While the majority of the marketing community seems intent on gaining website traffic, Nicholas Scalice, founder of Earnworthy and Landing Page School, has committed his career to help companies shift focus to concentrate on achieving higher conversion rates with their existing website traffic.
Nicholas specializes in landing page optimization, the process of refining a website with the aim of reaching higher conversion rates. Optimization often requires evaluating and updating a broad variety of website elements. When working with clients, Nicholas tries to consider how each aspect of a site can be upgraded in order to influence visitors to make a purchase.
With a seemingly never-ending list of site components and mechanics to overhaul, how does Nicholas know where his landing page optimization job begins?
Getting Started with Landing Page Optimization
Nicholas reveals his trick for staying organized when approaching the many elements of an optimization project: follow your funnel. Rather than stumbling through an un-ordered to-do list of arbitrary tasks, Nicholas works to optimize each step of the sales funnel from beginning to end, empathizing with consumers’ viewpoints.
For each phase of the sales funnel, Nicholas asks himself 6 primary questions to guide his optimization strategy:
- Clarity: Is the purpose of the landing page obvious to site visitors?
- Relevance: Does the page provide helpful content for consumers considering making a purchase in your industry?
- Affinity: Is the atmosphere of your landing page appealing to potential customers?
- Influence: Does your brand appear popular with others?
- Trust: Does your landing page seem trustworthy?
- Action: Is it clear to consumers how they can make a purchase?
Nicholas explains that by using common consumer concerns to guide his optimization checklist rather than a standard list of website elements that can be improved, each of his landing page optimization jobs is uniquely tailored to the client’s business.
Oftentimes, Nicholas will turn to market research to learn more about how the landing page target audience thinks and behaves. This research often takes place outside of the landing page altogether. In some cases, Nicholas has uncovered valuable information by interviewing past customers about their experiences with the landing page. These kinds of conversations can reveal some of the key obstacles preventing site visitors from making purchases.
For those unable to speak with past customers, Nicholas suggests looking into paid surveys and other market research to create a well-informed landing page optimization plan.
Common Pitfalls in Landing Page Optimization
With years of experience behind him, Nicholas has encountered both amazing and terrible landing pages. He believes some mistakes are more common and simple-to-prevent than others.
According to Nicholas, the three major problem-areas for landing pages across the web are not making an enticing offer, targeting the wrong demographic, and false urgency marketing techniques.
1. Make An Offer They Can’t Refuse
Why should a site visitor subscribe to your newsletter? Aside from all the junk e-mails, do you have something of value to offer them? Nicholas encourages entrepreneurs to sweeten the deal by including something small but valuable to the consumer. With a little something extra along for the bargain, consumers are more likely to convert.
Furthermore, Nicholas describes a phenomenon called the conversion snowball effect. After opting-in to a first service or buying a product, a consumer is more likely to agree to a second opt-in or purchase, oftentimes immediately.
2. Change How You See The Target Customer
Nicholas describes one of his favorite marketing books, Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz, a classic guide from the 1960s. In this book, Schwartz breaks down the conversion of a consumer to a customer as a process of going through a series of awareness levels. In the beginning, for example, a consumer may only be aware that there is a problem (but not that your company can provide a solution). As they move along a sales funnel, a consumer’s awareness deepens until they have enough information and are persuaded to make a purchase.
With this marketing psychology in mind, Nicholas explains that many companies try to force their consumers from an early stage of awareness directly into the sale. Rushing the consumer’s decision process is hardly effective. Instead, Nicholas advises companies to customize copy and content to mirror the stage of awareness of the consumer and guide them into the next phase.
It is easiest to determine a consumer’s level of awareness if they are entering your site off of paid advertising, but with diligent market research companies can update their landing pages to better cater to their site visitors’ needs.
3. Do Not Create Fake Scarcity – You Do Not Need It!
There is no need to lie about the duration of your sale or present your product as a limited offer when you know it will never actually run out. While scarcity and urgency may help drive some sales, it is important that all advertised deadlines and statistics are backed by fact.
If you have a product with no foreseeable shortage, do not create false urgency for marketing purposes. Consumers often see through this dishonesty and may be disinclined to make a purchase. More than that, if site visitors feel they cannot trust the information on your site, you may earn a poor reputation.
Landing pages can boost company sales by helping consumers find the information, products, and services they need. Still, many businesses struggle to reach significant conversion rates online because they pursue the wrong techniques. Nicholas’ method hones in on what consumers really want and works to achieve higher conversion rates.
- Landing page optimization may help you reach higher conversion rates with existing website traffic.
- Empathize with consumer experiences to find what needs improvement.
- Never jump directly into the sale
- There’s more to marketing than just website traffic acquisition
- Pay attention to who visits your landing page and find out their opinions
- Collect data so you can personalize your site and get more conversions