Last week I introduced the idea that a landing page for a product advertising campaign and a standard product page might not need to be different things. As soon as I mentioned “landing page”, I started getting emails from many of you asking for an example of what a good landing page for a product advertising campaign should look like. I’ll come on to that tomorrow, but today, I’d really like to define what a landing page is, because it’s important.
A landing page has been described as ‘a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search result or advertisement’ and usually displays directed sales copy which is a logical extension of the link. In other words, having been given a taster of what’s on offer, the visitor gets the full story and is then led on to make an enquiry, buy a product or respond in some other desired way.
If you want to see a classic example of what we’re talking about, read How we made $1 million for Moz by Conversion Rate Experts. This shows the idea that ‘long pages don’t sell’ to be a myth. The creators of the landing page in the article studied the corresponding face-to-face sales presentation for the product, and noticed that at least five minutes was needed to make a good case. They realised that they should at least test out an equivalently long landing page – and that meant a very long page indeed. But it worked.
So, we know that a landing page is a full online sales presentation, which aims to create an enquiry or sale from someone who may have seen no more than a few words in a search result or advertisement. That can be quite a significant journey.
The argument I’m making at the moment, however, is that every product page on your website should do that job, and therefore every one is, in a sense, a landing page. So the question is: do your product pages aim to convert someone who arrives on them from elsewhere into an enquirer? Or are you just doing the online equivalent of thrusting a data sheet into their hands and walking away?
The good folks at Conversion Rate Experts have recently given us 5 reasons to get obsessed with conversion rate optimization in 2009 and you have to agree it makes a lot of sense. In the article, they show how a 50% increase in conversion rate can result in a 500% increase in profits – a very interesting concept.
“Conversion” is all about getting sales from where you were getting leads, and leads from where you were getting window shoppers. If you’re spending a fortune directing people to your website and not converting them into leads, you’re wasting a lot of money. If you have a page where 1% of the visitors “convert” to sales or leads, worth hundreds of pounds a time on average, work out the benefit of increasing the conversion rate to 1.1% or 1.2%. Very nice.
“If you sold Widgets, and a Widget-buying customer walks into your store, can’t find any Widgets on her own, and when she asks what aisle they’re in you remain silent, would you fire yourself?”
Has your website got a site search box on it? No? Then you’re missing a big opportunity. There are two types of people who will use it: compulsive searchers who will always pick this route over any form of “navigation”; and visitors who couldn’t follow your navigation and expect search to be there as an alternative. You’ll lose both sets if you don’t have a search box. And there are loads of ways of adding one.
OK, so let’s assume you’re happy with your website’s search box. Now it’s time to read Tweaking Internal Site-Searches into Buying Opportunities on the Conversion Rate Experts blog, which says that “There are many ways that search result pages can be optimized to provide visitors with an easy means to find what they are looking for – or at least something that will keep the visitor moving through your site” and gives a few ideas to get you kicked off. Remember, people expect your site search to be as good as Google, so don’t let them down.
Someone asked me recently what position in the Google results I would classify as “good”. Sadly, it’s very high. As you go down the page, clickthroughs drop dramatically (and sorry – if you’re not in the top ten, i.e on page 1, you’re toast). An article on Conversion Rate Experts called Why Rank #1 in Google shows quite graphically where people look on the Google results page, and shows how important a no.1 spot is. The number of people bypassing the AdWords ads at the top of the page has soared in the past couple of years – that’s no reason to stop AdWords advertising, as you only pay for results, it just shows that you’ll get several times as many clickthroughs from a (free!) “natural search” top position as you will from an ad. So that’s every reason to haul yourself up the Google “natural search” results. It can be done! For some search terms it’s a long haul, for others it can be surprisingly straightforward. Subscribers to our Insider Programme are getting all the tips we can give them to get to that coveted position.
I used to be one of those kids who spent all his exam revision time drawing out revision timetables, and then running out of any time to do revision. Now I read books about online marketing all the time, and subsequently have no time to put the ideas into practice on my own websites. Well, it seems like it. Anyway, I was wondering which books I’d class as the best I’d ever read, so I did the usual thing (this is a good technique, by the way) and entered the names of three of them into Google, in one query. The idea would be that if there was a web page in the world which came up with those three titles on it, the page might well be a longer list of great books compiled by someone with similar taste.
Bingo. 10 “must-have” books (in our opinion) for web marketing on the Conversion Rate Experts blog is just such a list. Something to take on your next holiday with you.