Landing Page Makeover Clinic #24:
NannySoft.com

Landing Page Makeover

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

David Gilbert wants to help parents monitor their school-aged children’s activities online. He’s done his homework and knows his demographic stats cold. He also has a good handle on the main reasons why parents buy these kinds of products. Helpful, too, is that his price point is very affordable — equivalent in value to approximately one month of broadband service.

The market is huge, but there’s a lot of competition in this space already. NannySoft definitely has to bring on its marketing game.

Actual marketing activity has been slow, hampered by a micro-budget. Except for some pay-per-download efforts and sponsored posts by a handful of mommy bloggers, NannySoft marketing has been in quiet mode.

  • The Goal: Sell 100,000 units within a 12-18 month timeframe.
  • The Problem: Not enough traffic, period. The CTR from visitors being generated from existing pay-per programs is less than 1%. Site is averaging 5 visitors a day.
  • Content Marketing Strategies: promotional posts on relevant blogs
  • The Current Landing Page (home page): http://www.nannysoft.com
  • Value: $39.95

The Maven’s 10-Point Critique

image of landing pageClick image for larger view

#1 — Make your case in the first screen with a strong, provocative headline.

As I said, you have a lot of competition in the web monitor software sector. So what can you say about your software that no other company can or does — or is there a benefit you can push forward that other companies don’t?

Your current headline is okay — “Know What Your Kids Do Online,” but it’s factual, head-based. You already have a stronger headline, “Build a Wall of Protection for Your Kids” further down. Can you feel the difference in emotional resonance?

NannySoft isn’t about software. It’s about parents protecting and shielding their kids from the bad guys and porn sites that operate so freely online. Parents are looking to NannySoft to give them peace of mind in a scary world.

#2 — Keep stirring the emotion beyond the headline, make a strong offer, and don’t try to close the sale too soon.

If we take “Build a Wall of Protection for Your Kids” or perhaps “Build A Rock-Solid Wall of Protection Around Your Kids,” then we transition to NannySoft as the purveyor of parental protection:

NannySoft keeps your kids safe from online predators by allowing you to monitor their every move:

  • (Then spell out feature/benefit 1)
  • (Feature/benefit 2)
  • (Feature/benefit 3)

Also, don’t ask for the sale in your headline. It’s too much like a man who takes a woman to dinner on a first date and proposes marriage over drinks — don’t rush things. Make your case first.

Focus on getting folks to take a 10-day risk-free trial. You can add a “Purchase Now” button and link on the free-trial page and offer your visitor an incentive (discount, free upgrade) to buy now. Back up your purchase offer with a money-back guarantee.

#3 — Forget the screen shots. Hook your visitors with a well-made video.

Take the video tour now — make this your first call to action.

I found myself impatiently wading through your screen shots. A professional video — well-designed and thoughtfully written — could do a much better job of showing your prospects how NannySoft works, what it does, and help them imagine how it might work on their own computers.

#4 — Change the main image to focus on the family.

The child you’re showing isn’t really school-aged and the scene is pleasant and pastoral. Hardly scary or discomforting. So to reinforce the parental protection angle, show the mom or dad with their child on the computer together, or the child on the computer in the foreground and mom/dad in the background. The key is to make the connection between child/family/computer safety.

You’ve already done this with the electronic mock-up on your purchase page (see below). This is precisely the kind of image you want on the home page.

image of landing page

#5 — Change your tag line to further reinforce your message.

“Watching your kids in an online world” isn’t bad, but isn’t emotional enough. You want more words about safety, protection, and security in there.

Remember this is an emotional purchase, just like safety latches on medicine cabinets. Parents want to make it hard for their children to get hurt. Parents want to keep an eye on their kids while giving them the illusion of freedom. Parents want freedom from worry. NannySoft’s message needs to appeal on all these levels.

#6 — Put more of the goodies upfront and rework your navigation.

Right now, your primary navigation is bland. It doesn’t show enough about NannySoft and your company without a lot of clicks. This is important because the primary navigation has the main information visitors want within easy reach when they first arrive. I suggest the following:

  • HOME (and don’t forget to link your logo to NannySoft.com)
  • Features
  • Requirements
  • FAQ
  • Download Free Trial (highlight this with a bright color)
  • Testimonials
  • Contact Us

Secondary navigation is the place for sweeteners and confidence boosters:

  • About Us — Tutorials — Support

#7 — Answer the question, “Will it work on my system?”

I can’t find that info anywhere on your site. Make a badge, tell the folks what they need to know, and add it to your home page. Link it to your requirements page.

#8 — Add those essential credibility boosters!

Answer the questions: Who are you and Where are you located?

Your current About Us really isn’t about you at all. I’m a potential customer for a monitoring product that will go on my child’s or family’s computer. I’m already in a wary frame of mind. You need to tell me your company’s story and who the players are.

You also need to tell me where you’re located. Customers are wary about giving credit card info to companies they can’t find on a map. No location, no sale.

Answer the question: Who are your customers and what do they say?

Add testimonials from satisfied customers.

Don’t have enough customers yet? Get yourself connected via social media and give some copies away via Twitter. Set-up a NannySoft Facebook fan page and offer fans a Free Friday giveaway. Add a blog about child safety online and encourage subscribers via RSS and email.

#9 — Standardize your font choice and handling for enhanced readability.

Depending on the page, your font sizes go from too teeny to too large and too bold. Blech. Revise your CSS to give you sizing in the mid-range, 10 to 12 point for body content.

#10 — Rework your home page to help your visitors ‘get the message’ faster.

I believe your current home page design is inefficient in its current form, so I spent some time noodling some possibilities for you. (See the image below.)

The idea is to give your visitors more ‘tastes’ of what you’ve got, to encourage them to explore deeper inside.

image of landing pageClick image for larger view

BONUS — Make sure your awards are really awards and have value.

I took a list at your Awards page and honestly, it reminded me of the ‘any badge is a good badge’ days of the late 1990s. But I do encourage you to seek out meaningful awards from parent and/or teacher organizations and top-flight software industry awards.

And when you get them, don’t hide them on a back page. Add them to the home page where prospects like me with three web-active kids can see them.

My thanks to David Gilbert for his patience and support of Heifer International. Look for my next makeover in 3 to 4 weeks.

About the Author: Roberta Rosenberg is The Copywriting Maven at MGP Direct, Inc. Find her @CopywriterMaven at Twitter. If you’re interested in a private critique/makeover, a site audit, or other services, please email her directly.

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Comments

  1. Hey Roberta,

    This is a great review you did on this page. The two that I really see a lot of people make is #2 and #3.

    So many times I visit a page and they are trying to make the sale way to quickly. Instead, of trying to hook the customer with emotions. Emotions are going to capture the reader to read on and want the service or product.

    Great tip on Video; This is something that I’m seeing a lot of on successful sites or blogs.

    Thanks for sharing this info!
    Josh

  2. Thanks for a behind the scenes look at this detailed review – reminds me I need to do the same for my sites! Love #3 – video is such a powerful way to communicate product features and benefits.

  3. I don’t think the site answers the question “Why?”

    I see nothing about pedophiles or sex offenders, or any stats related to this issue to make me say, “Jesus! This problem is huge. I need something.”

    I need something that screams “Pedophiles are watching your kids, are you?”

    Just my two cents. Thanks for doing these Roberta.

  4. @Shane – I thought about how hard to hit the fear button and wasn’t sure how boldly to go with the pedophile angle. But if I were going to test anything, it would be this.

  5. Loved this review – very insightful and gave me some ideas to try on my own site. Question though: It is stated one of the primary issues (or perhaps THE primary issue) is no traffic to the site. How will making these changes on the landing page drive traffic to it? Once the traffic gets there he’s got ‘em but he still won’t have any more traffic than he does today, right?

  6. Another great landing page makeover, but if traffic is the problem, I’d recommend starting a blog and doing some old fashioned SEO. That is how I’ve built my visitors to over 50K per month and over 100K pageviews. Use Google’s Keyword search tool and start writing on your topic of keeping children safe online. This is where you can pull in news stories and such. I just did a quick search and there is quite a bit of competition. I used the tool and searched for “keep children safe online” and it’s a hot topic! What I did for my own site was search for keywords that get roughly 1,000-2,000 searches per month with less competition and write an article geared towards those keywords and topic. The article has to be good, but it just gives you a direction of how to phrase something better to get those searchers. A Google campaign will likely be way too expensive with all the competition out there. Become an “expert” on the topic. Good luck!

  7. Hi Deb – you’re absolutely right. He needs a lot more traffic, but I felt I had to ‘stick to the knitting’ for this review. Effective SEO, SEM and social media marketing would help to pop traffic significantly.

  8. @Nicole – an excellent suggestion, too, Nicole! Thanks for adding it to the list for NannySoft.com

  9. I have to agree, without traffic (my problem also) there is not much point to doing anything else. Keyword research, backlinking, social bookmarking need to happen first.

  10. @Deborah – power up a well-funded PPC program – or get your site/page critiqued on Copyblogger :) and you’ll ramp-up the traffic fast and then they go … where?

    I don’t think it’s a matter of do this or that first. You have to do both – generating relevant traffic/converting traffic and testing – concurrently.

  11. Not surprisingly, Roberta nails it again (and again).

    Luv the well-made video aspect of life … and splashing that puppy elsewhere on the web sounds like fun and profit.

    Tia D., Publicist
    http://www.SMSS2010.com

  12. I agree with that — before I work on traffic, I like to get the page to a point where it’s at least moderately likely to convert. Otherwise, all that work of building traffic is wasted.

    I think Roberta’s advice is the way to go, work on both getting the traffic and converting the traffic at the same time, to keep yourself on the right path.

  13. Good review however I would just like to add a couple of points that his guy needs to hear or he will fail despite all your good advice.

    1, You must go fishing where the fish are.

    Your primary language “Parental Monitoring Software” is NOT the language of that market – only 1300 people a month are actively looking for that.

    Do some research and find out what the market is looking for I suggest that you start with “keylogger” @ 550,000 searches a month or “parental software” @ 60,000 a month or ” cybersitter” 50,000 a month etc

    You might conclude that you will not be able to compete against the incumbent in those SERP’s today but if you cant you can forget 100,000 copies in 12 – 18 months.

    Here are the real numbers as they stand today

    Lets say you get to number 1 for “Parental Monitoring Software” the only relevant term you can rank for today – based on the way your site is set up – at 1300 a month at slot 1 you will get about 42% of that volume click through.

    Thats only 520 visitors.

    Blog posts are great for picking up the long tail but your home page will be your strongest card you need to set it up so that it will be indexed for the language of your market.

    2, a much smaller issue but still ask your website developer about H1, H2, H3 tags at the moment they either don’t exist or are emphasizing the wrong text.

    Good luck with the business but have a position where you can survive if you don’t make the sales you are looking for personally I think you way way over stretched to go anywhere near $4M in the first year.

  14. Know what I love about this site? That the comments are almost always as filled with great info as the blog itself. And both, today, are fantastic!

    I’m celebrating a request for a full manuscript today so am off to tinker with my own blog some more. Building SEO so I can then build even more traffic. Thanks!

  15. Exactly right, Beki~

  16. Roberta, another fantastic website critique. Great points regarding the headline, pics, and social media…well, actually I can’t find any points that WEREN’T great!

    As always, I look forward to incorporating these points in my own sites, as the information is spot on :) Thanks!

  17. Can I make a further suggestion …

    As a former full time SEO consultant ( now reformed ) I believe that great sites are built from the search up, too often SEO’s are called in to look at sites that have achieved some measure of success and the owners now want to improve their organic results.

    And although you can always improve a sites onpage attributes I promise you it is far far easier if you plan out the SEO basics before you go to far to leverage the basics.

    Things like the domain name and extension you choose, the host servers you choose, the navigation relative to the body code have a profound effect on SEO.

    Its not hard in fact its all just logical common sense but if you don’t plan from the search up you will always be swimming against the tide.

    So my advice is to look into what you can do with basic onpage SEO factors before you make any changes.

  18. This was hot Roberta! especially the part where you said “NannySoft isn’t about software. It’s about parents protecting and shielding their kids from the bad guys and porn sites that operate so freely online. Parents are looking to NannySoft to give them peace of mind in a scary world.” That creates attention and action on the fear of loss (positive fear).

    Their social media and email headline list promotions could play on that line as well “shield your kids from the bad guys and porn sites” with a links.

  19. In response especially to #5, I think that this is the time to pull out the BIG GUNS and use some good old-fashioned FEAR-based marketing.

    This is a terribly competitive market and if a parent already has the software, chances are they won’t switch to a new one.

    This is where the fear marketing comes in. Show a picture of a scuffy-looking stereotypical online predator. Show how this software adresses that problem better than any other.

    This is where you turn up the stove to HOT. Nothing says “it’s time to purchase” more than a mother that wants to protect her cubs from ANYTHING.

    If you can add a scary situation to the mix instead of making the entire website family-focused and happy, then you are really going to give your customers a reason to take action NOW.

    Show the customer what you are protecting them from.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  20. @Joshua Black
    I think thats a little extreme my thoughts were positive fear to action for safety. Not scare the hell out them marketing LOL

  21. @Darren, Josh – how heavy to wield the fear baton should be tested, especially if the majority of purchasers are moms or dads.

    @Victor – there’s no question that solid SEO would be a huge boost across the board. (I’ve been doing SEO since 1997 so I’m with you that.) However, as a marketing multi-tasker, I lean toward a gestaltic approach for NannySoft, especially as there are few sales and little traffic at the moment. Ready all the big guns and get ‘em firing. Finesse from there.

  22. Great post. I am actually using some of the advice for a flyer I am making up for a speaking event!

  23. @Roberta, I tried to get a karate school to change their entire offering. They had “we do this, we do that, we have this class, we have that.” Classic cookie-cutter karate school website stuff. Nothing as to what would will a parent to spend money on THEIR school, NOW.

    I gave them links to 5 youtube videos of bullies beatin the bleep out of innocent kids (I mean beating them badly) and advised them to post the vids on their site and follow them with messaging along the lines of “we’ll save your kid from this.” The videos are visceral, stomach turning, as the truth sometimes is. I saw them and knew I would rob a bank just to get the money for my son to train MMA, and I’d spend my money on a school that shared their understanding of the seriousness of the situation.

    They didn’t go for it (too extreme). They went out of business a month later. I’m not saying this is the case with the company you critiqued. I just wanted to share some background with everyone here.

  24. I was going to make a smarty pants comment about how SEO’s back in 1997 just tried to stuff as many keywords as possible into the meta keywords. Maybe writing a title tag at best and that was it, no H1 or H 2 tags, no Alt Image Tags absolutely no consideration to the site navigation or even the body content but then I had a look at your copywriting site in the signature of the post and realized you really are one of the early SEO’s. Kudos to you – thanks for the post.

  25. @Victor – I had the good fortune to have someone from Excite.com – when it was a hot search engine among many – contact me about a site of mine she thought deserved top ranking. She showed me how to ‘look under the hood’ of my site and make changes. I was hooked. Two weeks later, my site was #1 for its primary keyword phrases. 13 years later, it still is.

    @Shane – Several months ago, I did an hour’s telephone site audit with a client. They had a reason for everything they did that I identified to change and test. I gave them my best. What they choose to do or not do is up to them. I’ve learned though I can’t save a drowning man who won’t grab the lifesaver.

  26. @Roberta, you made me laugh, but that is indeed sad.

    I told them, “Look, this is a recession. People are scared they will have no money or no job and are holding back. Fear is their driving force right now. You need to show them something more fearful.” Alas.

  27. I think I have fallen in love with these clinics. I have recently started venturing into affiliate marketing and these have helped me out considerably over that past week.

  28. Alex Brunelli :

    Thanks, extremely useful!

  29. Great stuffs Roberta! All solid points, especially the ones related to headlines and video tour. There isn’t enough emotion stirring in the landing page, and the video would definitely give the visitors a solid grasp of what the software would do.

    Here are my further feedback to NannySoft:
    1) “Don’t let your kids be another statistic” didn’t really make much sense to me. Feels a little factual to have an impact.

    2) Post some questions to parents who worry about their kids when they’re online such as “Are you worried about your kids being stalked online? Do you want to shield your kids from danger?” Once they start saying yes to your questions, they would feel more engaged and inclined to try out the software. After all, it’s a FOC trial.

    3) Similar to Roberta’s point #9, the font size at the bottom and the nav bar is too small. If it’s hard to read, nobody will read it.

    4) The main call to action here is to download the free trial, since the brand isn’t popular enough (based on the site traffic) to make people jump at the offer.

    5) Offering a bonus or two would make the offer more irresistible. Or like a free upgrade when the new version comes out. It gives more security to the buyer.

    Hope that helps! I love landing pages clinic :-)

  30. Very interesting. This subject may not be so relevant to my blog but something somewhere is striking a chord.

    I have always been a fan of a fancy home page but I guess I need to relook at improving every landing page with time. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Love your insights and ideas, all the seo hints. I am surprised when you got #3 and talked about doing a video that you didn’t mention putting it on youtube (#2 for search) and embedding it into the site. We have people that their youtube video almost instantly gets a higher ranking than their website…

  32. Thanks, the line about adding a provocative headline is spot-on, I think. When we use a web-based service we get frustrated if we cannot find the “clue” in 3 seconds but we so forget that lesson when it comes to our site. The landing page should always answer “what’s in it for the customer?”

  33. @reikob – you’re absolutely right and an oversight on my part. Make a video, create a YouTube channel and start promoting!

    @ishrath – if you want your visitors to do no more than simply enjoy your thoughts and ideas, keep your pages as lovely and fancy as you like. However, if you want to convert your visitors to something else, like a subscriber or buyer, then you’ll want to be sure you’re incorporating a different set of elements designed to persuade and motivate action.

  34. Roberta,

    If you received a $1 every time you heard “genius” as it applies to you … Well, I’m just thankful you keeping on writing thought provoking articles.

    http://www.pizza-italiana.com/ Is an example of a static website needing a makeover from the Vancouver WA area (disclaimer: I only eat there). It saddens me that a great pizza place, along with countless others, are clueless about even the bare basics of using online marketing to create loyal customers.

    -A New Follower and Fan!

  35. @tnavres64 – If the ratio is $/per, wow – someone owes me a lot of money! :) How clever of you, though, to have me and a few thousand Copyblogger readers take a look. Yes, they need me. I’ll be waiting for their email. :)

  36. Roberta, I think you can count me in also as a new follower and fan.

    This must be one of the best articles I have seen on Landing Pages. With your well explained step-by-step instructions you have given me the head start I been searching for.

    Plus I now have to start digg into some of the previous articles.

    One question: Should you make a landing page as a standalone weburl, or is it ok to use your blog and create a landing page from your blog?

    Cheers.. Are

  37. You’re very kind, Are, thank you. To answer your question – you can do either. If you’re going to want to do the latter, though, think about the ways you can make sure all extraneous navigation can be stripped. There are WP themes and plug-ins that will do this. If you’re using Thesis, there may be a neat way of doing this, as well.

  38. I thought the photo of the kid in the grass was pretty effective. He seems very vulnerable, and the low point of view suggests the child is being watched.

    I like your ideas of how to change the page. I would be careful not to fill up that space too much, though. I`m looking forward to seeing the changes that will be made.

  39. Hi guys,

    Great review. I don’t think that you missed anything.

    Kind regards,

    Sam
    X