If you look at business in terms of the Internet and long term, you have to realize the winner isn’t chosen by how much traffic they bring in, but by their return on investment (ROI). While you can buy traffic, steal traffic and cheat traffic with non-ethical techniques, the question is, does that traffic convert?
If you have ads out there, traffic becomes expensive; good ad placement can quickly cost thousands without any conversion. Thus, when you pay high stakes for landing pages, it’s important to place a high commitment on those landing pages for better conversion rates.
A strong landing page, for example, answers the Who, What, Why and How like the most important news piece you’ve ever read. Who are you targeting, what are you offering, why should they be interested and how do they act?
The Conversion Process
How does conversion actually work? If you don’t know, you’re missing a vital piece of information, so pay careful attention.
When you place an ad or have a paid search result, the last thing you want to do is have that link go to a generic page. Why? Let’s look carefully at the steps:
Step #1: Seeing your ad.
Either your ad is on a site or you’ve paid for placement on a search engine. Whichever, a potential site visitor (not even a potential customer, yet), sees the ad or search result.
Step #2: Clicking through to your landing page.
Either it catches their interest and they click, or it doesn’t – and they don’t. Clicking on the link (click-through rate) implies a certain degree of interest.
Step #3: Reading your landing page.
Once they get to the page, either they read – or they don’t. If they see copy that doesn’t fit the link, the chances of them turning away are higher. For this reason, your landing page should be relevant to the search term you targeted. For example, if you have search placement for “free business cards”, your headline and content needs to reflect “free business cards”
Step #4: Understanding the offer.
Buyers are savvier than ever. They’ve learned about the fine print, marketers, so be careful with what you put in there. Somewhere in the content, they’re going to be trying to answer:
- What’s the offer?
- What’s the catch?
- What’s the cost?
You’d better be prepared to answer these questions within the body of the landing page itself. As a rule of thumb, it’s always best to lead with benefits and follow with features.
Side note: – Way back when dirt was white and I first began writing, I had a problem with distinguishing between the two. Benefits answer the question, “what can this product/service help me with?” In other words, “benefits” reaches out to whatever their pain is. Features answer the question, “what all comes with this product/service?”
Example: A benefit of SEO is higher traffic. A feature is link building.
Step #5: Accepting the offer and ACTING.
They understand the offer, catch and cost, and are now looking for a clear-cut sign of what to do next. Make this step very clear and prominent. You don’t want them hunting for it. Make sure they know what will happen next when they do act, whether they’ll receive an email, start a download, etc.
Step #6: Gaining security and trust.
At some point, depending on how long it takes them to see some results, the converted individual will have second thoughts. They get that slightly nauseated “uhhh” feeling. Rather than let them have any time to get that feeling, give them some kind of encouragement.
For example, a pop up window or thank you page is always nice. “You will be receiving an order confirmation in the mail. However, in the mean time, please accept this free gift as our thanks” – or something to that affect. Don’t let them leave without some sort of thank you and acknowledgement of their action.
Testing Your Conversion Process
A ton of traffic doesn’t mean a ton of conversions. If you’re going to pay for that traffic through ad and search result placement, you want to ensure you get the ROI you need. With this in mind, you always test your landing page for stronger conversion points.
Each step above is an important part of the conversion process; the ad itself draws them in, the call to action (and thank you) completes the process. If you’re not getting the ROI, test each area of your landing page one at a time for better conversions and higher ROI.