5 Landing Page Design Tips to Help with Conversion

Building a good landing page design is only successful from the testing that is done. We work with clients to help build and test custom landing page design to help with their goals. Along the way we've discovered some of the best landing page design tips.  We've collected a few of the tips to share with you below.

Hide that Nav Menu on your Landing Page Design

Yes, no navigation menu. If you're not already hiding your navigation menu we recommend to do so now. Why? Simple. Your top menu should not be the focus of your landing page's objective. A navigation menu is well of course at the top of your website. By cutting the menu out your site visitor will follow on through the landing page design as expected. Hopefully, converting on the call to action.

Relevant and Short Headlines

We consider the headline one of the most easiest and fastest way to make a change for testing. Your headline should not be too complicated. Limit yourself from trying to be too creative or unique. Test with the most direct and relevant headline first. Don't try to be too lengthy with these titles in these first tests. If you want to get inside your potential lead's mind make the headline answer what they want. When you think of the title begin saying "I need to..." and complete the sentence with the value you're providing them. For example, "I need to manage expenses quickly" can become the headline "Manage Expenses Quickly".

Word Play on CTA Buttons

One thing that is usually tested with call-to-action buttons is changing the color. From red, green to yellow the variations are almost endless. Since a pastel orange might look good on one landing page and a dark orange may look good on another. But to take it a step further try focusing more on the phrase of the button. If everyone uses "Buy Now" or "Download for Free" and all landing page visitors notice this from one page to another do you think it's convincing? Probably not. Let's take a look at some PDF weightloss guide for example, instead of trying to convert a lead with "Download your Free Guide Now" test out "Yes, I Want to Start Losing Weight".

The Weight of the Font

It's amazing how often we run into "can we use a different font for this headline, another font for the sub headlines and yes, let's try this font with the paragraph". Honestly, we think it's better to stay with only one font for the landing page design and adjusting different weights for the title, headlines and paragraph. Different weights simply mean light, normal, bold and bolder. Trust us, you're not going to suddenly trick someone to focus on a particular section or element just because the font is different from the 5 other fonts on the page. If you absolutely feel like the page needs some different font choices only use about 2 font choices. Three would be the maximum.

Cut Featured Items Down

We get it, you have all of these testimonials and you think it'll be good to showcase all of them. If you're A/B testing then try this out. One variation show 2 of your greatest testimonials and the other variation with 10 testimonials. Why do we think the one with just 2 testimonials is preferable? Well, it's proven that you can convince a customer with little as possible. Especially when it's your best material. This will give a sense of decluttering or doesn't give them too much to take in. Have something to feature like portfolio or awards? Cut it down. Remember, we need them to convert not get caught up in so much fluff.

We have given some great tips to try and test with your next landing page design. We're sure you'll be able to see a difference when you follow our advice. If you want to learn about more tips and the value we provide find out more about our custom landing page design.

Website Design Goals To Consider and Examples

Back when the Internet was in its infancy, the first rendition of websites were no more functional than a digital billboard. Businesses simply put up a website with basic functionality and call it a day. However, since then the purpose of a website evolved to become an integral part of any business strategy. Now with more modern tools like Social Media, Email Marketing and so forth...your website design goals should be a powerful ally to your company objectives.

Setting Goals the SMART way!

Before we jump into specific website design goals for your online marketing strategies, we first have to understand what a SMART goal is.

SMART is an acronym for; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Utilizing these parameters, you will be able implement goals that will actually benefit the bottom line of your business objectives. Ignoring these might result in your company bleeding money in their respective departments. Do not implement marketing practices that are not in your best interest, not attainable or simply cannot be measured.

Understand the process of establishing SMART goals now? Let’s see how we can apply these to specific departments within your business model, or see how SMART goals are incorporated in Growth Driven Design.

Breaking Down the Website Design Goals for Each of Your Company's Departments

Firstly, let’s take a deeper look into the specific goals for each department. Understanding these points will help you design your website accordingly. Which aligns the functionality of your online endeavors with the goals each department seeks.

Marketing – Their main objectives will always be to generate leads by driving in traffic, to engage prospects in relation to the Buyer’s Journey and to re-engage old customers for repeat conversions. Sounds like a mouthful, but this is the general gist of it all.

Sales - The sales department of the business will always require a website to assist in closing sales through validating and supporting sales team communications. In other words, utilizing a CRM that will streamline leads to the sales department. Which assists them in closing a prospect on a specific offer.

Customer Support – Here it's all about creating a deeper sense of ‘customer satisfaction’ by providing a more robust service to the customer. This is usually done through, live chat functionalities, email support, support desks, telemarketing services integrated into the website and so forth.

Webmasters – These are the people that keep the site running smoothly. Their goals usually depend on simplifying and optimizing content updates and general website management. They want to keep your site as current and as secure as possible.

IT – The IT Department focuses on cross-platform integration, security issues, performance and scalability issues. Think of everything related to the back-end of your site.

Operations – The ‘Operations department’ works on streamlining and automating the website in order to reduce costs and optimize workflow.

HR – The functionality of the HR department focuses on attracting and hiring new recruits. Additionally, they can create a space on the site where current employees can find additional assistance without having to show up ‘in person’. This also helps optimize the HR Process and reduces costs in the “Operations Department”

C-Suite – For the top dogs of the organization, their ultimate goal is to grow the company’s bottom-line. Which should increase profitability in all sectors. When it comes to websites, it refers to lowering costs, increasing company practices efficacy and streamlining the functionality of all departments.

Now that we know the general objectives of each department, let’s see what we can do specifically in each of the departments to insure that their goals are SMART. Below are some examples to provide you with a general sense of ‘what you should be looking for with your company website design goals’.

Marketing Department

Within the Marketing Department, their main objectives is to attract relevant potential customers to the website. Then engage with them on their particular ‘stage’ within the Buyer’s Journey. Lastly, convert them into customers.

Here are some of the most common marketing-related goals for a website:

  1. Quality Lead Generation – As mentioned, websites of today are meant to generate relevant leads for the business. However, simply generating leads isn’t enough. It is important to focus on quality over quantity. For most businesses, rather than putting “X amount of leads per month” you should be focusing on a lead increment percentage. So instead of saying, “We want 50 leads per week”, you should say something more along the lines of “We want to increase lead generation by 10% monthly”. This gives you the framework for measurability.
  2. Conversions – Secondly, generating leads is nothing without converting them. Most marketers achieve this through a “Smart Content Marketing Strategy” including blogs, landing pages, bribe gifts as well as many other tactics. Once more, it’s best to establish a percentage goal as opposed to a specific number as the measurability becomes more dynamic in nature.
  3. Brand Awareness – Another typical goal for the marketing department is brand awareness. In relation to a website, this means ‘how easy is it for your customer to understand what your company does, what your offers are or any other specific element of your business you’d like to promote. Typically, this can be done through landing pages or “squeeze pages”, information sites and so forth.

Sales Department

Now let’s move onto the Sales Department. It is obvious that the main goal of this department is to generate more sales. However, what about companies that do not push sales directly through their website? How do they utilize the website to assist them with their overall objective of generating more sales?

Usually, for companies in the second category, the idea of the website comes more as a “supportive tool” rather than a direct sales mechanism. Allow me to explain in a bit more detail;

  1. Generating More Sales - Obviously, the point here is that the site (company) ultimately wants to increase their sales. This applies to a wide range of companies. Once more, the idea here is to set a percentage goal as opposed to a “fixed number of sales” per week as the scalability is more dynamic in nature.
  2. Improve Sales Conversions – Secondly, it is just as important to increase the conversion rates of the leads the marketing department is generating. To calculate your current conversion rates, simply take the number of unique monthly visits and divide it by the actual converted customers (those who made a purchase). Similarly, you’ll want to establish your goals by percentage benchmarks as opposed to “physical numbers”.
  3. Support Systems – Finally, it’s important to be able to increase the support system around your sales. Once you have made a conversion, what are you doing to keep your customers happy, to respond to their follow up questions and so forth. To establish goals within this field, it’s more about understanding your sales department than the external customer. Thus surveying your sales teams about the performance of the website in relation to facilitation of sales is the best way to establish key performance indicators, which can then later be set as goals. Based on what your sales team responds, make the appropriate adjustments.

Customer Care Department

Let’s move onto Customer Care. Most websites today have some sort of customer care option. Whether it’s the “contact us” part of the website, live chats, telemarketing services and so forth. In order to fully understand how we can establish website design goals for this department we can break it down into two sections;

  1. Satisfaction – In this section, you’ll be focusing on ‘how you can improve customer satisfaction throughout the buyer’s journey. To do this, you’ll need to generate data first which can be done through surveys before and after a customer makes a purchase. It’s not easy, as most customers simply want to purchase whatever they want, and move on. Thus, implementing small surveys throughout the sales process can help quantify this data.
  2. Task Time Reduction – Secondly, we look at ‘how long it takes’ for your support team to take care of a problem. This is much easier to measure as you will be able to see the steps ‘in-living-color’ as your support team handles requests. To set a SMART objective, once more rely on percentages as opposed to “minutes/hours” as the framework. For instance, increasing the ‘completion time by 10%’ is a good example of setting a proper goal.

Webmaster + Content Creators

These people are usually the people running the digital aspect of your website, from content generation, integrating CMS’ and creating landing pages for specific products/services.

Similar to the Customer Care Department there are two main points you need to be focusing on;

  1. Satisfaction – We’re not talking about how satisfied your customers are with the content. Rather how satisfied your content creators are with the workload. If you have unmotivated workers, you’ll receive unmotivated content. This will directly affect every other aspect of your online endeavors. You’ll need to listen to your webmasters/content creators and make adjustments accordingly.
  2. Task Time Completion – What can you do to make your content creators more efficient? Perhaps using task manager apps, weekly calls, summaries etc. To set a goal, simply take the current time it takes for one of your content creators to finish a task (a.k.a create a blog). Figure out their steps and see how you can optimize the process.

IT Department

The IT Department is all about allowing you to run your website efficiently. They need to keep everything current, secure and working smoothly. While they are not always necessary, they are crucial for the success of your digital endeavors. After all, if a website is “down” or “offline”, you’re not generating sales or activity for any other department.

The IT department has one major goal;

  1. Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency – In this case, to create a goal for the IT department you will want to look at physical costs (servers, hosting, licenses etc.) In many cases, IT departments charge by the hour. Seeing how efficiently these hours are being used can help set the framework for your objectives. This includes updating platforms, migrating to better systems and so forth.

Operations Department

These guys are all about efficiency and seeing ‘where they can automate’ processes. Thus, one of the major goals of the “Operations department” is set to;

  1. Automation and Workflow – How much of your website can be automated? Sales, email, customer support, CRM integration etc. All of these elements fall under the goals and objectives of the department. They will need to analyze the current state of the website and see where automation is possible.

Human Resources

For most websites, the HR department focuses on the ‘in-house team’ meaning they look for recruitment and support for current employees. Thus the website design goals they should be focusing are;

  1. Application Optimization – How easy is it for an applicant to send you their resume? Getting a key employee that will benefit the bottom line of your company is a priority for this department. Similar to lead generation goals and objectives, you can track this process through a CRM. This will let you see here the pain points lie. Understanding the points of conflict and how to optimize them will be a heavy influencer in relation to establishing goals.
  2. Employee Satisfaction – How can they help make your employees more efficient and how satisfied they are with their current tools. You will need to analyze the current “toolbox” your employees are using, measuring the frequency of use and seeing where there are areas to increase the overall efficiency of it all.

C-Suite

Now that we have looked at every department in detail, what about the ‘head honchos’ of the organization? How does a CEO or a COO fit into all this digital workspace? Mainly, the job of a CEO is to increase the overall revenue of the company thus their main objective is;

  1. How to Maximize ROI – They will need to analyze every aspect of every department, find where to improve and suggest the changes for each. Based on the feedback of each department, the CEO can measure areas of improvement and implement timeframes of transition. The main question a CEO should be asking is; “How will this new website help our bottom-line?”

Conclusion

Now, you should have a deeper understanding on how to establish website design goals. Especially, if you want to focus on a specific department. Obviously, this is merely touching the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but it should give you a clearer picture when it comes to establishing SMART goals for your company in relation to the digital workspace. Learn more about how we go about our website design service.
Build a website faster and better with Growth Driven Design

Video Marketing Statistics Proves Why You Should Use It

Remember when "Video Killed the Radio Star?" It turns out that "video wasn’t done killing!"

The 1979 hit by the Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star” will always act as a reminder that as we innovate technology, the old mediums become less important can eventually “die off”. While we still have radio, it’s popularity has dwindled and today people prefer the power of streaming music they want to hear without the clatter of unwanted ads.

Similarly, the Internet has evolved and it seems that ‘video’ has a thirst for blood once more. This time around in the world of online marketing. Video has become a key strategy for brands of all sizes to engage their target audience and with the tools to create compelling videos becoming ever more accessible, the demand for video marketing increases.

The Ruthless Power of Video Marketing

While "written content" will be forever needed to some degree, video content has become a more effective means of getting the message across in a quicker timeframe. The average internet user has an abysmal attention span, even lower than the dumbest goldfish. This is why it has become so important to utilize those precious "8-seconds" before a user loses interests and swims to another fish bowl.

However, just like the market "favored video over radio" back in the early 80s; market trends show us that the market continues to favor video over pretty much every other marketing medium available.

Here’s some statistics to illustrate the "love for video":

Source (HubspotForbes)

To be honest, the list can go on and on and on.

This should give you an indication that if you don’t have video as a part of your marketing budget, you should definitely start to consider it as the future market trends suggest that ‘video will go on killing it’ over time.

Explainer Videos and Retention

While the "video marketing spectrum" is quite vast, there are different types of videos to focus on. You have everything from sales videos, hype videos, viral videos, tutorials and explainer videos. They also all come in a various shapes and sizes.

Explainer videos however have become an important part of maintaining user engagement within their websites. Not only has this marketing tactic increased user retention on many big sites like Dropbox and Work.com, it also increased conversions between 10%-20%.

It’s simply a more effective way to introduce your brand, educate your prospect in a fun and engaging manner. People are predominantly visual learners and with video you stimulate both visual and auditory learners.  A quick, short and engaging video allows your users to quickly grasp your ‘intent’ and can motivate them to take action much quicker than ‘written copy’.

This is one of the reasons why the demand for video marketing has increased so drastically in 2015.

The Bloody Bottom Line

Video marketing has taken the world by storm and with further innovations in the realms of holographic marketing, video will only become more powerful. As a business or a brand, implementing video within your marketing budget is a solid investment, especially if done correctly. You can gain mass exposure with a small budget and reach your desired audience with higher efficiency.

Video did kill the radio star, and has continued killing ever since. The question is, will you use video to ‘kill it’ for you?

10 Tips on How To Make an Explainer Video

You've probably heard of explainer videos or animated explainer videos, but you might be wondering what they are, and how they can help your marketing strategy. 

What is an Explainer Video?

Explainer videos are visual pitches that give your customers and idea of what you're offering them. Most businesses employ them to get new sales and leads, but explainer videos have many functions. These videos are usually between one and three minutes, but some can be longer. Usually animated explainer videos are made for a business’s product or service, but live motion video explainers are great too as long as the script and acting are perfect. There are many editing tools and video production services that can assist with creating these videos.

If you want your customers to know more about your brand than just your slogan, explainer videos are a great way to showcase why your product or service is one of the best available to them.

Whether you relay this message in a youthful tone, or choose a more sophisticated one, explainer videos have proven to be effective in creating brand awareness, increasing revenue and garnering the interest of future prospects.

10 Tips for Creating a Great Explainer Video

  1. Keep it short. Nobody is looking for a 30-minute sales pitch. Tailor your material to people's current attention spans. You may show your video on a home or landing page and statistics show web visitors only stay on a page for a few minutes to short seconds.
  1. Write Great Copy. One of the most important things is a great script. If it doesn’t make sense or isn’t compelling you’ll lose your audience. You may have all these wonderful things to say, but if you can't put it together we suggest in hiring a professional copywriter. One who specializes in explainer video scripts and the fundamentals of video conversion. We have some valuable tips on how to write an explainer video script for you to read.
  1. Make 'Em Laugh! Although it's easier said than done, a little humor goes a long way, talk with your scriptwriter about conveying your message in a humorous way.
  1. Use Emotion to your Advantage. Know what emotion you're trying to elicit from your customers, and relay your desires to your scriptwriter.
  1. Draft a Storyboard. Along with your script it’s great to have every scene planned out. A storyboard will usually include frame-by-frame visuals, scene descriptions, time of each scene, voice over and audio layout.
  1. Plan Visuals Carefully. Viewers are engaged when there are well-executed animated video production of graphics. For live video pay attention to locations and camera angles. We recommend using a decent camera, lighting and such for live motion and if you don't have that then hire video production services to take care of that portion.
  1. Use Professional Recording for Audio. If you are trying to convey a professional image, a poor-quality audio recording is going to do you a major disservice. Proper recording equipment (a high-quality microphone recorded in a soundproof space) will lend your video a professional quality your customers want to see.
  1. Use a Professional Voice Over. If you’re not going to record your own voice over then carefully select an appropriate and professional voice over artist. Preferably one who has the proper recording equipment we mentioned.
  1. Consider Using a Song and SFX in your Video. Music stirs people's emotion like few other things can. It can be hard to obtain the rights for popular songs, but there are thousands of artists on the Internet who have recorded music specifically for corporate/promotional materials. Find something that matches the tone you are trying to elicit.
  1. Plan for your Product Launch. Select what platform on which you'll release your video. Share your video on your blog, website, and social media platforms.

Now that you know the basics of how to create a great explainer video, use these tips to improve your video marketing strategy!

Is Your Website Responsive? Find Out Why It Should Be

Responsive Web Design: The Time is Now

If you've made it this far in life, you probably already realize how important it is to adapt to a situation. Being able to realize things cannot always go your way and having the ability to accommodate situations/feelings is a vital survival and success skill.

This rings true in all areas of life, including web development. Like a chameleon who adapts to its surroundings, your website must also adapt to different devices. If a user is on a mobile device and your website has not been made to adapt to their screen, they will probably leave your website. This loss of interest often results in a loss of business opportunity.

Mobile vs Responsive Design

Responsive design has been the most popular and widely used method for designing a mobile website. It requires one website to be coded to adapt to all screen sizes from any device. Whether the website is viewed from a desktop computer or handheld device, the content is not compromised. It simply shifts and changes to the best display for each screen.

Mobile templates are built for each specific site, not screen size like responsive design. They do not adapt to different devices, and if a user has to try to adapt themselves, there is higher chance they will give up on your website. This is why your website needs to be responsive. Check out some of the statistics below to give yourself an idea of just how important mobile-friendly websites are and why you should choose responsive over mobile templates.

Mobile Device Statistics

According to Smart Insights, mobile devices account for:

61% of users will leave if they can't find what they are looking for on a mobile device. On the flip side, users are 67% more likely to make a purchase if they have a positive mobile encounter with a website. According to ComScore, over half (55%) of social media activity happens on a mobile device.

Google Prefers Responsive

In 2012, Google's Pierre Farr revealed at SMX Advanced that Google will index responsive websites before mobile templates. It's easier for Google to crawl and index responsive websites with little room for index errors. If you want to push your brand forward past your competitor's mobile template websites, it literally pays to make a responsive website over a mobile template website.

Speed Matters

The standard loading time for content on a mobile device is 1 second and the entire page is under 2 seconds, according to Google's PageSpeed. When loading a website designed for a desktop on a mobile device, these speeds are typically impossible. PageSpeed Insights will tell you how fast your website is loading as well as how to make it load faster.

What Does the Future Hold?

As newer devices are being used for web browsing now and in years to come, having a responsive website will enable your site to look clean and concise no matter which device is/will be used. Since technology is moving quickly, it is critical that you provide users with a mobile website that can adapt to all kinds of screens. The future of your business depends on it!

Let us know if you'd like to learn more about redesigning your website to be responsive and mobile ready.

Or, learn more about Growth Driven Design by downloading our eBook below.

What is Flat Design

We were once in the age of embracing the reality of Skeuomorphic design, or a false reality. In it are textures, drop shadows, gradients and more to make things appear visually real. Now to simplify things all that has to be done is to take out these extra “realism” effects. Introducing “flat design”, not a new artistic approach, but one that is catching steam in every day design. Simple without the 3-D feel. A 2-D concept. Mix in bold fonts, colors that are vibrant and shapes that are simple then you have flat design. Everyone is talking about iOS 7 taking on this approach just as Windows has embraced it. But really, flat design has been around. Here and there. Now it’s just getting wide-stream attention in this present time of updated and newer technology.

When it comes to web design, logos, business cards and ads flat design has and will be taking up the spotlight. For how long, no one really knows. One would think that this design method wouldn’t be hard to accomplish, but in our opinion creating flat design can be challenging when it seems so simple.

Looking For or Creating a Flat Design?

HookLead Logo - Flat Design Comparison

As you see above, we took our HookLead logo and simplified it by taking out the gradients and changing the color palette. While it may seems that flat design is simple you should know there are a couple of things to note:

Simplicity at it’s best – You should keep the design simple. Logos, icons or websites. Simple, minimal. No more three dimensional effects such as shadows and textures that add depth. Keep it 2-D. Shapes should be clean, straight lines, round or squared edges.

The color palette – Typically you’ll see flat designs with vibrant colors. The palette can be bright which compliments the simplicity. Play with the combinations of high contrasting colors. Leave gradients behind or use much less of it.

Typography & Copy – It is important to apply typography in a simple manner with flat design. Sans Serif and font weights are common. Don’t go overboard with typefaces as it should match the design visually. When it comes to copy your text should stick with simplicity at mind. Less of it.

Sounds simple, right? Less is more.

To Be Real or To Be Flat?

Honestly, that really depends on you as a business or as a designer. It is something to discuss for certain projects or overall branding. You’ll know if you need to use flat design or not. Often you’ll see brands experimenting with trends because it brings the attention that they need. So use it where you see best.

Once as everyone enjoyed a realistic feel it goes back to a common thought process. When something becomes popular and widely-recognized it will have reached it’s top and begin to decline. Then clear the way for something new to appear in the scene. Whether if this is a common trend, flat design is being embraced. So if skeuomorphic design leans more for reality, and flat design is just as it sounds then what’s going to be next as a trend? Semi-Flat?