Just like your mother used to tell you: You only have one chance to make a first impression and first impressions count. On the Web, that first impression is your landing page.
Yet more often than not, businesses neglect that all-important first impression even as they spend ever-increasing amounts of time and money on PPC advertising, keyword bidding and Web analytics. And that neglect is costing companies big time, according to Web marketing guru Tim Ash who’s written several recent columns on the subject at SearchEngineWatch.com.
Here’s what he has to say in Your Baby’s Ugly – Why You Need Landing Page Optimization Now
“landing pages typically range from barely acceptable to horrible. They are often at direct cross-purposes with the desired conversion action and stated goals of the business.”
I’ll leave it to Ash to give you the nitty-gritty about optimizing your landing page — not surprisingly, he’s written a book about it.
In the meantime, you might want to check out Optimize and Prophesize blogger Jonathan Mendez’basic rules for making the right first impression with your landing page. These include a clear and direct statement of your value proposition, a persuasive call to action, and — the one that caught my attention — a Large Red Button
“Tell your brand team to go to hell and throw your styleguide out the window. Red buttons can by themselves raise your conversion rate–most times in our testing if color matters it is red that wins. Also, don’t skimp on button size. Make users notice where the button is…”
This is a perfect fit for click-to-call. But don’t neglect the text that goes with it. Mendez suggests a “soft” call to action like ‘Get a free quote’ — instead of’Schedule an appointment’ – because it feels easier and less like a commitment. Even if that visitor doesn’t buy today, by making a connection you can start building a relationship.
UPDATE (May 4, 2010)
In addition to Click-to-Call, online marketers are now using our Call Tracking technology for A/B tests to measure which landing pages yield the highest conversion rate. Here’s one great example of a Call Tracking Landing Page Case Study. For more info, see Tim Ash’s comment below, read his book on Landing Page Optimization or give DialogTech a call.