Your Exceptional Landing Page Checklist To Maximize Lead Generation

Your company’s landing pages should be exceptional. Why? Because they’re where your marketing dollars become sales leads, transactions, community members or whatever you define to be the ultimate goal of your campaigns.

Be sure to ask yourself the following to determine if you’re maximizing the effectiveness of your landing pages and taking full advantage of your offer’s ability to encourage a transaction:

1) Is your offer aligned with the needs of your target audience? Your offer should compelling to your prospects in consideration of where they are in the buying cycle.

2) Is your offer overly self-serving in subject matter? Your landing page offer should promise real value to your visitor with highly relevant, current and useful information, actionable content or functionality.

3) Are you violating the rule of even exchange by asking your visitor for too much? You shouldn’t have more than eight form fields to fill out, or a multi-step checkout process. Ask yourself if you if having those extra fields or steps are necessary. Make sure that you are not asking for information that is potentially irrelevant or unnecessary. A landing page is not the place to do extensive lead qualification.

4) Are you conveying the full value of your offer? Have you checked whether the images of the offer, call-outs and examples provide important information or functionality? Make sure your offer looks appealing and of high value.

5) Are the headlines, copy and graphics arresting and persuasive? Can you make offer do a better job of selling the visitor on the offer?

To read more crucial steps for your landing page checklist, please download our free white paper, “Unlock the Secrets of Exceptional Landing Pages.”

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Design: Post 5 of 9

Nine times out of 10, when I’m talking to someone about improving their website, design is where the conversation begins. But design is rarely the main problem. Form follows function is a key principal for effective design, and what defines function for a website is primarily branding, information architecture, copywriting and content. Deficiencies in any of these areas will contribute to a less-than-optimal design. If you and your co-workers feel unsure about your website’s look and feel, it could mean that it’s time for an assessment of what’s working and what isn’t in all of these areas.

Regardless of whether design is what needs to be addressed first, if you’re thinking about improving your website for demand generation, there’s a good chance that a redesign will be a big part of the process. Your updated branding guidelines or streamlined new information architecture are going to need an effective visual expression that is arresting, exciting and persuasive.

In some cases design is the main place where a website is failing to begin with. Before I get into how to assess whether or not this is the case, a quick disclaimer: There’s certainly an aspect of design that is subjective; it can only be qualified by personal opinions and preferences. However, it’s a much smaller part of the equation than most people think. Much of what is liked or disliked about a design is directly related to how clearly form follows function (if this weren’t the case, meeting design objectives would be almost impossible). This is the part that is analyzable — and, therefore, the best place to begin an assessment. From this point of view, consider how your website stacks up by asking the following questions:

  • Does form follow function? Are actionable links that funnel visitors toward website objectives (See information architecture question #2) highly visible and above the fold on every page of the website?
  • Does your design reflect the defined order of importance of key value propositions, messages, target audiences, buyer profiles and offers?
  • Are design templates consistent from homepage to inner page and in different sections of the site? Are there noticeable inconsistencies, especially in the position of interactive content elements, like menus and navigation?
  • Does your design feel clean, open and highly legible?  Is it easy to see right away what the subject matter of each page is, or is there often too much information crowded in too small an area and in too small a font?
  • Are there more than three columns of information on any page (studies have shown that stacking more than this amount of information horizontally negatively effects comprehension)?
  • Is your website taking advantage of the full 1024 pixel minimum width of modern computer screens, or is it inordinately narrow and vertically-oriented?
  • Does your design appear outdated, ugly, or unappealing in general in consideration of the defined target audience and/or your competition?

If you are considering using a web design firm to help you redesign your website, take their work through this same set of questions. And be wary if you are never asked about your information architecture, content or branding. There’s a tendency in the industry to put too much emphasis on the ethereal. You may end up with a website that looks fresh, but doesn’t do anything to generate more demand for your products or services.

In my next post I’ll examine functionality and coding, and the huge role that it plays in user experience.

Note: This is post five of a nine-post series entitled, “Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation?”  To read more of Justin’s series, just follow the links below…

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Introduction: Post 1 of 9

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Branding & Messaging: Post 2 of 9

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Information Architecture: Post 3 of 9

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Copywriting & Content: Post 4 of 9

Tune into a podcast interview about this post with the author of the series.

For more information on website optimization, check out Nowspeed’s eight chapter eBook “Is Your Website Optimizated for Demand Generation and High ROI?”

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Branding & Messaging: Post 2 of 9

Conventional branding wisdom is being challenged everyday by Web 2.0 and the new Internet. Organizations and their products are more transparent than ever, even if they don’t want them to be (for better or worse). If a business is making a claim about itself, and not delivering, you better believe that it is being discussed and shared somewhere: Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Though it was always the truth, now it’s more obvious than ever that your brand isn’t what you think about your products and services, it’s what the market thinks. You can take advantage of the market’s ability to quickly shape and control that brand image. But if your website isn’t in line with the market’s key purchase criteria, and you’re not setting visitor’s expectations correctly, you’re more vulnerable than ever to brand denigration.

How can you tell if your website falls into this category? Here are a few easy questions to ask yourself, your employees and co-workers, your customers and potential customers:

  1. When you land on your website, especially on your homepage but also on interior pages, is it instantly obvious what your company does, what problems your products or services solve and for whom?
  2. Is there an overall persuasive idea about your company that reveals your unique value proposition to your customers, one that is applicable to all of your products and services?
  3. Is this idea fundamentally true, meaning that in using your products or services your customer will come to the same conclusion about the value and quality of your company?
  4. Is this truth consistently communicated, restated and proven by the content and imagery of your website?
  5. Is there a specific, clear value proposition for each of the target markets you serve? Is it consistent with their critical pain points?
  6. Are there competitors doing any of the above more effectively, or directly competing or undermining your brand?

If any of these question throw up a red flag, than a rebranding or revitalization of your brand could have a huge positive impact on the effectiveness of your website for converting more leads of a higher quality. You’ll convert the right visitors because you’ve helped them figure out if your offerings are the right fit for them, right off the bat. If you do that well, happy customers and prospects will spread the word.

In my next post, I’ll discuss Information Architecture, and key indicators that it’s time to rethink the categorization of your content.

 

Note: This is post two of a nine-post series entitled, “Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation?” To read post one, click here.

Tune into a podcast interview about this post with the author of the series.

For more information on website optimization, check out Nowspeed’s eight chapter eBook “Is Your Website Optimizated for Demand Generation and High ROI?”

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Introduction: Post 1 of 9

The evolution of the Internet can be hard to keep up with. If you haven’t redesigned or refreshed your website in the past 2 years, there’s a good chance that it’s looking pretty outdated to your visitors, and certainly not generating as much revenue as it could be. On top of that, your business is constantly evolving, and the structure of your website that you determined 2 years ago is likely bursting at the seams from your new offerings and content.

Redesigning your website can be a as small as a cosmetic refresh, and as large as a total re-branding, re-architecture, and re-functionality project. So how do you determine when it’s the right time to redesign, and what investments in what order will lead to the greatest ROI?

In a series of 9 blog posts starting with this one, I’m going to offer some practical assessment questions and considerations to help you make that determination. The areas I’m going to cover are:

  1. Branding & Messaging
  2. Information Architecture
  3. Copywriting & Content
  4. Design
  5. Functionality & Coding
  6. CMS System
  7. CRM System
  8. Landing Pages & Lead Capture

Stay tuned.

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Branding & Messaging: Post 2 of 9

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Information Architecture: Post 3 of 9

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Copywriting & Content: Post 4 of 9

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Design: Post 5 of 9

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Functionality & Coding: Post 6 of 9

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Content Management Systems: Post 7of 9

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? CRM Software Integration: Post 8 of 9

Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation? Landing Pages & Lead Capture: Post 9 of 9

Tune into a podcast interview about this post with the author of the series.