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Landing Pages

by Randall Craig on September 28, 2012

Filed in: Blog, Blogging, Book, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: , ,

$37 Billion:  This is the amount that Google earned in 2011, 97% from advertising. Google’s keyword-savvy Pay-per-click selling machine allows any organization (or person) to specify keywords, construct an ad, and specify how much they would pay for a click.  Google then puts the ad on a web page that contains the keywords. When a user clicks, the advertiser pays, and Google benefits.

And so does the advertiser.  The user has made a commitment by clicking, and hopefully they will transact after they land on the target page.  Unfortunately, the conversion to a sale does not happen as often as it should, because many advertisers are completely unaware of a simple concept: the landing page.

A landing page is really just the other half of an advertisement.  The ad sets up the requirement and helps people with a particular problem self-identify and click through. The landing page provides the solution, and a next step.  It converts browsers into buyers.  Here are key attributes of it:

  • It is paired with a very specific advertisement.
  • The page should go through multiple rounds of A/B testing.  (Two identical ads point to two different versions of the landing page; the one that converts fewer buyers should discontinued, the other should be revised for a new test, etc.)
  • Very little navigation to the main site; the goal is for them to read/consider/act – not to meander off.
  • Simplified messaging, all designed to expose the problem and share the solution.
  • Simplified design and graphics: because there is far less content (and links) than a traditional web page, the eye will naturally focus on the remaining important information.
  • Multiple calls to action (eg Subscribe, Purchase, etc)
  • Multiple content delivery modes – but identical message: Video, Descriptive Text, Testimonials, “Trial” subscriptions, etc.  Different people respond to different stimulus
  • Consistent design beyond the landing page.  Since the site is designed to convert, a vastly different look-and-feel beyond the landing page (eg the next page in a sequence) can cause user uncertainty, and possibly abandonment.

This week’s action plan:  The concept of a landing page can be generalized: there is a metaphorical landing page after everything that we write.  What did you want people to do after they finished reading?  This week, think through the next step in any of the projects that you are working on, and start crafting the landing page.  (Hint: the landing page is merely a bridge to another decision.  Once you’ve mapped out your decisions, it is vastly easier.)

Follow-my-own-advice bonus:  The next step beyond this post is one that I wrote on attraction and conversion.  And after that, please call me.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

Ask your CEO, and they will say that your greatest asset is your people. Ask your marketing chief, and the answer will be your brand. And ask your CFO, your value is determined by your revenue or EBITDA. But is it possible that they may all be wrong… or may soon be? (Hint: how would your CIO answer?)

The profusion of systems has led to a bumper crop of data. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and all of the other social media sites track the beginning of the journey, while marketing automation tracks the latter part of it. CRM systems track prospect and client activity, while ERP systems track both “delivery” and financials. Other systems track post-sales service activity, while the organization’s websites (internet, extranet, and intranet) generate even more data. Finally, data can be shared from suppliers, clients, and other partners, or purchased from third parties to further enrich what you already have.

While the term “big data” has been around for a number of years already, the reality for most organizations is that they have a “big data mess.”  To begin extracting value from this asset, consider your organization’s data analytics maturity:

  • Level zero: Does not collect data.  Relies on gut to make decisions. (And sporadic market research.)
  • Level I: Collects data within separate systems; reviews data sporadically.
  • Level II: Data architecture that combines and “relates” all of the data from the disparate systems, so that it can later be used. Data is cleansed, and duplicate records removed. The reason all this is possible is that a specific person has been assigned the role of data steward/master data manager. Unfortunately, the data is not generally accessible, except through difficult programming or special requests.
  • Level III: Specific slices of the data are exposed in real-time for better decision-making. Each role may have a different dashboard, depending on their responsibilities, while standard reports are used throughout the organization.
  • Level IV: The data is proactively plumbed for insights, risks, and opportunities.  Internal and external data are married to provide higher order insights and competitive advantage.

Most organizations are at Level zero or I, yet aspire to Level IV without doing the heavy lifting required of Levels II and III. Building competitive advantage through data is just not possible without an investment in systems, an ongoing investment in data quality, and data analytics.

This week’s action item:  What level are you at?  This week, begin the process of moving to the next level by socializing these concepts with your colleagues: share this Tipsheet to begin the conversation.

This year’s action time:  Systems and data quality are easy, but proactive data analytics is a skill most organizations do not have, and often, do not understand.  Over the next year, identify a person or group that can do this, either internally or externally.

Related post:  Data/Information/Intelligence.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com

www.108ideaspace
.com
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com

 

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