Landing Page Optimization for Small Businesses

Can you spot the difference in the text?

Can you spot the difference in the text?

Why is e-harmony’s landing page different in Canada than in the US?

Why is e-harmony’s landing page different in Canada than in the US? Landing Page Optimization. (Answer below.) What works in one place for one audience for one product or service may not work for another. In this post I want to give you a few ideas on landing page optimization for small business. Anyone who knows anything about landing page optimization would be horrified at my trying to give you the answer in a short blog post. I don’t intend to do more than point you in the right direction however, I can give you some pointers.

What is landing page optimization?

First, what is landing page optimization? Well, a landing page is any page where someone lands in your site to do something. They may have arrived there as a result of a Google ad or some other method such as an offer on Twitter or Facebook. What might you want them to do? Perhaps you want them to sign up for your newsletter, for a free trial or to send a request for more information. Whatever it is, you’re paying good money for yowiley_cover_landingpageur advertising so you want them to ‘convert’, to take the action.

At Pubcon, Las Vegas, on Tuesday, the last session was about Landing Page Optimization. Now this concept has been on my radar screen for some time. One of the speakers was Tim Ash of Sitetuners.com. He literally wrote the book on landing page optimization. Now, this is the book on landing page optimization but I must warn you that it is highly technical. I was interested in landing page optimization but when I saw what was involved I decided to leave it for another day.

Landing Page Optimization Advice

However, listening to the speakers on Tuesday and after asking a question in the Q & A afterwords, I came away with some simple advice for the budget-constrained among us. Here is what I learned:

  • Have a call to action above the fold on your page!
  • Keep forms as short as possible. No attention span
  • Name/email address/ – whatever’s necessary.
  • Form should be above the fold.
  • KISS – Get rid of most of what’s on the page. Avoid distraction.
  • Never direct your ad words to your front page. Always direct it to a page that strongly correlates with what the ad offers your visitor.
  • Create trust everywhere. Use secure portal logo; use your logo; use links to explanations.
  • Don’t ask any question in a form that they cannot answer. Explain to them before you get them to the form.
  • Use lots of white space; no clutter.
  • Test, test, test

That last point was a difficult one for me. How do you test if you don’t have a whole team of people to do it for you and your budget is limited. I learned a bit more about that at lunch from a Swedish fellow, working in Los Angeles. (Thanks Kiowa.) He suggested going to Google’s Webmaster Tools, which I have since done. In the Adwords Help Center, Web Optimizer Help you can learn a great deal that is fairly easy to understand. With a bit of help from your web designer and technical guys and gals, you can have an experiment under way quite quickly.

elfyourselfIn another session on Wednesday, one speaker talked about Elfyourself.com. If you haven’t seen it, it’s great fun. The site has just opened for the holiday season. It has been extremely successful in promoting the OfficeMax brand. However, last year, when they instituted a registration requirement, use dropped by approximately 50%.

My advice? Avoid anything you can, unless absolutely necessary, that might deter or slow acceptance of you offer.

Answer to the question about e-Harmony

In Canada, they ask you to “Refer a Friend”. I don’t know their reasons for that but I can only guess that they are not as popular in Canada and want to extend their reach. It adds one more distraction to the page that they can leave off the US site where the brand is extremely well known.

Please leave comments via the “Comments/No Comments” link below. I would also appreciate your sharing this post with your networks on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

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