Posted July 9, 2007 6:57 pm by with 7 comments

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MarketingSherpa reports today that on average consumers are taking 34 hours from click to conversion. That’s up from 19 hours—180% as long as their original study in 2005 indicated. The full report on time to conversion is expected tomorrow from ScanAlert.

As MarketingSherpa President Anne Holland noted, this finding indicates how important it is for marketers to mearsure longer conversion cycles than just click-buy.

Noting that every page is a landing page these days, MarketingSherpa also offered four suggestions to improve the conversion cycle:

  1. Add “About Us” blurbs to every conceivable entry point
  2. Grab emails early on — before the shopping cart
  3. Content: give more product info than the competition does
  4. Exclusive here-only bonuses

Oddly enough, some of these suggestions contravene conventional landing page advice, especially #1. Just today, the Copywriting Maven (writing on Copyblogger) did a copywriting makeover on SEOmoz’s Premium Membership page. Her first recommendation?

1. Remove all the extraneous material from the most valuable real estate on your landing page – the area “above the fold”, the visitor’s first screen view.

Eliminate all the sign-ins, search and navigational links. They are all reasons and exits from the landing page and your message.

(I do have to insert here that I’m such a such a spelling stickler that putting a capital ‘M’ in SEOmoz probably bugs me more than it does Rand Fishkin.)

Who’s right?

  • You bring up an excellent point Jordan. This alone is why I’m such a proponent of blogging and relationship selling–it’s so much easier to convert someone who knows, trusts and likes you.

    Unfortunately, Roberta had to take the task that Rand handed her, which was up the conversion rate of the Premium page directly from cold traffic. Rand has been doing fantastic leveraging his existing relationships with SEOmoz readers and converting those into paid memberships. If Roberta’s tips do up his conversion of cold traffic by only 1%, the Mozzers will be doing the happy dance.

    A good landing page will convert better than a bad one. Whether or not an entirely different approach converts better than the good landing page is a different question. So, I think the answer to your question of “who’s right” is either “everyone” or “it depends.” 😉

  • Hi Jordan, I think we’re looking at 2 different processes. From an e-commerce perspective, there’s nothing that I would quibble with Marketing Sherpa. I can see many of the points at play with my own shopping site.

    However, the landing page isn’t a mirror-image of the shopping cart experience. Folks who come in from a PPC ad or sales-centric email aren’t necessarily looking to go shopping. They’re responding to a very specific introduction to a potential sales experience.

    So, as Brian says, it’s not a question of who’s right. It’s a question of what works best (always testing, of course) within the specific marketing/sales environment.

    Thanks much for the shout-out :=)

  • We’ll just have to build in a cloaked interstitial page that asks visitors whether they know and like SEOmoz before we take them to the landing page – if they answer yes, we’ll just show them a different version 🙂

  • Funny Rand. I almost want to dare you to set that up.

    Some of this really revolves around what is or isn’t a landing page. Technically it’s true the entry point for your site could be any page, but does that really make them all landing pages.

    I think Roberta is right that a landing page comes after a very specific introduction to a potential sales experience. Even though some might enter your site at any point they won’t be entering the site in the same mindset.

  • “# Add “About Us” blurbs to every conceivable entry point”
    “Eliminate all the […] navigational links.”

    So who’s right? Both, I’d guess.

    Many landing pages have an ‘about the author’ (or doctor, etc, depending on what they’re selling) box describing the seller’s experience and qualifications, sometimes as a mock introduction. But NOT a link to a separate ‘about us’ page that would send users away.

    I read it as “do let the visitor know why they should buy from you, don’t send them somewhere else to find out, even if it’s on the same site.”

  • Jordan McCollum

    Sometimes I pay no attention to what I’ve written. Thank you, SEOcommon, for making me read what I wrote better & adding some context. I read “About Us” and my brain automatically thought “Top Navigation–About us link.” Clearly, that’s not what a blurb is.

    Makes much more sense now.

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