In your pursuit to build a positive online brand reputation, your landing page and overall website are critical to marketing success. Whether you are active in SEO and organic search engine marketing, email marketing, or PPC campaigns, landing page optimization is mission critical. However, keeping your website up to speed often becomes an item that sits on the back burner, jeopardizing your conversion ratio and campaign performance.
In most cases, a complete transformation of your website is not necessary. You will be amazed at what a few tweaks and quick fixes can do to improve your website for lead generation. Below is a comparison of a text only landing page versus an Infographic landing page. We are currently testing both landing pages for SEO, SEM, PPC and comparing conversion rates on both to see which converts better.
1. Explain who you are and what you do. Do you have an “About Us” page that accurately depicts who you are in a nutshell? Oftentimes, important company and product information is buried within other unrelated pages when it should be showcased on it’s own page. Having a substantial overview of what your company is about and how you differentiate yourself from your competition is critical to building rapport and a sense of trust with potential new leads prior to converting them to sales. Your website is the first consumer touch-point to your brand, so it is important to make a compelling first impression.
2. Create an easily-navigable web interface. If your visitor finds it difficult to navigate your website to retrieve the information they have requested, they won’t waste their time, and you can kiss their potential business goodbye. Each webpage needs a user-friendly navigation toolbar at both the top and bottom, or on the side of the page to direct your visitors to the appropriate location. Also, it is crucial to avoid dead links at all costs. Make sure that all links work properly and lead the user to the correct page.
3. Offer a value-added opportunity. In email marketing, the email creative acts as a teaser to drive traffic to your website. If your landing page is simply a duplication of the promotional email, you are offering your potential consumers nothing of value. When users click through to your website, they have indicated an interest in your offer and seek additional information to influence their buying agenda. When they fail to find what they are looking for, your website is not doing an accurate job of converting traffic into sales.
4. Avoid a search-based landing page at all costs. Instead of directing the recipients of your email promotion to an informational landing page, an advertiser will, at times, choose to direct its prospects to a “search engine” type landing page. By doing so, you are adding an additional step to the process, and users will be more inclined to drop off right then and there. If you want to capture viewer attention for an extended period of time, you must make it as easy as possible for them to get where they need to be.
5. Include one or more call to action. Does your landing page do an accurate job of calling the viewer to action? Is your newsletter sign-up form displayed on every page? Is it clear and easy for visitors to purchase your products or services? Is there a number of methods for interested buyers to contact you with questions if needed? In an effort to encourage sign-ups and sales, your calls to action must be above the fold to increase visibility and effectiveness. The website should be designed in a manner that effectively funnels the viewers through the content and convert.
6. Keep it simple. A quick browse of landing pages on the internet may introduce you to those that are miles long in content, those with flashing lights and animated images, or those that seem to explode with different colors and font selections. In this day and age when people demand information in an instant, your goal should be to deliver short tidbits of information to make it easier for users to digest and act upon. Top it off with the addition of clear and crisp headlines and value propositions, and you have effectively created a sense of structure. While special effects and crazy graphics may appeal to online gamers and graphic designers, they detract from your message. Also, keep in mind that not every computer runs the latest apps and browsers, and many of them are not up to date. Many users do not have every program needed which prevents certain programs from running. Your layout and design must be simple without compromising on quality.
7. Add new content. It’s important to get across the idea that your brand is fresh and continually improving over time. There is no better way to do so than to continually add new blog posts, press releases, and/or case studies to your website to educate your audience on industry trends and market statistics. Posting new content on your own site as well as other article directories and forums out there will generate backlinks and generate traffic to your site, positively affecting your SEO strategy and organic search engine rankings.
To further understand how to optimize your SEO efforts, refer to a recently published blog article, “Unmasking the BIG Secrets of SEO.”
8. Test different landing pages and track results. You will get nowhere without integrating a tracking tool for your website and monitoring results over time. There is simply no other way to determine whether the implemented changes had an effect on conversion ratio. With a tracking system in place, you have the ability to determine where individuals are dropping off. Also, you may consider creating multiple landing pages to see which results in the highest ROI. This is referred to as A/B split testing. Depending on your product or service, you may draw in more visitors with a text-only landing page, an info graphic, or a video. Testing all three versions will help you familiarize yourself with the likes and buying patterns of your target demographic.
Landing pages are a moving target. The reason for this is that your audience is constantly changing and evolving, and your website must change right alongside it. One of the most time-consuming aspects of any business is its search for new leads and customers. With an effective website in place, you are making it easier for prospects to find you. Don’t be afraid of change. Sometimes making small changes or a complete, major redesign of your landing page will pay off in the long run by generating more leads, sales and interest in your company.