Is Your Baby Ugly??

You have spent months developing your new website having brainstorming sessions with upper management, your graphics artists, content developers and finally you’ve put this all together and right after your launch you realize no one is clicking on your special offers, your bounce rate is over 80% and your people are calling in complaints that they can’t figure out how to navigate your website.

Then the panic sets in, you realize that your baby is UGLY and you have created a landing page that SUCKS!

The reality in today’s interactive marketing is that we are bombarded with over 3000 marketing messages each day and unless we have taken some time to understand the psychology of our users, have an understanding of usability, how to use triggers in our copywriting and we have a firm grasp of who our perfect customer is we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Last night AZIMA (Arizona Interactive Marketing Association) featured landing page optimization expert Tim Ash who is the co founder of SiteTuners and author of “Landing Page Optimization” who gave a one hour presentation titled “Your Baby is Ugly” and discussed the “Seven Deadly Sins of Landing Page Design”

Sin #1 – Unclear Call to Action

“What am I suppose to do now?” This is the last question that you want to have a potential customer say when they arrive on your your website. From the perspective of your visitor you should have a clear and obvious path that they can follow to get them closer to their goal. If your visitors have to think and spend time of what to do next they will leave.

Tim further explained that “visitors to your website has an attention span of a lit match” and you have less then 1/20th of a second to make a first impression. If they are not instantly impressed with what they see, they will leave your site to find one that is better.

Solution:

  • Focus on What Matters Most: Turn down the noise on your landing page by eliminating flashy visual elements that are distracting.
  • Apply the Obvious Standard: If your call to action is not obvious, you’re losing money.
  • Call to Action should be above the fold

Sin #2 – Too Many Choices

When we overwhelm a visitor with too many choices they will become confused. To have a successful landing page we need to be able to lead the visitor to their goal with a limited amount of choices.

People process images 400x faster then text so consider using imagery in a fashion to enable your visitors to process important call to actions on your site and to aid in navigation.

Your home page only has one purpose, to move your visitors off it as quickly as possible to the more important sales pages of your website. Your home page is in effect the “kitchen sink” of your website that will guide your visitors toward their goal.

Solution:

  • Use a visual grid and shortcuts to reduce the reading scan
  • Categorize choices into small groups

Sin #3 – Asking for Too Much Information

We as Internet Marketers have become greedy in that we ask for too much information.

Imagine walking into a brick and mortar store and the clerk at the door asks you if they may hold onto your credit card while you shop, what would your reaction be?

But yet many of us in Internet Marketing do this same thing today when we ask for a mailing address, telephone number, and other personal information just to be able to download a free e-book.

Consider giving away this free E-book away for really free by not asking for any information at all. If they find the information contained in your book interesting they will follow-up with you with your contact info within the book and your not burdened with an email list of worthless prospects.

Solution:

  • Only ask for information that is required to complete the transaction
  • If you can, collect the email address early to follow-up if the client abandons the process
  • Collect additional information from the client during a later stage of the process

Sin #4- Too Much Text

Remember as children when we watched the Charlie Brown cartoons and all when any of the adults spoke all we heard was “blah blabbla, blablba”?

This is the same thing our customers hear when we overload them with sales information and they will respond by hitting the back button and go someplace else.

Solution:

  • Use headlines, headings and well positioned links
  • Use bulleted lists to cover key areas
  • Remove all the subjective claims that you cannot support without factual evidence

Sin #5 – Not Keeping Promises

Search for information about the “Best Digital Camera” and in the number one position of Google’s Adwords you see this ad;

You think to yourself “I know Consumer Reports, I can trust them” and you click on their ad.

However when you arrive on their site you see this and find out that you see that you have to “join today” to read the results!

Do you feel that you have been lied to? Will you ever trust Consumer Reports again?

This could be called a “profit prevention system” because you have failed to deliver what you promised and your visitors will leave frustrated and angry.

Solution:

  • Be clear in your advertising and links of what you’re promising
  • Repeat the text and/or keywords on the destination page to reaffirm their decision
  • Don’t make false claims on what you will deliver

Sin #6 – Visual Distractions

Things that flash, flicker or move around is annoying and graphic designers are often frustrated artists, they often want to think outside the box and express their creativity on your website.

Also how many other websites have you seen that same girl with the headset for the customer service representative and those same group of guys in suits that are your management team?

Solution:

  • Remove the chrome, the flashy blinky things that compete with your call to action
  • Replace those generic stock images on your site with professional photography that will enhance communication and trust

Sin #7 – Lack of Creditability or Trust

Unless you work for Coke, Red Bull or some Fortune 500 company chances are no one has ever heard of you or your company but yet you’re faced with making a positive first impression in under 1/20th of a second.

Building trust can be one of the most difficult tasks in development of your landing page.

Solutions:

  • Use well known trust symbols on your website above the fold and in prominent locations
  • Create a “butterfly collection” by using logos of your clients on your website
  • Feature your relevant policies, guarantees and other “points of difference” so they can be seen and understood when the visitor first comes to your website

From Ugly Baby to Superstar Marketer

Seems all so simple right? Well it is if you take it one step at a time.

You can easily start changing your “Ugly Baby” website right now by finding just one thing on Tim’s list and start the transformation to Superstar Marketer today!

Certified Master SEO Instructor by the Search Engine Academy and CEO and founder of SEO Training SW.
Roy Reyer
Roy Reyer
View all posts by Roy Reyer
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13th January 2011 No Comments

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