Author Archive

Landing Page Optimization: Crowdsource my baby

May 9th, 2011

In the wake of Director of Editorial Content, Daniel Burstein’s vicious editorial attack on Seth Godin, I thought I would lift up Seth’s spirits by imitation (the highest form of flattery) of his crowdsourced book idea. As I wrapped up the final draft of the 2011 Landing Page Optimization Benchmark Report (BMR), I realized that some of the key insights required a categorization of strategies and tactics based out of a broad spectrum of practices.

Problem: What to name these categories?

Allow me to illustrate. The most tweetable (already tweeted once – thanks, Dan!) phrase in the BMR is perhaps: LPO is Web design with an agenda. And that agenda is to achieve a specific objective in terms of the quantity and quality of the visitor response.

An LPO objective must be defined first in terms of the target business outcome: generating a lead, closing a sale, maximizing subscription length, etc. A significant portion of the BMR is dedicated to helping marketers discover ways of getting the visitor to act, which is vastly complex. But defining the objective should be easy. You just have to do it explicitly; otherwise you may end up simply pushing things around on a page without any useful results.

So I asked a few thousand marketers: Which of the following processes/transactions is the primary objective of your organization’s website?

  1. Purchase of products or services directly on the site
  2. Request for a quotation, proposal, or sales call
  3. Free downloads, webinars, newsletters, or other content requiring form submission (lead gen)
  4. Phone call or visit to physical location (takes the process offline)
  5. Maximum ad impressions, interaction, or user-generated content
  6. Providing company or product information

There are certainly other types of objectives that may not neatly fit these categories, and this research does suggest a useful follow-up study. (I was also deliberately devious with the last answer choice. It’s an “objective” that I hear far too often, but it’s probably not your website objective. You are not in the business of providing information, unless you are the Visitors’ Bureau. And even then, your objective is not to provide information. It’s to increase the number of searches, clicks to destination websites, etc. You should be choosing (5). I make a big deal about objectives in the BMR, but I digress…) Read more…

Landing Page Design: Eye-path vs. Thought sequence

March 23rd, 2011

I was impressed by the clarity of the headline and imaging of RealGoodsSolar’s landing page and later provided suggestions for testing their various sources of traffic to build dedicated landing pages for distinct levels of motivation.

Today, I wanted to add one last piece of analysis: the thought sequence effected by the page. “Eye-path” is a concept often invoked by usability and user interface (UI) specialists. However, “eye-path” is passive. What we want to optimize is the thought sequences in the mind of page visitors to lead them to the desired action, and to do that we must deliberately position content in the clearest and easiest-to-absorb sequence.

The rest of this post is presented in the general order of the expected thought sequence of a visitor to RealGoodsSolar’s webpage. Read more…

Visitor motivation: Optimizing landing pages for social networking site ads vs. paid search

March 18th, 2011

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Relevance is not born on your landing page. Relevance starts with the ad that the visitor clicked. With SES New York right around the corner (hope to see you there!), I wanted to discuss how your ads effectively shape your site visitors’ motivation. When you understand motivation, you can build ad-page pairs that maximize relevance, and consequently conversion.

Recently, I discussed how clarity helped RealGoodsSolar landing page keep visitors on the page. Today, I wanted to take a closer look at the different motivations that their landing page meets from paid Facebook, LinkedIn and AdWords traffic. Read more…

Landing Page Optimization: Minimizing bounce rate with clarity

March 11th, 2011

After several months’ hiatus, I was motivated to write an “LPO analysis” blog post by my initial impression of RealGoodsSolar’s landing page. It greeted me with a large photo of solar panels and a worker installing them.

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No children in a blooming meadow playing with balloons, no college students posing as they take on global ills, no grandparents with a pensive gaze—all implying the broader point about the importance of environmental awareness and concern about our common future. Instead, this page told me immediately what it was about in a single image and clearly visible and instantly readable headline: Install Solar Panels & Save. Read more…

Social Media Marketing: To tweet or to convert, that is the question

February 25th, 2011

Having worked both in the Landing Page Optimization (a.k.a., Conversion Optimization) and Social Media sides of marketing, I am amazed how quickly the latter stole our hearts and minds, while the former continues to be a mystery for most marketers.

When I set out to write the LPO Benchmark Survey for MarketingSherpa this January (publication date: May 4), I naturally—and erroneously—assumed that just like all the past research partners I worked with at MarketingExperiments, and our workshop attendees, and our webinar audiences, the marketers that hear about our survey would be at least accustomed to LPO as a category.

The survey is out now (Editor’s note: the survey closed on Mar 1), but what has surprised me is the response rate, compared to the response rate to the Social Media Marketing benchmark survey, which was fielded only a month earlier. Read more…

Social Media Marketing Research: Rolling up my sleeves and getting social

January 3rd, 2011

I’ve listened to the gurus and read their blogs. I studied the MarketingSherpa ROAD Map for social media marketing. Heck, I’ve taught that ROAD Map to a hall of very gracious marketers. From experience, I have to say that pretending to be a social media marketing guru is a pretty sweet gig.

So, when I had to roll up my sleeves and walk the walk, I had no idea how much work would go into just getting started. Read more…