Sign up for weekly recaps of the ever-changing search marketing landscape.
5 Colorful Sketches On Conversion Optimization
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But are five sketches are worth approximately one column’s worth?
Doodling with a new drawing app on the iPad — 53’s Paper, which is a real beauty — I took a pass at illustrating what I consider to be five important ideas in conversion optimization.
The Conversion Funnel
As marketers, we obsess with the prospect-to-customer funnel. Getting more people in at the top. Moving more of them through the middle faster. We talk about top-of-funnel (TOFU) tactics and middle-of-funnel (MOFU) tactics. All of which is good to a point.
But the real art of conversion optimization is crafting our marketing through the eyes of our audience. From a prospect’s perspective, their funnel progresses through four questions of you:
- What do you do?
- Why should I care?
- How do I believe you?
- Where do we begin?
If your funnel aligns with their funnel, answering those questions, good things happen.
Why Landing Pages Are Awesome
I’ve spent 7 years working on landing pages and post-click marketing, yet every day I still wake up amazed and inspired by the possibilities.
Why? Because landing pages are at the intersection of three innovative forces in marketing: content marketing, performance marketing, and technical wizardry.
You need terrific content to be relevant and engaging. You leverage performance marketing principles for testing, analysis, and measuring success. And you use technical wizardry to create remarkable user experiences and to optimize the entire process end-to-end.
Each of these fields is fascinating on its own. The combinations of them are electrifying.
Modern Marketer’s DNA
Bryan Eisenberg said it best: as marketers, we need to Always Be Testing.
Test early, and test often.
A/B testing should be more than a capability. It should be more than a best practice. It should be rooted deeply into the culture of every modern marketing team. Our genetic code — at least metaphorically — should consist only of A-B pairs.
Brand Impact vs. Conversion Rate
There can be a perceived tension between conversion rate optimization and brand impact, which dates back to the early rivalries of direct marketing vs. brand marketing.
But it’s a false choice: you can — and should — do great on both dimensions.
Sure, there are cheesy used car salesman type tactics that you can use to squeeze short-term bumps to your conversion rate. (“I promise you the world, just give me your email address and click ‘Boom!'”) But such chicanery costs you brand equity.
On the other hand, great brand-building content is often published without any direction towards a “next step.” It leaves visitors dangling like a sailboat in the middle of a lake with no wind. Sure, they can paddle their way to a conversion step. But paddling is hard work.
The sweet spot is pushing the Pareto frontier of brand and conversion to achieve both. That’s brilliant post-click marketing.
Eschew Cookie-Cutter Landing Pages
Okay, so this sketch only makes one big point: differentiate.
There’s an art to producing seductive landing pages, and it doesn’t emerge from boring, cookie-cutter webpage layouts that look like they came out of Microsoft Word.
Stand out from the competition. Don’t just be branded — be a brand.
In the end, 100% of visitors to your page see what you produced. What percentage will be impressed? What percentage will find it memorable? And, of course, what percentage will convert?
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.