So Your Website Is Optimized. Now What? Offer Landing Pages

Posted by Jeffrey Scholes on Oct 22, 2009
offer landing pages

If you have been paying attention to SEO principles, and your site's keywords, and your Google ranking - give yourself a pat on the back! A lot of the battle of marketing on the web is simply getting found. If you are at this point, you may well be asking, "okay, so what's next?" In order to realize a return on investment for your efforts, you need to actually convert those web clicks to sales leads. It's not magic, it's a combination of building the right landing page, and then measuring, testing again, and measuring.

The Obvious Offer is Key

Don't kid yourself, there is precious little time to catch the attention of a prospect. In a matter of a very few seconds, your visitor must determine whether they are going to take action or whether they will contribute to your bounce rate. Is your offer clearly visible? The entire approach of building your page must take this into account. As a result, the featured offer should be the most obvious item on the page, above the fold. Don't overuse graphics, or you can run into the over-stimulated "Las Vegas effect." Simply remember that you have a fleeting chance to get the focus of a short attention span, so use these images judiciously.

Highlight Value Points

We've already answered the question: "What do I get?" Next we need to make the short and sweet "value points." It is much shorter than even the proverbial elevator pitch, much shorter. Bullet points that clearly relate some clear message that your targeted audience will understand and value. Keeping things concise and understandable is, in fact, quite challenging. But if we were asking someone to download some new "Widget for Cleaning Windows," we might point out:

See clearly through your windows like never before

Allows window cleaning without usual streaks

Easy application

Keeps windows clearer longer, less work

This is really about enough! This is truly one of those times when less is more.

Effective Elements of Call to Action

Don't Distract: If you are linking from a landing page to a form, be sure and link both text and images, and of course they all need to point to the same offer. And while you may have a standard menu or navigation for your site, bear in mind that your offer page serves a very specialized purpose. Consider removing that standard navigation, sidebars and such, as you want to avoid extraneous links as much a possible. We want to feed the funnel, and if we present the visitor with a network of pathways, we are defeating our own business purposes.

Minimal Field Requirements: We've all seen it happen: An offer form designed by consensus with dozens of fields and drop-down lists from which to choose. This is definitely what we don't want. Figure out what you minimally need. The user experience is just as important as the business need and if that user feels hassled by multiple questions, your own results will suffer. The rule is simple: ask for the minimum information you need to fulfill the business objective. Pay special attention to see whether your required fields make sense. Hopefully you can get away with something like: name, email, and perhaps phone number --whatever you need to be able to contact them. Consider linking to a clear privacy policy, particularly if you must ask for phone number details.

Measure and Test

Well, hopefully you've been using some kind of web analytics tool to measure traffic. Google Analytics is a free and powerful tool, so there's really no excuse. Plus, having web analytics in place is critical in getting to the next step: measuring and testing what works with Google Optimizer. Think of Google Optimizer as kind of a subset of Google Analytics, more specialized, but dependent upon it. The combination of these two products gives you the ability to see abandonment rates, what versions of a landing page work best, and even what other pages on your site are of interested to those key constituents who convert. Consider the A/B test: Say you have your standard version of your "Widget for Cleaning Windows" description (A), and another that includes a couple of customer testimonial quotes (B). Do the quotes truly add value to your offer? Run the A/B test, and Google optimizer will randomly present one or the other version of the form to your prospects. In addition, Google Optimizer will present you with a running tally of which version is the most successful at converting visitors.

Building landing pages is a combination of trying different approaches, testing the results and simply doing more of what is the most effective in feeding the funnel. The approaches that work require some common sense approaches and some real discipline around focused messaging and value propositions. With the kind of tools now available for measuring and reporting, you can substantially improve your marketing efforts.

photo credit John Smith's, UK


Topics: Marketing Automation, Website Design & Development, Inbound Marketing & Lead Generation

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