Landing Page Makeover Clinic #19: Lunchsense.com

Landing Page Makeover

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

As the mom to three kids and the wife of a “brown-bagging” federal worker, I’ve bought (and replaced) more than my share of lunch boxes and bags. At the end of a typical school year, the bags that haven’t been lost are ripped, falling apart, and generally pretty disgusting. They, along with the detritus of my kids’ backpacks, get dumped into the trash at the start of every summer.

Maybe there’s a better way. Nancy Owen Myers surely thought so. That’s why she and her small cadre of friends developed Lunchsense.

These attractive, smartly engineered lunch totes work easily for adults as well as kids. They’re well-made, tough as nails, easy to clean, and non-toxic to small humans and big blue planets. Containers are well designed, fit snugly into their proper places, and are manufactured with planet-friendly plastic . . . a lunch box system that doesn’t need to be replaced every year.

But Nancy has a two-fold problem: not enough traffic and not enough buyers. E-tailers/retailers are still taking a pretty big hit in this economy, but let’s see what we can do to help Nancy get more of these snazzy lunch boxes into a lot more hands, big and small.

  • The Goal : Increase overall traffic, boost conversion rate from approximately 2%.
  • The Problem: Conversion is low.
  • The Current Landing Page (homepage): www.lunchsense.com
  • Value: $39.00 for lunchbox best-seller

The Maven’s 10-Point Critique

Note: Nancy coupled the need for additional traffic as well as improved conversion. So I’ve divided my suggestions into two broad categories.

FOR CONVERSION

#1 – Simplify, simplify, and simplify your homepage. Right now. I mean it.

Lunchsense home pageClick image for larger view

Wow, this homepage is a complete mess. Too many images, too many messages, too much!

While a classic landing page is a self-contained promotional vehicle that’s designed to drive a specific action from the page itself, a homepage’s main job is to drive a visitor deeper inside the site. Like a display window in a traditional retail shop, its job is to entice the prospect inside, where the real selling takes place.

What you need to do here is:

  • Choose one primary image that’s representative of everything else. How about a nice image of a happy mom and child using a Lunchsense?
  • Choose one strong statement: Lunchsense: The Easier, Cleaner & Greener Lunch Box Kit (as an example). Emphasize your value proposition — what only Lunchsense is/does and no other lunch box can say.
  • Choose three strong benefits and bullet them.
  • Add a highlight box for your special offer of the month. Add a “Start Shopping” button or even test a “Which Lunchsense Kit is right for you?” button.

Get rid of just about everything else, including the background veggie picture. (See the image detail.)

#2 – Rework your navigation to replicate the visitor’s path toward a purchase.

I think you’d benefit from three tiers of navigation. The Primary navigation bar should focus on the main reason why someone is at your site and is product/feature/benefit focused. I suggest:

  • HOME – SELECTION (Kits/Components/Gift Certificates)
  • FAQ (Care/Cleaning/Hardware)
  • OUR STORY (Why Lunchsense/Origins/Go Green)
  • BLOG or RAVES

If you’re not going to update your blog frequently, move the blog to Green Reads and add testimonials to the BLOG/RAVES spot instead.

Secondary Navigation will show the “sweeteners” and provides supportive information as someone is edging toward a purchase. I suggest:

  • Customer Care (instead of Warranty as a section head)
  • Green Reads (articles)
  • Contact Us
  • View Cart

Tertiary Navigation is what you need to have but generally won’t impact the customer or their actions very much. I usually put the Privacy Policy/Sitemap/Contact Us (again) adjacent to the copyright line, full corporate name, address, phone and email (email is linked.)

Add Wholesale Info/Wholesaler Log-in links in a place where they can be seen but are out of the main view of the consumer.

Also, replace your use of the term “warranty” with the words satisfaction guarantee.

#3 – Provide intuitive paths for your visitor to move around the site.

Although your site is fairly small, it would benefit from some form of “breadcrumb” sub-navigation so your visitors always know where they are — and that includes adding a Home link on the main navigation.

Many shoppers won’t know to try clicking the logo as a shortcut to the homepage. They have no way to back out and start again and that makes ‘em edgy and nervous. Getting in and out of your blog isn’t obvious either.

Keep your visitor oriented and they’ll have a much better shopping experience.

 Lunchsense shopping cart image Click image for larger view

#4 – Rethink the color theme to enhance site readability and usability.

Orange is a happy, friendly color that jumps off the page. It’s a favorite color of mine to use for action buttons and highlights. But with a content-intensive site it may be too much of a good thing and tiring to the visitor. I’d also change the blue font to black for the same reason.

Also, NEVER use orange as your main text font, especially during the “dangerous” shopping cart process when shoppers abandon carts for all sorts of reasons. Don’t let a hard-to-read font cost you sales.

#5 – Don’t ask for information that isn’t relevant to the purchase or your ability to fulfill an order.

I was a little unnerved being asked the age/sex of the recipient of the lunch box during checkout. I’m not a parent who pays much attention to overwrought privacy concerns (Heck, I’m in marketing!), but this request for info didn’t sit well with me because I didn’t understand it.

By all means, suggest colors, styles, sizes, etc. on the product page. But once you’re in the order process, don’t ask for ANY information that doesn’t apply DIRECTLY to the order or your processing of it.

#6 – Don’t make the product seem hard to use.

You have several videos/slide shows/images showing how to perform various tasks with Lunchsense. I’d definitely use them but I might do so sparingly.

Why?

Because we’re talking about a lunch box which, at least for most of us, should be a fairly easy product to master. To underscore the ease, I might show children doing the tasks.

#7 – Promote your value over price.

$39 for a lunch box sounds like a lot of money, especially if you’re buying for a child or children. I mean, $39 is the cost of an average elementary school child’s backpack! So it’s up to you to showcase value everywhere you can.

Use a chart to compare $39 to the average cost of a ‘regular’ lunch bag and the thousands of sandwich baggies used (per month, per year) . . . the spoiled food because your child won’t eat something that looks yucky when opened . . . the rancid, sticky mess of a lunch bag you can’t clean properly and wind up tossing at the end of the school year (like me.)

For adults, I’d talk in terms of lunches and lattes. What does the average adult spend on a workday lunch and morning coffee? Why not put that money back in your pocket and bring lunch from home, conveniently and even elegantly?

Watching your weight? Lunchsense helps you control your portions. Other ideas you might highlight would include less waste, less of a carbon footprint, quality materials, etc.

I’d also promote the idea of a lunch box kit or system and compare it to a sad, crumpled and soggy brown bag lunch. Ask the question: Do you REALLY want to eat food that’s been packed in THAT? :)

#8 – Test offers – free shipping, discounting, bundling.

It wasn’t obvious but you do have an offer on your homepage. But for the great majority of your customers (I’m guessing), it doesn’t apply.

You want to test offers that do apply to most of your target markets at relevant times.

  • Back-to-School Discount
  • Buy any Lunchsense, Get the small bag for 50% off
  • Free shipping when your order totals $50 or more
  • A large Lunchsense makes a great, reusable gift basket for baby showers, teacher gifts, etc.

Have one logical highlight box on your homepage where you can easily swap in/swap out copy and images for various offers.

FOR BUILDING TRAFFIC ORGANICALLY

#9 – Speak your customer’s language in your content.

Want your prospective customers to find you? Your content must be rich in the phrases and terms your customers actually use to find lunch box products.

You want to build a core customer glossary. There are lots of ways to do that, but one of the fastest is to use Google’s own tools. Many are used to help folks choose words for PPC campaigns, but they’re also useful as site glossary builders.

I like the Google Search-based Keyword Tool in particular, because it’s based on actual Google searches.

Pop your competition in there and see what terms they use. Also review your own site search logs and see what terms folks are using to find you. Those are the terms worth building on.

#10 – Strengthen your title/description (required).

Want to make really sure your customers (and Google) find you? Beef up your title/description tag info with customer vocabulary here, too.

Here are your current listings:

<title>Lunch Boxes, Lunch Box and Lunch Containers – Lunchsense for Children and Adults </title>

<meta name=”description” content=”Packing lunches for your child or yourself just got easier with Lunchsense lunch boxes, the machine washable, BPA/lead/PVC free lunchbox!”>

Your title is telling, but it’s too broad. It’s not selling your value proposition. Consider changing it to:

<title>Lead-Free, BPA-Free, PVC Vinyl-Free Lunch Boxes for Green Kids and Grown-ups :: Lunchsense Lunchbox Kits</title>

You’ll want to review your titles from time to time, tweaking and revising. If Vinyl-Free isn’t a strong issue, think about Eco-Friendly or other ‘green’ references. Or focus on the cleaner, greener alternative to yucky lunch boxes and bags. You’ll also want to lead with “lunch boxes” but use “lunchboxes” frequently since they are used interchangeably by your visitors.

Google frowns on being too salesy in your descriptions, so consider this suggested change:

<meta name=”description” content=”Lead-free, BPA-free, and PVC vinyl-free, Lunchsense lunch boxes make packing lunches cleaner, easier and greener and are a smart alternative to traditional lunchboxes and lunch bags.”>

Want to make Google even happier? Make sure you give each page its own unique title and description.

My thanks to Nancy Owen Myers for her supreme patience and support of Heifer International. Look for my next makeover in approximately four 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 click on Maven’s Landing Page Makeover page for all the details.

I’m booked for gratis “Heifer” critiques until 10/30/09. 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. Find her @CopywriterMaven on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. This is an amazing bit of information for the rest of us. I am definitely making this a “sticky” in my archives. Thank you so much for posting this.

  2. “Google frowns on being too salesy in your descriptions, so consider this suggested change ”

    Why do you say this? I have not read this anywhere before.

  3. Wow, what an incredible bit of good information.

    Guess what I will be doing today?

    It’s all easy-to-implement tasks that I am sure will change the direction of this person’s business.

    Thanks so much.

  4. Hi Roberta

    Followed a Twitter link to get here and so glad I did.

    What a mine of good information here – even if you’re ‘quite happy’ with your present home page design.

    As a designer of our own website – I think the biggest problem is you can get to close to a project. Because you’ve been testing and re-testing everything – the shopping cart, the products etc so often, it becomes second nature so why shouldn’t it be for any first time visitor?

    I’ve always got my friends and family to do some blind testing – take their feedback and incorporate it into the final live version.

    Be wary – like the X-Factor (singing talent competition on TV), just because your family think you’re a good singer, it doesn’t follow that you actually are.

    So take suggestions with a pinch of salt, test and re-test and then rather than sit back – keep refining and adding to the process thereafter.

    I always tell other web design clients of mine that websites – good ones – are living, breathing entities and they must evolve and grow (a bit Star Trek I know, for which I make no apologies) but you get the idea.

    Thanks again Roberta – if you get a moment – stop by won’t you?

    Jonathan.

  5. Great in depth information. I think these changes will most definitely boost conversion rates for this client. Especially the cart changes removing the additional data collection and streamlining the flow to purchase.

  6. This post is one of many posts that I read seriously. Making landing page that google and people loves at the same time is always very difficult for me.

  7. I really enjoyed reading a real, live landing page makeover critic. Please include more articles like this one.
    Randy

  8. @Andre – after 12 years of doing SEO, this little tidbit is just one of those factoids that lodge in my brain. But the basic idea is to keep your description direct, specific and straightforward. It’s also the best way there is to get good keyword phrases where you want them. Google doesn’t want – WORLD’S GREATEST WHIZBANG!!!! @@@SEE HOW!!!!@@@ – mucking up the quality of their listings.

    @Jonathan – I’m always happy to take a look. From there?
    Your call. :)

  9. Didn’t realise it quite such a science. Makes sense though. Thanks

  10. Keeping a home page simple is something I’m trying to implement myself. I am conscious of what I do now when I go to others websites and pages that give me way too many options are the ones I usually leave. I am trying to make the visitor click where I want them to click. It’s tough, but I’m working on it!

  11. This is timely. I am about to work on the homepage of my website and I have to switch from being a programmer to a marketing guy. I’ve read many of these tips a long time ago from books of Steve Krug and Nick Usborne but I have forgotten them already until I saw this article :)

  12. I am reminded of Leo over at Zenhabits. He has one of the most successful blogs around (in less than 3 years!) and his landing page is simplicity itself.

  13. Robert, I just saw this today in my Google Reader and love how you laid out the diagnosis. I am hoping that the Lunchsense.com team takes your advice to heart. Will you be posting on Nancy’s progress and the results? I would definitely like to see a follow up post in the next few months. In the meantime, I am going to be including this post in my Daily Bytes newsletter for today – http://www.brandworksllc.com/daily-bytes – it is a collection of pieces that I think can be helpful to those seeking to use the web to build their businesses.

  14. @Wayne – Wow. Mentioning me and Leo in the same breath. Thanks!

    @Mary Ann – I hope they do, too. I’m actually thinking about a post soon regarding my follow-up with previous makeover participants. Watch for it within the next few weeks. Should be interesting. :)

  15. Good points on the redesign. I hate it when SEO clients bust my balls because they are getting more traffic but not any more leads than before. It’s very hard to tell them their design stinks and might be hurting their ROI. It don’t matter how many people I bring to the site, if the design is off nobody will buy from it…

  16. I’m currently reworking my homepage and this has helped a bunch. So thanks a bunch!

  17. Thorough, smart evaluation.

  18. I am trying to rework my page now, Roberta. I agree that a simple image of a mom (or dad!) with Lunchsense would be a striking visual that would get the point across.

    For their “offers, discounts” section, they could do a play on words: Lunchsense = Lunch cents?

  19. My landing page has the requiste photo image and briefly states what my work is about, but I’m not sure that it expressly invites people in to read the blog, write a mother memoir, or buy my guidebook. I’ll use your prompts and try to figure out what I’m doing right or wrong…it’s never easy.
    Thank you for great ideas and suggestions.

  20. SEO, attractiveness and persuasion: three insanely difficult things to pull off in one home page! For me it’s a never-ending case of trial and error, followed by more trial.

  21. Great article. Thank you for your sound research and advice. –chriswasbrown.blogspot.com

  22. So many helpful tips and I am sure I break all the rules. I don’t sell anything but do want readers to read more than just the first paragraph. I’m glad I found you by way of technorati top 100.

  23. I love how opinionated you are in this series. It’s exactly the type of hard-hitting critique clients need.

    Many people could take your Top 10 points and apply them to their own landing pages. Having a checklist of best (or worst) practices is great for workflow.

    The strongest takeaway for many people should be the process of how you connect your critique with the business goals of the site’s owner.

    Nicely done.

  24. I have long felt that these are required reading for any copywriter or web designer. Thanks for all your hard work with them, Roberta. :)

  25. Great article Roberta.

    I always look forward to these make-overs and there always seems to be information to take away and apply to my websites :-)

    This month my key points for me, are to revisit my sales process and what can be made simpler. Maybe blog articles addressing my services from different angles, and key phrases, will bring more prospects into the sales funnel…

  26. Thanks to everyone for their kind comments! I’m always glad when folks get essential takeaways they can use for their own sites and pages.

    One of the points Oli mentioned is important and underscores the approach I take with all the makeovers and that is alignment with whatever your goals are for your landing page or site. Without the alignment, every makeover would write and read the same way. All mechanics and technique without a strong marketing message core.

    I’m also a big believer in seeing the page as the key driver in the process of conversion. As you see here, I looked at the main elements: homepage, navigation, interior page and shopping cart. A made-over homepage without a made-over shopping cart experience is all intro without the close. No close? No conversion.

  27. I been following your posts with great interest over the last couple of month…your free content is SUPER and i learned a LOT. Thanks fo all the work…keep it coming ;)

    Cisco

  28. Very good information.
    I really appreciate your site’s content and all of the great information included in the posts.