This is another addition to our ongoing series of tutorials and case studies on landing pages that work.
We’ve got a sweet #16 makeover today that features a core program of our humble host and major domo, Brian Clark, right here at Copyblogger. So let’s dig in right away …
Barrie North is a member of Team Simplweb, a webhosting company that promotes attractive, turnkey, Joomla-powered site hosting and site building services at affordable prices. So far, so good. Inspired by Brian’s Teaching Sells program, Simplweb developed a turnkey membership site building/hosting service. The membership service includes hosting, attractive templates, lots of print and video tutorials, and support all for $89.95/month.
But here’s the problem. The raw conversion from visitor to buyer is quite low, practically a non-starter with the SimplWeb homepage driving the traffic to the landing page. I’m going to examine three basic areas: finding the right prospects, funneling them to the right place, and creating stronger offers.
- The Goal:
Pop conversions, generate sales.
- The Problem:
Solid product offering isn’t enough to drive sales from existing traffic.
- The Current Landing Page:
The Maven’s 10-Point Critique
FINDING THE RIGHT PROSPECTS
#1 – Put yourself in all the places your prospects expect you to be.
If you want to attract prospects who need or are thinking specifically about creating a membership/subscription site – as opposed to general site hosting/building needs — then you need to promote yourself specifically and precisely where these prospects reside. Your competition is. When I put “building membership sites” into Google, I see a ton of organic listings and PPC ads.
What I don’t see on Page One is Simplweb.
In the very least, you’ll want to test PPC advertising, Twitter, Squidoo, JV (joint venture) deals with complementary sites serving the same markets, perhaps even guest blogging on the right sites to give Simplweb face-out promotion to the right, most receptive audiences.
#2 – Strengthen your organic rankings with strong SEO.
Speaking of organic, when I view your title tag, I see nothing about membership or any of your other site-building specialties for that matter. If your specialties are what makes Simplweb unique, then again, put them upfront where folks can see ‘em and search on ‘em. While SEO involves a whole lot more than simply get smarter about the title, it’s a good place to start.
Right now your title tag reads:
Build a Website with Turnkey Joomla Hosting and Expert Support :: Simplweb
What about a change to something like:
Build Turnkey Membership, School, & Restaurant Websites | Joomla Hosting, Expert Support :: Simplweb
What are the key search phrases your best prospects are using to find your kind of services? Those are the keyphrases you want to have in your title, meta description and overall content.
SEO really isn’t rocket science. It’s about learning/using the language of your prospects in ways both meaningful and effective for their understanding.
#3 – Want to sell more membership sites? Don’t hide your info behind a drop-down menu on the general homepage.
Right now, the only way to your membership info page is through the homepage via a link I may or may not see, notice or engage with. Why? Because it’s hiding in a dropdown and part of a laundry list of other kinds of site-building specialties you offer. Can you hear the hard brakes of momentum stalled? I know I can.
Maybe I click the link, maybe I don’t. Maybe I get distracted. After all, I’m on the home page. It’s easy to get distracted here.
If you want to let the casual visitor know you specialize in affordable, turnkey membership sites, then let them know – big, bold and obvious. Incorporate a little of the Copyblogger gloss in your copy and get that casual visitor – who may/may not be all that casual about needing a membership site – and direct them to your membership-specific landing page. (More on that in a moment.)
#4 – Don’t present me with a “better” offer than the one you actually want me to buy.
I see free-trial here. I’m going to remember that if/when/as I spend more time clicking around your site and find the membership info. Your membership site service, however, does NOT include a free-trial. I’m already at a disconnect and feeling confused. Maybe I’m thinking I don’t need a turnkey membership site and can use your basic service. Or maybe I’m thinking I’ll just go find another web hosting service.
FUNNELING THE PROSPECTS TO THE RIGHT PLACE
#5 – Create a separate landing page/s for all membership-specific promotion and strip it bare of all irrelevant distractions.
I’ve suggested ramping up your promotion via organic search, PPC, etc. Now you have to send them to a landing page that takes that first glimmer of interest and expands on it toward a sale.
Right now your landing page uses the same template as the rest of your site. Ideally, you should strip all standard navigation and start with a reasonably clean page from which to work. Why? Because every link that is not specifically tied to your sales message is a potential exit door for your visitor. Keep your visitor on point and on the page. The longer on the page, the more engaged your visitors remain.
#6 – Craft a headline grounded in your unique value proposition and visitor’s self-interest.
Almost never ask a yes/no question because if the answer is no, you haven’t given your visitor a reason to stay. That’s why your headline needs to grab the attention of your visitor through the lens of THEIR self-interest. In other words, they don’t care about building a membership site except as a means to additional income, higher self-esteem, etc. The second part of your headline (or headline/lead) is to establish Simplweb as the best solution/option to build a membership site.
Your unique value proposition comes down to this – It’s what you and only you can say about your service. Are you strongest in support? Have the most attractive templates? Best pricing? That’s what you emphasize. It’s what helps to distinguish you from the competition.
#7 – Try a 2-column format for your landing page.
You got some excellent content to work with, especially your testimonial from Brian. That’s why you want to get most of the essential information “above the fold” where it will be most likely read and acted upon. Using a 2/3 – 1/3 column format, you’d put your primary sales message in the larger column and your secondary info – client sites links, other testimonials, satisfaction guarantee seals, etc. The secondary info is supportive. It’s the information that makes a prospect feel comfortable about giving you their money.
#8 – Break-up the laundry list of benefits into better organized chunks.
Eyes glaze over with long bulleted lists. Help your visitor to understand the benefit context of a small group of bullets. Center these info chunks on service, support, design quality, ease of use, etc.
#9 – Forget the demo, use video to engage your prospect.
When I saw your demo link I was thinking video and when I didn’t find it, I thought I was in the wrong place. Visitor attention spans have shortened to the point where if the demo isn’t completely obvious, it won’t be used – at least not initially. Instead, I believe you could use a short intro video very effectively toward addressing the visitor and making them feel comfortable and engaged with your messaging.
GETTING YOUR PROSPECTS TO SAY “SURE, WHY NOT?”
#10 – Make me an offer and guarantee your services.
Remember that “free trial” verbiage on the homepage? In your info to me you mentioned you don’t offer free trials for membership site customers. That’s fine if you have something else you can say to a prospect who is almost ready to say yes. $89.95 is a lot more $$ than your standard website packages which DO offer free trials. How about a super-strong guarantee so no one feels like they’ll be out $89.95 on a product they ultimately decide they don’t like or want.
My thanks to Barrie North for his patience and support of Heifer International. Look for my next makeover in approximately 4 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 6/1/09. If you’re interested in a private critique/makeover or other services, please email me directly.)