5 Strategies for Creating a High Converting Landing Page

For online visitors, the landing page of a website is the first impression that they have of a business. It is always the intention to get the visitors to perform a certain action such as a purchase or an opt-in. When we optimize the landing page of a website, we enhance the user’s experience. This, in turn, leads to higher conversions.

Landing page optimization may be defined as the method of improving the design of the landing page so as to generate more leads and increase the engagement of the visitors. Landing pages are the ideal places to optimize since the maximum traffic of any website is directed towards this page. A well-optimized landing page that leads to healthy conversions adds substantial value to the overall ROI of any business.

Below we discuss 5 ways in which we can optimize a landing page.

Clear call to action

One of the most famous mantras in sales is “Always Be Closing.” This should be the idea behind a well-optimized landing page as well. The most effective way to accomplish this is by creating a clear call to action or CTA.

A call to action may be defined as what we want our visitors to perform – making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, submission of one’s email id, etc. A CTA is a nudge along the path of conversion. It is the persuasion and the effort to convert an interested visitor into a paying customer. As such, it is better not to throw too many CTAs towards a prospective customer. The best landing pages almost always have only one CTA.

A good CTA should be rigorously tested including the placement of the button, its size, and color. Even the copy of the text used in the CTA should be tested – button text, etc.

When designing the CTA, we have to make sure that the button is clearly displayed on the landing page. Visitors should not be made to guess which the CTA is. If need be, we should use visual cues such as arrows and images to direct the attention of the visitor to the CTA button. It is not advisable to have multiple CTAs on a single landing page.

Entice visitors with an irresistible offer

Many websites make offers to their visitors in order to make them perform the desired action which helps in the conversion rates. One example is when a visitor has spent about 10 seconds on the site, a pop up offers the visitor some form of savings in the form of discounts etc. if they choose to become a paying customer. A precise and to-the-point offer goes a long way in enticing a visitor into converting into a paying customer. While making the offer, it is important to convey to the visitor that the benefit is immediate.

Addressing the pain points

In order to create a relevant and pertinent landing page, it is very important to know what the visitors to your site want. Almost all visitors are looking to alleviate their problems. A landing page that provides a direct solution to a problem statement is more likely to have higher conversion rates than pages that do not.

Killer Headline

A headline addresses a lot of issues – interest, understanding, and attention. It is the first thing that visitors see when they visit a landing page. A good headline should be able to accomplish the following –

  • It should be able to grab a visitor’s attention
  • It should be able to convey to the visitor what the product or the service is all about.
  • It should be precise and concise.

Narrow Focus

The landing page of a website should always be as simple as possible. Research shows that the more options we provide to our visitors, the longer time they take to arrive at a conclusion or a decision.

When creating a landing page, one should make efforts to ensure that the CTA stands out as much as possible. Any other clickable links or buttons should preferably be removed. The landing page should comprise only of content that will aid in making the visitor perform the desired action. Most importantly, when deploying a form to obtain information from visitors, we should strive to create a form that does not ask for irrelevant details but is to-the-point and gathers all the vital information. Less is more in this case.

Need a great landing page for your business? Contact us today. Always here to help…

The AutoWeb Technologies Team

8 Reasons why WordPress is so popular

There is hardly a savvy business owner in the world today who has not heard of WordPress. It is an open source content publishing system. In 2003, it was created by merging the platforms built by entrepreneurs/developers Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. Consequent to its creation, each subsequent upgrade has incorporated powerful features such as mix-and-match plugins, media management, widgets, built in theme installation and static pages.

Autonomy and Plugin Stability

One key element of WordPress plugins is that they do not need other plugins which may or may not need constant updates. This means that the user does not have to spend a lot of time on maintenance and extra monitoring. Online businesses which cannot afford costly maintenance or downtime should always opt for WordPress as their go-to platform. If the database is being backed up manually, an average multi-plug-in update will take about 15 minutes. A backup plugin would reduce that time span to a few minutes with a few seconds required for customary maintenance.

Open Source and Free

WordPress is free to use, redistribute and edit. This is the reason why its original source codes are publicly available. There is no validity limit on WordPress. It is easily downloadable from its official website. The cost comes with design, configuration, and customization of the User Experience.

Great Flexibility and Highly Customizable

WordPress has a flexible framework. It allows developers and designers to modify and create applications and layouts. Its websites are not limited by enterprise extensions.

It Is SEO Friendly

The CMS is written with code which is of very high quality. It leads to semantic markup which in turn makes any site rank higher in search queries. Additionally, WordPress can be further made even more SEO friendly by using the SEO Plugin.

It Is Easy to Use on Any Device

The majority of internet users access the web via their smartphones. This requires companies to have a web presence which is not only mobile friendly, but it is imperative that it is an engaging and enriching experience to their customers on the small screen. WordPress by its very design is 100% responsive and will adapt to any and all screen sizes.

Themes

Themes allow users to have a well built and good-looking website at the click of a button. Whether it be a full-featured powerhouse that has pre-populated images and content or minimal and lightweight frameworks, themes run the entire gamut.

Blogging Platform

WordPress is primarily used as a blogging platform that allows web developers and webmasters to use the same to extract external links. This means this platform can greatly benefit any site that they are trying to improve. Today, it is one of the best web content solutions when it comes to blogs and as a content management system, it powers a wide array of business websites. The blogging module can also be used for business reviews, advertisements, announcements, and job boards. With WordPress, the options are unlimited.

Multiple Websites

On the same installation, WordPress allows us to host multiple websites. This greatly reduces cost. As an example, we can create multiple websites for each of our sales agents and control them all from the same installation.

In summary, WordPress is a hugely popular CMS with tens of thousands of developers worldwide offering solutions to their clients. With every passing day, more and more programmers are adopting WordPress as their go-to CMS framework.

Want to learn more? Contact us today. Always here to help…

The AutoWeb Technologies Team

AMP Basics

Google officially launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project in search results in late February/early March 2016. Many digital marketing professionals are actively taking advantage of this incredible opportunity to boost search results. By utilizing AMP, your site pages load faster and are more “Google Friendly”, which isn’t a bad things.

What is AMP exactly and how can you make it work for your enterprise? Click here to read a great article AMP from website magazine.

3 signs that your website annoys visitors

What truly matters in regards to the success of your website for your business is whether or not your site is usable – and to what degree. How can we determine this?

There are a few warning signs that indicate whether information on your site is delivered to users in a way that’s easily digestible and navigable, including:

SLOW WEBSITE LOAD TIME

If your website does not load in an expected amount of time, users will leave. It may sound unreasonable, but it’s true: 47 percent of customers on e-commerce websites expect their site to load in two seconds or less, and 40 percent will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load. Do yourself a favor – check out Google’s PageSpeed Tools to make sure your site’s as quick as it needs to be. If it’s not, consider either upgrading your host or cutting excess fat from your site’s pages and plugins. WordPress can get a little bloated sometimes and this causes slow load times.

TMI – Too Much Information

Don’t talk your visitors ears off without giving them something useful. This means that if your site’s loaded up with unnecessary information or the sitemap is filled with too many functions, people are likely to get frustrated and leave. Keep it simple.

DOESN’T CATER TO ALL USERS

We’ve been preaching this for several years now. It’s baffling how many companies still don’t see the importance of mobile. Mobile searches now outrank desktop searches, and smartphones are quickly overtaking computers as the browsing device of choice. If you haven’t taken action to convert your web presence to a platform that is responsive (i.e. supported on all devices), you’re missing the boat.

 

BOTTOM LINE

-Support for mobile users

-A clean, crisp interface

-No excess information; provide users only what you know they’ll want to see

-Fast load times

-A clear and quick brand message throughout

-Professional, high-quality content that is free of mistakes (e.g. broken links, spelling errors)

Now, get it done.

Need help? We’re always here.

5 ways to improve your website’s visitor experience

Whether you sell goods and services, the goal of your web site should always be to provide a rewarding experience that encourages visitors to explore, act, and return.

This can be a tough balancing act, however. Many times, clients try to do too much and offer too much content, making it difficult for visitors to act or become engaged. An impatient visitor confused by too many choices will often leave. That’s a problem, but it doesn’t stop there.

Too much content also can diminish its appeal among visitors who appreciate a visually engaging web site. With the multitude of choices that visitors have today, it pays to follow these five fundamental and time-tested principles for creating an engaging visitor experience:

Understand What Users Want

Spend time learning who your target users are, what they’re looking for and what they want to do when they arrive. Are they looking for “how-to” content? Are they looking for entertainment, community interaction or to simply make a purchase?

Not every user will want the same thing, but understanding the prevailing desire of your largest group of users will help you find the most success in regards to design aesthetic, element placement, calls-to-action, navigational structures and visual hierarchies.

Don’t Make People Think

TMI – Too much information detracts from website interactions. The more choices offered, the easier it becomes to choose nothing and leave. A clear, visual presentation of content and imagery reduces effort on the user and prompts action instead of confusion.

Word choice is another element. Straightforward, familiar language is often more effective than confusing jargon. For instance, users immediately recognize “Contact Us,” whereas they may be puzzled by a more vague term like “Engage.” Being consistent is also important. Don’t put up roadblocks such as using different navigation bar styles on different pages.

Keep it simple if possible

Some of the world’s best websites are simple. This can often mean utilizing images and using text sparingly to convey ideas and invite actions. The effectiveness of simplicity has driven the minimalist website design strategy that we see so much today.

This becomes even more important in the mobile realm. Responsive Web design that enables a site to adapt automatically to whatever device is accessing it helps ensure a simple, rewarding experience for smartphone and tablet users.

Choose Fonts, Colors and White Space Wisely

Choosing the best fonts, colors and degree of white space has a big impact on site interaction as well. These elements reflect a site’s credibility, usability and mood, so it’s important to tailor them to a given audience.

Keep the variety of fonts to two or three, and be judicious in the use of larger-size fonts and bolding (if everything is bold, then nothing is bold; if everything is big, then nothing is big). Also, when using an unusual type of font, keep in mind that not all devices may be able to display certain fonts correctly. Stick with popular font types.

Using white space helps call attention to key elements, while smart color choices are critical to creating the mood demanded for interaction­—bold and daring or thoughtful and subdued, for instance, depending on the audience.

Treat Design as an Ongoing Process

To cultivate the best user experience, ongoing testing and feedback is essential.  Track conversions, time on site, page views, single-page bounce rate and more with Google Analytics. These tools along with keeping abreast of design trends are a formula for website success!

A New Year’s Business Checkup 2015 – PART TWO – The 3 P’s!!

First off, Happy New Year!!! Hope you and yours had a fantastic and safe holiday season. We’ve received some really great comments and feedback from many of you in regards to part one of our New Year’s Business Checkup. Many of you have expressed optimism about 2015 and are prepared to buckle down and have your best year ever! If you haven’t read part one, click here when you have some time or maybe after reading this post. In part one we mentioned that we were rolling out a comprehensive, step-by-step, “take you by the hand”, program for helping you have your very best 2015 ever. While we can’t control or help you improve your processes and deliverables from here, what we can do is show you how to generate more sales from your web site and make more money. You can fix a lot of problems with more revenue. Let’s get started…

The Three P’s.

Even though our industry (web development and web marketing) is a technical field, we like to keep things simple whenever possible. This helps you, our clients, and us as well. K.I.S.S. – Keep it simple, sweetheart (or stupid depending on your mood). The Three P’s below are simple, but cover a lot of ground:

PLANNING

Without a plan, you’re going to spin your wheels. What is your plan? Are you happy doing the same thing you did last year, expecting different results (Einstein’s definition of insanity) or do have a clear defined goal or goals in mind? Some might be:

  • To increase sales 20% year over year
  • To hire more employees
  • To cut cost of goods sold by 5%
  • To find better, more reliable vendors

The list could go on and on as you can imagine. To accomplish any of those goals, you need a plan. Wishing and hoping simply won’t do it. It helps to have vision or a dream, but you need to plan to help put the wheels in motion to accomplish your goals. Start with a simple word doc with some bullet points or a spreadsheet and get moving. If more sales and more money is one of your goals (it should be in any business and hopefully why you’re reading this), you need a fresh supply of leads flowing into your sales pipeline each and every day, week, and month. The next 2 P’s show you exactly how to do this from the perspective of the online world.

PRESENCE

Web Presence. It’s a buzzword that live by here and you may here from time to time on your end. What is “web presence”? Basically, it is how you appear to everyone in the world who can find you on the internet. It’s “curb appeal”. This can include:

  • Your Web site – How does your web site appear to everyone who visits you on their PC, smartphone or tablet?  Is it clean, professional, and easy to use? Or does it have dated technology and poor visual design? Does it have a clear and defined “call to action”? Your web site’s main goal is allow visitors to take some sort of step or action to reach out to you. If it doesn’t, you’re wasting your time. Make it easy for visitors to say “TELL ME MORE!” or “YES, I NEED YOUR HELP”. Is it MOBILE FRIENDLY? When you view your web site on a smartphone or tablet it should fit into the screen upon loading and without “pinching” or zooming in/out. It should almost look like a web app that you’d download in Itunes or Google Play store. It should also have a simple navigation structure and contain only the information that is critical to a mobile viewer. Always consider the audience. The mobile viewer’s motivation is different than that of a desktop visitor. They want critical info only, quickly and an easy way to contact you to learn more. If your web site has 150 pages of technical documents and articles that probably won’t be read, don’t include them on your mobile version. In most cases, it’s not necessary.
  • Your Local listings – How does your company appear on your local listings with Google, Bing, etc.? Is your NAP info correct (Name, Address, Phone Number). Did you know that Google and Bing, if you don’t tell them the correct information, will use about 50 other places to find  your information? 9 times out of 10, these places are WRONG.
  • Your email addresses – Do your email addresses match your domain name? For example, are you using yourname@gmail.com when your web site address is www.yourbusiness.com? It should be, whenever possible, yourname@yourbusiness.com. Why? Confidence. When your email accounts match your domain name, it instills confidence in a potential customer who might be communicating with you via email when they find you online.

PROMOTION

Ok, so you’ve got it together when it comes to your Web Presence. Well done. Your web site is beautiful and does what it is supposed to do. How will anyone find it? The “build it and they will come” approach doesn’t work. The online space is so competitive that you need to be aggressive and proactive within your budget limitations. For the sake of simplicity and time, here are the three primary ways to promote your web site and what you do (online):

  • PPC (Pay Per Click) such as Google Adwords® are search results (ads) that have been placed there by advertisers who are willing to pay for clicks on their ads related to the keywords being searched. We’ve all done searches and seen the sponsored ads at the top and side of the search results page: You don’t need a $50,000 marketing budget to participate. For as little as $500-$1000 per month, you can have your fair share of clicks and exposure.
  • Organic Search Engine Optimization – Organic Search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms being searched. Simply put, if Google’s algorithm decides that your web page is important enough to display in relation to what’s being “searched” (keyword), you will appear in the search results: How do you get your share of the organic search engine results? The quick and easy answer is “links and content”. You need to create fresh content each and every month related to the main keywords you want to rank on AND you need to put this content (articles, blogs, press releases, videos) both onsite (your web site) and offsite (other web locations). Once you do that, you’ll earn links from the offsite locations BACK to your web site. Google, through their continuous crawling of all content on the web, finds these links and indexes them in their algorithm, applying a quality score to your web site based on the good links you’ve obtained. Better content = Better links = Better rankings.
  • Email Marketing – Getting traffic to your site is only part of the equation. Don’t waste this traffic! Allow visitors to sign up for newsletters, valuable articles, promotions, etc. so that you can communicate with them regularly. Promote your company, your products/services, YOUR COMPANY’S PERSONA. By grooming your herd of prospects and clients, you maximize your return on your marketing dollar AND, regardless of what you might have read or believe, email is still one of the kings of direct response marketing. Whether you use Constant Contact or one of the many other vendors, don’t overlook this critical ongoing component. Don’t spam your lists either! Be respectful and offer timely content, delivered on regular (not daily) intervals.

Ok… So, WHAT NOW? How do you apply this information and have your best year EVER??

The best place to start is take a measurement of exactly where you are. Call it “Point A”. Maybe you’ve got it all together and maybe you don’t. How will you know unless you measure every component of your online footprint. If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Let us help you by showing you an exact snapshot of your online business. It’s called our “Web Grader Report”. It’s straightforward and will show you:

  • Web Presence Report – We’ll grade your site and show you an exact report of whether or not your site is mobile friendly, tagged properly, and formatted as it should be to maximize your potential for success. We’ll also offer some steps you can take (with or without our help) to fix any issues you might have.
    Click here for a sample web site presence report
  • Organic SEO Report  – Our SEO Report will compare your site to your top competitors and tell you exactly how much REAL MONETARY VALUE your site ranks on. We’ll tell you how many links you currently have, your domain scorecard, and how much your web traffic is worth if you had to pay for it. This information is invaluable!
    Click here for a sample Organic SEO Report
  • Local Report – We’ll go out to all of the major local directories and show you where your listed and what errors might exist. You’ll see exactly what Google sees when they look for your name, address, and phone number to use when indexing your business.
    Click here for a sample Local SEO Report
  • Blueprint for success – We’ll then create a comprehensive, but easy to read plan that shows  you exact steps to improve your web site, flood it with traffic, monitor that traffic, and INCREASE SALES!

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Click here to complete a simple form and we’ll start working on your Web Grader Report right away.
  2. Once the report is ready, review the information (we’ll assist you if needed) and Execute the three P’s: PLANNING: Use the report as a blueprint/planning tool to address, correct, and act on any issues you might have. PRESENCE: Make sure, #1, your web site is compliant with the standards mentioned  in the report. Whether you do the work yourself or hire someone, it doesn’t matter. Make it a PRIORITY. PROMOTION: Once your web presence is professional, according your needs and budget, promote your site through a combination of Organic SEO, PPC, and Email Marketing if you can afford it. Start small, make adjustments, and MOVE FORWARD. Track incoming leads and manage those leads. If they’re ready to buy now, great. If not, it doesn’t matter. Continue to market to these leads on an ongoing basis (not spam) with useful information they can use and build TRUST. This is an effective long term strategy to grow your business for years to come.

Need more help? We’re always here to help.

DIY Web site design? Think again…

With plenty of DIY web site builders to choose from, it’s easier than ever to set up your own website.

Is that the best move for your business, though?
It’s often a matter of budget. Many startups and companies with a limited budget would rather assign a low wage employee, family member, or even take time themselves to use one of the many “Godaddy’s” of the world. For some, this works…right? Think again.

Here are a few reasons you should consider hiring a Web design company instead of using a do-it-yourself website builder.

BRAND MAINTENANCE
Your website is the face of your company. Your website is your salesperson—someone to personally greet your customers as they walk through your virtual door.

What this salesperson is wearing, how they speak about your business, and what they say are completely up to you. This idea is sometimes lost when businesses are trying to set up their own web sites. They become more concerned with putting every service/product they offer on the homepage of a site instead of thinking about the actual customer experience. There’s a certain amount of professionalism that needs to be maintained with your brand and reflected in your web site.

EASE OF USE
How easy your company’s site is to navigate and use is just as important as the content it contains. Misleading, or dead links, can lead to a disappointing user experience, which directly reflects on the quality of the services you provide. The two may be unrelated to you, but to a customer they’re one in the same.

RESPONSIVE CONFIGURATIONS
In its most basic description, a responsive web site allows your content to adjust its layout based on your user’s viewing device (desktop, tablet or mobile device).
When not properly configured, it can render your site unusable on some devices – hiding navigation items behind links, images running off the screen and more.

EXPERTISE AND DIRECTION
When you open up yourself to becoming your own web developer, prepare yourself to receive a lot of communications and issues. Fake domain renewals, information about security protocols, and problems with hosting can leave you scratching your head. You may also be tempted to invest money where its least beneficial to you. Google AdWords sounds like a great idea for some companies, but for others, organic SEO is the way to go. How do you decide? Talk to an expert.

KEEPING FOCUS
There are people who like to do everything themselves. In the right application, there is value in that. A business owners time, however, shouldn’t be spent trying to learn HTML, graphic design, or how to manage a hosting server. Their focus should be on growing the business and managing the systems and people. How much is your time worth?

CUSTOMIZATIONS
Sure, you can find just about any type of code snippet, plugins and JavaScripts, to make your web site really hum. However, if you’re not technologically savvy, you could still run into problems reading through instructions on how to implement these coded features. Photo galleries, and a lot of other common website modules, are not built from scratch anymore. The Internet is filled with reusable code that you can use on your site. Finding them however, could be time consuming and understanding how to integrate it into your hosting environment is even harder. Which again brings us to the question, “what is your time worth?”

BETTER SUPPORT
There is NOTHING more miserable that waiting on hold for an hour with a company like Network Solutions (who provides cheap DIY web site solutions), trying to find out why your web site is not working or displaying properly. Or digging through hundreds of support forums trying to find that one person who’s having the same issue you are.
Most web design firms will assign your account a dedicated project manager. Someone whose job it is to keep you happy, help solve problems and know exactly what you’re talking about because they’ve already worked with your site. They know you and you know them.

The Solution
Find a web design company that you can get comfortable with.
The days of $50,000-plus web sites are over. You can find a small to medium, reasonably priced company to give you a world class web presence built on a relationship of trust and delivering on promises. AND, best of all, it won’t break the bank or require refinancing your business or home.

Google To Specify When Pages May Not Work On Mobile Devices

Google is going to start letting mobile searchers know when results include pages that may not work on their devices. For example, on a device that doesn’t support “Flash”,  (which includes Apple’s iOS and Android versions 4.1 and higher), Google search results on mobile devices will display a message with the result that reads:

“Uses Flash. May not work on your device.”

Google’s own Keita Oda writes: “A common annoyance for web users is when websites require browser technologies that are not supported by their device,”

Google’s Pierre Far also wrote: “When users access such pages, they may see nothing but a blank space or miss out a large portion of the page’s contents.”

Here’s what one of the results may look like:

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What does this mean for you, the business owner?

  1. Make sure your web site’s mobile version is responsive. What is mobile responsive?A responsive website automatically changes to fit the device you’re reading it on. Typically, there have been four general screen sizes that responsive design has been aimed at: the widescreen desktop monitor, the smaller desktop (or laptop), the tablet, and the mobile phone.
  2. Make sure you are not using Flash or any technologies that could elicit this sort of response in search results from Google. It’s not worth it. Flash and certain video/multi media platforms that are not widely browser supported are a no-no.
  3. Stick with clean, intuitive designs, navigation, and elements. Visitors want information. Google likes to crawl pages that are easy to crawl. If you site is coded properly and uses all best practices in design, you should be covered.

Google also notes that you should not block crawling of any Googlebot of CSS, JavaScript or images with robots.txt or otherwise. If you’re following good SEO Practices, this shouldn’t be a problem anyway.