Landing Page Makeover Clinic #12: Soxialize.com

Landing Page Makeover

This is another addition to our ongoing series of tutorials and case studies on landing pages that work.

Who doesn’t want to make a few (or more!) extra dollars from their WordPress blogs — and who wouldn’t want to leverage the power of a brand-name like Ebay as a surefire means of making ‘em happen?

That’s the basic premise of WPBayAds. Developed by Cesar Serna, WPBayAds is a WP plugin that allows bloggers to easily display topic-relevant eBay auction products or, and I especially like this, build unlimited custom eBay niche stores. Cesar shares that some of his affiliate traffic is converting just fine. Other affiliates aren’t and while his keyword ranking is fine, the organic search traffic being generated isn’t generating enough cash.

While Cesar’s landing page needs some serious reworking, I’ll also address a few points outside the landing page that are also critical to growing a successful income stream. First, let’s look at:

  • The Goal
    Increase sales from organic-derived traffic by 25%.
  • The Problem
    Organic traffic is plentiful but not converting.
  • The Current Landing Page
    http://www.soxialize.com/wpbayads
  • Traffic Source
    Organic search and affiliates.
  • Cost
    Regular price: $149. Intro price: $49.

The Maven’s 10-Point Critique

WPBayAdsClick image for larger view

#1 – Direct your visitors to an actual WPBayAds-specific page, not an all-purpose blog page.

The first thing I notice when I click through is that I’m directed to a page that equally touts TweetPro as well as WPBayAds. So my first reaction is confusion. “Am I on the right page?” At this point, I might just as well bail since I’m already being forced to navigate content I wasn’t expecting. (The big Soxialize logo doesn’t help the visitor experience either.) I realize the idea is to use your blog as the landing page platform but if you’re interested in actually selling your plug-ins, you’ll need to design a straightforward, uncluttered, sales-focused landing page. Your visitor clicked to learn more about making $$ from their blogs with WPBayAds. Make sure you give them WPBayAds and just WPBayAds.

#2 – Design your new landing page stripped of clutter and anything not relevant to helping your visitor make a decision to buy.

Lots of things can kill conversion, but right on the top of my list are landing pages filled with irrelevant images and distracting links and chatter. I’ve written extensively about good design protocols so rather than repeat myself ad nauseum on those points, I’ll direct you to review 5 Tips to Designing the Ultimate Landing Page and Keep it Simple, Stupid” Applies to Your Landing Pages, Too! These are the tips that will help you develop your first pages, or series of pages, that in the very least, won’t hurt your sales conversion efforts.

But I will give you a “fer instance” right here. When I see SUPPORT FORUM when I’m in “decison-making mode” I’m wondering why a simple plug-in needs a support forum. Is it hard to use or figure out? Making a huge leap here, I’m thinking that most bloggers (myself included) who aren’t total geeks want an easy, no-headaches way to use their blogs to make money. Show me a support forum too early? You’ve just given me a reason not to buy or at least made me hesitate. (Rename it WPBayAds Community and you’ve given it a whole different spin.)

#3 – Good design supports the sales message. Copy IS the sales message.

Your current copy wants to sell me a blog plug-in. What your visitors want is an easy way to make money from their blog. Your job is to write copy that focuses directly on the visitor’s self-interest. Rather than Make Money with eBay Niche Stores and Ads!, your current headline, I might say something like – Got 5 Minutes? Got A WP Blog? Then you have EVERYTHING you need to turn your nice little blog into an Turbo-Charged, Ebay-Powered, MONEY-MAKING Machine! (I always go a little cheezy during copy warm-up.) But the point I’m making is that your copy needs to speak to your visitor’s reason for the first click-through. Your job is to follow-through on that promise.

#4 – Make an offer that’s hard to resist.

Your regular price is $149, your intro price is $49 but mere pricing isn’t an offer. What you need is an enticement to get the fence-sitting visitors – the biggest chunk of any visiting population – to respond. Can you offer a free-trial of some sort or money-back guarantee? Or rather than go immediately for the sale, try a two-step approach. Offer a short, X-day course on how to make $$ using Ebay products on your blog. These would need to be real tips but you’d get X shots at making the sale … or a sale down the road since you’ll have a list of toasty-warm prospects you can mine over time.

#5 – Tell ‘em with great copy. Show ‘em with nice pictures.

There’s no nice way to say it, except that the product images are, well, quite awful. That may be okay on some blogs, but not others — and I’m thinking there’s a lot more of the “not others” out there. As a multi-blog owner, I’d want to put attractive images on my site, Ebay or no. I realize that you don’t have control over the actual images but you do over the presentation. So what can you do to enhance how the listings are served and displayed?

WPBayAdsClick image for larger view

#6 – Organize your copy into logical selling “blocks” that center around easy and hassle-free.

The current copy has no real logical flow to it. You want visitors to move from a strong headline – Generate Easy Ebay Profits without the Hassle of an Ebay Store? Yes, you can! (I got a million of ‘em) to a series of benefit-rich subheads – Not one, but 2 ways to make money! – to selling text that meets every “Oh yeah? So what?” objection. Make a list of all the plug-ins features and match each one with some sort of tangible, meaningful benefit to your prospect. Then go ahead and meet the objections, as well – What if I don’t like it? How long will it take me to make my $$ back? Will it work with the new 2.7 WP version, Will it play nice with Google Adsense, etc.

#7 – Get your testimonials on the page.

Where are all the voices of those happy, plug-in buyers enjoying the kick-back life of pleasant “PassiveIncomeVille.” If you don’t have any testimonials yet, survey your current customers or, and here’s another possible offer to test, give 10-25-50 plug-ins away in exchange for their genuine “wowza” testimonials. Let these folks do the heavy selling for you, peer to peer.

#8 – Make Non-Geeks feel smart and competent. Make Tech-Geeks feel superior.

You try to do some of this where you write about Advanced Users and Affiliate Marketers. I’d suggest that the two are not necessarily mutually inclusive. Instead, I’d write to the pain and/or performance points of your 1/non-tech folks who just want an easy way to make spare coin; 2/tech-savvy folks who want the ability to tweak code until it begs for mercy; and 3/affiliate marketers who are looking for the fastest ways to generate profits from their blogs. You could do this as Words to X, Words to Y and Words to Z and make these points specific to each of these groups.

Beyond landing pages … you need to strengthen and make more effective the routes that lead to your spiffy new landing page/s:

#9 – Cultivate more reviews from more of your affiliates.

You noted in your brief that you’re realizing the best results from reviews rather than simple banner ads. Well, OF COURSE you are. Your affiliates have an incentive beyond hosting a simple banner ad. They want to succeed with your product. In turn, folks who click through on a positive review are already at least partially sold -or at least feeling positive about the possibilities. I’m not suggesting paying for reviews (although that’s an option), but as I mentioned above, giving away X number of plug-ins to your affiliates in exchange for a review would help generate leads that convert the best.

#10 – Make sure your organic search terms/phrases accurately reflect the mind-set of the prospect you’re looking to attract and convert.

In other words, it’s not the amount of traffic you generate, it’s about generating the right traffic – those folks who have passed the tire kicking stage (unless you’re willing to try the multi-step-to-sale route.) For example, let’s say you want to buy a car. You put ‘car’ into Google and well, you get a billion results. But if you put “2005 red camry 4-door sedan maryland” you”ll get far fewer results but whatever those results are will be far more relevant to you and give you a reason to act. So you’ll want to review those keyphrases that not only generate traffic but convert well and go from there.

My thanks to Cesar Serna for his support of Heifer International. Look for my next makeover in approximately 2 weeks.

Here’s your chance to be the Copywriting Maven’s next landing page makeover!

Got a landing page that’s more poop than pop? Willing to share with Copyblogger readers? Prepared to put a little of your own “skin in the game” for a Maven Makeover? Then follow your click to Maven’s Landing Page Makeover page for all the details.

(The response to the return of the Copywriting Maven Makeovers has been tremendous – thank you! The downside is I’m booked for new gratis critiques until 2/1/09. If you’re interested in a private critique/makeover or other services, please email me directly.)

About the Author: Roberta Rosenberg is The Copywriting Maven at MGP Direct, Inc.

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Comments

  1. Thanks Roberta,

    Man you blew me out of my seat with all of this great content for landing pages… genius! This is stuff I can really use now and bring in the bucks. I will be back for more.

    Be well and prosper,
    Mike

  2. You know, Roberta. These makeovers would make fantastic mp3s! We could listen to the mp3 in the background, go to the site in question, and see/study as we listen.

    Regards
    Shane

  3. Great stuff Roberta as always.

    On LP copy, some people respond first to a rational sell, some to an emotional sell. If it makes sense for the product being sold, it’s good to have both.

  4. @Shane, I think adding an mp3 is an excellent idea. If Brian is game, I’ll be happy to add an mp3 to this and future makeovers.

    @James, I couldn’t agree more. Good copy incorporates appeals at different angles for different audiences within the same copy frames.

  5. I really like the landing page. I hate one column landing pages because they look like scams.

  6. I love these makeovers, I always read them over and over.

    It’s one thing to talk about an idea like selling benefits not features, but seeing an example like point #3 really makes it stick, IMO.

  7. (p.s., love the mp3 idea.)

  8. I agree with the mp3ers.

    Audio sounds better than copy ;-)

  9. I like the actionable, 10-point improvement approach. Good job.

  10. What a brilliant article. I am hooked for the next one. An example of brilliant, worthwhile content and really well written too (of course!). Thank you.

  11. Great makeover! I just chuckled all the way through the post. It pays to let experts help and spend a little dough to get were you want to go, quicker!

    Thanks for this makeover lesson!

  12. Thanks for the tips on landing pages. I would like to gain some “web writing” experience. Plus, it would be nice to be able to write my own landing pages

  13. I was just surfing and got to here and got stuck here. What a great article and what important information on writing Landing Pages. I also went up on your blog.

    Thanks and I’ll be readin g a lot of your stuff.

  14. I love these makeovers!

  15. Roberta

    You say a landing page must be dedicated to the sole product being sold. But if you also have a blog, does that mean you recommend separate URLs for the blog and for the landing page or can you have a blog address like http://www.myblog.com and the landing page for the offer as http://www.myblog.com/book – and if the latter is correct, what do you do about offline advertising (eg: newspaper) where you’d have to advertise the http://www.myblog.com/book URL and then hope people don’t just enter http://www.myblog.com from the advertisement (in other words, you would always lose a few people who will shorten the URL). Your thoughts (or others”) really appreciated!

  16. i am not sure if it will fit to my blog model but i will have a try. thanks for sharing!

  17. Hi Simon, people – even super smart people like you, me, and the rest of the Copyblogger universe – can only really concentrate fully on one thing at a time. Hence, my strong stance on keeping products and product offers as simple as possible. You can easily add coding to any URL to track results from both online and offline ad media sources. You can’t control what people will do but you can make clicking the coded link you provide tasty and deliriously clickable with effective copy and intuitive design.

  18. Hi Roberta
    Thanks for your reply – I am certainly one of those who likes one thing at a time!
    I am still unlcear however – if I want to sell an e-book (actually a technical manual for a very specific audience) and i also want to have a blog, should I use separate URLs or can the landing page with sales pitch for the manual be a page on the blog – NOT the home page?

  19. Short answer? Yes, but I’d use the page format as opposed to the post.

  20. Thanks Roberta! And advertise the ebook in newspaper advertisements as http://www.blogname.com/ebook and just hope the majority type the full address into their browser when visiting…..?

  21. @ Simon – yep. Just make it easy to remember :)

  22. I like the actionable, 10-point improvement approach. Good job.

  23. I am happy to read this article, learn more then my knowledge, I will implement those tips on landing page design for site http://www.semanticlp.com/

    Thanks
    Semanticlp