This is another addition to our ongoing series of tutorials and case studies on landing pages that work.
At long last, after much thinking, the day has arrived. I’m thrilled to announce that Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz agreed to step up and subject his landing page to scrutiny as my official makeover candidate. I’ve outlined the basic background information below. The 10-point critique and bonus recommendations follow.
Here’s what’s going on over at SEOmoz.
- The Goal:
Increase the number of new visitor subscribers to the SEOmoz premium content by a minimum of 1%.
- The Problem:
Regular readers of blog convert well. Converting non-blog readers – those not already familiar with SEOmoz – are converting at a dismal .05%.
- The Current Landing Page:
- Page/Ad that Generates the Click-Through:
Home page link, inline blog ads, and various other efforts.
The Maven’s 10-Point Critique:
1. Remove all the extraneous material from the most valuable real estate on your landing page – the area “above the fold”, the visitor’s first screen view.
Eliminate all the sign-ins, search and navigational links. They are all reasons and exits from the landing page and your message.
2. Add a compelling, benefit-rich headline.
Where’s the headline establishing the promise to the visitor right up front? This is a page filled with benefits and features but there’s no central headline that encapsulates the value proposition of the product offering. Your headline has to open the dialog with the visitor and begin the process of answering the question – “What’s in it for me?” This is especially critical for the “cold” visitor who has no prior relationship with you.
3. Redo the black box/reverse type section, add your first strong testimonial here.
Although the visual is in keeping with the look of the blog, the reverse type make it difficult to read and the organization of the features is a mess. I’d eliminate the laundry list, concentrate on no more than 3-5 of the strongest benefits and add a strong testimonial here, as well. Remember, what others say about you is more important than what you say about yourself. Use your testimonials to highlight your copy, matching benefit to testimonial as best as you can. (Nice use of photos with testimonials. It lends an extra layer of credibility.)
4. Consider a 2-column format.
Your current 1-column format forces too much of the promotional content below the fold. A 2-column format would allow you to bring up your first call-to-action in the first screen and a large number of your most important testimonials adjacent to the content.
5. Start “building your case” with a strong, introductory paragraph.
Your copy kicks off telling visitors what they’ll get with the premium service, but not why they need it – and need it from you. Orient them, empathize with them, give them the context as to why this premium content will make their work easier and make them look smarter. Free SEO tools and available content are your strongest competitor. Your copy has to address the value of making a $299 investment throughout. Testimonials that speak to value are critical.
6. Punch up the subheads with benefit-specific copy; Introduce the “What do I get” specifics much earlier in the page.
Current subheads are weak and self-serving. Focus on value, exclusivity, authoritative information that’s recognized by experts, etc. to lower the visitor’s resistance to your sales message. The “laundry list” of membership goodies appear much too late in the copy. Here’s where you should begin to pile on the stuff of what visitor’s will get. Organize the feature set more tightly and edit, edit, edit. The paragraph line lengths are too long, no more than 3-5 lines per paragraph. Add some visual relief to the text. Use the icons you’re currently using in the black box and add them here.
7. Use pop-ups or other click devices so that visitors can get additional information without leaving the landing page.
The visitor is sent constantly off-page to view important content. Every click away is a customer lost. Also, not all of the links are useful. I don’t need to see the hundreds of other premium members. What I need to see/read are solid reasons to spend my money. Eliminate any information that doesn’t make or support your value proposition. Every word and image has to communicate the value of your premium content offering to the visitor.
8. Eliminate the passive 3rd person voice from your copy.
Passive voice, 3rd person writing drains energy and excitement from your copy. (Works well for delivering bad news, though :=) … So, for example, I’d revise “Premium Membership Gets You” to something like “Here’s what you’ll get as a SEOmoz Premium Member.” Change every “they” to you. Don’t tell me about a feature, tell me how I’d use it, how I’d benefit from using it. Also, keep reminding the visitor that the content is exclusive, only available through membership.
9. Add additional calls-to-action throughout the copy.
With a $299 price tag, there’s no question that even a new landing page will need to run longer than a single screen. Make sure you use call-to-action buttons and links throughout. At least one per general screen view.
10. Simplify the pricing offer and registration information. Too many choices paralyze and confuse.
A couple of thoughts here. I might try only 2 prices – Monthly Pay As You Go: easy in, easy out, allows the visitor to try it without a lot of risk and 12-month “Best-Buy” Savings. This way you’ve cleanly distinguished between 2 benefits – perceived risk reduction and significant savings.
As far as the sign-up goes, I found it confusing. Here I’d like to see two boxes that clearly indicate – “New to SEOmoz? Begin your membership here” or “Current SEOmoz Reader? Upgrade to membership here.”
- In the copy, call your prospects members OR subscribers, but not both. They are not equivalents.
- Remove the language about the 12-month price never going up. New subscribers care more about risk.
- Add a satisfaction guarantee to the 12-month membership. It will help the fence sitters move to the 12-month subscription for the savings if they know they can cancel at any time without penalty. Very few customers will exercise the option.
- Add more visual pop to your credibility boosters. Add “As seen in Newsweek” or other high-visibility media names , etc.” in a burst-type graphic in the top screen.
- Use dollars saved instead of percentage saved. Visitors can more easily figure out the math and value of your offer.
Encourage visitors to act now, right now. Add an offer deadline, encourage immediate action with a few valuable freebies.
My thanks and appreciation to Rand for being the inaugural makeover and for his support of Heifer International.
The Clinic is Open
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.