Isabelle Blasio

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First Impressions Count: Your Landing Page and the Delicate Dance of Customer Acquisition | #ppc #sem #smb #advertising

A friend of mine recently arranged to meet someone for coffee through an online dating service. The first thing the stranger said to her was how “hot” she looked, and then he tried to hug her.

Not surprisingly, that relationship didn’t progress beyond this first date.

This is why first impressions are so crucial: not only do they determine whether an initial meeting over coffee has the potential to result in a second date over dinner, they can make the difference between whether a prospective customer will convert to a sale, or just another uptick in your bounce rate.

Your landing page experience is very much like a first date, this is where your first impression is made.  As such, it's important to walk that fine line between putting your best foot forward and frightening the customers away with an overly eager approach. For example, aggressive registration on your landing page can be problematic; that type of approach often yields low quality content and a poor user experience.

Here are some other pointers for putting yourself out there with better success:

1) Nobody likes a hustler with too much cologne and phony pick-up lines. Entice customers to want to learn more by filling your page with genuinely useful information; this is their first introduction to the quality services or products that you are providing, so stay professional and informative in your self-promotion.

2) Don’t be clingy. Avoid trapping your customers into signing up for something before they understand the value in it -- it’s fine to provide a place to register or sign up for additional information on the landing page, but not if that is the only way a site visitor will get access to information.

3) Dark alleys are not an ideal first-date setting. If there is information that isn’t immediately available on the landing page, provide plenty of clear, easy-to-follow navigation. Make it obvious what the user can expect if they pursue this relationship

Meeting new customers is great, but it’s even better when they call you for a second date. Aim for the long-term relationship and build a quality customer base. You can help your landing page accomplish that by focusing on reducing your bounce rates, which, in turn, will help lead to higher conversion rates.

What are your landing page best practices?  Share them in the comments below.

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