We talk a lot about how vital landing page design is for Google advertising and PPC in general. Now we want to look under the hood and discuss some of our findings from a user test we conducted on pages we've created. We hope you can apply these findings to your pages or test them yourself.
In a nutshell
We conducted user interviews for an Atlanta-based personal injury law firm. We showed five people variations of a mobile Google ad landing page we created. We leverage the UserTesting tool to conduct the interviews online and to find the five people that matched the demographic the firm was targeting for their advertisements.
Our findings validated a lot of design principles and concepts we use to convert people to take action. In a nutshell, we found:
- Participants responded well to authentic social proof, not awards.
- Participants expressed interest in calling to learn more about the firm and its processes
- Emphasizing "free call" near buttons gained more attention
- Less but quality information is always more
- Shorter headings were more likely to be read than longer ones
- People shop, so the firm needs to stand out in terms of brand, messaging, and transparency
Why we did user interviews
The purpose of testing this landing page was to optimize the conversion rate. The firm's CTR for the page was great, but people weren't taking action. The A/B tests they were running were not promising. So we started from scratch and set out to get qualitative data to understand what information our target audience was looking for and their state of mind when looking for it.
A side note: test early and often with intent. The best results for PPC conversions come from testing early and often. It's crucial to understand the audience you're trying to reach:
- What they want
- What information is essential to them
- What inspires them to take action
We did user interviews to develop a better understanding, but you don't always have to do that. Simply asking your customers/clients questions or showing them content in person suffice.
Finding #1: Authentic social proof performs well
We placed the firm's Google My Business reviews at the top, near the primary button. Participants responded well to the high rating but wanted to validate the authenticity of the reviews. While it's not ideal to direct users away from the landing page, providing them a link to all the reviews, in this case, was well appreciated. This appreciation points to a more profound human behavior that involves relying on authentic social proof (not awards) from others when one has never used a good/service before.
Finding #2: Emphasize value near calls-to-action
The primary call-to-action (button) usually contrasts the rest of the page for heightened visibility. What you want your users to do next should stick out like a sore thumb. We found that by directing users' attention to the button and adding a short value proposition next to it, the text was more likely to be read and associated with the call-to-action. This association allows us to make the value memorable while explaining other key pieces of information.
Finding #3: Less is always more
All of our participants judged the landing page right when they opened it. And 75% of them made a decision on the firm without scrolling.
Those that did scroll said they appreciated the "shortness" of the page. They valued that we could articulate the critical information without overwhelming them. Short, concise, and to the point. That means less time on the page by being efficient and thoughtful about what info we give - information that matters to the audience.
Finding #4: Shorter headings performed better
Our interviews found that participants read shorter headings over the more extended versions. The longer the headings, the more likely participants were to skim. We hypothesize that they are skimming to look for keywords that either matter to their bottom line or help explains what's further down the page.
If there's essential information for the audience to know, don't hide it in a long sentence or paragraph.
Finding #5: People shop, so stand out
A few of our participants explained they shop online by clicking multiple options (links) from Google and having numerous browser tabs open to compare offerings. Who you are and what you provide are constantly being compared and analyzed by customers/clients. That's why it's crucial to hone in on your value proposition and find ways to stand out. Generally speaking, you either need to offer something different than your competitors or do a better job developing content that resonates with your audience and makes them feel heard more than any other law firm.