Building Great Landing Pages
By Shawna Duvall
I was told that everyone who graduates college feels like they still don’t know what they need to start their careers; I certainly felt this way. While I absorbed the Graphic Design theory, I really had no idea how to put it to good use. So I took a job as a designer, for a while, where I worked with mostly print and some web. Then I took an internship with ConversionMax as a Landing Page Optimization Specialist and my world flipped on its head. Going from being a designer to being a Landing Page Specialist was like going from a general medical practitioner to a Neurosurgeon. Same field, but totally two different approaches. Here are few things that I have learned in the process–that might also help you build great landing pages.
Opinion-schminion, test it
Opinions don’t matter as much as what works. Picture this: you have spent hours putting the best theory to work on a latest revision for your company’s web page. Hours and hours of adjustments, tweaking, and fine-tuning were made. The colors are consistent to company’s style guide; the layout is a perfect 960 grid; and everything is working. Even the boss loves it but feels he must change it just because and just a little. And, he decides to bring in an entire team for the revisions to be made. “I like side navigation more, put it over there, make this pink, add a photo of a kitty because people like cats.” About a dozen other I’s roll in as your eyes begin to roll back. You sit there knowing these aren’t good ideas, but it is the “company’s” site and give in to the HIPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) as Tim Ash, Landing Page Optimization expert, calls it.
Greate news! Using a combination of best practices and A/B testing, you can tell your boss (very politely) that he is wrong. Split testing helps build great landing pages by finding the things that are and are not working. If there is a dispute on best practices then using this simple five second test at: http://fivesecondtest.com/ will help you get answers. I’ve learned the goal to design a great landing page is for the visitor not for a company, boss or for SEO.
Bryan Eisenberg describes four buyer types, who most likely will visit a site and will want to know who, what, why, and how. So getting rid of an About Us section, for example, might totally annihilate a quarter of your potential visitors. The types are:
- Competitive – Fast-paced decision-making, logically-oriented
- Spontaneous – Fast-paced decision-making, emotionally-oriented
- Humanistic – Slow-paced decision-making, emotionally-oriented
- Methodical – Slow-paced decision-making, logically-oriented
Following test results rather than personal opinions will help you reach your audience and succeed.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned for more fun, inner-workings that make being a Landing Page Specialist different from being a designer coming in my next post.
Latest posts by Shawna Duvall (see all)
- Landing Page Conversion: 3 Mistakes and 3 Solutions - October 19, 2013
- Favorite Landing Page Design Tools - September 17, 2013