Removing the navigation from a landing page can dramatically increase conversion rates. Sometimes doubling what they were before!
Visit almost any website and you’ll find the navigation menu there at the top.
Proper navigation is such a golden rule of web design that even the thought of a page without it is enough to make some designers wince.
So when, if ever, does it make sense to remove the navigation?
Not on all web pages, but definitely on all Landing Pages.
Why Landing Pages? What makes them different? We’ll explain that with the following example.
The Case Study
Back in 2010, before co-founding SparkPage, I was involved in the launch of a local child minding website. We were running a campaign to promote the site to childminders, babysitters and nannys. The goal was to get them to sign up, create a profile and advertise their availability for work.
The campaign was working well; we had a very targeted audience and a good landing page which highlighted the main benefits of joining – “Find your ideal child minding job today”.
This Landing Page was converting at 9.2%, which was a great start.
But, living by the “Always Be Testing” mantra as we do, we knew there were always improvements to be made!
One of the first experiments we ran was removing the navigation menu. It had been originally included for all the usual reasons – to give people assurance, to provide extra info – but we speculated that removing these links would give our users only one obvious next step: Sign Up.
We ran an A/B split test on the page, hiding the menu from half of our visitors as shown below.
The results surprisingly good. Our conversion rate jumped from 9.2% to 17.6% over the month that the experiment ran.
That’s an improvement of 90%, or almost double the conversion rate, just by removing the small menu from the top of the page.
Why Landing Pages Are Different
An important note on drawing conclusions from this experiment is understanding the difference between a landing page and any other type of page on your website.
On your homepage, for example, removing the navigation would probably impact your conversion rates negatively. Home pages cater for a wide variety of users – first time, returning, those browsing or researching and those close to a purchase decision. About pages, product details and features pages will all help different sections of this audience.
General pages with broad audiences have no single “next step” that applies to all these different visitors.
Well targeted landing pages, however, are built for exactly that purpose. They are the stepping stones that take targeted traffic and convert it to your desired goal.
In this context it’s easy to see how navigation is a distraction on Landing Pages that can take a visitor further away from converting.
This key insight is a driving factor that influenced us to create SparkPage.
There are plenty of great tools out there to help you make a full mobile website (with menus, subsections and site search), but we wanted a tool specifically for Mobile Landing Pages, a tool to help drive conversions from targeted mobile traffic.
That’s why you’ll find a strong emphasis on mobile Calls-to-Action in our platform and no navigation or multi-page sites that reduce your conversion rates.
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