Monday, April 18, 2011

Landing Page Optimization

The term “optimization” which these days is getting close to becoming not only overused and burnt out even meaningless due to its overuse still maintains some value that marketers and Web masters still must understand and apply. It is crucial to understand the meaning of the word as we have come to define it.

For support of an optimization program you need to be doing content testing and audience targeting. The effective combination of these two core areas of direct digital marketing functions brings out success. Yet, however, many organizations have taken a divide and conquer approach to the roles and responsibilities of testing and targeting. As these organizational silos take shape, production speeds slow and landing pages are drained of their real effectiveness.

In a good approach to a landing page optimization you want to constantly be doing “data,” “testing,” and “targeting” of all areas involved. The data, at the top filters down to each function. The data is important because the data must constantly feed the content testing and the audience targeting.

Your Landing Page Optimization Starts with Data. The ideal data for landing page optimization is a universal profile management system. This kind of system is designed to do two things:

1st, it stores valuable data points like customer data & purchasing history.
2nd, it captures behavioral information like browsing patterns on a page, keyword or banner click entry points to the landing page. This combination of information on your site visitors and the behavioral information helps you to build unique segments and lay a foundation for testing and targeting strategies.

Test and Target in Tandem. Once the data is setup the optimization process can start. The most important thing to understand in a good landing page optimization is that testing and targeting must work together. When launching a landing page optimization, your strategy should begin with an initial testing of the content that may identify a real need on what to target. Your ability to be flexible and being able to easily add testing or targeting data to the landing page is important to be able to meet your conversion targets and adapt to the constantly changing prospect and customer.

Selecting Landing Page Optimization Software. Like anything else in software, optimization tools and software can run from that of a low cost solution and simplicity to high costs and complexity.

It is easy to love Google because they offer helpful tools for free. But it is important to understand that free also means a trade off somewhere. In the case of Google Optimizer, the trade off is a free testing tool for one that is incapable of targeting. Low (or no) cost tools are tempting, but the combination of testing and targeting is mandatory for true landing page optimization success. Yet something is better than nothing.

At the other end of the spectrum, many tools that provide both testing and targeting cost a ton of money and time. The right optimization software probably really falls in the middle where reasonable cost meets up with a full set of features.

Extend Landing Page Optimization by Learning From Other Channels. While the optimization principles here are primarily within the context of landing pages, they also apply to the different functions of digital marketing. Good optimization set up and practices in email, mobile, blog, social and website improves the overall online marketing campaign performance. But remember that cross channel optimization adds valuable hit points that can be leveraged to create better landing page exposure, and we really want exposure. Remember also that landing pages are just one part of your digital online marketing strategy. The data that powers them, and the data they record, must connect to a database that focuses on the site visitors and coordinates the experience across the entire direct digital marketing landscape.

Achieving Optimized Landing Pages. A successful landing page creates two outcomes for marketers. The landing page hit leads to either a lead for other marketing programs to nurture and develop or an immediate transaction, yes a sale or at least a start to the sales process. Optimization is the best and most proven approach for achieving either outcome, whether a transaction happens immediately or must be nurtured for several months.

Once a database is properly configured, develop a landing page strategy that is not set to the limitations of specialty silos. Avoid silos and prevent trading off testing in favor of targeting.

The end result of applying a defined landing page optimization strategy is a more coordinated experience that improves conversion rates and performance.

Larson Notes & Satire: What market or markets do you go after? Do you sell different product lines or service areas? If you do you what to be thinking about each one having its own landing page. Yes, each one. It takes a little time, a little effort but it does make a difference. Now me, one of the things we do is specialize on industries like printers ( ) and advertising agencies and graphic studios ( ) so I have individual pages set up for those to where I can place wording that those industries would appreciate and use. Yes I use some jargon on those pages. So they get found on a specialty key word search and so the people in those industries know I know and understand them. And when you think about it, don’t you want to use a vendor that understands you and where you are coming from?

Remember our 3 new programs for 2011
1st is our Virtual Sales Manager Program.
2nd our Sales Function Outsourcing Program
3rd our Virtual Business Consulting Program

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

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