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					How To Increase Your Landing Page Conversion Rate
By: Bobby Hewitt, President Creative Thirst, LLC.

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“ To raise your landing page conversion rate, and increase your return on marketing, you need to persuade visitors to take action.”

ou’ve just spent time, money and effort on creating a sponsored Google text ad, a banner ad, an email campaign or email newsletter. Don’t stop there and hope for the best or simply link the ad to your home page, which is what most companies do. You need a custom landing page, a specific web page that a visitor reaches after clicking a link from a paid or organic search result, email promotion, email newsletter or typing in a URL from a print or TV advertisement. The landing page continues the momentum created by your marketing effort. The momentum needs to be compelling enough so that visitors do more than simply arrive at your landing page and leave. You want visitors to convert, to take action. Your landing page conversion rate is the percentage of unique visitors who take a desired action upon visiting, in this case, your landing page. # of unique visitors that started the goal Conversion Rate = # of unique visitors that reached the goal

To raise your landing page conversion rate, and increase your return on marketing, you need to persuade visitors to take action. The type of action will be dependant on your specific business goals. An example might include clicking an “add to cart” button, filling out an online form, downloading a white-paper or any other type of measurable action that you may desire. The key to a successful landing page that gets results and increases your conversion rate can be broken down into 3 key essential elements: 1. Consistency 2. Motivation 3. Benefits

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Consistency Your landing page needs to be consistent with your offer. It doesn’t matter what that offer is, it can be a sponsored text link, an email campaign, etc. It must be consistent in order to build trust with your visitor. Your landing page can show consistency in two different ways. First your landing page needs to be consistent in look and feel with your banner or email campaign or wherever your visitor has come from. If your visitor came from a sponsored link, organic search result or text ad your landing page needs to be consistent in language and most importantly keywords. With a keyword search your visitor is on the hunt for a specific need, they’ve just searched for a specific word or phrase which is why your sponsored or organic link showed up. Presumably the sponsored link has the same keyword they just searched for. Your prospect is in hunt mode, and is ready to click through. You must continue this momentum on your landing page. Don’t just link them to your home page. Their needs have not yet been met. They still need gratification for their keyword search. A consistent landing page needs to have the same keywords throughout the page that your prospect is looking for, preferably in a big bold head line font and clickable links. Think of this as consistent content, which is the second way a landing page can show consistency. This will insure the visitor that they have arrived at the right place and their needs are about to be answered since what they see on your landing page is consistent with both the keyword they just searched for and the link they just clicked. Now your building their trust. They are comfortable they have arrived in the right place. All that’s left to do is hit them with some persuasive copy with text links that are also consistent with their keyword search. Remember they are still in search mode and have been burned in the past by clicking on less than satisfactory landing pages. They will scan your landing page for relevant words. If those words are consistent, your prospects are on their way to clicking and could become customers, if not they’ll use that mighty back button and try another search. If your prospect is coming to your landing page from another source like an email campaign as in figure 1, your landing page needs to be consistent in look and feel not

“ Your prospect is in hunt mode, you must continue this momentum on your landing page.”

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only to your email design but also to your website. By having a consistent look and feel your prospect is reassured visually that they are in the right place and that the offer they clicked is genuinely from you and your company and not some one phishing for their information or credit card number. The main point of visual consistency here, as in the previous text ad example, is again about building trust with your prospect. This also follows the natural thought process of your prospect. What will they expect to see from your lead in? If you click on the second product link “High School Musical” in the email campaign example from Borders bookstore (figure 1) you do not land on a customized landing page. You land directly on the product detail page. (figure 2) The inconsistent look and feel of this landing page leaves the prospect wondering if they have arrived in the right place, after all this doesn’t look like the borders website, (see Borders home page figure 3), or the email newsletter they clicked on. The detail page (figure 2) has the borders logo and the product from the email is certainly there, but that’s about all. Visually this is inconsistant and it does nothing to build trust. Motivation A successful landing page needs to motivate your prospect into action. The best way to accomplish this is to deliver a message that motivates your target market to take action and convert with one clear choice for a higher chance of success. In the landing page example in figure 2 there is no clear call to action button. What the landing page in figure 1 needs, among other things, is a big “BUY NOW” button with plenty of empty white space around the button to draw your eye to it. If you look closely in the landing page in figure 1 you’ll see a “back to top” button. By the way, did you notice any call to action buttons in the email campaign? I didn’t. To learn more about motivating your vistitors read the Creative Thirst special report “How To Make Your Website More Persuasive.”

Figure 1

Figure 2

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Benefits Your landing page needs to reinforce the benefits of your product or service in relation to your web visitors. Web visitors have a “What’s in it for me” attitude, it’s not their fault the web is a very personal medium and reinforces this behavior. When designing your landing page you must keep this in mind to be successful. The verbal design of your landing page needs to carry the momentum built from the initial search or email. Verbal persuasion in this case is more about reassuring the visitor they have arrived in a relevant spot on the Internet. Relevant to them that is, never forget the what’s in it for me perspective. The best way to achieve a verbal relevancy is to reuse some key words and real benefits not features of your product on your landing page. Benefits create a sort of verbal momentum for your prospect in much the same way as the keywords in the text ad example. You’ve already got them interested but you need to excite them. You need to get them converting. Your prospect needs a little hand holding at this point. Remember they just clicked on a link to land on your landing page and they already have some expectations you will need to meet, namely trust and consistency as explained earlier. Your benefits need to be written in such a way that the customer: • Understands the benefits of what you have to offer, as it relates to their needs. • Why do you, your service or your products provide those benefits to them? • How you can help them? What About Testing? After creating an effective landing page you may want to go an extra step and test your landing page so that you can optimize it to get better results. Things like images and text are very specific to your product and target market, and it is not a one size fits all creative solution. Which works best, your products in a lifestyle setting, with people or without? Each website is different that’s why you always need to test and learn overtime. The Creative Thirst continuous improvement process is designed to do just that. One option

Figure 3

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is to use A/B testing. This type of testing allows you to try different landing pages at the same time and see which elements work best for you. With A/B testing you set up different versions of your website, an A version and a B version, where you can test different headlines, calls to action and even images. For more information on A/B testing read the Creative Thirst blogpost on the Google Website Optimizer. For more information on how Creative Thirst can help increase your landing page conversion rates, visit www.creativethirst.com or call 201.984.7427 About Creative Thirst: Creative Thirst is a conversion rate optimization firm that focuses on converting more clicks into customers, generating more sales, leads and subscriptions for clients. For tips on increasing your website conversion rate and to learn more about the methodology Creative Thirst uses to convert more clicks into customers, visit www.creativethirst.com and sign up for the conversion rate newsletter. We do not just guide you, we partner with you to: • Track and report your web site analytics. • Conduct user testing throughout our improvement process to increase the value of each visitor to your company. • Empathize with your users to help visitors convert into customers, increasing your revenue. • Provide interactive web design that supports the behavior of your target market by adjusting the pathways they take online, increasing your bottom line returns.

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Professional Memberships: At Creative Thirst we embrace a culture where creativity and innovation thrive on interaction and continuous learning through seminars, and publications. Below is a list of professional memberships that we are proud to be a part of: The American Marketing Association American Marketing Association, one of the largest professional associations for marketers, has 38,000 members worldwide in every area of marketing. For over six decades the AMA has been the leading source for information, knowledge sharing and development in the marketing profession. Web Analytics Association The Web Analytics Association unites and fosters the interests of industry practitioners, vendors, consultants and educators, who use, sell, install, implement, consult, teach or train in the field of web analytics. Usability Professionals Association The Usability Professionals Association supports those who promote and advance the development of usable products, reaching out to people who act as advocates for usability and the user experience. Members come from across a broad family of disciplines that create the user experience.

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About The Author: Bobby Hewitt is the president and director of conversion rate design for Creative Thirst, the conversion rate optimization firm that specializes in turning more clicks into customers to increase leads, subscriptions and sales to improve clients’ conversion rates. Bobby has over seven years experience as a web designer and over three years experience as a Marketing Manager with a bachelors degree in Marketing from Rutgers University. He is also certified in Online Testing and Landing Page Optimization and holds a certificate in Web Analytics from The University of British Columbia. Bobby is also the recipient of the Jim Novo Award of Academic Excellence, an award given out yearly (starting in 2007) to the graduate with the highest grade average over all 4 courses of the UBC Award of Achievement in Web Analytics and is awarded by the Web Analytics Association and University of British Columbia Continuing Studies. Bobby believes that improving conversion rates begins with an understanding of the social psychology of your users, based on personas and persuasive design. Get tips on increasing your website conversion rates by reading the Creative Thirst blog at http://www.creativethirst.com/blog or listen to the the Conversion Rate Marketing Blogcast http://conversionratemarketing.libsyn.com an audio version of the Creative Thirst blog. Email Bobby at: bobby@creativethirst.com

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Copyright © 2009 Creative Thirst, LLC. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Written by: Bobby Hewitt Published by: Creative Thirst, LLC. 71 Marinus Street Rochelle Park, NJ 07662 Office: 201.984.7427 Website: http://www.creativethirst.com Blog: www.creativethirst.com/blog Email: info@creativethirst.com

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Description: Tips on how to creat effective online landing pages that increase your conversion rates.