In putting together our next Web clinic, we were interested in looking into just how many experiments we do around here. So I talked to Bob Kemper, our Director of Sciences, and it turns out we conduct about 200 experiments each year. Now I’m not the statistical wizard, but even I figured out that we’re running at almost one per business day.
So, needless to say, we’ve discovered a thing or two about Web page optimization and have crafted complex heuristics and entire courses to help disseminate that information. But we realize that while it is essential for marketers to obtain a thorough understanding of the Offer/Response-Optimization process and the testing-optimization cycle to improve their overall campaigns and advance their career, sometimes you just need a few basic ideas to gain a quick boost right now.
So in Wednesday’s free Web clinic, Live Optimization: What we’ve learned from the last 200 experiments distilled into three basic principles – plus live-optimization examples, Flint McGlaughlin (the Director of MECLABS Group) will share three simple principles we’ve discovered in our experimentation to help you get a big, quick lift on your Web pages, offer pages, landing pages, heck, maybe even your homepage.
Plus, we’ll be conducting a full 40 minutes of live optimization on audience-submitted pages, so be sure to send us pages you need help on when you register. While we can’t optimize every page we receive, we’ll try to get to as many as we can on the Web clinic and right here on the blog.
OK, enough about us, let’s focus on you. While we’ve certainly discovered a lot about online marketing, we’re always learning. So in this blog post, we turn to you, our fellow evidence-based marketers, to get a sense for what basic principles you follow when optimizing a Web page. On Wednesday, we’ll share our findings, but first let’s take a look at some optimization advice from your peers…
Landing page optimization should be practical and flexible
The foundation is testing and targeting the content, then dynamically rendering it based on keywords. A best-case scenario situation includes using geo-location and geo-targeting to further tailor content to the audience in real time.
These tools, which should be built into a single on-demand direct digital marketing software platform, provide marketers with valuable insights about their customers that allows them to create the most engaging, relevant landing page experience possible – all in real time.
Why visitors don’t become customers
- Have a short attention span
- Get lost easily without a single clear direction
- Get distracted, even when given good directions
- Crave a “human element” in their online experience
- Want to read about themselves and their problems, rather than your company’s
- Don’t want to feel bullied into making a decision
- Want to develop their relationship with you at their own speed
- Need to know they can trust you
- See even small errors on your website as unprofessional
- Need to see a compelling reason to choose you vs. your competitor.
I find that when these issues are addressed, conversion rate almost always skyrockets.
A big part of adding a “human element” to a visitor’s online experience is simply ditching the corporate speak. This is sometimes the most difficult part to overcome for site owners and contributors. Naturally, they want to sound impressive.
Visitors/customers on the other hand, want to be spoken to in their own language; in a way that’s comfortable for them.
Just think what happens when someone approaches you in real life and immediately begins to boast and exaggerate or use unnatural language. Bad news re: “converting” that person into a trusted new friend.
Beyond that, it’s then time for a round of Google Website Optimizer to address all of the unpredictable aspects of conversion – color, element placement, images, etc.
I hope that’s somewhat helpful and contributes to your Web clinic. (I’m signing up – thanks!)
Make the information easy to read and find
Web pages may have the best technologies supporting them and have the best functionality, but without utilizing effective Web writing, viewers will be quickly bored and will soon hit back and go to another site.
For this reason I suggest:
- Online Marketing should not be treated like traditional marketing. The Internet is interactive, so online marketing content should be engaging and contribute to the conversation between customer and business, the conversation that is started from the customer’s question that led them to the business’s website.
- Internet content should also not be written in the traditional sense. When people go online they are always searching with a purpose. If a site does not quickly satisfy them with what they need they will quickly hit back and go to the next site. The solution is to write in clear Anglo-Saxon words, avoid using Latin words and abbreviations, and cut all the information down to its simplest form. When this is done, break it down further with headings.
– Shaun Gurmin, founder of Charge