landscaping-online-conversionMy wife Robin and I drive out to the west coast of Florida often to visit my parents (north of Tampa) and during one of these trips I noticed a sign in front of a small farm that stuck out to me a lot.  The sign was spray painted, simple and basic but it taught me a lot about online marketing and online conversion optimization.

On the side of the road, in front of this small farm-like area the sign said, “Landscaping Rocks”.  That was it, no price, nothing else.  Now the thing that really stuck out to me was that upon first glance I actually read this as, “Landscaping ROCKS!” and it had me thinking a lot about how this applies online (where words and word emphasis are king).

Looking at the two phrases above, which of the two sticks out to you more?  The second one, right?  More than likely you thought, “of course it does”… and well, it was planned that way.  The second phrase was planned to be more persuasive.  It elicits an agreement or even a fist pump (if you’re a landscaper 🙂)

The reason this spoke to me so much was because I began to recognize the power of purposeful, persuasive design and wordplay.  Changing the emphasis of just one word above transformed a road-side advertisement for some gravel into a fist-pumping, battle-cry (maybe a little over the top but you get the point).

How does this work for conversion?

If you have a form or opt-in of some sort of your page on your home page, chances are it’s your top conversion goal 99% of the time, so why hide it? Your form should stand out from the rest of the page, and be designed in a way that draws your eye directly to it.  The use of persuasive design is key to drawing the visitor’s eye to the place where you want it to be.

Many web pages with forms just put the form up and it winds up floating off in space somewhere and ends up just blending in with the rest of the page.  Try encapsulating the form in a box that causes it to stand out and attract ‘eye-attention’.  Surrounding the form in a contrasting border with contrasting colors will make it stand out and attract the rightful attention of visitors.

While we’re on the subject of opt-in forms and pages I want you to look at your call-to-action (CTA) buttons.

Are they plain?

Do they pop?

Are they clear?

Or does the button say something like “sign up” or even worse like “subscribe”?

Your call-to-action button should be based upon two concepts 1) short, sweet and to the point and 2) to describe exactly what will happen when clicked.

In the world of online marketing and conversion-based optimization visitors need to know what is going to happen next when they click on that button.  Telling them in advance on your buttons is a great way to alleviate anxiety, make the decision that much easier and also removes an unnecessary barrier to conversion.

When designing your buttons think of how you can clearly define the action.  Second, look for ways you can add supporting statements inside the button or under the button to reinforce the action you are wanting the visitor to take.

Persuasive Copy Design

As noted in the above example it can be very simple to take a boring, regular statement and completely transform it with a little ‘persuasive emphasis’.  Your landing pages are no different.

Highlighting certain ‘benefit’ statements, emphasizing ‘value bombs’ and adding contrast or boldness can cause your key points to stand out and get noticed instead of blending in with the rest.

Capitalizing the word ‘rocks’ in the example above completely transformed that statement and it’s meaning.

So how can you start ROCKING your landing pages?

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