Archive for May, 2012

The Truth about Landing Pages

Thursday, May 17th, 2012
Landing pages should have a simple design and one primary purpose. Landing pages should never give customers too many choices, (like websites often do), because this results in the customer being confused and leaving without purchasing anything. This is why you only want to have the necessary information on your landing pages.

Let us begin with some basic guidelines for a good landing page:

  • Once again — keep your landing page simple.
  • Avoid using too many of images and a lot of copy.
  • Make sure your landing page does not have eye-catching elements that are not your direct call to action.
  • Always place the important information at the top or above-the-fold. When you place your critical information towards the top of the landing page, you show your visitor you care about their time. Your visitor should never have to scroll down to find pertinent information.
  • Be smart with your images; do not go to extremes with your font style; and keep your images to a minimum. This will help your page load faster and make it easier for your landing page to be read on mobile devices.
  • Get your message across using the least amount of words possible.
  • Remember, a clear call to action will increase the likelihood that your visitors will purchase.
Now it is time to build your landing page.  You will need to consider the following:

  • Decide the purpose of your landing page before actually writing it. In other words decide what you want the visitor to do.
  • Send the user to pages that load quickly.
  • Do not use pop-ups.
  • Do not make your visitor wait.
  • Highlight the benefits you are offering.
  • Describe the product or the service you sell.
  • Always make it obvious how to order or get more information.
  • Test different versions of copy.
Let us discuss writing your landing page/the way you shape the users experience and what you should do to have a landing page that converts better. To start you must focus on the copy (text) first and the design second. All search engines understand text, but above all else people understand copy. The only way to tell people what you want them to do is through copy.

You should start by making your goal obvious — having more than one goal per page will confuse your visitors. Everything you write must converge towards the same purpose.

Choose Your Keywords — use your keywords with balance. Make them come naturally, in other word do not over-optimize.

When you write your content — be helpful, offer reliable information, put the benefits of your service ahead of its features, offer real solutions to real problems, create the urge to buy, and always make it easy to order/act.

You sell solutions. If you know about something else that may help, do not hesitate add relevant links.

The biggest mistake you can make is to send traffic to your homepage. Each ad in your campaign should work for its own landing page. By customizing them, you make them more effective, so match your ads with your content.

If an audience is given multiple options, they tend to choose nothing at all. So, an effective landing page should only entice the audience to perform one single action – i.e. sign up, purchase, etc.

Your headline either makes or breaks your landing page. You must create compelling headlines which your audience automatically identifies with. After an effective headline, your audience should be enticed by a brief explanation, which is where your sub-headline comes into play. Your sub-headline will provide specifics on what they will receive when they complete the action. Make sure it is concise and to the point.

We keep saying this, but remember to provide a clear call to action for your audience and tell your visitor what they need to do. Include at least two calls-to-action in a short landing page and three-to-five in a longer landing page. So since most visitors are going to scan your page before they act grab their attention with your best stuff up front.

Let us recap and touch on some of the most important items discussed in this newsletter:

  • Above the fold — keep your message above the fold. The less your audience has to scroll, the higher your conversions.
  • Make sure your page loads quickly — do not lose out on conversions because your page does not load fast enough. Keep this in mind when you are working on the aesthetics.
  • Draw attention to the call-to-actions — test different text, font sizes, colors, layouts, and shapes to find the optimal conversion rates.
A great landing page does not just produce better conversions it can also save you money on your advertising costs. It will help with your conversion rating and increase your ROI. Your ads will drive customers to your website, but if it is not good enough to convert those visits to your website into sales then you are wasting money.

A powerfully written, well-designed, and scientifically tested landing page is the one tool that can convert traffic to leads and sales.

*Did You Know? There are two types of landing pages: reference and transactional. A reference landing page presents information that is relevant to the visitor. For many reference landing pages, effectiveness can be measured by the revenue value of the advertising that is displayed on them. A transactional landing page seeks to persuade a visitor to complete a transaction such as filling out a form or interacting with advertisements or other objects on the landing page, with the goal being the immediate or eventual sale of a product or service.

Search Engine Optimization Is Not Dead

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not dead, but it is part of larger ideas and concepts. The new terms are content marketing, inbound marketing, digital marketing, or online marketing. An SEO practitioner’s tasks encompass much more than they once did.

There were a few strategies that were popular a few years ago that simply do not matter today. Keyword density more or less does not matter anymore. A few years ago, experts recommended trying to keep your keyword density somewhere around 3% to 6%. Today, it truly does not matter as much. Also in the past experts recommended bolding your keywords in places or using your keywords in your subheads. Again, this does not play as vital a role as it did in the past.

Using videos, audio and web presentations is becoming an increasingly effective way to gain rankings in the search engines. The more often you can publish the better. High quality videos and audios generate a lot of back-links, especially once you have a strong reputation.

Google is using more and more metrics to try and determine whether or not your site is a high quality website. Here are some metrics it looks at — how often people come back to your site; how often people stay on your website; and the ratio of content to advertisement on your site. It is very hard to fool Google’s artificial intelligence. The best way to rank in the new world of SEO is to offer high quality content and relationship connections. Search Engines will look more and more to humans for ranking, in the short and long term. This means social media and using more human relevancy quality testers.
Also, almost all search engines have been known to at some point use quantity of pages to mean the quality is high. Today, more focus is on the quality and freshness of the content.

SEO’s will become more SMO‘s (Social Media Optimization), with a broader focus on the off-site marketing with social integration.

Whether it is through talking to your phone, using social networks or tapping a search into your phone, you can expect a significant expansion in the mobile search market. No longer is digital marketing for those who have a computer. Mobile search is here to stay.

Quick Response or QR codes will be ubiquitous online and offline in the U.S., to easily send people with mobile devices to online destinations. QR codes are increasingly being used on billboards and various signage as nearly 50 percent of U.S. mobile users have a smartphone. Mobile devices themselves are everywhere with their owners and are used often in tandem to using other media, such as print and television. Ultimately, QR codes will then replace or will be used in tandem with URLs on all offline advertising and even online. This will cause search engines to rely less on text links and factor in interest from QR code use.

There will be reduced dependency on text for search and logins, especially on mobile devices. Voice actions have provided users a more direct way of getting answers and producing actions on their mobile devices.

There will be further personalization in search results as search engines know what you are searching for, where you are when you search, what you like, and who your influencers are.

*Did You Know? Lawrence Page is the inventor of PageRank, which became the foundation of Google’s search ranking algorithm.