So, you’re running ads on Facebook and Google. You’re spending a few hundred bucks each month. Or maybe more. But it’s worth it because you’re getting decent traffic to your website.
But for some reason, you’re not getting many conversions. Visitors are coming to your landing page. But they’re not filling out the form for the free quote.
What’s the problem?
It could be a badly designed landing page.
What Conversion Rate You Can Expect
Of course, you need to keep in mind that the typical conversion rate for visitors going straight to a contact form on a landing page across industries is 2.35%. High performing landing pages can convert 5% or more. And a very few, very lucky and very smart landing pages, can convert 10% of visitors to leads.
Surprisingly, landing pages for B2B and more expensive purchases, such as financial services, actually do better than retail e-commerce. So, if your ads are bringing homeowners who are really interested in solar to your landing page, then you could reasonably hope to convert 5% or more of them to leads. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that too many solar installers send web visitors to ineffective landing pages. Below, I’ll give an example of a cluttered landing page that shoots its owner in the foot. Ouch.
Then, I’ll show you a streamlined landing page that does almost everything right. I’ll even tell you what this excellent page could do to be even better.
A Solar Landing Page that Fails
The landing page here is taken from a solar installer in Florida. I’ve blacked out all identifying information to protect the identity of the company. This is not about ragging on anybody — it’s about helping other solar companies to avoid common landing-page mistakes.
And first I’ll acknowledge some good things about this landing page:
- It answers a lot of questions that solar buyers have
- The answers are clear and easy to understand
- The company builds credibility well with logos for certifications and partner companies
- And most of all: the page has a short, simple contact form at the bottom
So, kudos to this company for putting a lot of good stuff into this page. Unfortunately, sometimes less is more. And that’s often the case with online landing pages.
I admit that sometimes more is more. In a traditional print direct mail piece, which is the model for the online landing page, you want to address many different customer objections. Some good online landing pages are also long, taking up three screens or more.
This page is just too long, though.
And the problem with this page is not only its length. The problem is the page’s design. Basically, the look is too busy. When a visitor arrives, the clutter may scare them off right away. Or, the visitor might get so distracted that they never bother to fill out the form. The main problems:
- Too many graphics, including photos, illustrations and logos, compete for the eye’s attention
- Too many pictures means too many colors, which gives the page a dated and frankly, ugly, design
- The text has too many colors too, along with too many effects like underlining and bold that confuse the visitor
- The humor comes off as corny, and clashes in tone with the serious data in the charts
- A complicated layout alternating single-column text with two-column text that’s hard to read on phones and looks sloppy
Too much going on, overall.
At best, the visitor is confused about what to do. Should they click one of the buttons or text that appears to be links? Are the logos clickable?
At worst, the visitor is put off by the crazy, amateurish design and decides that this is a crazy, amateurish solar installer. The visitor leaves, planing to take their business somewhere else.
A More Effective Solar Landing Page
The example below from Sunrun does everything a landing page should do. Mainly, it shows that when it comes to a landing page with a free solar quote form, less is usually more.
What’s so great about this page to convert visitors to solar leads?
- Clean and modern minimalist design conveys professionalism
- Simple layout offers few distractions from what you want visitors to do…which is to fill out the form
- Text underneath the form — not above it — offers reasons why you should fill out the form without distracting from actually doing it
This page is not perfect for a landing page, of course. It would be even better if Sunrun suppressed the navigation menu at the top. That would remove distractions even further, focusing visitors’ attention like a laser beam on the form itself.
Now, I don’t know for sure that Sunrun is sending people who click on Facebook or Google ads directly to this form. They probably have created a variety of different landing pages for different ad campaigns that may have content customized to the angle of the ads. And those landing pages may suppress the navigation menu, feature a different layout or do other things to slim the page down and focus the visitor on just submitting the form.
But overall, any solar company will generate more leads from its landing page if it follows Sunrun’s example here: Keep it simple!
Consumers Decide in the Blink of an Eye
In the digital age, when consumers are overloaded with information, they’ve learned to decide quickly whether they like a company’s story or not.
“In order to survive the onslaught of choices, consumers make snap judgments,” says best-selling marketing expert Seth Godin in his book All Marketers Are Liars. “The pieces of the story come together in an instant and the story is told. If the story is confusing or contradictory or impossible, then consumer panics and ignores it.”
That’s why a solar installer can’t afford a confusing landing page. To get a homeowner to fill out a free quote form, a solar landing page must be clear enough to comprehend in a few seconds.
Get more ideas to improve your solar company website with our free Solar Homepage Checklist.
— Erik Curren, Curren Media Group