Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Best Landing Page Books

In continuing with my obsession with website optimization... What better way to address your website performance than following best practices. This morning my friend sent me a great post about three books that are highly recommended:
  1. Marketing Sherpa Landing Page Book
  2. Always Be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer
  3. Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions
1. Marketing Sherpa Landing Page Book
Marketing Sherpa puts out a killer newsletter and regularly releases compilations of their own primary and secondary research.  Here’s a brief snippet:
8 Design tips for landing pages with links to other pages:
  1. Ruthlessly eliminate click links that are irrelevant pages or advertisers, and minimize the typeface of those to privacy and legal information.
  2. Make sure links change color after they are clicked by each visitor.
  3. Make the area around each link clickable (even if the link itself only has a word or two underlined, or a small click button) so the visitor doesn’t have to hit the spot right on with their mouse for it to work.
  4. Carefully copywrite your links so someone reading the first three words or so will understand what they’ll get from the click. People skimming a list of links rarely read more than a few words per line. Unclear, boring, or duplicative-sounding links won’t get clicks.
  5. Make your hero shot clickable, with a separate window of information opening so the visitor is not taken away from the main landing page. A surprising number of folks will click on your hero shot.
  6. Don’t make visitors click to a conversion form if possible. Clicks should be for more information, not for additional conversion steps. Include your form or the first step of the form on this page. Make this conversion step obviously bigger and graphically different from all other click links on the page.
  7. If your page has to appeal to multiple audiences and there’s no way you can d a separate landing page for each, then the page should focus on the primary audience. Create a big fat link for the secondary audience to click on to go to a page specifically designed for them. Example: a page with info for kids with a fat link saying “Parents, click here.”
  8. If linked information is critical to conversion, then consider including several different links to it on the same page in different formats. Some people will click on underlined text, others on graphics, and others on search boxes. You need to be sure all three surfing types are able to arrive at the same place for the next step in the conversion process. Don’t worry about duplicative linking. It’s reassuring rather than annoying.
2. Always Be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer
My guess is that most business who dip their toes in testing use Google Website Optimizer.  Bryan Eisenberg of FutureNow and GrokDotCom wrote his third book all about the software as well as the advice on persuasion and website testing. You can also get an overview at Testing Toolbox, a central location for everything related to the book.

3. Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions
Tim Ash’s book is also pretty fresh off the presses, though he’s been around for a while.  His landing page book focuses entirely on the best and worst practices of landing page design and testing.  It piggybacks off of his writing at Search Engine Watch and the SiteTuner’s blog
For more information, go to: http://www.alexlcohen.com/conversion/2008/12/30/landing-page-book

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