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Building the Perfect Landing Page Tutorial

3.2 Introduction

So here's a scary fact. $56.8 billion will be spent this year on generating website traffic. Yet only 2 to 3% of those visitors will actually convert and that's the average. There are sites that convert, 20%, 30%. There are even sites that want to show the top ten converting websites, will show conversion rates of up to 40%. I've had clients with landing pages in 80 and 90% range. But yet, here we are, with most of the market so focused in on generating website traffic that they're not focusing on conversion rates when in fact if you look at the history of conversion rates, when they first started documenting average conversion rates like in 1998 from shop.org it was at 1.8%. So we really haven't gotten that much better in all these years considering the new technologies, the new people are more better bandwidth, are we of better design, we have more people using analytics, we have more testing tools, we have so many great resources to help conversion rate. But again all the, but of all the money being spent on generating traffic but very little on the conversion site. And how drastic is this difference? Well, it's pretty significant because companies typically spend about $92 to bring customers to their website but only a dollar to convert them. Okay when you think about that and you look at your own budget, you'll realize that you're not focusing your budget on the things that will help convert your visitors. And of course, if you don't put the energy where it's required there's going to be a great disparity. And so when you end up with all this traffic that doesn't necessarily know where to go,you end up with a major problem. And I think that what certainly what a lot of people are seeing today is that, they have all this traffic coming to their website. It's not converting it the way they'd like it to. And so you'll end with a traffic jam. And the reason being is because it hasn't been planned. You know, how are you going to direct them where they want to go? How are you going to make sure that they have the best experience possible? How are you going to make sure that you've got the bandwidth and the roads to handle the traffic that's coming properly, right. You've gotta send them to the right places. And I think that's one of the significant challenges that a lot of people face. You know, when I've looked back at clients who have been successful executing landing page authorization programs, I'm always reminded of this one client. He started with us when he was four people into in doing half a million dollars in sales, but he had somewhere near half a million customized landing pages mostly based on geolocal segmentation, right? Based on where you were in the country and he was converting in that 80 to 90% range. And it's because he planned to develop all of that content that was unique that gave people the experience they needed to get exactly the most relevant page for them. And given the best results who convert, and then every piece of experience afterwords really held together to make the experience pretty powerful compared to most of his competitors.

3.3 How To Get There

The only way to get there is through conversion optimization. It's through testing, right, we have to get speeding. We can't get stuck with all these traffic jams. Because as we're seeing year after year it's getting harder, and harder to keep doubling traffic, there's not the same amount of people coming online for the first time as there used to be over the past number of years. And so doubling traffic over the years is getting harder, and harder. The only way to double your sales and double your results is to focus and develop a culture that's focused on, always be testing. Now, I think part of the challenge is that optimization process in general, right. What we all would love to have is this souped up, high-speed, mega horsepower, beautiful sports car. But we end up having, unfortunately, oftentimes due to our lack of resources or because of the way our resources handle things or because of our lack of support from C level of our organization. We end up with this little Miata, you know, with this geek guy on the top thinking that he needs a helmet because this thing is going to have so much power that his hair may be wind blown. So, there's certainly a very big disconnect between our perceived wants versus our perceived needs and what we actually have today. So we definitely need to address this and how we're going to do it. And I think, like I said, there's a lot of technology barriers in place. Right? We need to be able to create lots of customized landing pages with great creative that's going to definitely match the message and now we're going to talk about why it's so critical. And then we'll talk about what all these landing pages need to have in order to make sure that you're getting the best success. And then you have to figure out how and what you're going to test in them to make sure that you're getting the optimum result.

3.4 Have A Structured Approach

Now, the scary part about this is when you go ahead and you ask marketers, and this is a report that came out at the end of last year from the consultancy, 77% of them claim and say that they have no structured approach to improving conversion rates. So, that falls in line with seeing that we have a traffic problem. Everyone's focused on the traffic but very few are focused on improving conversion rates. Now, for those people who don't have the structured approach to conversion optimization, part of the reason seems that 48% of them believe that they have no control over conversion. There are lots of little things that you can do to improve conversion rates. In fact, I have identified over 1,100 variables. The other challenge, and I think this is the major challenge, and it goes back to that 92:1 figure Is that this limited time and resources given to conversion improvement. If you don't give a lot of budget to the tools and the technology and the creative resources to create all of these great landing pages and these great experiences online and to test them, you're definitely not going to be able to get the results that other websites are getting. Now some other interesting statistics show that one third of people don't test multiple landing pages. Which means that maybe they're doing nose testing but a significant amount of them have maybe one landing page and that's where they drive most of their traffic. Or maybe they have a couple different landing pages but they're not really focused on developing lots of variations on landing pages that deal with very specific media channels, very specific ad campaigns, very specific keywords. But those who did, who focused a lot more on testing, ended up having three times the results than those who didn't. There are certainly some good arguments why you should be focusing on the conversion rate side as opposed to just the traffic side. Other interesting statistic, the fact is how many tests most people are running. I've talked about this before when I talk about 21 secrets of top converting websites is how many tests were you able to carry out each month? Now the typical company is carrying up somewhere between one to five tests. Somewhere in the middle, there's really about three is what most companies that I speak to are doing. But the most successful companies, and a lot of the companies that I'm advising are running somewhere between 30 and 35 tests and upwards of 100 to 200 tests a month. To put it in perspective, at Amazon, we'll run over 200 tests on any single day. So, when you focus on those companies that are most successful, it's because they have so many different landing pages, and so many different channels. That they can make all of these little tests on these small accounts and accumulate all these better results, and are getting much more successful because if it. If you can't develop that kind of corporate metabolism to test at this level, if you don't have the technologies in place to get there, you definitely need to seek them out, because there are technologies today that will get you to the level that you need to be.

3.5 Identify Your Conversion Problem

Based on all the stats I've just showed you, I think it's pretty apparent that most websites don't have a traffic problem, right. Most websites, of course if you have a brand new website you haven't really been bringing any visitors there. You haven't done any search, or any paid, or any social, you have some traffic coming to your website. But the problem that every single website has out there bar none, is that every single website does have a conversion problem. Because every single website is like a leaky bucket. More people pour in and very few stick to convert to the action that we want them to take. Whether it's to a sale, or lead, or registration, or to a like. A Facebook like. So we know we definitely have conversion problems. And when you look at the math, I like to get people to think about, and this is a good way maybe to talk to the people in your C sweep, to think about the range of their problem. And I'm not putting in actual dollar figures in there because you can customize this based on your business, but just to give you a perspective let's assume that you have 100,000 total visitors. And again you have an average bounce rate of about 30%, and that's a good average bounce rate. I've seen sites that have as little as 10%. And I've seen sites that have as high as over 90%. So it really ranges. But out of those 100,000 visitors, let's say the ones who don't bounce right away, let's call them qualified visitors. They're potentially interested, they didn't just get there to waste time. So we now have 70,000 qualified visitors. Now, there's an average statistic through general marketing principles that show that about 30 to 70% of people In the market at any given time are ready to buy. So, whether that's this moment or within the week or within the month, but within that buying cycle about 30 to 70 percent of the market's interested. So, I'm going to cut that number and go right in half and let's say we have 50% of those people who are in the market today. That would give us 35,000 potential buyers. And when you go back and figure out how many people you've actually converted into sales. An example this case, they only had 1,000 completed orders. The potential for conversion is 69,000 people that we are speaking to anyway that all we need to do is figure out how to improve their experience. How to give them the message they want to hear. How to get them the offer that they need. In order to convert on our website. Okay? And so when you think about that it's like you don't need to drive another 100,000 visitors to your website. What you need to do is figure out how to convert the majority of people who aren't bouncing who are interested in what you have to offer. You just have to make it more persuasive. So we'll focus on how to do that today. And hopefully you haven't been plagued by tons of landing page mishaps. I know a lot of people get frustrated because they have to deal either with IT in getting these things set up, or they're very limited in the type of technologies that are out their or they have to set them up manual. It's certainly not a good way to deal with creating landing pages.

3.6 Don't Slice and Dice

The other problem that I see so often happening in landing page optimization. And, and I think it's one of the big problems that conversion optimization in general has faced. Is that since the very first multivariate testing companies have got started. And I remember because I was doing a session, teaching conversion optimization 101. The direct marketing association. This was something like 1999, early 2000. I had the CEO of one of the first and largest companies that offered a multi varied testing tool. I'm not going to say which one. And the first thing he said to me, was you know, I loved your presentation. I said, you know, we just developed a tool that allows you to do and test millions of variations. And I'm like, that's wonderful but why would anybody want to do that? And let me give you a reason why. And I think, you know, when I talk about the slice and dice optimization, which is of course you know, taking the page and cutting it up and moving things around, coming up with variations. The reason you don't want to focus on that, when you're looking at landing page optimization is because often times you're really not changing anything that significant. Can you get a better result? Absolutely. Things may stand out better, but you're talking about incremental gains. And incremental gains are great when you have a landing page that's converting at 50%, when it's converting at 60%, 70%, but when you're converting only 2%, you have so much bigger problems that the incremental gains is not what you need to focus on. And so I want to show you these two landing pages and I think it's kind of ironic because this is a landing pages for a marketplace of landing page designers. And when you look at the two different designs of their different landing pages you may notice a few of their differences. And so let's talk about a couple of them. So obviously one is vertical the other one is horizontal. They have different tag lines or unique value propositions, right? One is the marketplace of landing page designers. One is make every visitor count. Certainly one speaks better to the other. And certainly adding good value propositions is one of those very important pieces. But let's look at some of the other differences. So they've changed a headline on the form on the call to action. One says improve your conversion rate, the other one says get started here. One of them has an arrow, the other one doesn't. One of them has the words within asterisk is a required field, the other one doesn't. One changes the color of the top of the form field, the other one has a different color, right? Different shades of blue. Another one has the company field as one of the fields they ask in the form, the other one doesn't. One of them has a blue button with the words invite me, the other one has an orange button with the words create account. One of them has the words, we will never sell your email address to any third party or send you nasty spam. Promise or point of action assurance by the form, above the button, another one has it below the button. And then of course you have testimonials and so one of them has it formatted on the bottom of the page, the other one has it slightly differently formatted and at the top of the page. And then of course you go ahead and you're looking through the copy and yes, they have changed the order a little bit but the only real difference between copy is one of them has this whole thing about a fresh set of eyes and the other one doesn't include that.

3.6 Don't Slice and Dice

The other problem that I see so often happening in landing page optimization. And, and I think it's one of the big problems that conversion optimization in general has faced. Is that since the very first multivariate testing companies have got started. And I remember because I was doing a session, teaching conversion optimization 101. The direct marketing association. This was something like 1999, early 2000. I had the CEO of one of the first and largest companies that offered a multi varied testing tool. I'm not going to say which one. And the first thing he said to me, was you know, I loved your presentation. I said, you know, we just developed a tool that allows you to do and test millions of variations. And I'm like, that's wonderful but why would anybody want to do that? And let me give you a reason why. And I think, you know, when I talk about the slice and dice optimization, which is of course you know, taking the page and cutting it up and moving things around, coming up with variations. The reason you don't want to focus on that, when you're looking at landing page optimization is because often times you're really not changing anything that significant. Can you get a better result? Absolutely. Things may stand out better, but you're talking about incremental gains. And incremental gains are great when you have a landing page that's converting at 50%, when it's converting at 60%, 70%, but when you're converting only 2%, you have so much bigger problems that the incremental gains is not what you need to focus on. And so I want to show you these two landing pages and I think it's kind of ironic because this is a landing pages for a marketplace of landing page designers. And when you look at the two different designs of their different landing pages you may notice a few of their differences. And so let's talk about a couple of them. So obviously one is vertical the other one is horizontal. They have different tag lines or unique value propositions, right? One is the marketplace of landing page designers. One is make every visitor count. Certainly one speaks better to the other. And certainly adding good value propositions is one of those very important pieces. But let's look at some of the other differences. So they've changed a headline on the form on the call to action. One says improve your conversion rate, the other one says get started here. One of them has an arrow, the other one doesn't. One of them has the words within asterisk is a required field, the other one doesn't. One changes the color of the top of the form field, the other one has a different color, right? Different shades of blue. Another one has the company field as one of the fields they ask in the form, the other one doesn't. One of them has a blue button with the words invite me, the other one has an orange button with the words create account. One of them has the words, we will never sell your email address to any third party or send you nasty spam. Promise or point of action assurance by the form, above the button, another one has it below the button. And then of course you have testimonials and so one of them has it formatted on the bottom of the page, the other one has it slightly differently formatted and at the top of the page. And then of course you go ahead and you're looking through the copy and yes, they have changed the order a little bit but the only real difference between copy is one of them has this whole thing about a fresh set of eyes and the other one doesn't include that.

3.7 Testing Is About Motivating

So how much of an impact will this have, 5%, 10%? And I'm not saying you shouldn't get the 5 or 10% increases, don't get me wrong, I'm all for eking out continuous pieces of improvement. But, when you have so much bigger fish to fry this isn't where your limited time and resources should be focused on. Okay because all your essentially doing when you're doing that kind of testing is putting lipstick on a pig. And while you may look prettier, and it may be nicer to take out on a date, you're still dealing with a pig unfortunately. And so we have to get past thinking of optimization as this lipstick on a pig, but really optimization and testing is all about understanding people's motivations and influencing their behavior. And it's not going to happen by accident, it's not going to happen by coming up with millions of variations and hoping you hit upon the right combination. It's about really coming up with the right message and it's just like people saying well you can recreate Shakespeare if you put enough monkeys in front of a typewriter. Well that's true of you had enough matter in universe to have so many monkeys and have so many typewriters. But what happens is that every single manuscript in between probably wouldn't be as much fun to read. And if you're waiting to figure out well maybe some of these software vendors have developed these great algorithms to be able to figure out which are the important things to test, so I don't have to test every single variation. And they're using fractional factorials as opposed to full factorial testing, well the fact of the matter is if they knew enough about the variables we'd see higher conversion rates then the typical 2 to 3%. The only reason you can cut out variables if you understand things that really have a major influence on it. [ And I think Sam Walton said it best, he said a computer can tell you down to the last dime what you've sold, but it can never tell you how much you could have sold. because it's really about understanding people and seeing what they need and understanding their buying behavior. And so the number one secret of becoming successful in landing page optimization. The reason my client with half a million pages developed such a great business is because he focused on making sure that every single one of his pages had a very targeted message that fit with a very targeted ad and a very strong offer. And his advantage was that he basically was a consolidator of offers around high speed internet connection. So he'd have all the best offers that you could possibly find in your area, I mean basically he aggregated them all so it's pretty hard to find a better offer anywhere else. But he just made the experience that much better, and he targeted his landing pages with great content. And even some of them ended up ranking organically, and besides being paid ads. You just needed that volume to create that level of success, and what happens is, yes he didn't get landing pages that we're getting tens of thousands of visitors on every landing page. What he focused on is making sure that each page was relevant, each page offered value, and each page called to action, even if it was only eight visitors who came there a month. But out of those eight visitors, he converts six or seven of them. And when you have half a million pages sand you're accumulating three conversions here, or five conversions there, and ten conversions there, and 12 conversions there, you're developing a very big business. And so by applying the concepts of things like the conversion trinity to your landing pages and making sure you're really delivering on a relevant message with a lot of value, and strong calls to action, and clear navigation, you definitely can get much better results.

3.8 3 Types of Landing Pages

Now, that you understand the problem with landing page optimization, how do we build a landing page that is going to work? What I want to do now is look at this anatomy of a landing page. As I've gone ahead and I've analyzed literally tens of thousands of landing pages, there are three basic types of landing pages. There's landing pages where they want you to do is, hit a button, that's the goal of the page or maybe you're looking at a category page on a retailer. And try to figure out which product is going to be the right one for you. So, that's the main action on the page. There are other ones that are more lead generation or subscriber or registration or for like a webinar. And they ask you to fill out a form. Those are very simple and very easy to do. The easier the sale, the less complex the sale, the more likely that you'll, that you can have an easier type of landing page, you don't need a lot of information around it. And then of course, you have landing pages and especially now in social media a lot of pages that link to a lot more information. Or if you're a blogger, I'm very excited by my good friend Brian Clark's release of, basically, a landing page software for WordPress that he released yesterday. So, that we'll start seeing more of these type of landing pages as well. Now, when you look at all these three types of landing pages. You can break them out into the ten main landing page sections. Here's what every landing page should have. They don't all necessarily have all ten, but I find that the one's that tend to do the best seem to have majority of these sections. Okay, so first of all there's a logo, right? It's a credible logo. Something that, that looks clean, that looks professional, not something very amateurish. There's a headline, right? Usually that headline's going to be tied into the offer. But it's meant to catch people's attention. Now, the headline could be made out of text, especially, if you care about the landing page, to be more important than let's say organic search. Or it could be more graphical, or flash-based, or HTML 5-based. Then, of course you need the offer. What is it that you're trying to sell? That you want people to do. Whether, they intend to subscribe to a newsletter. Well, then you're going to talk to them about your great content. Then, once you have what the offer is. Right? You want to go ahead and offer descriptive copy that'll explain more details about your offer. Maybe a little more details about who you are and why they should buy from you. So, you're going to have to copy all around that. And that copy can be long copy, short copies, all kinds of different ways to do this. It could be lots of bullets, it could be more block text, it could be a combination there of, it could just be a list of key features, a list of key benefits is better. Then, of course, you have your product service presentation, the more complex the product, the more you have to spend time. On presenting it, and whether that's an image, or whether that's providing tours, especially like if you do, selling software or software service. Screenshots or you try and explain your process. And then, of course, there's also lifestyle images, right, how you present people maybe using your product, maybe a different way you want to present your service or product presentation. Then, of course, you have your calls to action, right? And there are three different types of calls to action, your links, your buttons, and your forms. And we'll talk about some of those a little later on. And of course, your confidence building and I'm not going to go into a lot of detail on the confidence building because we've done that in other webinars. But certainly, you'll have things like testimonials or examples of users maybe you have different, big companies that people recognize and you can leverage their credibility. In other third party validators, like trust seals, or reviews that you've had from major publications, and stuff like that links to more information. A lot of people believe you should link from your landing pages. I am not always in agreement. I think that really depends on where you are in the bind process, if it's something very simple, non-committal, you could probably get away with no links. But, if it's something that people have to commit to, or they're early in the bind process, I tend to like having links. And then, of course, template elements, right? And I think you should always have your privacy policy, your address, contact information. All that should always be on all of your pages. Also, I think it's great to have links to things like your About Us page, and and give them more details about you. Now, the key is when you're designing all the landing pages to take each one of these different elements and prioritize them. Which one of these ten do you think are the most important? Well, certainly call to action is going to be very important. Your headlines going to be very important. Your offer is going to be very important. If you've got a very significant product with service presentation that really complex that's got to have a lot of importance to it. So, you have to go ahead and you have to prioritize these so when you go to that actual design, you can make sure they stand out based on the order that you think is most important.

3.9 Case Studies

So now what I want to show you is a couple of typical landing pages. And look at how we can look at each of these sections. You can see how they're broken down on these pages. So you can start looking at this from your own landing pages. So here is the Forbes landing page. And here they are offering subscription to their magazine. And as you look at the page, you will notice of course there is the Forbes logo, which is quite recognizable. So you want to make sure you have that there. Their head line now is a free trial issue, and then they have a follow up head line with fill in below to get your free trial issue. They have a product presentation, which shows that they have covers of their magazine. That you're actually getting their magazine, not necessarily the website' description. They have more details about the offer. They have some confidence building material about their satisfaction guarantee, and of course they have their call to action which is this whole form that they want you to fill out. Let's look at the landing page for Netflix. And I think Netflix is one of those very interesting ones because it's complex sell that they're trying to do here. If you notice all the different sections, of course they have their logo. They have plenty of links to more information, including the how it works, the browse selection. The free trial info, those are things that are very important for people coming and trying to figure out what's going on here. They have there sign up today and try Netflix for free. Free is always a very strong offer. They have more details about the offer afterwards, they have their call to action. Their product presentation, which is how it works right, they're showing it there as well. So, you don't necessary have to go to the tab to find out. And of course they have their template elements. And the oldest is really well done. We'll look at page like Lifelock. Okay, very strong temple of landing page. And again when you goo to look at all the different pieces you can see their logo, their template elements. Their headline, their cult action, conference building materials, their offers and their product presentation. And you can see they have different pieces throughout different parts so now, might it be better to put all of the conference building through a hole in one place, certainly could. [00:01:51] Will it certainly make more sense to have the headline and the offer and the action kind of flow one into another? Absolutely. Doesn't work necessarily the way the site is designed right now? I don't think it works ideally as it could because again, some of these things are a little out of place and don't necessarily seem to have an easy flow. And I think when you break them down this way you can kind of see well why are confidence building materials all over the place? Why is my offer so far from my calls to action? So you just want to make sure things are just really, really neat with this. So here's another one from esurance then again, here you take look at this. You have your logo, you have your template elements or headline. Your product presentation is the character your trying to show here. That there are different insurance companies than most of your typical stuck up insurance companies. They have a simple call to action which is just enter your zip code. The first step in getting your quote and of course they have their offer, and then they have lots of links to more information but very little confidence building, which maybe they should have closer to the top of the page if you don't know their brand. Certainly that would matter a lot. If you typed in Esurance and got to this landing page, maybe it doesn't matter. But if you know very little about them, obviously that confidence building material should be closer to the top of the page.

3.10 The 5 Dimensions

When we think about each of these different types of sections on landing pages, you can judge them based on five dimensions. First of all, relevance, and I constantly talk about the importance of relevance from the conversion journey to the importance of sent. Relevance is critical. The quality, so the quality element, how well is it designed, how well does it look. If you've got a logo that doesn't look very professional, or your headline is just boring and drab. Well, the quality's going to be poor, and no one's going to want to really stick around. The location, where on the page is it actually sitting? Is it towards the top of the page, on the bottom of the page, on the right side of the page, on the left side of the page? Proximity, what is it next to, right? You often want to have the offer and call to action near each other. Because if they're so far disconnect, people might not thing that they're related. And of course is the prominence, how much does any one particular element stand out from the rest of the page? And of course I always think that you definitely want, on your landing page, is your calls to action to really stand out. And then the other ones should kind of balance out, depending on, again, on your priorities.

3.11 Case Studies

Now let's look at some of these examples. So this happens to be one of the followup landing pages to a Facebook application. It's working very well and this is the landing page they get to on their site once they fill out this little Facebook app. And as they went through the exercise of looking at all the different sections, and they improved their old landing page to this one. I then reminded them that if you go ahead and you take a look at each element in each section of the landing page and ask yourself, well, is it the most relevant? Am I offering the most value there? Is it the clearest call to action in that element, right? If you look at the trinity for each one of these elements. Is there anything here that stands out to you that really should be improved? And unfortunately, that happens a lot in conversion optimization. It's one of the reasons you always would like to have someone a little bit from the outside. e you end up seeing things within your own perspective. And so they had this one element here that said, your score, 230 with a little asterisk. And, of course, I asked them, I said, well, what does that mean? Is 230 a good score or bad score? And inside their company, everybody knows that's a terrible thing, it means you need a lot of attention, you're really sick. And so I said, well, is there any way that you can make that element more relevant to someone who's never seen this stuff before and knows about it? And so sure enough, they went back to the drawing board, and that was a critical piece of the landing page, they redesigned it. And you can see here, they now made it, your score 190 out of 230 and the little asterisk tells you to check your email for full results. So you can really understand what the differences are to it. And again, they have some other plans for even making it better. But it would again, require a little bit more resources. But that's just one way to take one element and make it more relevant. Now let's look at quality. So, I dug up this landing page and I think it's safe to say that there are very few quality elements from this landing page. Everything from the logo that doesn't look that professional to the chunking of so many different links there. So all the different buttons on the site and it's just hard to read, bad fonts, bad color choices. There's nothing here that shouts out quality, to the cheesy graphic that we'll break your arm. And again, you know what? The stock photo image, all of these things scream out amateur landing page. So, certainly, you don't want to have poor quality. Where, when you look at something like this landing page from Webtrends, everything about the way this page is designed, every element, the graphic element on top, the background, to the texture, to the images, to the form, to the little details that they have everywhere, to the shadowing, to the reflection. Every detail here shouts that this was professionally done and someone catered to it. So the problem is if you're putting together lots of landing pages and they come out cheesy looking, they're not going to be very effective. When you show that you really care about them, it really makes a big difference when you perceive the page and so you have to show lots of quality. Location, so this is one from one of my former students and they went ahead and they were testing where they should put their live help. And so on the old version, they had the live help here on the right-hand side. And on the newer version, they put the live help on the left side. Now this is also interesting, because not only did they change location based on which side of the page it appear to, but this one also affects proximity, right? because the live help now is next to the call to action form on the revised page. And, of course, having it closer if you're having problems and you don't want to necessarily fill it out and you want to chat first, that might work a little bit better. So you may want to change the call to action on there, but certainly I think that's a real effective way to change locations. Proximity, and proximity has such a huge impact. Here's another great example from one of our students, who went ahead and increased the signup rate on the New York Public Library newsletter signup page by throwing in an example sample newsletter next to the signup form for the newsletter. By adding that extra value that you can see what the newsletter was going to look right, it boosted conversion rates by 52.8%. So certainly, when you put things close to each other and the benefits are right next to there. By adding them right next to the call of action, they got a much, much better result. Here's another great way to look at this, and just in terms of making things jump out on the page. You look at the before landing page and the after landing page. And again, this is one from one of my students. They went ahead, and if you look on the landing a page on the left, you'll notice that download free trial, then it's three phones on the bottom and then there's a Buy Now button and all of those things kind of are competing with each other. A lot of graphics to compete with each other, all next to each other. And again, because of color choice and all that, it's a little difficult. And on the new revised page, all they did is make the call to action much simpler. One call to action, this yellow box that just makes it jump out from the rest of the page. And again, that helped increase conversion by over 111%. Now inevitably, every time I do this presentation, I talk about landing pages, people ask me, well, should I be doing things with social proof and adding things like from Facebook and Twitter and stuff like that? And the answer is yes, it really depends though. Great example, if you have a Facebook page that has 300,000 fans, like again, one of our students are using, you can put that on your landing page. That's going to rock people's world. They're going to say, hey, you know what, this is obviously very credible company even if I haven't heard of them. If they're going to have 300,0000 people like them, there's obviously something to this company. But if you're like Dropbox and has a unmoderated feed on their landing page and you end up with someone who tweets something like this and obviously, has the potential for spamming. It says, wow, Evernote now allows files to be stored and synced across computers and my iPhone. This may replace my Dropbox completely. Ouch. That certainly can't help conversion rates, so you have to balance it out a little bit, maybe with a little bit of moderation. And there's definitely some tools out there that allow you to moderate the live feed, so you're not necessarily putting up everything and I don't think you should do super moderation, but you want to avoid things that definitely could appear spam-like that this one may certainly be.

3.12 What Are The Variables?

Now that we understand the sections on the page, the next thing I ask people when they're trying to understand conversion optimization is to understand, what are all the variables that impact each of these sections? We talked about the five dimensions, but there really a lot of variables behind this one. And, you have to really understand that, when I think about variables, I like to slice and dice 'em. So when you go to the true optimization right, when you're getting to that slice and dice 'em optimization you can go ahead and look at each one and say oh, did I cover each of the significant variables to make sure that my approach was correct. And instead of doing millions of variations you just make sure you cover the most important ones and so we're just going to talk today about calls to action. Buttons, forms and links.

3.13 Buttons

So when I talk about buttons, there are eight variables to buttons. The wording on the button, okay? And here, I have all kinds of add to cart buttons. But whether this is, you know, [INAUDIBLE] or download now or register. Whatever the words on the button are, that is a variable. You want to test what it says. The shape of the button. Is it a normal shape, like a rectangle or an oval or is it an irregular shape? I tend to find, that irregular shapes seem to stand out better and convert better than regular shapes. So, notice for example and some of you may recognize the third button, on the bottom, on the left. That's the Amazon button. It's always been that little bit of a circle with a rectangle combined, to make it not a regular, just a normal shape. It's just a irregular shape. Some of the other ones that are using bags also change shape, so changing the shape will make it stand out more on the page. The size of the button. Yes, you can have big buttons. You can have small buttons. Make sure it's obvious, you can go really big and I'll show you some examples of that, but don't go small, usually you want to avoid those. The style of the button, is it flat, is it shaded, is it beveled, does it look like a button, okay? I've certainly seen buttons on sites and links on site, that don't really look like hyper links. That's probably a really bad thing, doesn't look like it's clickable. Now, whether it includes an icon on it. Does it have an arrow, a shopping bag, a blinking sign, a shopping cart, or plus sign? Whatever it is. Do you have an icon on it? The colors. Colors do matter. The way I always like to tell people is, do you have a color that contrasts with the rest of your page? And the reason people love talking about red buttons. or orange buttons, because most websites are blue and green. And so, the colors that contrast most with blue and green, are red and orange. But think about the colors you use, because colors do have psychological meanings. I tend to avoid using red buttons. I don't like them psychologically, because red usually means stop. But certainly I've seen them win, so you just want to be careful with that. Legibility, if you're putting words on a button, can people read what it says? And that's really, really important. And then of course the location of a button, where is it on the page? Is it in an obvious place to stand a little page, those are the variables behind buttons. And here's a great example from my friends at 99 designs, that is a big orange button. Lots of words, almost half the page, and that's fine. That will stand out, there's no question that's, that what you need to click on. Get your own custom made logo that's really, really well done and it matches, of course, the scent of what people see in. The headline and of course, probably, what they saw in the ad when they got here. So, definitely having good language on your buttons and hear you see a little point of action assurance about your money back right above it. Even though it's not really that legible, can certainly have great impact on your conversion rates. Let's talk a little bit about forms. Again, there are several different factors around forms that really matter. The size of the form. If the form looks like it's going to take a long time to fill out, people are not going to want to fill it out. So, limit how many questions you ask them and there are different ways to do that. And we'll talk about that in a moment. The field you ask, what exactly the questions you're asking. Look, if you ask for my social security number. I'm less likely to give it to you, than if you ask me for what city I'm in, right? So, obviously the type of fields that you use, the labels you use on a field. And I've seen this in a number of tests. Whether you ask for someone's email address or whether you call it a user account or whether you call it how should we get in contact with you? Depending on what you use the label for the form and where you place that label, it will have an impact on conversion rates. Also forms should always be filled out, by the way, top down not left to right. That's the way people feel more comfortable doing it. Are there benefits, right near the form? Or the offer near the form, so people know exactly what they are getting, when they're filling out the form. Those are things that are really helpful. Is it prominent, does it jump out from the rest of the page? Is there a clear call to action, what is the button actually saying? Hopefully it does not say, submit. I hate the word submit. You don't want to ask people to submit, it's not a good word. So, come up with better language. And of course, any kind of confidence building material you can use around point of action, insurances. Third party validators, all those kind of things can certainly help boost confidence building.

3.14 Forms

And so what I want to show you here is two different examples, both from actually testing companies. This one's from Optimizely, they're more of a visual testing tool. They're very simple for taking your current page and making simple tweaks on it just using your browser. And here the way they ask you to fill out the form is, they get you started progressively. So just give us your website URL to start off with. And then later on, they'll ask you for more information. So that is a progressive way of getting conversions, and I certainly think that's an effective way, especially when you have a very simple product, a very simple sell like Optimizely's doing. Then you look at something a little bit more complex, like for a white paper for Monetate, which is again is a test and a personalization tool. Right, a little more robust, a little more enterprise level, and here they're asking for many more fields. And again they're doing a lot more to try to convince you with the who uses the Monetate, what you'll learn. And here one of the things I really love about the design of the landing page is the little arrows, top and bottom, which are subtle designs to kind of focus you in on the form there on the right-hand side.

3.15 Hyperlinks

And I think hyperlinks don't get enough credit but certainly hyperlinks can be worth a lot of money at certain times. And so I remember when we were doing this test, when Google Website Optimizer was first coming out, we had one of these clients who was doing a beta test and they sold shoes. And the problem was on their shoe site is, they were very limited by what they could change here, couldn't really change the templates of their landing pages for especially on the category pages. And what happened was that all the links to the types of shoes, and if you look towards the bottom of the page you'll see casual shoes, dress shoes, fashion boots, work boots, sandals, and a bunch of different types underneath those. All those links couldn't be reached and they were right below the fold. So unless you scrolled, you probably weren't going to see those links. And so you saw the feature shoes, that big image which they couldn't change, and maybe you saw the words shoes, dress, boots, and sandals. And so we told the guy who was running these commerce sites, we said hey could you do us a favor, could you try to get some links underneath the image in that white space between the image and those other horizontal lines that says women's brands and women's shoes view all. And sure enough we were able to make that one little change, just add the links to fashion boots, dress shoes, casual shoes and sandals. And that alone increased conversion by over 18% because it got people over to that next step in the landing page. So adding links can certainly have an impact to your landing pages if you do them.

3.16 The Purple Elephant

But the problem is with landing page optimization, is that I still see people even with all this great information you got today, most people still end up ignoring what I call the purple elephant in the room. And this purple elephant is busy balancing everything he is doing on a big beach ball and of course elephants leave clues. And of course some clues leave a lot of sense, some leave less sense. But the challenge is how do you deal with doing this in scale. How do you go about making sure that each one of this pages is optimized properly and doing something. So you definitely need technology to help you get there. You need processes and the people to do this to make sure your getting the best results possible. And you have to realize that you have to get beyond the basic landing page. Great banner here from Geico, great landing page. Simple process, all there asking you to do is fill out the zip code. But, as soon as you fill out the zip code, and even though you have a great landing page and all of this is owned by the marketing department, who has great software to be able to run these banners and create the landing pages, by the time it goes into the process of the site, it falls apart and the whole experience just disconnects. And once you do that you're to going to get the conversions. You have to tweak the creative, here, all throughout the funnel, all the way to the landing page. And again, it's one of the top 21 secrets of top converting websites, is to make sure that this experience follows through, all the way from the ad all the way to the thank you page and beyond today especially including social media. So hopefully, you will realize that persuasion and using language page optimization is. A process, it's not an event. You can't just get it one page and be done with it. You have to think about all the different ways people are going to enter your buying process and all the different ways they may need to based on their personas, based on their segments. Based on their buying needs how are they going to get to your conversion point? You may need to give them very direct paths for some. And paths that are not so direct for others. You need to plan for all these great experiences and for that you need, again, the right people, the tools, and the technology, and the processes to be able to have this level of success.

3.17 Thank You

Thank you very much for your attention today.

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