Posts in PlugIn

Why Testing Should Drive Your Landing Page Design Decisions

Landing pages often serve as one of the first points of interaction between your company and potential buyers. Because first impressions can make or break the sale, its vital that your landing page optimization and test strategy works to funnel visitors toward the conversion action.

While many companies base their landing page design on what has worked in the past or what has worked for other companies, these strategies can lead at best to an average conversion rate and at worst to plummeting sales. Why? Because without specific knowledge of what works and what doesn’t for your target market, you must make design decisions based on guesswork.

In order to achieve maximum conversion rates and keep visitors clicking, you’ll need to implement a landing page design and test program that will optimize your landing page based on what works best in your specific market.

Turn Guesswork into Knowledge

Testing is the only surefire way to develop a landing page that performs at the highest possible rate of conversion. Best practices used by other companies can take you only so far since you operate under a different set of company objectives and you serve a different market. That s why testing can help you make the decisions that work best for you rather than relying on what worked for someone else.

When you develop an effective landing page design and test for usability and conversion, you build a page that funnels each visitor toward the call to action and urges him to take the desired action.

Pinpoint Problem Areas

Let’s say you have a poorly converting landing page. Is the problem your call to action button? Your navigation menu? Your copy? Without testing, you’ll never know.

You can guess at which one of those elements has the greatest effect on your conversion rate, but what if you choose the wrong one? What if it’s none of the above, but something else entirely?

Testing enables you not only to determine that your call to action button is too small, but also that it might be more visible with three-dimensional design and that people tend to click more often on a round button than a square button. Or vice versa.

The beauty of testing is that it tells you what will work for you right now, in this economic climate, with your audience.

What Is A Landing Page?

A landing page is a web page that is used specifically to focus on a single value proposition (or offer) for;

  1. Generating a sale of a specific product or service
  2. Capturing information for future marketing efforts.

Why are landing pages important?

As a resource for focusing your marketing efforts, landing pages are necessary for all marketers wanting to promote a single product or generate leads using the Internet. If you are planning on offering a product such as an ebook, audio CD, DVD or a service such as a training seminar or monthly newsletter, you will want to develop a landing page system.

A landing page is sometimes referred to as an offer page, sales page, or squeeze page. This can become confusing for people who are new to landing pages. An offer page is a generic term that is interchangeable with a landing page. They both refer to a page that is focused on a single offer or value proposition regardless of whether you are selling a product or service or using the page to generate leads. A sales page is a page that is focused on selling a product or service whereas a squeeze page and its sole purpose is to capture key demographic information from the prospect with an opt-in form. Squeeze pages usually provide the prospect with something free in exchange for personal information for future marketing efforts. A free report, ebook, or white paper are the most common offers for generating leads.

A large number of people are using Google AdWords to promote their product or service through search marketing (i.e.; advertisements listed next to search results). These ads typically send people directly to the homepage of their website. Then, the marketer is confused that they are not producing enough results.

Homepages are and should be, focused on presenting the entire corporate image. This will mean that the homepage will send people to many different places within the larger corporate site. The larger the company, the more places you can go.

What about Blogging?

A lot of authors, consultants, and other Internet entrepreneurs are buzzing with blogging. But what is blogging? Generating text-based communication with the hope that someone chooses to read it. Many people consider blogging as the only marketing approach and their motto seems to be “Blog and they will come.” This approach is about as effective as creating a website and hoping people will find it on the Internet consisting of billions of web pages. As a longterm strategy, blogging can be an effective element in your marketing mix, possibly to promote yourself as an expert and gain a following. But when used as an approach to market a product or service, it will be ineffective at generating results.

If you are an avid blogger, I would recommend using a landing page system and instead of blog entries, start writing articles and use a distribution service to generate traffic to your landing page. See Section 5 for more information on using article distribution to market your landing page.

I Sell Through Amazon.com, I Don’t Need A Landing Page

This is a typical response I receive when discussing the importance of the landing page to marketers who have created a product they are selling through popular e-commerce websites. Marketer’s feel that if they eliminate the middleman and send people directly to Amazon.com (usually from their blog), they don’t need to create a landing page. With respect to book marketing, having a landing page that has one purpose “providing potential buyers with access to your book summary, testimonials, table of contents, bio, a nice picture of the author, and possibly a free chapter” can only help you sell more books. This doesn’t mean creating an entire website for your book. This is one page that provides all of the necessary information to someone who is interested in purchasing your product.

Next Generation Marketing Strategy

In summary, the landing page is a necessary element in the next-generation marketing strategy. Rather than previous approaches that directed prospects to the homepage of a larger website, the landing page system is replacing outdated and ineffective methods of marketing products and services.

Landing pages are websites or web pages that are used specifically to focus on a single value proposition (or offer) for;

  1. Generating a sale of a specific product or service.
  2. Capturing information for future marketing efforts.