5 Best Practices for Marketing Web Pages

There’s something special about going to a brick-and-mortar store — browsing the racks, speaking to a salesperson. But the reality is that like so many other aspects of our lives; shopping is moving online. According to FirstData, eCommerce transactions grew more than six times faster than those in brick-and-mortar stores during the 2017 holiday season, and Cyber Monday set a new record with a reported $6.59 billion in sales. 

For marketers, the rise of online shopping means brands need winning web pages. Every other digital channel is guiding your visitor to this virtual storefront. To help you make bank in the new era of shopping, Persado Solutions Consultant Grace Fisher, who helps companies perfect their sites, offered some best practices for marketing web pages. 

Words, Engagement, Action: Create a CTA That Works Wonders

A call to action (CTA) invites a potential customer to do something, whether it’s getting more information on an item, buy something or fill out a form. When it comes to creating a CTA, it’s easy to fall back on an old stand-by like “Buy Now” or “Learn More.” “Fight the urge to do this,” Fisher advised. “In our research at Persado, we’ve found that functional language, like CTAs, is often responsible for 47% of the difference in a customer's engagement with a web page. In other words, you could be missing out on a big boost in performance with a boring CTA.” Instead, try to be a little more creative. Food service brand Seamless uses a CTA of “Find food.” It’s straightforward, on-brand and action-oriented. 

Related Content: The Best Website CTAs We've Seen Lately 

Find the Customer’s Motivation — and Focus on It 

You can slap a few words on a website and call it a day, but words alone won’t motivate consumers. The emotions behind them are so important. Think about it: If a coach’s pre-game speech was merely a monotone description of various plays they planned to run that night, would it motivate you? Probably not. But if they talked about the magnitude of the game, how proud they were of the team and why they believed in everyone in the locker room, you’d probably be all fired up to play. The same logic applies to marketing website copy. At Persado, we’ve found that emotions comprise an average 20% of a page’s response rate. 

Achievement (“You’ve EARNED this vacation!) and Fascination (“Discover the shoes everyone is talking about…”) led the way for marketing web pages in 2018. 

“Consider using this data as a baseline, but keep in mind that what works for some brands won’t work for others,” Fisher said. “Continue to test to find the right message for your audience.”

Social Proof is Your Best Friend

marketing web page best practices

Let’s be real: Customers expect you to tell them how great you and your products are. Hearing it from someone else, be it a publication, an award committee or actual customers, will lend more credence to your brand. Studies have shown nearly 70% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. Build reviews right into your marketing web page design. “You can have an ‘as seen in’ section with links to press coverage, display a recent award on the site’s header or have customer quotes on the homepage,” Fisher said. Fisher personally loves the “Join the Movement” section on Rent the Runway’s page, which features customer testimonials alongside photos of them rocking rented outfits. “The ‘Join the Movement’ header is an inspiring call to action, and the examples of happy, stylish customers talking about the benefits of Rent the Runway goes a long way towards making the service more trustworthy and appealing,” she said. 

Keep it Simple

marketing web pages best practices
It may seem tempting to give customers a whole lot of details on why your products or services are so incredible, but if you take too long to get to the point, you’re going to lose their attention. Data backs this up: Positioning, which refers to the layout of the page elements and text, is responsible for, on average, 22% of a page’s response rate. “Be clear about what’s needed and how long it’s going to take — the faster, the better!” Fisher said. “Make it visually appealing but logical and easy to follow. If customers have to fill out a million fields, go through a 10-step process or scroll for several minutes before getting to the link, they’ll probably move on to one of your competitors.”  Fisher points to Netflix as a good example of a simplified process. The forms are to the point and outline exactly where the customer is in the sign-up process. 

Think Like a Customer 

When designing and writing marketing copy for your website, keep asking yourself, “What’s in it for the customer? Why should the customer care about this feature or continue to read this description?” Don’t focus on small features, unless they are big differentiators for your brand. Constantly reiterate the value proposition. “Showcase the pains you are addressing, and the problems you are helping them solve,” Fisher said. To do this, you’ll also need to know your audience — who they are, where they are coming from and what their goals are. “Always think big picture. “You may also need to segment your message if you have a diverse audience base. Even simple personalizations based on the number of times a visitor has been to your site or even just their geolocation can have a big impact,” Fisher said. “Review your site data and consider the visitor’s context in the purchase cycle to make sure you’re surfacing relevant content at the right time.”