You invest a grip of money into advertising and marketing every month. Not to mention the other resources you expend trying to drive more traffic to your website and landing pages and, ultimately, make more sales. What’s the one thing that often gets pushed to the back burner?
If yours is like many brands we encounter, it’s optimization of your Shopify landing pages.
Landing pages are half of the conversion equation. Given how much you put into their creation and promotion, you need to squeeze every ounce of value possible out of them.
Optimization is the way forward, but before you start making tweaks to your landing pages, you need to get the lay of the land first.
There could be several culprits behind a conversion rate that could be better.
What you think your target customers want may not always be 100% spot-on. For example, a brand could be offering the right product but in the wrong quantity or only one of several complementary products that shoppers would prefer to buy as a bundle. The trouble is that some brands never figure this out because they shy away from analyzing the impact of larger changes.
There’s value in doing iterative testing—making small changes a bit at a time to headlines, landing page copy, call-to-action (CTA) buttons, and so on. But a lot of brands and even many conversion rate optimization (CRO) agencies box themselves into only doing iterative testing. What’s the issue with this?
Our CEO, Raphael Paulin Daigle, summed it up: “With some clients, we've tested new bundle builders and new subscription offers. With Dr. Squatch, we tested adding a quantity selector and changing the default quantity for their bars of soap. And those are all things that, in many cases, lead to great findings that changed the business or business model of those brands. But if we only focused on headline tests, or testing buttons or images, we would have missed out on all those things.”
That’s likely true in your case as well. Quantitative and qualitative research could reveal that your offer needs more foundational tweaks like these.
Fast loading is non-negotiable these days. But, unfortunately, there are plenty of things that can slow landing page loading times down. For example, you may have too many videos, images, or fancy design features. While they may look stunning, they might not drive conversions. Especially if they slow down the page, potentially tripling your bounce rate.
Whether you have many images and videos or not, another issue could be lack of optimization. Larger files take longer to load, so if you don’t typically optimize image and video file sizes, it could be costing you.
Additionally, it’s not always the case, but app bloat—having too many apps installed—could be a problem also. Besides negative effects on page loading speed, bloat can also:
Using landing page-specific tools, like Replo or Unbounce, can be your saving grace. Not all Shopify themes are made equal, so these tools are engineered specifically to help your pages load faster than your store's main pages.
This can be a tricky one; it’s not always crystal clear whether the issue is your copy or something else. But we’ve got a pro tip for you: Look at bounce rate and scroll rate. If your bounce rate is above 80%, and very few people scroll past the top section of your landing page, it’s likely that the copy isn't resonating enough to get people to care about the rest of the page.
Of course, there are a bunch of reasons copy in the top section (and elsewhere on your page) may fall flat. Writing for too broad an audience, emphasizing selling points at random, or using the same messaging long after it’s stopped working as well as it used to. One reason that’s not talked about enough is poor message matching.
Your ads set the tone for what people should expect when they click through to your landing page. People click because something about the messaging in your ad grabs their attention. If your landing page uses totally different phrasing or on different needs, wants, or even products, visitors will be confused. More accurately, they’ll leave confused. Don’t count on them sticking around to work through it.
We’ve probably all ended up on a landing page that requests an unreasonable amount of personal information for the offer (e.g., 10 required fields for a simple ebook download). Same with product landing pages that try to sell you on taking a big step like making a purchase before you’re anywhere near ready.
Look at these scenarios from the other side now. Thinking about your landing pages and the main CTA for each, could any of them be asking too much of visitors? Either based on the offer or where they’re at in the buyer’s journey? If so, it’s definitely costing you conversions because people are unwilling to follow through. For instance, consider whether you’re presenting too many product options or maybe several similar products that visitors have to do a lot of legwork to compare and choose between.
Different landing page types—advertorials, heroes, product collection pages, and so on—serve different purposes. For instance, advertorials often work well for products that require education before people are willing to buy. They also work great with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Taboola, but are rarely a good match for paid search. Matching the landing page type with the traffic type and intent is key.
As another example, in an episode of the Minds of Ecommerce podcast, Phil Kyprianou talked about how his brand GothRider has used quizzes to drive growth. They can be a great low-pressure way to get potential customers to engage, after which you can present a personalized offer.
It’s not always the copy on a page or the offer that’s the main problem. You may need a different type of landing page altogether.
What do the above issues all have in common? You can find solutions to them via CRO.
CRO involves continuous research and A/B testing of your online store’s landing pages. There are several reasons it’s so valuable for Shopify brands:
And let’s not forget that rising ad costs can also take a sizable chunk out of your profit if you’re not playing defense with CRO. This has been a concern for many of our customers. Mood Pod was one of them. By developing and testing several landing pages based on insights from our research, we generated an estimated $3.3 million in annualized returns.
This isn’t a one-off case. It’s the result of research-based, custom CRO strategies and the custom landing pages they inform.
What adjustments could do your conversion rate some good? Here are some eight-level optimization tips, along with some of the best Shopify landing page examples from DTC Swipe Files.
Many brands rush audience research or fall into the trap of making assumptions without cold hard facts to back them up. Before you build or attempt to optimize a landing page, you need to get to know the people you’re selling to. There’s more to this than gathering basic customer persona details like age, gender, and job title.
Do you understand:
Each of those questions probably has more than one answer, especially if you sell to more than one type of customer. Additionally, each pain point or objective has a different level of importance to each persona, so your landing pages are more likely to fall flat if you take shortcuts in your research.
It’s easy to get carried away describing nifty product features and perks of buying from you, like free shipping. But if you don’t emphasize the benefits of those features and perks in order of importance to your target customers, your conversion rate will suffer.
What annoying problem are you helping them solve? What important goals do you help them reach? Is what you offer faster, cheaper, or easier to use than alternatives? Paint a picture of the positive influence your product or service will have on customers’ lives. Then reinforce it via any images, graphics, or videos that appear on your landing pages.
Skincare brand Aavrani did a great job of this on this landing page for its Shopify store.
The headline immediately states the outcome ideal customers are after and how fast they can expect results. The text and icon boxes then reiterate those benefits while the rest of the page gets into the specifics of the formula, how to use the treatment, and so on. This approach educates potential buyers and holds their interest, increasing the chances that they’ll become customers.
Landing pages are meant to drive on-the-spot conversions, so you can’t afford to leave fears, uncertainties, or doubts (FUDs) lingering in the minds of your ideal customers. If you do, they’ll be less likely to convert.
But to address the FUDs of potential prospects and customers, you first have to know what they are. Deep qualitative research (e.g., customer surveys) can help you understand what FAQs or concerns are likely to come up. Use what you learn to address both before they become firm objections.
The more each visitor to your landing page feels like you’re talking directly to them, the better. This doesn’t just mean using “you” often—it includes showing that you understand their concerns, goals, needs, and desires. Again, research is essential for gathering accurate info to inform your copy.
Also, make the copy action-oriented. Using an active voice will accomplish a few things, so the copy will be:
This listicle-style landing page we built for Bones Coffee is a solid example. It’s both engaging and promotes action with language like “try the sample pack” and “join the dark side of coffee.”
Nearly half of consumers pay more for brands they trust, so it’s worth working hard to establish that trust. Add one or more of the following to your landing pages:
NeuroMD, which we worked with to increase conversions by 55%, has several of these elements on one of its landing pages. The page shows off NeuroMD’s thousands of great ratings, mentions in publications like Business Insider, and positive customer reviews.
Knowing that others trust you can put potential customers at ease. Especially if your brand isn't yet a household name or you’re driving traffic that’s in the earlier stages of brand awareness.
Not every selling point is the most compelling, so choosing which ones to mention and emphasize at random is a recipe for disaster—as is deciding solely based on your team’s preferences or guesses at what would resonate.
If you’ve done your homework, you’ll have a good handle on what level of importance your ideal customers place on each pain point, need, or desire. Structure your copy in a way that addresses what they care about most before getting to info that’s not as important.
Also, these days, it’s quite important to frontload your Add to Cart section, complete with a product description, pricing info, and an add-to-cart CTA. This doesn’t necessarily mean placing it at the very top of each landing page—you don’t want to come on too strong. But you also don’t want visitors to have to scroll for ages before they see your offer. Our extensive testing over the past few years shows that if you keep them scrolling for too long, they may lose interest entirely.
Your goal should never be to force landing page visitors into taking an action that’s not fully aligned with their wants and needs. You should present them with the right solutions or products for them. That can mean cross-selling if you have other offerings that may be better for a particular customer or upselling when you have a complementary product or service they’d love.
Billie’s landing page is a great example of how to do this.
Billie sells razors, so the landing page features complementary products people naturally buy with razors.
Best practices have earned that title because they’ve worked for several brands. However, the danger is in skipping to best practices before figuring out what will work best for your brand and target market. So we’ll share some words of wisdom on developing an effective and custom CRO strategy.
The challenges ecommerce businesses face aren’t going anywhere. Rising ad costs will continue to be a threat to many brands, as will lack of control over algorithms on unowned channels and app tracking limitations. Optimization isn’t optional; it’s essential for your brand to weather the storm.
By default, it’s also essential to have a proper CRO process in place. (If you wing it as many brands do, you could tank your conversion rate or, at least, not move the needle much.) Lucky for you, you don’t need to start from scratch to develop an A/B testing process that works. You can use our tried-and-true Testing Trifecta or have our team implement it for you.
We’ve mentioned research a few times, so it should be no surprise that the first step of our Testing Trifecta involves research. At this point, the SplitBase team looks at analytics data, information hierarchy, and various types of heatmaps. All are types of quantitative data that can reveal what is or isn’t working on a landing page.
From there, we move to the next step, which—surprise, surprise—also involves research. This time, it’s qualitative research, involving customer interviews, surveys, usability testing, and the like. It’s often overlooked, but, in our experience, this type of research is a major part of putting the puzzle pieces together. It explains why elements of a landing page that don’t work are ineffective and vice versa.
When we understand the what and the why, we can form educated hypotheses about what tweaks would improve performance. This cuts down on unnecessary trial and error, helping us find the most effective CRO tactics for a specific brand faster. It lowers the risk of making adjustments to your landing pages that cheapen your brand or otherwise turn off would-be customers.
So, the million-dollar question is: Do you have the resources or optimization know-how to see this process through? If so, you have our formula for success at your fingertips—by all means, use it. But if you think you may need an expert hand, book a call with SplitBase. We can chat about the current performance of your Shopify landing pages, your goals for your ecommerce business, and the best ways to boost your conversion rates and overall marketing ROI.
Learn how to optimize copy, design, and user experience to create high-converting landing pages. Plus, get personalization tips for your ecommerce business.