ACCM: 15 Landing Page Tips

    May 21, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

There’s an art to landing pages but the end goal is the same for all of them: Getting the prospective visitor to  take a desired action. Accomplishing this is a matter of patience, thorough testing, and intuiting a visitor’s desire.

(Coverage of the ACCM conference continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

A panel of experts spoke about landing pages at the ACCM conference in Orlando. The panel included American Eagle veep Tim Walter, DMinSite sales and marketing team lead Karen Crist, and Budk World Wide VP of Ecommerce Gavin Galtere.

When developing landing pages, Walter said there are two obvious places to start: paid search and email. "Don’t only do Google," he said. "If you do you’re leaving a lot of dollars on the table."

Email is the cheaper route, and allows more freedom and speed in testing. "Paid search is more difficult because it’s not in your face," said Walter. As might be obvious, email puts a marketer’s message directly in front of the consumer whereas search requires not only the consumer to actively seek out but to not be blind to advertisements.

As an extension to that, Crist noted that landing pages should not be subtle. She prefers the "buy it now" approach, especially with smaller ticket items for sale that don’t require a lot of research.

Knowing the intent of the consumer then, plays a big part in developing a landing page. Galtere echoed this sentiment by admonishing marketers to make sure the landing page matches where the consumer expects to be taken. "I hate to see someone come in and hit the search button immediately. That’s making consumers work too hard.

Between the three of them, they delivered a pretty nice set of tips for getting the most out of landing pages. They are as follows:

1.    Get top-level buy-in for strategic projects; not all projects produce immediate sales, but have more strategic implications for the business.

2. Create urgency, such as a deadline to increase CTR and conversion

3. Print destination URLs on pages in your catalog

4. Sepertate CSS and data points for ease of use

5. Make sure landing pages deliver on a promise that drove the shopper to the site with consistent products, benefits, offers and branding

6. Split test different paid search landing pages

7. Split test different email landing pages. Don’t throw consumers to a category page, but a specifically designed page using the email messaging, creative and extended product offering

8. Track key performance on all pages

9. With landing pages – think like a consumer

10. Test, test, test

11. Have a platform that enables marketing staff to market.

12. Be prepared to make changes fast

13. Optimize landing pages for natural search with readable URLS (no special characters), included on site maps, no Flash, no duplicate content

14. Keep landing pages up longer than you think. If you are working with outside agency to host, require minimum of 3-6 months hosting

15. Look at competitors landing pages. Your customers are likely searching multiple sites for a product. See what they are seeing.