Creating Effective Landing Pages (Part 2)

melaniedowhaniuk_prospectingforpartners.smIn last month's Expertpreneur® Magazine, we discussed the basics of creating landing pages that convert.

You learned about the four major points of the conversion formula: motivation of the user/channel, clarity of value proposition, on-page difficulty/friction, and anxiety. Factors you must address every time to maximize your landing page effectiveness.

However, you have to consider which points to give more attention to than others.

All isn't equal when dealing with landing pages, so you must focus your attention wisely. Adjusting your opt-in to reduce anxiety is important, but not nearly as important as honing your value proposition (VP).

This month, I will dig deep into each point and show you some conversion formula tactics, to help you create the best landing page you can…

I'll show you the single most important thing you can do to have an effective page…

Why honing your value proposition should take at least two weeks…

And how to make your readers feel better about giving you their information…

Where Are Your Prospects Coming From?

Through all of my articles, I have hammered the point that you need to do your prospect research.

In fact, I bet you are tired of hearing about it. Discovering who your ideal prospect is and their hopes, desires, aspirations as well as fears, frustrations, and problems.

But do you know why I keep harping on this point? Because it is the single most important thing you can do to have a successful business.

In fact, there is no business without it.

This is doubly true for landing pages. Because they are so targeted, you have to make sure it speaks directly to that person.

So, to start, you need to be clear about your Ideal Client avatar. The picture and description of them detailing exactly who they are. Their age group, where they hang out online (and offline), as well as everything else I just mentioned. And this should be something you continue to improve over time.

One thing I want to be clear about, is you don't have to feel locked into the avatar you choose. You may discover, as your business progresses, people of a different background, age group, essentially a different avatar, are spending the most money with you.

In that case, they would become your new ideal client.

However, don't get hung up on this. Picture who you think is best. Who do you intend to work with. And get to know everything about them.

And more importantly, find out where they hang out.

Do they spend time on Facebook? Perhaps they're older and don't use computers at all? Maybe they're teenagers and are always on the newest social media.

No matter who your focus is on, this is incredibly important. And once you figure it out, you must spend time in that space getting to know them.

Comment in forums, join discussions in chat rooms, attend live events. Whatever you have to do.

What will happen is… you'll start to learn how to speak and think like them. How they communicate their problems, aspirations, and speak about the outcomes they are searching for. What makes them tick.

This will not only be useful for everything you ever do in your business, but when you connect with them in that space, to go to your landing page, you'll know exactly how to express your message.

For example, if you're a weight-loss coach, and you're offering supplemental coaching to the Weight Watchers program, you need to learn Weight Watchers lingo. That's the only way you'll be able to connect with those people, and show you understand them.

If you're communicating differently, how will they connect with you? You might as well be speaking a foreign language.

You also need to take advantage of multi-channel marketing, in order to reach your Ideal Client where they hang out, leveraging the marketing channel that makes sense for reaching them.

If they hang out primarily in forums, and you write a regular blog, you need to repurpose and condense the idea of your blog posts into topics on that forum, and other similar forums, to connect directly with them.

Repurposing your content allows you to get it into the appropriate channel where you'll reach your prospect, and in the modality they prefer, without doing a lot of extra work. If you write an ebook, you can always turn it into a podcast that people can listen to while working out, or while driving to and from meetings or work.

The possibilities are endless. Whatever is the most effective way to get your target prospect to consume your material. People will have difference preferences for consuming your content so you must put content out there using different channels. That doesn’t mean you have to create a new message every time, rather it means you just repurpose the content and distribute it using different marketing mediums.

Once you've gotten their attention in their space, you must write your landing pages to address their specific desires and problems. In their language, on their terms.

But you have to make sure they know what you offer… how you can help them.

Clarity of Value

value-photo.smOne of the biggest mistakes Expertpreneurs® make, is not taking the time to get very clear about their Value Proposition.

They think it's enough to just sit down for five minutes, write what they do, and be done with it. But, really, that just doesn't cut it.

There are so many people out there, the internet is inundated with content and advertising. You have to stand out. You have to be unique.

You need a signature solution.

If you are a life coach, everyone has a general idea about what you do. But what do you do that separates your business, and your solutions?

I suggest you hone your value proposition to something specific to you. For example, my Expert Elevation business focuses on helping my clients build an “Influential Brand. Lucrative Business.” That's the value I bring to the table. I do this by helping Expertpreneurs®   attract more clients, get top dollar, and increase they’re visibility to have the impact they desire. This clearly shows who I help, and the outcomes I provide for my clients. How I help my Ideal Clients is articulated– in a clear and concise way.

It's also unique to me.

Beyond this, you have to connect that to your prospect research. How can you provide value if what you offer doesn't matter to your target clients? Your value proposition must be benefit oriented, and answer the question they're sure to ask… “What's in it for me?”.

Now, I didn't come up with my value proposition in one day. I had to really sit down and think about what sets me and my business apart. How I stand out among the crowd. And who I help.

A good way for you to do this, to define and get clear about your value proposition, is to write it down. Then over the course of two weeks, refine it and make it better. On the first day, just take a half hour to work it through. Put in the effort, but don't worry about the result, yet.

Two days later, take another look at it. See what jumps out you, and try to hone it down a little more. Really think about who you help, the big benefits you provide, and what sets you apart from the rest.

Do this every other day for two weeks, and see what you come up with. Chances are your value proposition will now be clear and concise. It should also be punchy – short and sweet, something that hits your target's deepest desires. Letting them know, at a glance, exactly what value you provide, specifically for them.

Now, once you come up with your clear, punchy value proposition, you have to make sure you use it in the right way. Place it on the wrong part of your landing page, and your audience may never even see it…

Holding Your Prospect's Hand

Last month, I talked about eye path and the golden triangle of a web page. Basically, how readers' eyes interact with your landing page – from the top left, to the top right, then down the page on a diagonal line to the lower left.

In order to make sure your landing page is read the way you want them to read it, you have to take eye path into consideration.

First of all, a good way to present your message, in many cases, is by using one column for your copy, with the text centered down the middle. That makes it crystal clear what the prospect should read, and in what order.

Your value proposition can go in the page header, or in the upper right corner, then your big headline next, in the top center of your body copy, followed by more text, line by line down the center of the page, leading their eyes to your call to action. Try to keep each line (with a paragraph break in between) short – one or two sentences. Short sentences with a few words each are particularly punchy.

Once you've said everything you want to say, it's ideal to literally point the reader to the opt-in or registration area. Best practice for placing your registration form is to the right of the body of your copy, in a “sidebar” column. You can actually use arrows next to the call to action text (i.e. “Get your free report now!”) so they know where to look.

The bottom line is… the clearer the better.

If you use images, make sure you put them in a place that makes sense. Studies show that images draw the eye immediately, so don't put an image where it will distract your reader. If they jump down the page to look at an image, they may not go back up to the top and read your copy all the way through. Instead, place images where you want the reader's eyes to go.

Additionally, be sure to limit each landing page to one action. If there are other options, have it be a selection box where you enter your info, select your choice, and click one button to submit your info. Too many options can be confusing, and cause friction… decreasing the conversion rate of your landing page.

Next, let's talk about anxiety, which can make or break you getting the results you desire.

Easing Their Fears

Landing pages are challenging because your prospect has to give you personal contact information. They might be concerned about privacy issues, getting spammed, or any number of things. It's up to you to address the anxiety this can create, so they don't panic and leave your page.

money-back-guarantee.smRisk-reversal, like a money-back guarantee, is one way to approach it. If you're getting them to sign up for a free trial of something, you can make it very clear they can cancel at any time. No questions asked.

That will make them feel better about trying your product or service.

If you're asking for an email address, or even more distressing, a home mail address and phone number, putting up a link to your privacy policy in that area is very helpful. Also, using a small graphic of a lock with text letting them know their email address is safe with you is very beneficial.

Some businesses are cute with this, and put it in very informal and friendly terms. I think that is useful, if that aligns with your business image – it sounds personal.

Bonuses, like a valuable worksheet, report, or infographic (on top of whatever it is you are already offering) can push them over the edge, as well. They will feel like they are getting a lot of value.

Adding a time or quantity limiter makes it even more desirable. People never want to feel like they are losing something (“fear of loss” is the biggest motivator in life), so do not be afraid to make your offer only available for a day, a week, or perhaps have only a few copies or spots available.

All of this said, the easiest way to reduce anxiety is to ask for as little information as possible.

More often than not, you're only going to need a name and email. If you need a physical address, find a way to minimize the number of fields they have to fill out. Literally, the number of fields they have to fill out directly affects their anxiety.

Make it as simple as possible.

Taking Everything In

Landing pages are a hefty subject. Hence turning the topic into a three part series!

But I don't want you to let this series cause you anxiety. While there is a lot of information and steps to take, don't let it overwhelm you.

Take things one at a time, step-by-step, and you will be amazed at how even the smallest adjustments based on these tips will affect your conversion rates. Do it right, and you will have more conversions than ever before.

Once your landing page is up and running, the fun really begins. You can start testing elements of your page to see what converts higher, and optimize it to get it to the industry standard of 30% conversion, or higher.

Stay tuned for next month's edition of Expertpreneur® Magazine, where you'll get my testing and optimization secrets to take your landing pages' conversion rate higher.




Sheryl Wolowyk is Founder of Expert Elevation a business coaching and entrepreneur® training company for “expertpreneurs®” who make a living sharing their knowledge and expertise. Sheryl shows “expertpreneurs®” how to grow a lucrative business and influential brand with her income acceleration system & “expertpreneur®” roadmap.  She provides online programs, live events, coaching and VIP days to help clients develop an effective business strategy and utilize simple but powerful marketing and sales techniques to attract a steady stream of ideal clients, so they can live the life of their dreams while making a big difference in the lives of their clients.