your page has been tested and optimised accordingly to load in the shortest possible time (see later in regard to some of the tools that can help you here).6
It may sound obvious, but test, test, and test your forms again. According to WPForms,7 67% of users will abandon a form forever if they encounter any complications in submitting it.8 Sometimes your form may work perfectly in one web browser, but not at all in another. Other times it may work great on a laptop, but fall apart on a mobile. Testing is critical, and you will need to work with your web designer to ensure all forms function on all major browsers and devices.
With the content, layout and technical performance in check, turn your attention to the experience for your visitor. Make their life easier and try to reduce the information you ask for in forms. The average number of form fields (the different information you ask for in your forms, such as name, email) is 11, but according to Douglas Karr of SearchEnginePeople.com,9 reducing this to four can increase conversion rates by 120%.10 As tempting as it may be to try and collect more data in the first contact, it’s more important to get the basics, and you can always follow up for more information at another stage in the onboarding process or when they visit for their consultation. Typically the four form fields I would recommend using would be name, email, mobile number and desired treatment.
Of course, user experience is more than just the forms on the page.
Once the visitor has taken an action and completed an enquiry form, it’s still important to reassure and engage with them before they leave by including a separate ‘thank you’ page. Bringing them to a separate thank you page (or a pop-up) can create new opportunities. It not only lets them know the form has actually been submitted – a step some landing pages forget – it also gives you the opportunity to re-engage them. For instance, you can ask if they want to sign up for your newsletter or visit another part of your website to consume further educational content.
Lastly, if you can service it, live chat on a landing page is a great way to give potential patients fast answers to burning questions they may have. In fact, 60% of consumers will return to a website that offers live chat, according to a study by emarketer.com, and 38% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that offers live chat support.11,12
Over 55% of all web traffic is now via mobile device, and so your landing pages need to provide a seamless experience on a small screen.13 In fact, 86% of the world’s top performing landing pages are mobile optimised.14 To help with the design and optimisation of your landing pages, there are now a number of impressive tools to make the job easier and more effective. There are tools for building landing pages, and there are tools for testing and optimising them. I would recommend trialling a few to see which serve your needs best, but for page builders consider Unbounce, HubSpot, and InstaPage – all of which offer rapid tools for creating landing pages and deploying them as part of your campaigns.
For testing and optimisation, I would recommend Crazy Egg (which offers heat maps to show where visitors are engaging most on your pages), WordStream (which will grade your pages and offer suggested improvements), and Optimizely (which offers a number of A/B testing tools and optimisation reports).
Landing pages offer you a great opportunity to get results from your social media or email marketing campaigns. But in a competitive market such as medical aesthetics, success will take dedication to creating the very best content, layout, technical performance and user experience you possibly can, to ensure that the highest possible percentage of your visitors turn into enquiries for your practice. Make use of landing page builders and testing tools to make your job easier and create efficiencies in the building of your campaigns. I look forward to seeing your landing pages now that you’ve got the ultimate guide to creating them on your desk!
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