As small business owners, we have our own websites. However, we generally struggle with conversion. When I talk about landing page, you may think I am talking about your home page. That’s the first problem. We assume that our prospective clients will first land directly on our home page and will follow the text book method of going to inner pages and buy your products. That’s hardly the truth.
If you look at your site analytics, you will notice that a majority of traffic is likely to come directly to your inner pages - not the home page. That means that you have to treat inner pages like they are “home page” or a landing page. Once you realize this, you will view your landing page differently. In my experience, the following are the most important elements of creating a landing page:
A Picture is worth a Thousand Words
Check out Skype website. Here’s an example of its landing pages. I just love it. It reads more like a billboard and less like a conventional web page. There’s a BIG picture on the landing part of the page with a crisp message that conveys a benefit. Scroll down and you will find more about what you want with details about how to buy the product. This is one of the best ways to create your landing pages.
“Sign-up” Button is the Top Factor
“Sign up” button or “Call-to-action” is one of the most important elements on the web page. If you notice our own browsing habits, soon after we land on a page, we look for something to click. Sign-up button aligns this behavior with your objective of our website – to sell your products or services. Give the visitors something to click! What better than having a visitor signup? Of course, I am assuming that your business is to sell products or services (and not a blog or such service like that, in which case, your definition or ‘conversion’ will be different).
Search Marketing Now has a good webcast called Landing Page Optimization: Crank Up Your Search Results! It says that Sign up button is the most important factor that affects conversion.
Below is a breakdown of the relative importance factors in driving customer conversions from Search Marketing Now. Based on a scale with a maximum influence index of 40, here are the 6 factors:
Factor 1 – Main Description, 17
Factor 2 – Sign Up Button, 32
Factor 3 – Quote & Logo Copy, 5
Factor 4 – Left Column, 15
Factor 5 – Sign Up Copy, 22
Factor 6 – Sign Up Steps, 4
Sign up Copy
Sign up Copy or text that goes on the signup button, it turns out, is the second most important factor affecting conversion. In the webcast I mentioned above, sign up copy is even more important than the “main description.” It may surprising you, but true.
Testing, not your judgment, is the key
We tend to rely on our judgment to select various elements of the landing page. However, testing is more important than using our own judgment. In fact, the webcast has an example. When it asked the audience, which among the following – “Sign up now”, “Start sharing”, “Organize me”, and “Start now” – is the right choice, 57% voted for Start Now. However, test results showed that Start Sharing was a clear winner.
Sign up now
Start sharing – Proved best on testing
Start now – Voted best
Hold your judgment and test.
In addition to the resources I mentioned above, Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think helped a lot in understanding how to make landing pages. I hope the info I presented in this article is useful to my fellow small business persons out there who are wondering why so many people visit your site but very few sign up.
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Chaitanya Sagar is the Founder and CEO of p2w2 (for PeopleToWorkWith), which helps small businesses outsource services like business and financial planning, software, virtual assistance, and research. p2w2 focuses on building relationships with vendors so you can focus on your business. Chaitanya blogs at p2w2 blog.