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  • How To Create The Perfect Landing Page For Your Website

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017 by
    Create landing page Converting cold traffic into warm leads and eventual customers can be quite the difficult process. After all, cold visitors don’t know what your website is about, and aren’t familiar with anything you’re doing. One of the best methods to transform this traffic into new subscribers is through the power of a landing page. However, not just any landing page will do. You need a landing page that’s properly optimized to address the concerns of your audience in such a way they literally can’t wait to hand over their email address. A good landing page can be the difference between a visitor clicking away from your website, or sticking around to see what you have to say. No pressure, right? Marketers and advertisers have spent quite a bit of time breaking down and analyzing what makes for a perfect landing page. In this post we’ll cover what a landing page is, landing page best practices, and mistakes to avoid.  

    What Is A Landing Page?

    A landing page, sometimes known as a “lead capture page,” is a page on your website that has a form and exists only to capture a visitor’s information through that form. That’s it in a nutshell. A landing page is a marketing tool designed to prompt a certain action or result. It’s called a landing page because visitors “land” on it from another traffic source on the internet, whether that’s a social media post, guest blog, or banner ad. Landing pages serve to educate your customers and turn them from window-shoppers to potentially paying customers. You can tell you’re on a good landing page if:
    1. The page has a single focus
    2. It has a streamlined look, and is missing other typical website elements like a search bar or navigation
    3. You feel compelled to take action by completing a lead form
    In some ways, landing pages are arguably the single most vital component of your online marketing efforts. Since they’re designed to prompt a specific action or result, if you drive a stream of traffic to a targeted landing page, you can improve your chances of converting that traffic into leads. So, how do you go about creating a killer landing page?  

    First, You Truly Need a Compelling Offer

    Today’s web users are more inundated with information than ever before. They’re also bombarded with popups and dozens of requests to enter their email information. Because of this people have become more defensive over exactly who they allow into their inboxes. In other words, people aren’t going to fill out your form, no matter how fantastic your landing page is, unless they want what you’re selling. A great way to persuade people about how fantastic your service or product is is by creating a downloadable opt-in offer your visitors can’t refuse. Your opt-in offer should speak to a deep need, or underlying problem they haven’t been able to solve. This way you can collect their contact information for sales follow up, and they feel good because they got a free gift. HostGator Website Builder  

    5 Must-Have Landing Page Elements

    Once you’ve solidified your offer your visitors can’t wait to get their hands on you’re going to build a page around that offer. Below we highlight some of the must-have elements you’ll want to feature on your page.  

    1. Use Attention-Grabbing, Concise Headlines

    Your headline is the first thing your visitors will notice, so you have to make it count. Much has been said about creating the perfect headline. Remember that headlines should be concise, and answer the question “What’s in it for me?” Create some emotional tension so the visitor will continue to read to the bottom of the page. Copyblogger covers this topic quite well in their popular post entitled How to Write Headlines That Work. It’s a good idea to split test your own headlines to see which ones perform best for you. Just a few tweaks to a website headline can make a huge difference in the page’s performance.  

    2. Build Trust with Social Proof

    The anonymity of the internet makes trust a bit hard to come by. However, people and organizations have created ways to establish trust, including guarantee seals, third party verifications (Verisign, Better Business Bureau, etc.), reviews, and testimonials. According to a recent study conducted by the Wall Street Journal, 92% of respondents said that they have more confidence in user-generated information found online than they do in information from a salesperson or other source. As such, testimonials from past clients and customers are a very powerful tool for building your landing page’s trust. Other powerful forms of social proof include:
    • Endorsements or quotes from other well-respected business owners in your niche or city
    • Your social media follower counts (if the number is high enough)
    • Press coverage
     

    3. Feature Relatable Videos and Images

    Pictures, slideshows, and video that are relevant to your landing page are good for driving user engagement. There is actually some psychology behind this. When it comes to pictures, our minds are wired for processing visual images. In fact about 50% of the human brain is involved in visual processing. Just think of all the pictures you see every day whether it be via social media, billboard ads, blogs, or magazine spreads. Video is a great communication tool because we’re designed to connect with other humans. The sound of a human voice, facial expressions, and body language all convey a message better than written words alone. When creating a video you don’t have to make a Hollywood production, but a short clip introducing your products or services can establish a sense of familiarity and put a visitor at ease. Recent research has continually shown that pages with video tend to convert higher than those who don’t. Think about it this way. When a visitor lands on your website for the first time they have no idea who you are, so a video will allow them to connect in a deeper way. Add video to your WordPress site with one of these plugins.  

    4. Have a Clear Call-to-Action

    Your call-to-action is equally as important as the headline. It’s what’s going to make the visitor input their email into the signup box. It doesn’t have to be spectacular, but it should be very clear. A call-to-action can take on different forms, including a purchase of your product, an email subscription or webinar registration, an incentive such as a free ebook, or a free trial. Think of it as explicit instructions telling your visitor what to do next. Don’t be afraid to spell it out for them. Vague call-to-actions will only leave your reader feeling confused, unsure of what to do next. If people make it to the bottom of your website then you need a call-to-action that inspires them to take action. Most calls-to-action are displayed as buttons, so you’ll want this button to stand out, and be clear and action-oriented. If your page does include a video, then include the box directly below the video, with a reference to the location of the signup box in the video. If you don’t have video, or you have a longer landing page, then consider adding the signup box to multiple locations throughout the page.  

    5. Organize the Page for Maximum Impact

    Landing pages require a different design than the rest of your website. You want to grab your visitor’s attention as soon as they land on the page and keep them focused on your message and the offer you’re making. Place the most important elements of your page, such as your headline or opt-in form, above-the fold where the user doesn’t have to scroll down to see. Get rid of navigation bars, visual clutter, and anything else distracting. Your goal is to lead the reader from having a problem to seeing your offer as the solution.  Write tight copy that’s clear and persuasive and write in the second person. Take a look at our standard cloud hosting product page versus a landing page for a conference we recently sponsored. You'll notice that we've removed the navigation, simplified it to a single CTA button, and placed Snappy so he is facing toward the CTA.Cloud hosting landing page HostGator offer landing page  

    Avoid These Landing Page Mistakes!

    Congratulations! Now you’ve set up a landing page. That’s it, right? Not quite. Now it’s time to double-check your work. Read through the list below to confirm you’re not making any of these common, but critical, mistakes with your landing page.  

    1. Confusing the visitor

    Landing pages should have one purpose. If your landing page has more than one objective, off-page links, presents too many choices, or doesn’t match the traffic source, you’re in trouble.  

    2. Cluttered, unfocused design

    Effective landing pages have only one objective—get the reader to take a specific action—and every word and element on the page should support that one action. Anything else on the page is a distraction.  

    3. Weak copy

    Just having a landing page isn’t enough to get you the conversion rate you want. Compelling copy is the “secret sauce” that persuades people to take action. You need a benefit-rich headline that makes the reader a promise and connects with them emotionally. Your compelling lead entices them to keep reading as you emphasize your value proposition. And through it all you should be speaking your customer’s language.  

    4. Too much focus on you

    Nobody cares about you, your company, or your product or service. They do care how you can help them. Your landing page copy should be all about helping the reader solve their problem.  

    5. No clear call to action

    Can your visitors easily identify the call to action? If your landing page doesn’t tell your visitor exactly what you want them to do next, they won’t do anything. That means you’re leaving money on the table.  

    6. No credibility

    You only have 2 to 3 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention and confirm that they’re in the right place. It doesn’t matter whether you’re asking people to give you their email address or part with their hard-earned cash, if they don’t trust you it’s going to be tough to seal the deal.  

    7. Using more than one column

    There’s plenty of research showing that centered, single-column landing pages generally convert best. The 1-column format tends to look cleaner, have more white space, increase reading comprehension, and keep readers engaged with the message.  

    8. Inconsistent branding

    Your headline and other landing page elements should relate to the ad copy that drove the click. In other words, the page should be relevant to your ad text and keyword, and match the look, feel, and tone of the original ad or email.  

    9. Ineffective use of images

    This is where lots of marketers drop the ball. They take the easy way out and use clip art. They have uncaptioned images that have nothing to do with the objective of the page, or their images aren’t clickable.  

    10. Not optimizing the buttons

    If the buttons on your landing page don’t look like buttons or they say “submit” or “send”, you could have a problem. A Hubspot researcher studied more than 40,000 landing pages and discovered that landing pages with submit buttons labeled “submit” had lower conversion rates than those with more engaging button text.  

    11. No sense of urgency

    If your visitor is on the fence and your landing page doesn’t give them a reason to act NOW… they usually won’t. Are you giving them a reason to take action? Try limiting the availability of your offer, or including a countdown timer on the page.  

    12. Not testing

    The first time you build your landing page you’re going to be guessing based upon past interactions with clients, and your own intuition. There’s always room for improvement and absolutely no way to know what to improve unless you test. Split-testing, or “A/B testing,” is an easy way to compare the results of tweaks to your landing page like a new call to action or a different headline. When you’re testing make sure to only isolate and test a single element at time. It may take longer this way, but it’s the only way to ensure you know what is and isn’t working.    

    Conclusion

    Building a great landing page is neither a mystery nor rocket science, but it does require some planning ahead. Start planning for your next successful landing page by following the recommendations outlined in this article.
  • 5 Ways To Evaluate The Success of Your Website

    Friday, March 17, 2017 by
    Evaluate Website Success Every website is different. What might be considered successful results for one website may be lackluster for another. To measure your own site’s success, you must first define what success means to you and develop a clear picture of how your website is performing according to these metrics. To start, ask yourself about the purpose of your site. Was it created to sell products? To boost fundraising efforts? To engage consumers in a particular niche? Defining the purpose of your website is essential to defining its success.  

    Setting Good Goals

    Next, you need to set some clear goals that coincide with your website’s purpose.

    Make sure you set S.M.A.R.T goals:

    • Specific: Who, what, where, when, and why?

    • Measurable: They should include numbers and figures.

    • Attainable: Your goal should present a challenge, but not be impossible.

    • Relevant: Does your website goal fit with your overall marketing and business goals?

    • Time-bound: Do you want to reach this goal in a week? Six months? A year?

    As an example, say you’re a business owner who sells jackets online. Your organizational goal is to generate revenue through jacket sales, so one goal of your website is to get visitors to buy jackets (a specific website visitor action). Your goal might be to sell 500 jackets per month through your website (which is both measurable and constrained by a specific time frame), up from the 400 you sold last month (which is challenging, yet realistic).  

    Website Metrics That Matter

    Though the definition of website success will vary from business to business depending on goals, everyone can measure the performance of their website using analytics software. The factors that you measure with analytics are called metrics. According to the Content Marketing Institute, all metrics fall into four categories: Consumption, Sharing, Lead Generation, and Sales. Keep an eye on these key metrics to get a good idea of your website's performance.  

    Consumption Metrics

    Consumption refers to the content that your visitors see and consume when visiting your website. Examples of these metrics include:

    • Page Views: Page view metrics track how many people have seen the pages and content on your website. These are the easiest metrics to find and record.

    • Video Views: Video view metrics track how many people have seen your videos. You can measure these using YouTube Insights, or its equivalent if you use another video host.

    • Document Views: Document view metrics track the number of views for any documents embedded on your site. You can measure these views through document sharing websites like Paper.li and Slideshare.

    • Downloads: Download metrics track the number of times people download your downloadable content.

    Consumption metrics are important because they help you understand how your content is viewed.

     

    Sharing Metrics

    These metrics measure how many people are sharing your content across the web. Content sharing has become a common indicator of content usefulness and popularity, so these metrics are good indicators of your website's performance. They include:

    • Social signals that people give by clicking social share buttons on your website. They come from sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+.

    • Backlinks. A backlink is created whenever another website links to your site. You can measure this through Google Analytics (or any other analytics software), and through Pingbacks on your blog.

    • Email open rate and forwards. You can measure these through a list management provider like Aweber or MailChimp.

    You can encourage content sharing by using share buttons on your blog posts, articles, and other content. If your blog doesn't have them already, check out websites like AddThis and ShareThis.

     

    Lead Generation Metrics

    Lead generation is a critical goal for businesses, especially B2Bs. The goal of providing rich content is ultimately to move website visitors down your sales funnel, transforming them from passive viewers to active and loyal followers (and customers). Examples of the metrics you should be paying attention to:

    • Conversion rates: The number of unique site visitors measured against the number of conversions.

    • Form completions and call-to-action downloads: The number of times a visitor signs up for your newsletter, downloads a special report, etc.

    • Blog subscribers: You can measure this via your blog account or through your email marketing provider like Constant Contact.

     

    Sales Metrics

    If you use your website to sell products and services, then this one probably matters the most to you. Tracking sales metrics usually involves analyzing data within the CRM system you have in place for your business and customers. In order to effectively track sales metrics, you must include trackable components on your website (like a call-to-action to a product landing page). You can also include call-to-actions at the end of blog posts. By doing so, you will be able to track which content on your site is actually driving visitors to purchase your products or services.

  • The One Thing You Should Do to Get More Out of Your Email List

    Wednesday, July 22, 2015 by
    How to Get More from Your Email List Let’s start off with a tough reality — most business owners aren’t getting as much as they could be from their email list. It’s not that they’re not working hard or seeing good results. In fact, for many, email is already their biggest driver of new and repeat business. But there’s one thing that many small businesses aren’t doing that could help take things to the next level. Luckily, adding that one thing to your email marketing strategy is a lot easier than you might think. It starts with understanding a term you may have heard before — segmentation. Segmentation is the process of organizing your contacts into different groups, so you can target them with content or offers that are relevant to their needs or interests. Rather than sending the same message to your entire list and hoping the right people see it, segmentation makes it easy to create emails that you know specific groups of contacts will be interested in — improving the chances of them opening, clicking, and acting on the content and offers you send out.  

    Why Is Segmentation Important?

    One of the biggest reasons people ignore emails or unsubscribe from email lists is because the content they receive isn’t relevant to them. While you may have people who read and act on every email you send out, if you’re not taking the appropriate steps to segment your audience, it’s likely that you already have potential customers or donors who are tuning you out. Plenty of small businesses and organizations are already using segmentations and have seen some impressive results. See for yourself.   If you’ve never segmented your list — one of the questions you may be asking is “how can I get started?”   Using an email marketing provider like Constant Contact makes it super easy to segment your contacts. You can create separate lists for different groups of contacts, or use a feature called Tags that makes organizing your master list a lot easier. But before you can start organizing contacts into different groups, you’re going to need some information to work with. If you’re like a lot of businesses, the amount of information you have available may be limited to name and email address. But there are also details like: job title, company, address, birthday, interests, and purchase history, which could be used to your advantage. How can you find the information you need? Here are a few quick ideas:
    • Use what you know: Even if you don’t have a ton of information about your contacts, you should be able to quickly scan your list and recognize a handful of names. You can add a tag for VIPs, or create a separate list and send them exclusive offers to reward them for their loyalty.
    • Update your sign-up process: While you may only want to require people to give their name and email address, you can also add optional fields like address or company name.
    • Use a survey: An online surveyis a quick and efficient way to collect information from your email contacts. You can provide multiple choice questions to help gauge people’s interest around a particular product or service, and can also provide open-ended questions for people to fill out their own information.
    • Host an event: Collect information when interacting with attendees face-to-face, and also use an online registration toolto collect important details before the event.
    • Use your reports: Use your email reports to see which contacts are opening your emails each month, and export a list of people who have clicked on a particular link. This is a great way to identify your most active readers, and can also be used to learn more about the content or products your audience is most interested in.
      With the right information, you’ll be ready to start segmenting your list! Take some time to think about the different groups of contacts you have on your list. Consider things like:
    • Location: Do you have groups of contacts that live locally and others that visit from out of state?
    • Customer Status: A lot of the people on your list will be customers, but you may also have a sizeable audience of potential or new customers, as well.
    • Interests: Use your click-through data to create interest-based lists.
    • Questions/Needs: Use survey data or questions you’ve received in-person to group contacts, and follow up with more information.
    • Length of time on your list: Creating a separate list for new contacts, and sending them a few introductory messages, is a great way to engage people right from the start.
      There are plenty of ways you can use segmentation to get more from your list. Remember that growing an effective email list isn’t just about adding names and email addresses to your database. These are people who have opted-in to receive updates from your business. It’s your responsibility to offer an experience that meets their needs and inspires them to take action. Get started today! Constant Contact has the tools you need to manage your growing contact list.
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  • Why Small Businesses Need To Have (and Grow) An Email List

    Wednesday, July 15, 2015 by
    Why Small Businesses Need to Have and Grow Their Email List You already have an audience for your business. When you have events, people show up. When you hold a sale or introduce a new product, people are there to buy. And when you open your doors each morning, you know you won’t be spending the day alone. Your phone rings, your website gets traffic, and over time your business grows. But if you’re not giving this audience a way to stay connected with you when they’re away from your business — you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to build relationships with these customers and accelerate the growth your business can achieve by driving action around the things you’re already doing.  

    Social Media Alone Isn’t Enough

    Sure, you could set up a Facebook Page or get started on Twitter but at the end of the day you don’t really own those contacts — you’re renting them. You can put days, weeks, and months into building a fanbase, but if one day Facebook decides to limit your ability to deliver your message, you’ll be no better off than when you started. On the flipside, by growing your email list, you’ll be able to take control of your message and communicate with your audience on your own terms. You’ll be giving the people who are actually interested in attending your events, buying your products, or signing up for services the ability to opt-in to receive information that’s relevant to them. And because you know the information is delivered to a place where your customers are going everyday — the inbox — you know your message is reaching your target audience. That’s what growing your contact list can do for your small business. And that’s the best case for why small businesses should consider email marketing.  

    Not Sure Where To Start When Growing Your List?

    Growing your list really breaks down to two things: covering your touch points and remembering to ask. Make it easy for people to sign up for your mailing list at all the places people are interacting with your business. This includes:
    • Online: Add a sign-up form to your website to capture new visitors who may not be ready to buy. You should also use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to encourage fans and followers to join your email list.
    • In-store: Place a paper sign-up sheet on your counter and ask people to share their name and email address. Email marketing solutions like Constant Contact also offer integrations with many business management and POS providers to automatically add new customers to your email marketing database.
    • At events: Use a tablet to allow event attendees to join your email list on their own at events and other networking activities.
      Covering your touch points will guarantee your audience will grow and won’t require much heavy lifting from you or your staff.  

    You Also Need To Make Sure You’re Asking People To Sign Up.

    Most of the people who walk through your door, call your business, or connect with you on sites like Facebook or Twitter will be happy to hear more about your business — all you need to do is ask! Make sure people understand what they are signing up for when they join your email list. What type of information will they receive? How often will they hear from you? What have other people enjoyed about receiving your emails? Use this information to set expectations early and make sure you’re following through. To encourage them even further, you can provide an additional incentive for signing up. In some cases, that incentive will be a monetary discount or free giveaway. But you can also use other types of offers like a free download or access to an upcoming event to encourage people to share their email address.  

    Get Started!

    Write down a list of all the places you’re already interacting with current and potential customers. Are you making it easy for people to join your list at all of these touch points? Have you clearly stated the benefits of signing up? With a few simple steps, you’ll be able to capture new email contacts without putting any additional stress on your staff or your budget. Constant Contact has all the tools you need to grow your email list. Start your free 60-day trial today.
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  • 4 Website Add-Ons That Will Help You Grow Your List

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014 by
    Email Growth

    Your email list is a very powerful sales tool. Emails and newsletters are an effective, easy way to engage with your prospects, current customers, and other interested parties. If you aren’t utilizing your website to help capture visitors’ information and grow your list, you are missing out on an important marketing opportunity. Here are four simple website add-ons that will help make the process easier.

     

    1. Integration with Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/LinkedIn

    Social media is an integral part of so many people’s days. You want to make your social media presence well-known on your site, while making it easy for your visitor to share your content with others.

    Evaluate your business audience and pick the two most-used social media platforms and establish a strong presence there. Then, add the corresponding social media buttons in prominent places on your website.

    The benefits to this technique are two fold. First, you can often capture your visitors information when they share your page via your own social media buttons. You will know what content they find interesting and then have a way to engage them in the future. Second, they are essentially endorsing your webpage to their friends and network, effectively garnering more visitors.

     

    2. A pop-up email capture

    When someone visits your site the hard work has already been done for you - they are already interested. One easy way to get their information is through a simple pop-up. Pop-ups can be fairly controversial and there are lots of people out there that don’t like them. However, there are multiple methods that are both unobtrusive and effective.

    These tools include pop-down bars, splash pages, hover boxes, and more. Do your research and look at all the options available to determine which one will work best for your customers. Keep in mind that you don’t have to assault them with a pop up the second they visit your site. You can wait until the second or third pageview before displaying the pop-up in order to ensure that they are interested.

     

    3. PDF downloads and premium content

    Content is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. Quality content will help engage your reader and develop your authority in your area of business.

    One great strategy to further grow your list is to offer PDF downloads or premium content, but only after they sign up for your email list. The content would still be free, but you can request a certain amount of information from your customer before they receive it.

    The added benefit of this route is that you are not just gathering their email address; you will also learn what topics interest them based on what content they clicked on or which PDF they downloaded. Make sure that the content is high-quality and useful though; tangible value is a boon for business.

     

    4. Subscribe via comment form or checkout process

    Consider all the places on your website where you’ve already requested your customer’s information. When customers are examining or commenting on your site, chances are they are required to provide their name and email address. Since they are already giving you their information this is a very simple place to add an opt in box.

    Make it an obvious part of the form fields to increase the subscription rate. Consider having it say something interesting such as “subscribe to our awesome newsletter for discounts and exclusives” rather than just “subscribe.” The more information you provide your customer with, the more likely are to opt in.

    Rather than growing your prospect list by buying names from a large company, you can start by looking at your own website to grow your list. These simple add-ons will help grow your list with very little effort on your behalf.

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