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Part 2a: Qualify Your Visitor

September 18, 2012

In Part 2: It’s All About Sales, I gave the analogy of a shoe store.  Let’s say you’re walking past two shoe stores and you look in the windows.  Which of these stores are you more likely to enter?

 or 

Clearly, a store where the product is nicely displayed and easy to navigate is more appealing for consumers.  The same is true for your website.

Again, which of these web sites is likely to do more business?

  or  

A successful landing page should exhibit five key traits:

  1. In five words or less, you know exactly what the product does in a language that everyone understands and without puffy superlatives: Learn to code;
  2. You know why you want to use their product or service: to program websites and more;
  3. You know what’s special about their product: you can learn with friends and track your progress;
  4. There’s a clear (and only one) Call-To-Action: get started with no financial barriers ;
  5. The page is neat, concise, very light on text and includes a demonstration, video or screen shot that gives visitors a taste of what you do.

How well does your landing page convey these five traits?  You’re probably too close to your product, so ask someone who doesn’t know what you do to answer the above questions.

Landing Page Optimization

Let’s keep it simple and consider this hypothetical example:

From this Online Business Metrics Spreadsheet , we can see that 30% of visitors that hit our landing page click-through to learn more about our product.  What happened to the other 70%?  In this example 700 visitors (70%) leaked through the funnel.  They hit our landing page, looked in “the window” and either weren’t interested or didn’t like what they saw.  Losing 70% of our visitors is clearly an important priority to address.  How do we go about optimizing our landing page to reduce the lost business?

Unbounce is a wonderful tool that allows you to do real-world customer testing using quantitative, A/B comparison tests.  With Unbounce, you can create two versions of your landing page. Send half your visitors to one page and the other half to a different page and see which one leaks less. Keep the one that performs best and throw the other one away.

According to Unbounce, each test run should last one to two weeks and involve close to 1,000 visitors to get a high degree of confidence.Each A/B test should involve changing just one element to isolate improvements. Over successive weeks, try varying a line of text such as your Call-To-Action or your Value Proposition; your colors, fonts or your images and iterate to better and better results. Look at other websites for ideas – both competitors and those in other lines of business that you admire. Change one thing. Run a test. Keep/Discard. Repeat.

In general, a bounce rate of 30%-40% is considered good – i.e. we want to keep 60% – 70% of visitors on site so they can move to the next stage in the sales funnel.

Okay.  Now get to work testing your landing page.  What’s your conversion rate now?  Run a series of tests and continuously reduce your leakage at the top of the funnel until you have close to 70% of visitors staying on your site.  Assign this task to one individual in your organization and let them report results weekly.

Here’s a great summary of Landing Page Optimization strategies.
Here’s a great blog with lots more information on landing page optimization.

We’ll come back and revisit Landing Page Optimization in a later posting when we’ll discuss lead generation campaigns.  In the mean time, start optimizing!

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