Search Marketing: How to Successfully ‘Land’ on Your Feet
A recent Forrester Research survey shows that more than 60 percent of commercial Web sites waste their investment in search by not backing up their marketing with landing pages to create visitor engagement. Landing pages are the most important element of a campaign, says Sue Chapman, director of merchandising solutions at Mercado Software, who along with Brian Beck, CEO of Broadspan Commerce Brian Beck, CEO of Broadspan Commerce, hosted a recent webinar presentation, “A Soft Landing Creates an Easy Sell.” Chapman and Beck provided several pointers on how to make landing pages more effective.
1. Make it quick and easy for the consumer. Consumers want to quickly find what they need. In fact, Forrester Research says that nearly half of people who visit a landing page leave within eight seconds. So, your landing page needs to connect buyers with their product without making them have to search or wait for it. Beck noted the following ways to make landing pages as convenient as possible for consumers.
* Don’t ask customers to fill anything out when they get to the landing page;
* Make them visual with a limited amount of text, particularly for retail stores; and
* Have product selections update dynamically based on factors such as availability, new additions, sale items, etc.
2. Create targeted merchandising zones. Use space effectively to display products, Chapman said, noting the following key factors:
* Add optional banners;
* Group by collection (customers can be loyal to specific collections, she pointed out);
* Balance the number of items presented against the specificity of the search;
* Change banner and promotional codes dynamically based on the source of traffic — namely, first-time buyers, search engines and keywords; and
* Generate product pages dynamically with navigation, search results and best-sellers.
Beck used the example of a landing page from a search for platform beds. The resulting landing page had the replacement of the standard left navigation with the ability to refine searches with key attributes, focusing in this instance on such relevant keywords as beds, size and manufacturer. The products that appeared were the company’s best-sellers, with customer product reviews included in the results.