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A lot of people with very big brains have spent years doing research that tells us when marketing materials direct visitors to the homepage of a law firm’s website instead of to a dedicated landing page, the chances of a speculative visit being converted into a meaningful enquiry are more than halved. Well, couldn’t any decent legal marketing person tell you that? Just from experience coupled with a bit of common-sense?

A recent survey by The Unbounce Landing Page Analyzer, however, has taken the bleeding obvious and developed it to look at over 18,000 landing pages – examining their effectiveness. Here are some of the most important and significant results of that survey.

It is clear that the fewer the links that can be followed from a landing page the greater the chances of converting a quick glance into a meaningful enquiry. 13.5% of pages containing just one ‘call-to-action’ link produced conversions, compared with 11.9% of those containing two to four and just 10.5% of those containing more than five. However, of the 18,000 landing pages examined only 14.8% of them contained just one link. 68.2% contained more than five.

The file size of images on a landing page needs scrutiny too. Anything that takes time to load puts visitors off, as proven by an 11.4% conversion rate from quick-loading landing pages and just 9.8% from pages containing oversized images. A staggering 82.2% of the pages analysed contained at least one oversized image that could easily be compressed.

Potential clients are encouraged by references to satisfied ‘customers’ – reviews, photographs, quotes, social media posts, etc. – and conversion rates for landing pages containing this sort of information are 12.5%, compared to 11.4% for pages without it. Accepting current  limitations on the analytical technology, meaning that a few valid examples may have been missed, the results indicate that 76.8% of the pages examined do not contain any references to such ‘social proof’.

Email proves to be the most successful means for marketers to generate ultimately profitable traffic to a landing page. Of the five sources of traffic analysed – paid, organic, social, direct and email – email leads with a 13% successful conversion rate.

The results indicate a clear disadvantage for desktop-only versions of landing pages – a 10.7% conversion rate. This is compared to an 11.7% rate for those landing pages that have a mobile responsive version that adapts to smartphone and tablet screens.

Finally, word count appears to be hugely important. Indications are that landing pages with fewer than 100 words are 50% more successful than pages with over 500 words, so concise and brief landing pages have an undoubted advantage… [I hear law firm people the world around groaning a the chances of this one happening…]

Some interesting data… but let’s think about it practically. Yes, it makes sense to take all of this into account when planning out and maintaining your firm’s website. But one of the most interesting aspects of all of the information provided by this research is just how much potential business is being lost for the sake of a few small but meaningful adjustments to the first real point of contact. The landing page may yet turn out to be the most important page of the entire website, while simultaneously saying the least.