We often talk to clients who are gung ho about Facebook and Instagram Ads, without their business being ready to do it. Their website and landing pages have such poor design, user experience, and information hierarchy that the best ads in the world wouldn’t get them a sale. If you’re in the same boat, don’t worry - you need to work on viewing your business through the eyes of a customer who has no idea who the hell you are.
And remember, you aren’t the only one out there. Researching and clicking around isn’t necessarily the most fun thing to do, so if you give your user a reason to leave your site - they will.
Let’s break down a few websites and landing pages to see the difference between a site that converts, and those that turn people away.
Problem #1: User Experience
So how is any writer supposed to pen a stunning piece of advertising copy — copy that sizzles and sells? The following tips will jumpstart your creative thinking and help you write a better ad. Consumers are inundated with ads, so it’s vital that your ad catches the eye and immediately grabs interest.
You could do this with a headline or slogan (such as VW’s “Drivers Wanted” campaign), color or layout (Target’s new colorful, simple ads are a testimony to this) or illustration (such as the Red Bull characters or Zoloft’s depressed ball and his Now, variety is nice. But yikes. TOO MUCH STUFF.
If you go to shop.wigsbuy.com you’ll see an onslaught of visuals that will quite literally make your head spin. TWO pop ups (why would I want notifications from your site??), a countdown ticker, an animation of fire next to the sale section, shipping, coupons, sales, search, filters, ahhhhhh!
I am sure the goal here was to catch attention but here’s the thing - the user is already on your website. You have their attention. Now, you need to help their eye go to the places you want them to see, without bombarding them. Help them learn + shop in a SIMPLE way.
Control your visual/information hierarchy. It’s true you want people to get to almost everywhere on your site in three clicks, but you can’t fit it all into one. Use a clean navigation system to guide users to certain categories that make sense, then drill down. You can have a lot on your site and still make it easy to use. If users don’t know where to go, they’ll go away.
On campionecycling.com, the first thing you see is a large video of cyclists. Stunning and showing the user exactly what they love about these products - the ability to go out and do what they love: cycling. Now that we’ve established that “our brand is all about getting you out on your bike”, they move to sales.
The font is small, but on these images you see the words “Men” and “Women” respectively. What a simple and easy way to narrow down a great deal of products in a way that makes total sense. If I’m a guy I don’t need to see women’s equipment mixed in with men’s, and vice versa.
Just below it they’ve shown you the best sellers/most popular items. This not only tells you that their items are popular, but leading the best products they have to put their best foot forward.
Both of these methods are HELPING the user make decisions about their products in a very clean and organized way. You could spend a lot of time scrolling around on this site because it’s so pleasing.
Problem #2: Who the hell are you?
When running Facebook and Instagram Ads, you’re going to reach a huge amount of new people. Those people have never seen you before, but the ads have piqued their interest. So they land on your page and - now what?
In this example above, what would you say this store sells? And WTF is an “essential”? People really need to stop using that term. This could be napkins, toilets, rugs, and literally anything in your home.
The logo is also not helping them - this isn’t very professionally done, and tells me nothing about the brand, other than it may have been drawn by a child. (Sorry!)
See how the website here is a similar layout, with the big hero image and the large copy above the fold? But how completely different the two are.
The Plant Ally is showing you the HOW and WHY all in one image. What the image says to me is: ‘We’re a real, genuine team that loves to make things’. Handmade, unique, naturalist, plant-lovers, etc. I “get” what they are, and I take that feeling with me throughout the website while I search, and now everything has a context.
Scroll further down the page and you’ll see beautiful images of plants, planting pots, and more. Not only that, but this business offers workshops and a journal (blog section). They are “about” something, and it shows.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” - Simon Sinek
Find you “why” and let your whole website tell that story. People who love what you are, and trust you, will buy from you.
Problem #3: Design + Photography
This is kind of an easy one, but we’re going to compare two competitors to show the difference between good design and photography, and not so good.
Above you’ll see one, pixel-y image, with fake cartoon gator (which is also fuzzy and pixelated) along with enormous, redundant logo text.
Here’s my question: does this spark joy?
Are you ready to go out on the swamp with these guys or….eh.
Here’s their competitor:
Now, which tour would you trust?
Sharp, crisp imagery is hugely important. And even moreso, are using humans - which they both are doing - to show the feeling of what they will purchase, rather than focusing on just the product/service.
In the first example we see the boat, the people, etc. That makes me think about being too close to someone, ‘who are these people’?, what is there even to look at in this swamp get me out of here, etc, etc.
In the second example they’re selling the reason you go out on the boat in the first place - beautiful shot of the water and hanging vegetation, something that is unique to that region of the world. A f*cking real gator! And a guy there who looks like he’s literally taming it, which is important to establish trust in the guides who are bringing you out there on this adventure. Also just great spacing, text, easy to view and know where to go, and did we mention a f*cking gator??
Your site visitors won’t be visiting their first website when they get to you. People equate design to quality of brand. They know how a site should look and act, and if they don’t see that, you’ll lose their trust. Make sure to have these solutions in place on your website and landing pages, for maximum success in Facebook and Instagram ads, and maximum conversions!