Feb 20, 2008

Image is everything – Sort out your landing pages

Poor landing pageFor many people and businesses their internet presence serves one main purpose and anything else is a bonus. This one purpose is obviously to drive sales. Knowing this, why do you so often come across landing pages which are so awful they immediately put you off buying anything. Skellie describes perfectly the type of page I am talking about in her post “13 Sure Signs Your Landing Page is a Turn Off”.

In brief these points are:

  1. It is one really long page
  2. Almost every word starts with a capital letter
  3. The text is centred for no apparent reason
  4. There is barely any information about the product
  5. Headings are in a plethora of bright colours
  6. Huge chunks of text which are crying out for paragraphs
  7. It just tries too hard
  8. Huge fonts
  9. Overuse of quotation marks for emphasis
  10. Too many exclamation marks!!!
  11. Testimonials from “John Smith” with no way of knowing who John Smith is or what he does
  12. Copy just sounds like hype
  13. It uses a design straight out of the 90s

Yaro Starak recently wrote a post reviewing an ebook. The post was good (as Yaro’s always are), the ebook sounded interesting so I figured I would check out the ebook’s website. It pretty much met all the criteria Skellie outlined. I scrolled down for ages and still could not see a clear “buy it now” button or a price. When I am looking at buying something, I need to know how much it costs. When I fancy something, an easy buy it now button, might make me buy it on impulse.

This type of scenario is a pet peeve of mine and something you should expect not to happen any more. WordPress is free and there are thousands of templates available for free. It takes very little skill, and very little effort to install it and set up a modern, professional looking website. I am positive your sales will sky rocket when you have a website done properly. You can outsource the website to someone else if you are not able to create it yourself. The costs of outsourcing will probably be covered easily.

Now you have a great looking website, it is time to look at your content. Your copy should be concise, you should keep hype to a minimum and provide plenty of information about your product. Any testimonials need to be verifiable in some way. Where possible link to the person or business’ website. If your sales page is long, offer some form of navigation, let me skip straight to the features/testimonials/buy it now parts of the page. Do not make me have to hunt for these things.

Potential buyers need to know exactly how the sale process will go and what the price point is. The whole point of the exercise is to sell the product – so make it easy for someone to do that. Buy it now buttons need to be clearly visible.

The key to improving your revenue is testing different approaches to sales. There is argument that long sales pages are the most effective way of selling as Yaro pointed out. I believe that as times are changing, and more people are spending time on the web we are becoming overexposed to this type of sales pitch. For many online buyers there is a lot of anxiety involved when paying for things over the web. We need to help buyers feel more comfortable. It is similar to purchasing something from a bricks and mortar store vs a market stall. In which do you have more faith?

Separate product information using tabs for different characteristics, e.g. item description, dimensions, specifications, reviews, etc.

Do you buy things off these shady looking websites? How do people writing about making money online not appreciate the need for clean, professional looking websites?

2 Comments

  • Only someone who has never successfully marketed via eBay will say that centred text and multiple exclamation marks are a negative feature! (and a few more for good luck)!!!!!

  • Tom, regarding Yaro’s post on ALEXIS DAWES’ ebook, I posted this comment & wondered if you had noticed this also from having gone to Alexis’ sales page:

    Yaro, thank you for this source – her writing is extremely persuasive & concise but my problem w/ this ad is that I noticed some discrepancies w/ her numbers. Don’t know where she’s getting these figures. She’s reporting days of income & profits, then supplying a mean figure, but I think her calculations aren’t right (www.desperatebuyersonly.com).

    Her math:
    June 18, 2005 – June 22, 2005
    $820.87
    (That averages out to $205 a day in profits.)

    My math:
    $820.87 divided by 5 days = $164.17 per day,
    not $205 per day.
    [w/ Jun 22nd inclusive] = 5 days
    —————————–

    Her math:
    February 1, 2005 – February 5, 2005
    $860.32
    (Averages out to $215 A DAY in profits.)

    My math:
    $860.32 divided by 5 days = $172.06 per day,
    not $215 per day.
    [w/ Feb 5th inclusive] = 5 days
    —————————

    Her math:
    February 13, 2005 – February 19, 2005
    $4,681.84 from ONE SITE
    (That averages out to $780 a day in profits.)

    My math:
    $4681.84 divided by 7 days = $668.83 per day,
    not $780 per day.
    [w/ Feb 19th inclusive] = 5 days
    —————————-

    Do you arrive at the same figures, Yaro? Thanks for all the newsletters, tips, etc. Keep on bloggin’!
    Kathryn

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