Have you ever been to Costco on a weekend?
Talk about friction…
You pull into the parking lot, and with nowhere to park, you find yourself in the middle of that natural, reactive thought process.
You know, the one where you talk yourself out of the very thing you came to get:
Do I really need to get this?
Did I really need to come here?
Is this actually worth my time?
Can I get it somewhere else?
With these thoughts in mind, everything suddenly seems like a lot of work, and before you know it, you’ve already made the unconscious decision to head for the road.
This is a lot like landing page friction.
Friction creates anxiety, confusion, and frustration in the minds of your visitors.
When your visitor lands on your landing page and they’re confronted with some friction, their natural, reactive thought process kicks in — Ms. Negative Nancy — with those anti-conversion questions.
Once Ms. Nancy is triggered, the odds of her sticking around to become your next customer, are slim-to-none.
So, how do you avoid that mental trigger of negativism?
Get rid of the friction.
That’s everything that disrupts and slows down your visitor, causing them to stop and re-think what they’re doing.
Here are three ways to combat landing page friction and strengthen your design.
Way #1: Keep An “At A Glance” Perspective
In the world of landing page design, your first impression is your only impression.
Take that lightly, and your first impression could be your last impression.
It takes 1/10th of a second to make up our minds about people — your landing page is no different.
The moment your visitor lays eyes on your landing page, judgment begins to happen — harsh, merciless judgment.
Considering the scrutiny that could follow, the last thing you want to do is open your landing page door with a reason to “hate,” instead of a reason to love.
So what should you do?
Design your landing page with an “at a glance” perspective in mind.
Give them something that will capture, and win, their 50 millisecond decision.
Let’s take a look at, yours truly, DirecTV.
At a glance, what did you think?
Better yet, how did you feel?
Ambushed? Me too.
Let’s take a look at another example, Duet Display.
Aaand, exhale. Much better.
At a glance, who would you rather spend time with?
The one that sent you looking for a translator (DirecTV)? Or, the one that invites you to stay for yoga and homemade crumpets (Duet Display)?
The crumpets? Me Too.
Let’s break it down.
DirecTV, as you can guess, has some serious landing page friction to contend with.
Their first impression is so intense, that Ms. Negative Nancy has not only been activated, but is running rampant, receiving everything that follows with a load of resistance.
Tired of squinting past their design, I feel confused, controlled, overwhelmed, conflicted, annoyed, frustrated, irritated, and bombarded.
And, can someone tell me why there are two live chat bars?
I just can’t deem this as a worthy way of spending my time, and, I haven’t even looked at their copywriting yet.
Can you see the problem with that?
Let’s grab a breath of fresh air with Duet Display.
These guys knock your socks off with their first impression, and keep your socks off throughout their design.
With no friction-trigger at the front door, I enter in peace, positively receiving what the rest of the landing page has to offer.
I don’t know how it happened, but it happened, and I now use my iPad as an extra display.
Oh, the power of a frictionless landing page.
If you can follow along with the “at a glance” perspective, your friction levels will dive and your conversion rates will rise.
Before we continue, you might benefit from having some design tools accessible to test out the points we provide in this post…
Way #2: Make Your Burden Light
Your lead generation form can be a common hangout for landing page friction.
Everyone wants the pot of gold, but nobody wants to walk the rainbow to get to it.
So, what do you do?
You leave the gold where it’s at and do whatever you can to make the walk feel effortless.
Neil Patel collected some data and found that reducing your form field options from six to three can reduce your landing page friction and increase your conversions by 66%.
That’s just one change, one way.
Other friction triggers of lead generation forms are:
Asking for too much information.
Asking for too personal of information.
And, asking for irrelevant information.
Take a look at the graph below:
Here you can see a breakdown of the personal information that can cause friction and lower conversion rates.
These thing can cause a feeling of uncertainty and invite back Ms. Negative Nancy, along with her unwanted questions:
Why are they asking me for this?
Do I really have time for this?
Maybe I shouldn’t fill this out.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to run off and remove all of your form field options that request some personal data.
Depending on your landing page offer, you might actually need a bit of personal data.
This just helps you to understand how relevant and selective form fields can play an important role in your visitor’s friction experience and, inevitably, affect your conversion rates.
At the end of the day, be relevant to what you’re offering, and only ask for what you need.
Do this, and the burden of your offer will feel light, and be without friction.
Way #3: Show Up With Believable Proof
If I told you that Michael Jackson and I used to hang out, would you believe me?
Probably not, that’s a pretty bold claim.
What if I showed you his autograph? Would you believe me then?
You might, but not if it looked like a chicken scratch version of my own.
Social proof can be powerfully, persuasive and can work wonders to disarm any landing page friction.
When visitors experience some last minute friction, Ms. Nancy will keep them from taking that last step.
And, that Ms. Nancy, she is a pain in the neck and a hard one to crack.
So, you need to be ready to disarm her with some real, believable, social proof.
Let’s take a look at Codecademy, an educational company for coding.
As you can see, Codecademy is using customer testimonials and have included a seductive and alluring number as “proof” that people are choosing them, and loving them.
Their testimonials are used to address those “Negative Nancy” moments that might have been triggered in the minds of their visitors.
And, of course, with a number like 24 million in view, it’s bound to get attention, building some trust, with a hint of peer pressure and a touch of acceptance.
Now that you’ve seen some believable proof, let’s take a look at another example.
Couchsurfing is a website that connects homeless travelers with a city’s established locals.
(If you’re a traveler on a poverty budget, this is probably something to love.)
Trusting a stranger in another city, or further than that, another country, comes with an extremely high friction risk.
This is breeding ground for Ms. Nancy.
To counteract her thoughts and keep her at bay, you can imagine the amount of believable social proof Couchsurfing is going to have…
I can’t believe the lack of social proof Couchsurfing provides.
Their advertisement screams louder than their social proof and, believable is nowhere to be found.
If I hadn’t of been in a European bind myself, I would’ve never trusted their offer, and I can hardly understand how anyone else does.
Believable testimonials are powerful but, it doesn’t have to stop there.
Depending on your offer, it might be necessary that you take a more collaborative defense to Ms. Negative Nancy, using testimonials along with viewable likes and shares, popular client logos, or trust symbols like these…
Having more than one kind of social proof is a sure way to turn a friction defense off and a converting offense on.
15Five, a platform that helps elevate company performance, does a great job at using more than one social proof technique.
Take a look.
In this screenshot, 15five uses the client logo and peer pressure approach to show their visitors they have nothing to fear.
Since 1,000 companies are already using it, it must be worth it, right?
In addition to the more obvious social proof techniques, they also take it a step further by using pictures of real people in their “how it works” explanation.
They could have used icons, or avatars, but they knew that people would breathe easy, and trust easier, by seeing the faces of other people.
It may not appear as powerful as the first two social proof techniques, but it certainly plays a role and, without a doubt, serves as an added level of friction protection.
Below is another screenshot of the same site…
Four social proof methods later, I can say that 15five went out of their way to reduce any landing page friction that might have been triggered.
If one method doesn’t calm your visitor, there is a huge chance that the other one will.
That’s a wrap…
There’s nothing enjoyable about landing page friction.
Your visitors don’t like it. You don’t like it. It’s a lose lose of a situation.
But, with an “at a glance” perspective, a low-burden form, and believable proof, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Just remember the frictionless goal — to keep your visitor thoughtlessly doing, and away from consciously thinking.
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