There was a great event at the Tempe Mission Palms tonight for Phoneix marketers. Bryan Eisenberg, author of books, articles, a blogger… hell, you can read his resume here – and giver of brilliant advice on converting the people who come to a site.
The presentation was billed as advice for “landing page optimization,” but it had much more to do with understanding what visitors to a site want, and knowing what you want them to do, and creating a bridge between the two. Most marketers have suffered through talk of how important it is for someone’s site to “get traffic.” Getting traffic to a site can be about as easy as falling out of bed. The real challenge is keeping the traffic on the site and getting it to convert.
Mr. Eisenberg stressed the importance of basing these decisions on data, and this is true. But I was happy to hear him talk about users as “people,” not as numbers. Knowing how to give people what they want means actually understanding their needs, not stressing your own.
In terms of landing pages, this means creating an experience that reflects what they were promised when they clicked on the ad in the first place. Paid search ads allow copy to be placed for any number of ads, but all too often the landing page does not reflect what they were searching for. Some have included copy that reflects these ads in their landing pages to help boost their ad score, but all too often they still don’t give people what they came looking for in the first place. Understanding this enables you to change the page so it is a continuation of the ad. It gives them reason to continue through the chain until they complete a purchase, confident that what the site has is what they want.
I hope he eventually releases this presentation on SlideShare, as there were so many great examples of bad design, and of brilliant corrections. If it is, I will post it immediately.