Nov 19th, 2008 by Rich Page
Earlier this week I had the great pleasure to attend a Landing Page Optimization Workshop in sunny Santa Monica. Hosted by MarketingSherpa and MarketingExperiments.com, not only did I get the joy of getting certified by passing their test, but it really opened my eyes up to the bigger picture of designing web pages that efficiently converts it’s visitors. Being a web analyst that’s so involved in bounce rates, it was refreshing for me to see and use a different angle based on actual theory. And what were the most important elements that I found very revealing?
Firstly, If your website has no true ‘value proposition’, or you can’t effectively communicate this to your website visitors, then you are wasting money driving traffic to it. Because if you can’t nail this value proposition down and present it with clarity, then your visitors sure won’t know it - and will instead simply go to your competitors that do know theirs and know how to present it. Probably never to come back to your website again.
A great way to find out if your website has a good value proposition is to put yourself in the shoes of your visitors and ask these 3 questions:
1. Where am I? 2. What can I do here? 3. Why should I do it here?
If you can’t answer all those questions well, then chances are your website doesn’t have a good value proposition that is going to make your website visitors stick around. Seriously, try it with your website, you might be a little surprised how hard this is to come up with. And don’t confuse a value proposition with your business model. Visitors don’t care about that – they want to know what’s in it for them and what makes you so different.
The second more unique things that I learnt was that if your website offers too much ‘friction’ that confuses visitors, or too much ‘anxiety’that prevents users from wanting to buy or convert for your offer, then you definitely are going to have a struggle ahead of you to build a well optimized website. You should make sure to look for and fix non-confusing eye flow on your pages, overly-long forms, bad button design, no credibility indicators, testimonials or guarantees, to name but a few anxiety and friction issues.
I thoroughly recommend taking this class, and the instructor Flint McGlaughlin was superb (and funny, which helps!). It’s not a cheap workshop, but its certainly a big mind expander – and also its information that I haven’t seen in any books before. And believe me, I have read my fair share of website optimization books! So I am definitely excited to finally be website optimization certified (and not just certifiably crazy…) hopefully I can teach you all a trick or two?