“I need more business so where else can I advertise?” This is the question I still frequently get when new clients have a problem growing their business. But far too often this question is the result of looking for the right answer in the wrong places. A perfect example happened earlier this week when I sat down with an organization that generates around 4,200 new “potential” leads a month from their various advertising channels (TV, Radio, PPC, Social Media, Etc.). All they wanted to talk about was how to generate more leads. But when I discovered how they were converting this existing lead traffic, the conversation quickly changed when I asked them the following question: “What if I were able to help you increase the amount of new clients you received from your existing traffic by 50-100% instead?”
That certainly got there attention!
There are many very successful people in marketing who believe that in the end, the organization who can spent the most money to acquire a new customer will win. Today, most marketing mediums ranging from TV, billboards, digital, social, PPC, etc. are all up for open-market bid and almost always go to the highest bidder. If the highest bidder is to survive long-term paying these costs, their only option is to be able to produce (convert) more income from each dollar spent compared to their competition. In short, the winner will be able to convert MORE business from the same traffic compared to their competition. The more they buy, the greater the return – all from superior conversion alone.
THE 4-TIER MARKETING MIX
When it comes to marketing, I always start by analyzing each organization based on my 4-tier marketing pyramid. Each product, service, and dollar spent is proportionately weighted in this model to provide a clear picture as to what is working, what is needed, and what needs to be changed to help each client get to their goals. The four levels in this model are: VISIBILITY, BRANDING, CONVERSION, and RESULTS. Organizations that are properly balanced in their marketing mix will have a strong proportionate representation for each level while those who don’t are almost always the ones who struggle the most with their marketing. The organization previously discussed is a perfect example and is sadly a too common occurrence. In fact, recent studies have shown that most organizations that spend money on digital advertising will spend around $94 in advertising fees for every one dollar they dedicate to conversion.
Many organizations like the one discussed above who want more business instinctively believe that this means a need for greater visibility and advertising to help produce it. But visibility, although important, is not always the answer. In this case, the organization’s marketing mix was heavily weighted towards visibility and branding but was very thin in their conversion and results.
Now conversion can include a whole host of areas including call management, follow-up, customer experience management, customer services, etc. In all of these areas the organization did relatively well. Where they were failing was on the digital side.
WEBSITES ARE NOT FOR DIGITAL ADVERTISING CONVERSIONS
Far too many organizations treat their websites as an “all roads lead to Rome” solution to their digital traffic flow. They first build these expensive websites and then assume that the organic and paid traffic they attract will behave in the same manner on their website pages. But it does not. Digital paid advertising these days is highly targeted and dynamic – meaning it is highly topically focused and you can direct (and convert) that traffic in nearly any way you want. For example, think of your website like a fishing net. It is designed to be large so it can attract all types of fish in a single motion. But when you advertise digitally for new customers, you are fishing with a hook and bait and the best fisherman will tell you that each type of fish requires a different hook and bait. That is how you need to approach your digital advertising as well.
WHY YOU NEED LANDING PAGES
On a typical website there are literally thousands of actions and paths that any consumer can take. But when we sell products and services, we know that people are more likely to buy and convert when they have fewer options to choose from. As discussed in more detail in my most recent book THE TOP 20%, people tend to buy best when they have a limited number of options and configurations to choose from. This is the reason why you see combination meals in nearly every fast food restaurant today. The ability for the human brain to make quick decisions is inversely related to the about of information you provide it to process: the less information and options to process, the quicker the decision. Most websites today provide too many options and too much information to optimally convert a targeted customer received from digital advertising campaigns. What is needed is a hook and bait that will best catch the fish you are targeting in your digital advertising. This is why you need to use high-conversion landing pages.
WHAT ARE HIGH-CONVERSION LANDING PAGES
Landing pages are nothing more than a webpage that are designed to convert specific traffic from specific digital advertising campaigns. However, there are some fundamental differences between a website page and a landing page. These include:
- Landing pages should ONLY allow for up to three user paths from the page when a user arrives. The first is to submit a web-form (which is becoming smaller and less important with mobile). If you are selling an online product or service, you could use an online transactional link instead such as a “buy now” or a “free 30 day trial” button or form. Second is to allow visitors to easily call a phone number that is prominently listed on the page, especially in mobile (ideally you should use a dedicated call tracking number for each page). And third, the user should have NO other way to navigate away from the page short of backing out in their browser.
- Landing pages should ONLY have content that speaks to the context of the specific ad that drove the traffic to that page. Keep all content and messaging ONLY around that topic.
- Landing pages should contain strong customer testimonials in either print and/or is a video. Good testimonials are one of the strongest conversion elements used on these pages.
- Landing pages should contain a strong call-to-action. Nobody should arrive on your landing pages and not know within a matter of seconds what you are asking them to do on that page.
- Landing pages should contain social media tracking pixels so you can continue to remarket to people who visit your page but did not convert. If you also don’t want organic indexing of your landing pages to take place (which is almost always the case), you should also have no index tags on these pages so the only traffic that comes there are from your ads.
- Make sure the mobile version of our landing page properly displays and orders information appropriately. For example, click targets like phone numbers should be prominently displayed above the scroll along with clear call to actions and videos. There is a lot less space on mobile display ads so make sure yours are optimized for mobile.
Now, clearly there can be variations to some of these elements based on the intended goals of the campaign. For example, community building campaigns could also include Facebook “like” buttons, email list building campaigns could include an email address field, web-based sign-ups may not require a phone number, etc. But more often than not, the elements above when adhered to and properly executed can lead to increases of 50-100% in conversions based on the use of good landing pages alone.
THE PERFECT WORLD
Now that you know the importance and the elements of a good landing page, the next question becomes how many of them should you use? In the perfect world, you would have a dedicated landing page for each individual digital campaign / topic you run; If you run 10 different ads, you would have 10 landings pages…one for each ad. These pages should also have their own dedicated call tracking numbers and submit form tracking reports as well. But most of us don’t live in a perfect world and doing all of this can become a time and resource consuming process. Clearly, the more money you dedicate to each campaign, the more justifiable the cost. For those with more limited resources, I would suggest starting with your most important / valuable / expensive advertising campaigns first and continue to build more landing pages for your additional campaigns when you can afford it.
If all of this seems like a lot of work, well, it typically is. It also depends on the resources at your disposal to help you. If you need any further assistance, please contact us today…
EXAMPLES OF GREAT LANDINGS PAGES:
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