Routing customers through a sales process is a necessity - the more clear the direction to their desired destination, the better the probability that they will see your ad, find you in a search, click on a link and then find a match. Landing pages welcome visitors and let them settle gently into new territory.
Many pay-per-click advertisers face the same problem we’re working on for one of our clients: lots of clicks, but low click-throughs and zero data capture.
The gaping hole in the process?
No landing page. Seth Godin’s landing page definition is simple: the first page a visitor to your site sees. When the visitor lands, Seth suggest five actions the landing page visitor may take, including clicking, buy, registering.
When you insert an optimized landing page between the ad and your site/blog, you enhance your visitor value – and you open up an opportunity to let them decide to get to know you better.
At Optimize and Prophesize [love that name!], Jonathan Mendez proclaims 2008 as the year of Landing Page Optimization [LPO].
“Most industry experts agree that fewer than 10% of Google’s 5000 largest advertisers are doing any form of advanced testing or content targeting. I expect this number to at least double in the next year and likely be at 50% by 2010.”
Read Jonathon’s post to find out why you’ll want to make landing page optimization one of your top 2008 marketing priorities.
From a virtual branding and an online PR perspective, think of your landing page as the front door or storefront you want your visitors to encounter. You want to optimize every page to match not only your pay-per-click keywords, but your branding, your community and yes, your culture. To get you started, here’s a landing page outline profile along with Google’s Guide to Landing Pages and 11 Ways to Improve Landing Pages from Digital Web Magazine.
Define Prospect Profile
Who they are: income, interests, location
How they got here: clicked on an ad, followed a link from your bio box
What they want: information to make the decision to get more information
What’s next: a thank you email and them . . .
Action to take: fill in customer information
Purpose: build your database
Grabber headline coded in a header one format includes . . .
· Problem solved
Data capture box with
Intro: here’s what you get – free access to report or more information about how to make a decision
Place for name and email address OR all client information [best option] that includes address and phone number
Privacy notice reassuring them that their names will stay with you – works only if you are not going to sell the leads.
Submit button that sends them to either the home page or a thank you page
Note that the coding for the subscription opt-in information, button and forward to the thank you page is provided by the email management service
List 5-7 reasons why the viewer will want to take the offer
Simpler is better
Hottest eye tracker spot on any site – use for alternate data capture, links to news and product updates
Weave in keywords throughout, minimize the number of links – we want them to take one action: sign up.
Audio with Audioacrobat.com [affiliate link]
Video loaded on YouTube and fed back
Platform: HTML or Blog
Publish as a web page for easy updating
Drop in custom-designs
Buy or use an existing domain name such as www.powerprsecrets.com
Other places to use
All new entry points, keeping in mind that you will pick up viewers outside of a local market
In local ads to get people to stop here first
Add a link from current homepage to the offer
Other ways to gather customer information
- Drop in current database
- Mail a postcard to a zip code with the subscription offer
- Mention in editorial interviews that the offer exists
- Revise call to action in ads to direct to the gathering point
- Hold a contest to get more names
Comparing results on two variations improves results – easy to do split testing with Google AdWords
Building a keyword-specific landing page will raise conversion rates
My LPO experience
In April 2006, I set up my first landing page with audio using Marketing Makeover Generator, an all-in-the box and fairly easy to use system. But, I didn't like the monthly fee, which included tools and systems that either overlapped or duplicated my existing set. And, I think landing pages are migrating from a simple, clean and obvious format to a more sophisticated user guide that often includes multimedia. Each of my company's web pages now performs as a stand-alone landing page. Visits to the home or index page are minimal in comparison to specific pages for marketing consulting; blogging consulting and workshops; and professional marketing and motivation speaking programs. There's lots of room for improvement on every one of them. That's why I'm making LPO one of my 2008 marketing priorities.
Your turn: questions, comments, case studies?
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