Understanding Landing Page Fundamentals [Video]
By Colin Ryan
About Website Design
During a panel discussion at Inman’s Real Estate Connect 2012, web strategist Gahlord Dewald and Placester CTO Fred Townes talk about why more site traffic doesn’t translate to more leads, and how you can use the technology you already have to convert more visitors.
Gahlord Dewald: As I said at the beginning of this afternoon, I’m a consultant and I talk to people a lot. Oftentimes they’ll call and they’ll talk about how they can get more traffic to their website. That’s where people start. Then I’ll go around and look at the web analytics of their website and I’ll say, “Geez, you’re getting a lot of traffic right now.”
And they’re like, “Yeah, but I need more, because I need to generate more leads,” which always initiates this question of, “Well, what if you got more leads from the same amount of traffic? What if you did more business from the same amount of people coming to your website? What if the problem is that you need better SEO or more advertising?”
The problem is that your website maybe isn’t going to ever … no one is ever going to fill out the form. Or maybe, the problem is further than that. Maybe, the problem is after you fill out the form. After they fill out the form, nothing is happening there. So that’s this idea of conversion optimization, getting the most out of the technology that you have.
So, I’ve got three guys here who work at companies that do this kind of stuff. They’re all super smart and this one is the session that was especially … I look forward to all of them, I don’t have any favorites, but this actually is the one I was looking forward to the most as a super geek.
So, I’ve got Frederick here, co-founder of Placester. I’ve got Austin, CEO and President of Dot Loop, who was mentioned in the previous session. And I’ve got Greer from Boomtown. So, to kind of get started, maybe just go down the line, with the question: “What do you see as sort of the biggest bottleneck between: there’s a lot of people on this side but not enough closed business on the other side?” And some of your thoughts about how that comes to be and how does one make that better? Let’s start here.
Frederick Townes: I think fundamentally one of the biggest issues is typically just not understanding what kinds of qualities of a landing page contribute to the conversion. So, whether that’s the call to action, the positioning of the form, the elements of the form – I mean the fields specifically – or where that form exists on the page. All of these things kind of need to be experimented with because, like in a web page, you have a kind of look and feel. So that’s usually the issue. People just think, “Oh, well, I have my website and I either paid or somehow I have traffic into my website,” just like you said. And they put more stuff in at the top of the funnel.
FT: So, it’s not so much like a conceptual problem, but understanding the funnel. It’s literally understanding that the website needs to be tweaked and measured, and tweaking it on Monday and then expecting to have more insight on Tuesday is not practical.
FT: Some of those fundamentals things, and once you’ve actually figured out what’s working for your particular type of traffic, and the layout and design, and the look and feel that you’ve got, knowing what to do next to actually convert that – which it’s not even what I’d call a lead yet, like a pseudo lead, an interested person, right, a prospect obviously – into an actual lead by following up. So, on the site, giving that feedback that says, “Hey, I’ve got your contact information. This is what you should expect. This is the next step.” So, that person who may have filled out the form and it didn’t make it to your inbox or whatever it was …
GD: Like those websites where you’ll fill out the form and then you hit submit, and then it brings you to the home page and you wonder what happened.
FT: Exactly. That’s it. So I don’t want to just hold all the time here, but those are just the simple things that I see kind of break down. Just understanding…
GD: The elements of a landing page as a kind of, that’s my sort of what I’m thinking on based on someone who said it.
GD: Number of fields, kinds of fields, what’s it look like, and then …
FT: Setting expectations once they actually take that action.
GD: Yeah, yeah.
Published on January 17, 2012