Optimizing Landing Pages


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Optimizing Landing Pages presentation from Affiliate Summit West 2007, which took place January 21-23, 2007 in Las Vegas, NV.

- Choots Humphries, Co-President, LinkConnector Corporation
- Mark Widawer, Author, Landing Page Cash Machine

Learn how merchants can raise conversion rates and can work together with affiliates to increase sales, and how affiliates can update their sites to meet Google’s new rules & lower their PPC costs.

Note: the companies and positions listed above were current as of the time of the conference. Some of this information may have changed since then.

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Optimizing Landing Pages

  1. 1. Optimizing Landing Pages Raising Affiliates’ and Merchants’ conversion rates, working together, increasing sales, and dealing with Google's new AdWords Guidelines Mark Widawer Author & Consultant LandingPageCashMachine.com Choots Humphries Co-President LinkConnector.com
  2. 2. Optimizing Landing Pages, and More <ul><li>Merchant & Affiliate Landing Page Sales Optimization Tips </li></ul><ul><li>How Merchants and Affiliates can Work Better Together </li></ul><ul><li>Google’s New Landing Page Quality Score: Why it exists, What it means, and How to live with it. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Landing Page Optimization
  4. 4. Continuing the Conversation
  5. 5. Continuing the Conversation <ul><li>Get to know your customer. </li></ul><ul><li>Decide who he or she is, and what they are saying with their search. </li></ul><ul><li>Then have the conversation with them. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  6. 6. Continuing the Conversation – Exercise <ul><li>Tell me about the person who searches for this term: </li></ul><ul><li>Search Term: “Digital Camera” </li></ul><ul><li>Search Term: “Canon A640” </li></ul><ul><li>Search Term: “Canon A640 price” </li></ul><ul><li>What is this person searching for: </li></ul><ul><li>Search Term: “Red Shoes” </li></ul><ul><li>A movie? A TV Show? A man’s shoe? A woman’s shoe? </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  7. 7. Targeted Landing Pages Landing Page Optimization
  8. 8. Targeted Landing Pages <ul><li>Never take someone to the home page unless it has exactly what the searcher is looking for. </li></ul><ul><li>If someone searches for “sofas”, take them to a page about “sofas”, not your furniture home page. </li></ul><ul><li>This logic is NOT as common as you’d expect, and $$$ are wasted as a result. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  9. 9. Targeted Landing Pages <ul><li>Not all merchants allow deep linking to custom searches </li></ul><ul><li>Merchant sites are often built to fit the merchant’s view of the data, not the customer’s. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  10. 10. An Average Search <ul><li>Searching “red shoes” at Google </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  11. 11. “ Red Shoes” at Victorias Secret <ul><li>Not the home page. </li></ul><ul><li>But Not the “Red Shoe” page, either. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  12. 12. “ Red Shoes” at Victorias Secret <ul><li>Red Shoes DO exist at Victoria’s Secret. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  13. 13. “ Red Shoes” at Zappos <ul><li>Zappos “Red Shoes” page. </li></ul><ul><li>Campaign is run by a smart affiliate. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  14. 14. “ Red Shoes” at Shoes.com <ul><li>Search for “red shoes” lead to the home page, where the user has to redo the search. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  15. 15. “Red Shoes” at Kenneth Cole <ul><li>There are no red shoes at Kenneth Cole </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  16. 16. “Red Shoes” at Gucci <ul><li>Style over Substance </li></ul><ul><li>No Search </li></ul><ul><li>No Red Shoes </li></ul><ul><li>All Flash – no deep linking </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  17. 17. “ Red Shoes” at Forzieri <ul><li>At least they’re shoes. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  18. 18. “ Red Shoes” at Forzieri <ul><li>They DO have red shoes, but you have to search again to find them. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  19. 19. Build a List Landing Page Optimization
  20. 20. Build a list <ul><li>In searching at all of the 12 sample “Red Shoe” websites. . . </li></ul><ul><li>Not one even knew I was there. </li></ul><ul><li>Not one made the effort to cause THEM to benefit from my visit. </li></ul><ul><li>Not one made an effort to let ME benefit from my visit. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  21. 21. Build a List <ul><li>What is a list? </li></ul><ul><li>What can you do with a list? </li></ul><ul><li>Sell to it . . . Again and again and again. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  22. 22. Build a List <ul><li>How do you build a list? </li></ul><ul><li>Offer something to be used ahead of your product. </li></ul><ul><li>Offer something to be used in conjunction with your problem your product solves (whether or not they use your product). </li></ul><ul><li>Offer something to be used after your product. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  23. 23. Build a List <ul><li>Offer Examples </li></ul><ul><li>Coupons </li></ul><ul><li>New Style Announcements </li></ul><ul><li>Old Style Clearance Sales </li></ul><ul><li>“Razors & Razor Blades” – Give for free what someone else sells </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  24. 24. Engage the Customer with Good Copy
  25. 25. Engage the Customer with Good Copy <ul><li>Searching Red Shoes at Amazon </li></ul>
  26. 26. Engage the Customer with Good Copy <ul><li>Listing shoe sizes isn’t very compelling </li></ul><ul><li>There has just GOT to be something more interesting to say to the woman interested in these shoes. </li></ul><ul><li>Good Copy Sells! </li></ul><ul><li>Stories sell better. </li></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  27. 27. Other Optimization Tips <ul><li>Reduce Distracting Elements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unnecessary animation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plug your Leaks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remove Links that lead off your website or sales page. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Add Graphical Credibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use logos from organizations, credit cards, flags </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Give Comfort </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make your customer service and satisfaction pages obvious and easy to use. </li></ul></ul>Landing Page Optimization
  28. 28. Working Together - Merchants
  29. 29. Know Your Affiliates <ul><li>Communicate with Affiliates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequent Contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make Suggestions and Empower </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for Input </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Measure and Reward Success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find Top Performing Affiliates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase Rewards When Applicable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Eliminate Underperforming Affiliates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t limit search to suspected fraud </li></ul></ul>Working Together - Merchants
  30. 30. Design a Good Campaign <ul><li>Determine AM Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximize sales volume? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build Lists? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand Exposure? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Acquisition? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reward Affiliates Based on Those Same Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid rewards which conflict with goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay attention to all aspects of the campaign </li></ul></ul>Working Together - Merchants Need to Qualify Users Maximize Leads Maximize Sales Maximize Brand Exposure
  31. 31. Simple Example Merchant’s site has a free 30-day trial for service. After trial, users can sign on for $20 per month. Merchant goal is to increase sales. Campaign 1: Pay Affiliates $1 per lead (free sign up) Campaign 2: Pay Affiliates $20 per sale (conversion from free trial) Affiliate A: 100 leads per month with a 2.5% conversion Affiliate B: 50 leads per month with a 10% conversion Campaign 1: Rewards Affiliate A ($100) more than Affiliate B ($50) Campaign 2: Rewards Affiliate B ($100) more than Affiliate A ($50) Working Together - Merchants 
  32. 32. Expanded Example Merchant’s site has a free 30-day trial. After trial, users can sign on for $20 per month. A user that stays for at least 3 months, tends to become a long-term customer. Merchant goal is to increase long-term sales. Campaign 1: Pay Affiliates $20 per sale (conversion from free trial) Campaign 2: Pay Affiliates $10 per sale (conversion for first 3 months) Affiliate A: 5 sales per month with 20% attrition rate Affiliate B: 5 sales per month with 50% attrition rate Campaign 1: Rewards Affiliates equally ($100) Campaign 2: Rewards Affiliate A ($120) more than Affiliate B ($90) Working Together - Merchants 
  33. 33. Working Together - Affiliates
  34. 34. Know Your Users <ul><li>Know the Source of Your Traffic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How are users finding your site? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are expectations when users arrive? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If Advertising… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue the conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Measure your user’s needs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create links and content of potential interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measure traffic to these potential areas of interest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for keyword concentration from your site’s search box </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use surveys and newsletters </li></ul></ul>Working Together - Affiliates
  35. 35. Find The Right Merchant <ul><li>Find products and services that meet your user’s needs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Join new Merchant campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If a service doesn’t exist for strong user interest, talk to your Merchants about creating the service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work with the right Merchants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Willing to communicate with its Affiliates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Willing to discuss new ideas with Affiliates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Willing to reward superior performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good product or service reputation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong website for closing qualified leads </li></ul></ul>Working Together - Affiliates
  36. 36. Build a Complementary Site <ul><li>Create a site that allows a consumer to learn more about a Merchant’s products </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find ways to add value to the Merchant’s sales process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build a site with SEO in mind </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver a qualified lead to the Merchant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Applies mostly to PPL and PPS type campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Produces greater conversion rates </li></ul></ul>Working Together - Affiliates
  37. 37. Tracking and Optimization <ul><li>Track everything </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know from where your traffic originates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measure conversion from the various sources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Know how users navigate your site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Know which pages convert better </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Optimize </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Test different versions of a page on your site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test various Merchant offers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measure and understand trending to properly react to variations in data </li></ul></ul>Working Together - Affiliates
  38. 38. Google’s Landing Page Quality Score
  39. 39. Google’s Landing Page Quality Score <ul><li>Whose Customer is it? </li></ul><ul><li>Google Altered AdWords Algorithm in 2006 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 Major Changes in 2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>April 2006, July 2006, November 2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Designed to Increase User Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Affects Advertiser Min Bids for Keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t Affect AdWords Ranking Algorithm </li></ul><ul><li>Latest Change Affects Ads in AdSense Program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low Quality Ads May Not Be Listed </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Why Introduce LP Quality Score? <ul><li>AdWords URL Policy Change Several Years Ago </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only Allowed One Ad Per Display URL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forced Affiliates to Create Landing Pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Short Way-Points Designed to Send Users to Merchant Site </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Considered by Google to be Low Quality and Disruptive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Google Trying to Increase Quality of AdWords Landing Pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lower Quality Pages Require Higher Minimum Bid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trying to Motivate Advertisers to Increase Quality of Landing Pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google Wants Affiliates to Add Value to End User </li></ul></ul></ul>Google’s LP Quality Initiative
  41. 41. Google’s LP Quality Score Objective Adding Value? Google’s LP Quality Initiative
  42. 42. Google’s LP Quality Score Objective Same List More Clicks Required Google’s LP Quality Initiative
  43. 43. Google’s LP Quality Score Objective Same List Google’s LP Quality Initiative
  44. 44. Industry Response… <ul><li>Monopolistic Power? </li></ul><ul><li>Motive to Increase Profits, Not Quality? </li></ul><ul><li>Why not have LP Quality Score Affect Ranking Instead of Min Bid? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduction of Traffic Equally Motivating? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is Google’s Analytics Program to Blame? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free (?) Conversion Tracking Tool Provided by Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provides Google Insight into Advertiser Margins </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is Google Squeezing Advertiser Margins Where They Can? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t Google Have The Right To Set Advertising Prices? </li></ul>Google’s LP Quality Initiative
  45. 45. Google’s Landing Page Recommendations <ul><li>Useful Information About Ad Product or Service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easily Found and Substantial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Without Pop-ups, Pop-Unders, or other Obstructions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relevant to Keywords and Ad Text </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguish Sponsored Links </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t Require User Registration </li></ul><ul><li>Provide Unique Content </li></ul><ul><li>Keep Your Promise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Honor Deals and Offers Promoted </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be Real (identity) </li></ul>Google’s LP Quality Initiative
  46. 46. Google’s Landing Page Quality Score <ul><li>Additional Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Googleicious Report http://www.Googleicious.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most recent Landing Page Quality Update post: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2006/11/landing-page-quality-update.html </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Landing Page and Site Quality Guidelines: http://adwords.google.com/select/siteguidelines.html </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google’s Webmaster Guidelines: http://books.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engine Journal http://www.searchenginejournal.com/?p=3990 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revenews http://www.revenews.com/ </li></ul></ul>Google’s LP Quality Initiative
  47. 47. Thank You <ul><li>Choots Humphries </li></ul><ul><li>Co-President </li></ul><ul><li>LinkConnector.com </li></ul><ul><li>Booth 217 </li></ul>Mark Widawer Author, Marketer, Consultant LandingPageCashMachine.com At the Bar