Experts Blog

Is Conversion Optimization becoming more important than SEO?

By Travis Wright on May 11, 2011 - 03:54 PM

Getting visitors to your website is easy. Getting visitors to stay on your website is what's difficult. This is where conversion optimization and landing page optimization becomes very, very important. In fact, some could say that conversion optimization is as important as or more important than search engine optimization. And if you are doing any PPC at all, this is CRUCIAL. This is where the rubber meets the road.

It was Thomas Edison who said "Genius is one percent inspiration and 99% perspiration". Well, in search marketing the one percent is getting the visitor to your website & 99% about enticing them to act on your website.

So for this article will give you some simple tactics for successfully creating landing pages that will drive your results through the roof.

1. Keep it simple: it really depends on the type of service or product they are selling. If you are a direct response marketer, who is trying to sell products, well then maybe paragraph upon excessive paragraph, with all these different images, and bright, blinking epilepsy-causing arrows, along with so much content that you have to scroll for minutes... might not be the best approach in the b2b space.

You want the visitors that come to your landing pages to easily digest what you're offering. Use bullet points, short paragraphs and sentences. Keep it simple, stupid.

Most visitors are thinking this, "Why the hell should I take the action you want me to take?" Make the answer easy for them to decide.

2. Keep the browser gimmicks to a minimum: some landing pages try to take over your browser or they end up having lots of pop up subscription requests or JavaScripts that are so annoying that you can't break free of them. This infuriates visitors and quite frankly, this is often a cause for potential customer to not trust you or want to do business with you. They win by closing the brower... and you lose. Is this what you want?

3. Offer more than one call to action: If you're anything like me, you are a bit of an ADD-ish Internet user. Most people scan the page, if they don't find what they want... boom, they are gone. We need to see what we want in order to get the hell off of page and go look at other shiny objects. And some people are very analytical and want to read every single word.

Some visitors will click the very first link on the landing page. Some take the time to read the entire thing and click on the very bottom. So, make it simple for your visitors to take action whenever they're ready to take action. Remember, your landing page serves as a funnel that brings visitors down to the desired call to action. Put one above the fold, in the middle, near the end, at the end. Test it out. Just make sure to give them opportunities to act.

4. Experiment with your registration form: you could lose up to 30% of your conversions for each field you have on your registration form. You really need well to step inside the mind of the user. What do you think your user thinks they need to give you? If you're asking for phone number, date of birth, address, title, income level, etc and all they feel you need is an e-mail address... you could be losing valuable conversions. You can always get additional information from them at a later date, once they are in your system.

5. Experiment with your thank you page: it is amazing how many online marketing sites do absolutely nothing with their "thank you" page, "resolution" page or as it's sometimes called the "encore" page. After you get someone to submit their information, and download the white paper or subscribe to your newsletter, you want to take the relationship another step further.

They say once you get someone to buy from you it's much easier to get them to buy from you another time. Well, the same thing goes for when you get someone to take action on your landing page. You They be more apt to take more action with you at this moment than any other moment. Instead, many sites just leave people hanging there in using the back button to get out of that area, and say something like, "Thank you for subscribing." What a waste of an opportunity!

You have an engaged customer right now and! So, upsell them or cross sell them something. Maybe get them to subscribe to another newsletter or a joint venture partner's newsletter. Give incentives. Don't just waste this opportunity, you need to use this to create additional value for your customer and additional potential revenue for your company.

6. Don't be afraid to repeat yourself: What may be blatantly obvious to you, may not be to another person. So, when you are creating your landing pages, don't be afraid to repeat yourself for clarity purposes. People who are confused will not buy. Nobody will be insulted by the fact that you've repeated yourself for the purpose of clarity. Nobody will be insulted by the fact that you've repeated yourself for the purpose of clarity. See? Are you offended or mad at me now?

7. A-B Test multiple landing pages: one It's amazing how many websites do not take the trouble to set up more than one landing page to test different variables. A lot of times, they will say "hey, this is good enough let's roll with this for awhile." That's not good enough. You want to test because you will be able to figure out which words, which headlines and which things are working to work the best. So you have to test.

8. Leave your landing pages up: Many people do not read the e-mail messages or newsletters immediately as they come in. A lot of times they will put them in folders and save them to read later. So, make sure that your offers are as evergreen as possible. You never know two or three months or 12 months down the road, you might score a new customer from somebody who's just now reading your e-mail. If you have taken that landing page down, then you may have just lost a customer.

9. Watch people's eyes: After you create your landing page, let someone who has not seen the page yet and watch what they do with their eyes. Are they following his z-pattern down the page? Or are they looking over at the right column or are they looking at the left? Pay attention. Test multiple people to see where the eyeballs are going. Perhaps this information might be beneficial for you and you can put more appealing information in the right places where people are actually looking.

So, there are some tips and tricks to help you out with some conversion optimization. There are also some things you can do from the graphic design and look and feel of the landing pages. Here is a resource I came across that explains each element of an effective landing page.

Keep in mind, some things that work in traditional media may not work in the online space. You need to test things and To try new things. Keep testing and increasing the conversion rate. You need to track everything. If you do this you will have a greater chance at success than your competition, which will give your company or client a greater chance at additional revenues. Good luck and happy converting.