In 2010 there was a recorded 170 billion dollars in e-commerce sales. That was two years ago, it’s estimated that in 2011 e-commerce sales were over 200 Billion. In this world of billion dollar e-commerce transactions, imagine the potential for improvement. Every single site can improve their conversion rates thorough an improved UI and usability optimization. We’re 12 years into the 21st century, finally companies have excepted the fact that every business needs website.
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A large business management software company tested short, actionable call-to-action copy versus a top 5 list on a landing page for business intelligence solutions. The goal of the squeezepage was to get visitors to register for free access content, briefs, white papers, and product demos.
This is a features versus benefits test: should you always list customer benefits and promote your service offering from their perspective?
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A landing page is any page that users see first on your website, so it must be optimized for their specific browsing experience.
All landing pages need these fundamentals
- Fast – Load time must be under 5 seconds
- Attention Grabbing Headline – If you spend 3 hours writing copy for your landing page, spend 2.5 hours on the headline
- Clear Call To Action – Make it easy for visitors to take the next step
- Focus On Them – Clearly state benefits and use testimonials, logos and third party verification sources to substantiate your claims
The creation, organization and refining of landing pages is the key to pay per click marketing and online lead generation. Landing pages are audience specific, and an automotive site landing page that converts 10% of users cannot be copied to a campaign selling insurance.
Users respond differently based on the time of day, offer, price point, demographic, education level, style preferences and past experience with your brand. Thankfully we can test and design for most of these variables.
Your landing page, or squeeze page is useless if the visitor can’t immediately find what they are looking for, and take appropriate action. The page needs to be scannable, use visual elements and be well organized.
There are several essential elements that make up a successful and effective landing page and increase your conversion rate.
The visitor must be able to understand the content of the page in less than 10 seconds, preferably 5. The longer s/he must try to comprehend your offer, the less likely they are to complete it. Your landing/squeeze page needs to be appealing to your visitors without distracting them from the goal.
The text should be easy to read and the correct size for your audience. Text should be broken up and use lists. Some people prefer long sales pages, others prefer graphics and minimal text. Test this on your products to see which one works best for you.
Create high contrast between background and text because to increase legibility, but be mindful of flashy backgrounds. A landing page is not a banner ad. It is a focused message encapsulated in a single page.
Most landing pages have no navigation, and no extraneous links on the page. This gives the visitor only 2 options: complete your action or click the back button. You have a 50% chance of success.
Here is a thread that discusses how to combine targeted langing pages into a search engine optimization campaign. The consensus is that extra content pages are always good, even if they are relatively light sales pages.
Develop independent landing pages that can be SEO’ed and linked to from the main site itself. Optimized landing pages can be linked to from any page on your site, such as the sitemap.
Read the webmaster forum discussion at WMW.