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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.

The 3 Spheres of Search Engine Ranking Optimization

If you wish to run the best SEO campaign possible, you ought to be focused on a couple of chief factors. One may show up well by emphasizing only one or two of the following considerations, but in the long term the success will be much better and stay longer if all of the three categories are boosted altogether.

Each time you perform a search on the Google site (or Bing, Yahoo Search or any of the numerous other online search engines), you’re not virtually “searching the web” at the time. You actually are performing a request for Google’s servers to look throughout its index, which is a database holding a portion from all of the web pages or other information readily available on the World Wide Web. The 3 elements of an efficient SEO campaign will guarantee that:

  1. Your internet site is incorporated into Google’s database
  2. Your content page is considered appropriate using the search being completed
  3. Your site is thought of as reputable and authoritative by an adequate number of additional online resources

Providing that you are aware of your markets and which search terms you aspire to get ranked for, the three aspects to work on to get the most improvement could be defined as follows:

  1. Technical Search Engine Optimization – This area is concerned with the techie facets of your website; all of the areas that will either enable or retard your site from being crawled and indexed. Many of these elements are like a pass/fail course; if they are not set up suitably, they are more than likely keeping your website from attaining its maximum potential in the search engines’ results.
  2. Relevance – This area is impacted by the indexed articles and other content of your website and precisely how that information is presented and structured. In order to rank for a distinct search term, it is extremely important to utilize the exact word or phrase in the important areas of the page you prefer to rank best. For popular key phrases, arranging the information in the right manner can allow the various search engines to discern just how much beneficial content the website has pertaining to the area of interest.
  3. Links from Many Other Internet Sites – Google establishes trust in a website by checking the backlinks connecting to it from other sites. Whenever a specific website links to another, it is akin to voting for the written content contained on that page. Each hyperlink is a pointer showing precisely where the person can find more information and facts regarding a topic.

Instead of just artificially developing links, establishing relationships will provide a legitimate motivation for other people to connect to you.

– Provide awesome service to your current clientele so they write about you, recommend you on Facebook.com and help to pass on your reputable name with word-of-mouth advertising.

– Get closer to your vendors – and even more importantly producers – so they offer you a “where to buy” link to your website

– Supply good content, which can include comments or prospective buyers guides, to aid prospective clients make a shrewd purchasing decision (and encourage lots of others to hyperlink to your site’s written content simultaneously).

– Link to some other websites that provide products or professional services complementary to your very own in return for a recommendation of your own offerings.

If you neglect a technical ingredient that is hindering your website from staying fully crawled and indexed, your pages may not rank well no matter how pertinent the content is or how many links you have referring to your website.

Increase Lead Conversions on Your Website With 24/7 Live Chat

Internet marketing is truly amazing and the lifeblood of many businesses today but if you want to really get the most out of your website sales you should definitely consider adding live chat services. The one thing that websites lack is personal contact but that is no longer the case when you shore up your site with a live chat service. Think about it, you wouldn’t open your business without having your sales or customer service staff in place, yet you have a website that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

By incorporating a service like this on your site you can increase your business exponentially by being able to offer your customers and potential customers a personal point of contact 24 hours a day. Your customers will be able to instantly chat in real time with an actual person trained to provide information on your products or services. That kind of interaction is key to customer retention and the converting of visitors to your site into customers.

The very first thing that lives chat support does is ensuring customer loyalty. When your customers know they can log onto your site and have their questions answered by a real person, they are more likely to continue to do business with you now and into the future. Any business manager knows that customer retention is as important as mining for new customers. Having someone available to tend to your customers can change the whole landscape of your online business. Then, of course, is the lead conversion aspect.

When a casual visitor comes to your site he/she is more likely to buy from you if they see you have someone ready to attend to their needs on their time schedule. With a static site where there is no one to give the extra push, that same visitor will have to click around your site looking for the information they want and maybe they will find your Contact Us Form, maybe they’ll even fill it out in hopes that someone will get back to them in a few days! We all know that the more clicks someone has to make to get their information the higher percentage of site abandonment. The new customer you spent money on getting to your site may now leave and go to another site.

On the other hand, we also know that the more time someone spends on your site, the more likely they are to become a customer or refer someone else to your site. How do you get the best of both worlds of giving your customers the info that they are looking for without them abandoning your site but at the same time having them spend more time on your site? By utilizing a live chat service your customers and potential customers can get their questions answered, the info they are looking for and will spend more time on your sites and be glad they did. Live chat services have come a long way since Web 2.0 brought together the world in an easy-to-use platform. Not only can a live chat agent give information and answer questions, but they can also be trained to sell your products and convert curious visitors on your website into paying repeat customers. It’s a great fit; a way to retain your current customers and also gain new ones.

It doesn’t matter what business you are in real estate, online auctions, automotive services or anything else you can think of, live chat services can make a big difference. If your customers know they can visit your site and get the answers they need from a live person in real time then they will be much more likely to visit your site over a competitor who doesn’t offer chat services. That translates into customer retention, the gold standard of a well-respected business. Speaking of which, if a visitor is just looking around and finds that you have live chat available they are more likely to stay on your site, ask questions and hopefully buy something. Your chances of sales conversions increase immensely IF you provide a live chat agent to attend to your website 24/7.

Your website is the lifeblood of your business today and having live chat services just ensures you will get the most out of your presence in cyber-space. Return on investment is everything and live chat operators provide a return that is extraordinary. The cost of live chat operators is very negligible and in most cases pays for itself in the first sale. Don’t take chances, look into having live help on your site and get everything you can from doing business online.

Do Successful Entrepreneurs Always Take Big Risks?

One of the things that make people wary of entering the world of entrepreneurship is that they are risk-takers by nature and they believe that they are going to be able to be successful entrepreneurs without taking huge risks. One of the first things that always comes to mind is the business loan or investment in a company. A business loan for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars is certainly a risky venture and when the economy is poor would-be entrepreneurs simply give up before they start because they are afraid of those risks. But do successful entrepreneurs always take huge risks?

The Truth about Successful Entrepreneurs

The truth is, while entrepreneurs do take risks once in a while and should take a risk if the chances of success are good, most entrepreneurs are actually very conservative when it comes to risk. For example, a successful entrepreneur isn’t going to spend a hundred thousand dollars buying inventory for an online store without first spending a few hundred dollars in designing a website in order to test whether or not the product would be popular; such as a website with the products listed but showing how to start when someone tries to buy one. This gives the business owner real numbers to evaluate risk with a tiny investment.

How Entrepreneurs Prevent Risks

Entrepreneurs to become successful rarely do it out of sheer chance. Although there have been a few cases where a person was in the right place at the right time, they still had to develop the product and get it in front of people. But the majority of the times, chances almost nothing to do with it. Instead, analysis and smart decisions are the framework of their business, both things geared towards minimizing the risk is much as possible.

How Entrepreneurs Minimize Their Investment

Also, entrepreneurs look for ways to save money, even if it’s only a few dollars because each cost-saving action can add up to quite a bit of money. That’s why they look for very low cost or free things that will allow them to make their business better without costing them anything. Some examples of this are software, marketing, web design and much more. Successful entrepreneurs minimize the risk, save money wherever they can and end up with an investment that is engineered to succeed – and that’s the right way to approach entrepreneurship.

Some Quick Thoughts On The Value Of Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is essentially the process of making sure that your website ranks as highly as possible in the various different search engines. Any website has to focus its attention on SEO if they want to be successful and without a proper strategy, it is going to be extremely difficult to battle with your competition. Of course, in order to be successful online, you will certainly need to work hard and there are several key things that you need to focus on.

If you focus your attention closely on a decent strategy then you should be able to rank highly for the keywords that you target. Ranking highly leads to visibility and exposure. This, in turn, will lead to a much higher degree of traffic and targeted traffic at that, which will lead to further sales and success as a result.

The entire process is based on picking the right keywords and optimizing your website both on the page and off the page by using these specific keywords. The first place to start when developing your strategy is to consider the types of keywords that people will type into their search engine when they are looking for the types of products or services that you offer.

After generating a list of regular keywords it is a very good idea for you to extend this to longtail keywords. Longtail keywords are very important to any small business because they will be far less competitive. If you are attempting to optimize for extremely competitive keywords then you are ready going to struggle and your ranking is likely to suffer as a result. Optimizing for longtail keywords, however, is a lot easier and therefore your ranking should be much better.

When people type of these specific keywords into their search engine the search engine itself will rank websites that are most relevant for the keywords that are being used. If you optimize properly for the keywords that you believe your customers will be using then there is no reason why you shouldn’t appear right at the top of the rankings.

If you do appear right at the top of the rankings then you will get far more people linking directly to your website. As such, your traffic streams will go up significantly and you will have far more people gaining exposure to your website and to the products and services that you are offering. As long as you have built a website that is likely to convert potential traffic to sales then this increasing traffic will have a dramatic impact upon the money that you are making.

Search engine optimization is certainly the best place to start for any new website. There are loads of different traffic generation techniques that you can include in your strategy, but SEO is always going to be essential.

How To Expand Leadership Skills to be Successful in Business?

If you want to be successful in business you need to know that good leadership skills are not an option, they are a necessity. To really develop the leadership skills you need to, mold your brain and thinking in a way that can handle people or situations effectively.

How do you react when heading towards failure? Angry? Upset? Runaway? This is one of the first things you need to address and work on; to develop the way you deal with impending failure is a big step towards becoming a successful leader.

To be successful you need to ignore the word failure, instead, focus on what went wrong and learn from it. Just like Morihei Ueshiba says: “Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something”. Life is one big learning curve and the more you do, the more you will learn. So if you want to be a great leader then you need to change the way you look at failure. Do not run away or blame other people when things go wrong, stand up, admit what went wrong, learn from it and then tell everyone how you re going to rectify or avoid it next time.

Self-control is a vital skill you need to develop and in business, it rules supreme over other skills. If you don t have any self-control, then you shouldn’t be in business, it just won’t work, its like chalk, and cheese. If you are unable to control yourself then how are you expected to deal with other employees and customers?

Setting high standards for yourself is very important for great leaders; you need to be constantly pushing yourself to do better. Money is obviously nice to have, but at this stage, integrity is worth a lot more to you and your business. Sticking by your guns is very important and compromising your standard is a definite no-no. It would be a disservice to lower the quality of your product just so you can raise your profits because, in the end, quality is what will bring customers coming back for more.

Looks aren’t everything but you must at least dress smartly and appears professional, even if you do enjoy a little bit of toilet humor every now and again! If you want to lead people then they need to be able to look up to you, you need to have a good personality with plenty of charisma and charm, people need to be listening to you when you speak.

Keep yourself upbeat and positive, when you are facing criticism try to keep your facial expression confident and speak slowly and calmly back.

Your communication skills are very important, if you have something significant to say, you don t want to get tongue-tied. You want to be able to convey exactly what you want in the best and shortest way possible. The link between a great communicator and great leader is vital and cannot be underestimated.

To be a great leader you need to have many skills, the most important being: the ability to move on from failures and learn from them, have great self control with the ability to manage others, having high standards and goals and to always be aiming higher, appear professional with a good personality and have fantastic communication skills.

Entrepreneurial Success Mindset: Be Grateful

There is nothing like achieving the success you want to make you grateful, but eventually, the newness wears off and you forget to be grateful. There are so many opportunities to be grateful each and every day and so many reasons to do so. For one thing, people around you will be happier and much more willing to spend time with you. You’ll also be happier yourself and have a more positive attitude. You’ll also find that everyone is more willing to help you when they know that you’re grateful for everything that you have and everything that you receive.

People Who Feel Entitled

You have probably encountered people who feel entitled. They somehow believe that they deserve to have success without working for it, even though all of the other successful people in the world have had to work their butts off to get where they are. These people are always negative, they whine and complain about any work that they have to do and believe that the world should be handed to them on a silver platter. If you are one of these people, stop! If you just know people like that make sure you avoid ever falling into that trap because it is a pit of negativity that is very difficult to crawl out of.

Be Grateful for Your Opportunities

Be thankful for the opportunities that you have. If you live in a developed country, think of all the people around the world who don’t have the opportunities that you have. Think of people who not only don’t have access to the Internet and the ability to start their own business online, but they don’t even have access to clean water or electricity. The opportunity to build a business and achieve that much success is nothing to be scoffed at. If you have that opportunity, you are a very lucky person and you should be grateful for it.

Also, you should be grateful for the teachers that you have in the information that you’re able to acquire, from the Internet or whatever sources you are using. You should be grateful for the teachers that you have, that they have the knowledge to teach and that they are willing to teach you.

There actually are successful people out there who don’t subscribe to this particular thought model, instead of taking the approach that the more people they shared the secret of their success with, the more competition there will be, which will apparently somehow devalue their own success, even if it’s not the same industry. However, most successful people are really grateful for those who help them get where they are today.

You’ve probably heard of Tony Robbins. Tony is a motivational speaker, author, and a very successful individual. Even with as much success as he’s had, and all the things that he has done to create this environment for himself, he is still immensely grateful to the people who helped him get where he is today. In a recent interview with success.com Robbins said that he is still grateful to his earliest mentor, a man named Jim Rohn, who motivated Tony Robbins when he was very young.

Follow Tony’s example and be grateful because there are benefits; not only the ones mentioned in the first paragraph of this chapter but also some pretty amazing benefits for your business itself. Science can’t seem to find a metric to measure, but people that are grateful for all the opportunities that they had and all of the people who have helped them, are more likely to be successful than those who are not, and are usually several times more successful.

Practice Being Grateful until You Get it Perfect

It’s okay if you don’t feel that you’re at the point where you can be very grateful. Like anything else, being grateful takes practice. You might actually have to think hard about what you have to be grateful for when it comes to your online business, or you may have to wait until you actually do have something to be grateful for. The point is, start changing the way that you think. This grateful attitude goes along with everything else in this book. You are just being grateful because you should, you’re being grateful because it changes you as a person; it makes you a better person and it magnifies your success.

Start a Gratitude Journal

One of the things that you can do to become better at being grateful is to start a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is when you sit down at the end of the day and write down some of the things that you’re grateful for. You can use your computer, you can use a piece of paper and a pen or even a smartphone app if you prefer. Just as long as you spend a little time each day thinking about what you have to be thankful for, writing it down and using it to further your success.

Ways That You Can Show Your Gratitude

One of the things that you can do to give back is used whatever assets that you have gained from being successful to help someone else. If you’re a salesperson, and you’re getting your first commission check, if you can afford it donated 10% to charity, or take it down to your local people in need to help buy groceries or even outsource some of the things that you need for your business so that other people can make money too.

If you can show the world that you’re grateful, the world will keep giving you opportunities and information to help you be successful. It sounds very silly, like some sort of new age philosophy, but it truly is the way this thing works and if you talk to anyone who has achieved a decent level of success they will tell you that positive attitude, gratefulness and a willingness to learn are all keys to success.

How To Create Facebook Ads

 

Once you have gone through the process of making a Facebook page for your company or brand, you are going to want to create a Facebook advertisement to get more traffic to the page itself.
Luckily, Facebook has its own built-in ad making program, so sponsoring your Facebook page is nothing short of easy.
With Facebook Ads, two things that you can be sure to do with your customized advertisement is:

  • Find the perfect target audience for your company or brand
  • Connect and communicate better with people who are already viewing your website

Let’s take a closer look at what this means.

Finding The Right Audience

With Facebook Ads, there are three categories of audiences used to define viewers of your Facebook page:

  • Core Audiences
  • Custom Audiences
  • Lookalike Audiences

What is a Core Audience?
Simply put, a Core Audience is the body of people who are most likely to take in interest in your company or brand based upon attributes such as:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Behaviors

If you are looking to advertise a surf shop, you do not want to make an ad directed at people who live hundreds of miles from the beach. Using the Facebook Ad Manager, you can determine what the Core Audience for your situation is likely to be.

What about a Custom Audience?

The word “custom” in Custom Audience might be a little misleading here, but what it is basically referring to is the body of people that have already shown some form of interest in your company or brand. These are people that you cannot afford to skip over in the advertising process. For instance, say most of your internet traffic comes from your website or app usage. By taking the user data from those who have viewed your website previously, you can easily connect with these customers, so that they are likely to return in the future.
And Lookalike Audience?

This is sort of a marriage of both Custom and Core Audiences. It is an audience that is based on the types of people that have already viewed your Facebook page. If your brand is attracting a large number of women between the ages of eighteen to twenty-four, then it is likely that reaching out to other women of the same age range will peak some interests.

Creating An Ad

When you are ready to make your Facebook Ad, go ahead and go to www.facebook.com/ads/create
For this process, you’ll need to make a Facebook Ads account, but it is as easy as making a few clicks on a mouse.
Objectives The first thing asked of you upon making an advertisement on Facebook will be to choose a marketing objective. This boils down to a number of options including:

  • Brand Awareness (reaching out to those most likely to be naturally interested in your Facebook page)
  • Reach (getting your ad seen by as many people as possible)
  • Traffic (getting people to visit a site either on or off Facebook)
  • Engagement (getting more people involved in your brand)

There are other more specific objectives that range from catalog sales to video views.

Finding An Audience

Once you know what the objective for your ad is going to be, it is time to go ahead and pick the target audience that you spent so much time just learning about. The first thing that you’ll have to do with your audience search finds the right location. Your target location can be as broad as say the entire United States, or as meticulous as marking a specific town or city. You can also choose between people who live in a certain area, that have recently traveled through a certain area or are currently traveling in a certain area.

Next, you may choose from a specific age range, from as low as 13 to as high as 65+. You may even choose from different genders, languages, or search from any other keyword that may cross your mind. You are also given the option to exclude a certain keyword from your search if you choose.

Placements

You can choose whether or not you would like your advertisements released automatically, or in certain places or formats.
If you choose to edit your own placements, you can choose whether the app is available on Facebook, Instagram, mobile devices, certain operating systems, and other advanced options.

Budgeting Done Right

Finally, you’ll be able to decide how much you are willing to spend, per day, on the advertisement. If you are a starting business, and cannot afford to spend more than five dollars a day on running Facebook ads, then that is okay.
You may also choose a start and end date for your ad if it is based on a specific event, and there are plenty of advanced options for you to ensure you are not paying more than what you need to for the advertisement.

The Ad Itself
Making the advertisement does not require more work than you would expect. It can be done by simply uploading a picture or video, choosing the format of the ad, writing a description, and providing a link if you so wish.

Some Quick Tips About Ads

Advertising is a tricky business, so do not dive right into the Facebook ads creation page before looking into a few of these pointers.

  • Connect with your audience; it is not enough to show them an ad, you have to push them on the brand as a whole
  • Learn what you can remove from your advertisement; this will save money on your budget without adding the risk of losing viewers
  • Appeal to the emotions of your audience; make them feel something when they look at your ad
  • Create a strategy; DO NOT just make a bunch of different ads, hoping that some of them will work
  • Use text, but not too much text, because you do not want to overwhelm the reader with words