Sound too good to be true? Search Engine marketing genius Sandra Niehaus of Closed Loop Marketing used a great illustration in her Conversion Optimization presentation. Basically, instead of pouring more money to create more hits on your web site, why not just widen the net in which you use to capture your leads? By focusing on how you capture and convert leads, you can make your marketing engine a lot more efficient. (You should also be carefully analyzing your keywords to determine which ones are working the best for you, but that is a topic for another post.)

Conversion optimized landing pageLet’s talk about Landing Page Design. They are commonly used for e-blasts and online advertising, but they can also be useful for natural searches as well. Here are 5 things often overlooked on a landing page design:

1) You need a good product or service. Identify your USP (Unique selling proposition) and exploit it. If you don’t have anything unique or compelling, then you’re going to have a hard time selling.

2) Say it quickly and concisely. Pretend for a second that your target market is skeptical and doesn’t care about you or your service. (Hard to comprehend, I know.) State your business – maybe in a set of bullets? You can always link to “more info.” Copyblogger has some great writing tips here.

3) Prove it. You’ve got an amazing product or service? Prove it with testimonials (with a photo?), statistics from leaders like Forrester Research, or even a mini case study.

4) Call to action. Provide multiple, easy ways to contact you. Phone numbers, emails, and a mini form. Capture their info! How about an incentive or offer with that form (Free trial or a free whitepaper download? Maybe a limited time discount code?)

5) Test. Try using a couple of landing page designs. In just a few days, you’ll see one working better than the other. Figure out why, adjust the design, and test again. You are your own best research firm.

Remember: use your landing page real estate wisely. You’ve got a lot to say? Tough. Your viewer doesn’t want a lot to read. I think a viewer should be able to comprehend your offer in less than 4 seconds, or they’re lost. Some up-front investment in a good landing page design can go a long way. Here are a few more tips posted on Articlesbase.

Are your landing pages too wordy? How interactive are they? What have you found to work really well? I’d love to hear some of your ideas.