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Building landing pages that convert
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  • Every page has three components: Sponsored (or paid) Results Featured Results (also sponsored) Organic Results
  • Be sure to cite the source: Howie Jacobson’s “AdWord for Dummies”: The first type of page is the most straightforward. If a user searches for a very specific product ― say, the iPhone 3GS ― they should be taken to a page exclusively devoted to that product. It's important not to waste a user's time by taking them to a page about Apple products or smart phones in general. The question they're asking with their search is, "Where can I buy an iPhone 3GS?" The simplest answer is "Right here!" Of course, you may be a competitor with a different product to sell, like the Palm Treo. In that case, you might want to consider a "turn-the-corner landing page": the user thinks they want an iPhone, but you want to convince them that, if what they're looking for is a sleek and powerful smart phone, the Palm is the way to go. It's a more difficult sell, but worth a shot.
  • Which one of these needs to be revised? That’s right: number 2. The first message is extremely clear: the vendor is selling the latest iPhone. The third message is extremely clear as well: the vendor is selling a refurbished Sequential Compression Device. What’s a Sequential Compression Device? A specialized medical instrument that reduces the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis in immobile patients. Got that? Neither did I, but I’m not in the market for devices designed for long-term care facilities. A user who was would know exactly what that last example was all about. Simple doesn’t necessarily mean fewer words or syllables. It means speaking a language that your target audience understands. The third example above does exactly that. And what about the second example? A perfect example of what happens when SEO trumps clarity: every possible smartphone-related keyword is included in the list, but it’s not clear what I can get on that page. If I searched for “Palm faceplate”, for instance, I want to go to a page that offers me Palm faceplates, with a big, clear message across the top like “Best prices on Palm protective faceplates.” The fact that a vendor also offers Blackberry car chargers and Nokia bluetooth headsets isn’t relevant to me, so I don’t want to see a page cluttered with that kind of information. Just offer me what I’m looking for.
  • Losing a user at any other stage at the process is justifiable: they might be looking to solve a different problem than the one you've identified; your offer might be out of their price range; or they might just be the type who aren't going to be convinced to turn away from a recognizable brand name (for instance) no matter how compelling the support you've amassed in favor of your product. However, there is no good reason to lose a user in the middle of the conversion process. There's really only one way to do so: making the conversion process too complicated. Which leads to perhaps the most important rule of landing page design: make the conversion process as simple as possible.
  • Whitespace is your friend: The first and easiest mistake you can make in graphic design is to feel that you need to "fill up the space." You don’t. Rather than starting with a blank slate and trying to fill it up, figure out exactly what elements you need on the page, and position them in the cleanest, most attractive way possible. As in the design below, this often means surrounding particularly important elements - like phone numbers and contact forms - with a good deal of whitespace. It makes them more prominent, and draws the user's eye to places you want them to focus. Avoid light type on dark backgrounds: Perhaps because it was a default option in the early days of blogging, a surprisingly large number of Web sites use light type against dark backgrounds. Whatever the reason for this trend, avoid it. If you’ve spent time following Hanny’s tips about what to write for your landing pages, you don’t want the words obscured by the background. Dark type on light backgrounds is easier to read than light type on dark, and the text on your landing page must be easy to read. Clearly set out your headlines and subheaders: Some words on your pages are more important than others, and this should be clear from the design. In the example below, "Elevated Member Benefits," "Elevated Markets" and "Elevated Technology" are the high-level points the page is communicating. For users who want more details, there are bullet points below. But, the really important stuff is in larger, more prominent type, just like it should be. Don't use Flash: By using Flash for all or a portion of your landing ipage, you are asking the user to wait for your message. Those with slow connections might not want to wait for it load and leave before they ever see it. Others might have Flash turned off, or never installed in the first place. The sooner everything loads, the sooner your message can be seen-and a conversion made. Don’t clutter your page with too many images or icons: Use images and photos, but not too many. Graphical elements are the most prominent parts of any landing page (sorry writers!) but the effect is lost if there are too many. A logo, a photo or two, maybe a few clear icons that help communicate your points - that should about do it. Anything else will be an unnecessary distraction.
  • Max: would you want to jump in at this point?
  • Max: would you want to jump in at this point?

Transcript

  • 1. Building Landing Pages That Convert 03.16.10
  • 2. Who We Are
    • Clickable is a platform that makes online advertising simple, instant and profitable. Our purpose is to help businesses survive and thrive by simplifying online advertising success.
    03/16/10 Introduction
    • Hanny Hindi
      • Clickable Search Marketing Guru
    Max Kalehoff Clickable Search Marketing Guru & Vice President of Marketing
  • 3. What is Search Engine Marketing? 03/16/10 Introduction
  • 4. Agenda
    • Our Goal Today: To provide practical tips to improve your search marketing landing pages, and your conversion rates.
      • Identify user problems.
      • Clearly make an offer.
      • Provide trustworthy support.
      • Facilitate a frictionless conversion.
      • Designs tips for simple and attractive pages.
    03/16/10 Agenda
  • 5. What is a Landing Page?
    • Landing Page: The Web page a searcher arrives at after clicking on an ad. (SEMPO)
    03/16/10
  • 6. Translating Queries into Questions
    • Users Conduct Searches to Ask Questions
      • The first step of search advertising is to determine which questions you can answer.
      • The second step is to translate those questions into keyword lists, ads—and landing pages.
    • To make an effective landing page, you need to know what question your users are asking, and provide a clear and compelling answer.
    03/16/10
  • 7. Identifying a User’s Problem
    • There are three kinds of landing pages :
      • Product-focused landing pages : For users who know exactly what they're looking for.
      • Concept-focused landing pages : For users who know what their problem is, but don't have a particular solution in mind.
      • Turn-the-corner landing pages : For users who do have a particular solution in mind, but not the one you want to offer.
    03/16/10 Identify User Problems
  • 8. Offering to Solve User Problems
    • A landing page should make an offer : This point might seem very obvious, but there are often situations where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) trumps clarity.
    03/16/10 Clearly Make an Offer Which of these landing page messages needs revision? #1 #2 #3
  • 9. Setting Your Offer Apart
    • Users will often examine a variety of offers before making a decision, so it is important to set your offer apart .
    03/16/10 Clearly Make an Offer
  • 10. Don’t Take My Word For It!
    • “ Clickable makes search marketing Simple, Instant & Profitable.” (… but they also pay my rent)
      • Online customers today are very savvy: they know how easy it is to put up a Web site, so they need trustworthy support for your claims.
      • Don’t force them to trust you alone.
    03/16/10 Provide Trustworthy Support
  • 11. Facilitating a Frictionless Conversion
    • The only way to lose a customer this late in the sales funnel is by making things too complicated. So, it is crucial to make the conversion process as simple as possible.
    03/16/10 Frictionless Conversation
  • 12. Keeping Online Forms Simple
    • Every form field is a potential way to lose a customer, so advertisers should always ask two questions:
      • Do I really need this information?
      • Does this field need to be mandatory?
    03/16/10 Design Tips
  • 13. Basics of Landing Page Design
    • Top Five Tips :
      • Whitespace is your friend.
      • Avoid light type on dark backgrounds.
      • Clearly set out your headlines and subheaders.
      • Don’t use Flash.
      • Go easy on the images and icons.
    03/16/10 Design Tips
  • 14. Basics of Landing Page Design (cont.)
    • The Top Tip : Hire a Graphic Designer!
      • The five tips above were put together by Penny Sudtunyarat, one of Clickable’s top Graphic Designers. You should hire one too…
    03/16/10 Design Tips (cont.)
  • 15. Using Clickable Pro to Simplify SEM 03/16/10
  • 16. Using Clickable Pro to Simplify SEM
    • Clickable Pro is an online tool that makes search advertising Simple, Instant and Profitable.
      • Manage all of your campaigns, across all search networks, in a single, intuitive interface.
      • Take action based on recommendations generated by Clickable’s ActEngine™ (for everything from best practices to bids and budgets).
      • Create white-label, customized reports.
    03/16/10
  • 17. How to Sign Up for Clickable
    • Simply go to www.clickable.com/signup and try the product free for 15 days.
    • If you want more support getting started with search marketing, consider Clickable Assist, our fully-managed solution:
    • www.clickable.com/assist
    • Or email us: [email_address]
    03/16/10 How to Sign Up