I recently had the pleasure of reading a post on unbounce's blog titled "4 Ways to Stop Your Landing Pages from Being a Giant Fail" (I recommend you check it out once we're done here). The 4 takeaways from the post were:
- Stop Using Copious Monotonous Text Please
- Use Epic Headlines – Think Front Page of a Newspaper
- Every Page Needs a CTA
- Got Proof? Then Use it!
In this post I'll take a look at #1 and smash through the great wall of text from a visual attention perspective. Here is the landing page referenced in the above article.
Scenario: I'm searching for auto insurance and I've landed on the above page after having clicked on a PPC ad.
From Farmers.com's perspective I'm a self declared qualified prospect that they want to funnel through a process that ultimately ends in me buying insurance from them and becoming their customer. Their goal is to lure prospects such as myself, in as profitable a fashion as possible i.e. keeping customer acquisiton costs low while keeping customer lifetime value high. But looking at this wall of text there's only one thing that I'm compelled to do, well two actually. The first is to throw up in my mouth a little bit at the money Farmers.com is undoubtedly leaving on the table and the second is to close the tab this bag of words is occupying.
Why don't walls of text and landing pages mix?
Now that Farmers.com has incurred the cost of having me click their PPC ad and land on this page the next step, by the look of things, is for me to further qualify myself by clicking "Get a Quote" or "Find an Agent". The only good thing this page has going for it is that the "calls to action" are at least a different color than all of the other text on the page.
All walls of text aren't necessarily bad. If you've got my attention and have convinced me to invest my time in reading your content. The problem with walls of text in a landing page context is that you don't have my full attention and I am far from convinced that I should invest my time. Sorry I'm just not that into you yet.
If you feel that it's necessary to convey your message via text you should:
- Reconsider. Maybe give your head a good solid smack against a firm desk.
- Remember that the real goal is to have me click your call to action (the text is only there to help).
- Edit, chop, slash, and cut that content down.
- Chunk up your text so that I can easily find the content that I need.
Here's how people visualize a wall of text.
Let's take a look at where people distribute their visual attention in the first 5 seconds of viewing the wall of text using SightMetrics.com:
Based on this analysis, people landing on this page (in the first 5 seconds) have the majority of their visual attention split between the logo, the title "Auto Insurance", the image and the "calls to action". The situation maybe doesn't seem dire but lets consider the text. There appears to be some minimal attention guided towards the titles of the text but not much. Therefore the text looks fairly continuous, monotone, boring and overwhelming! There's little chunking of the text happening and therefore the visitor has to work unnecessarily hard to find the information that they need. Remember we want to answer their questions sufficiently and quickly so that they click one of those calls to action and move down the sales funnel.
In the image below I've performed a few minor tweaks to the page that greatly improve the chunking of the text and increases the visual attention on the calls to action (I borrowed the calls to action from the Farmers.com homepage). I've also toned down the visual attention paid to the H1 tagged "Auto Insurance".
What remains is to cut down on the copy and refine the messaging. I'm also not convined that the image is helping matters. I'd test both the text within the image and the image itself to see if it's really helping with conversions.
Be sure to give SightMetrics.com a try. Analyzing the visual attention of your landing pages can go a long way to busting up those monotonous walls of text and improving your conversions!