I spent last Wednesday feverishly blogging from SEMpdx’s SearchFest. You can read all my notes here, but I thought I’d share a few of my favorite takeaways:
First up, 2-person panels are the way to go! Only after my colleague Jason Kane pointed out that most of the sessions had 2 speakers did I realize why I found the day’s sessions so strong. I’ve been to conferences with 3+ people sitting on each panel, and they often start out as a race the clock as each speaker struggles to squeeze his/her slides into the allotted time, and then when Q&A arrives, turn into a free-for-all as every question gets 3 answers (when sometimes 1 would have done). 2-person sessions gave each speaker plenty of time to share his/her wisdom, but still allowed for a meaningful conversation between the 2 panelists. Bravo to the organizers…
Today I’ll start with Susan Delz & Lulu Gephart’s Conversion Optimization session, look for the rest later this week.
When it comes to landing pages there are no “best practices.” During the Conversion Optimization session, Susan Delz of Ion Interactive (creators of the LiveBall landing page testing software we love here at Anvil) was asked “are there specific best practices” for developing landing pages and she, surprisingly, answered “no.” If you’ve ever checked out Which Test Won, you’ll know that the rules are outnumbered by the exceptions – as soon as you’re absolutely convinced red buttons are the only way to go, a blue button will blow the test out of the water! Susan instead offered 15 principles for post-click marketing:
- Is it user-centered? Think about people, not data.
- Is it fluid? Continuity from click through conversion.
- Is it relevant? Where visitors land is always contextually relevant. You must bridge visitors to conversion without conceptual leaps.
- Is it conversion focused? Think about the desired outcome — both initial conversion, and long-term outcome.
- Is it segmented? Post click NOT pre-click. A segmented audience is 4x more valuable than non-segmented.
- Is it targeted?
- Is it measured? Real-time reporting is critical.
- Is it tested & optimized?
- Is it analyzed?
- Is it transparent? Be ready to share results across your organization — secures budget and reinforce approaches.
- Is it integrated? Pre-click should flow seamlessly into post-click.
- Is it agile? Run your post-click without friction & hurdles – testing must be responsive & marketer-managed.
- Is it bold? Think big, take risks, and have confidence in the program.
- Is it branded? Capitalize on every visitor experience to provide a fantastic brand experience.
- Is it prioritized? Never “set it & forget it”. Incorporate into every facet of planning, take a holistic approach.
Your conversion rates can plummet, and you can still keep your job! Lulu Gephart of REI shared her own landing page wisdom. REI is one of those rare, true online-offline hybrids, in which both the website and the retail stores (and the synergy between the two) are more or less equally important to success. She shared her “dirty secret”: that REI’s landing page conversion rates took a dive in 2010, and yet Lulu still had a job (not to mention prestigious speaking gigs!). How? Implementing a clever, and trackable, in-store inventory check feature successfully drove qualified visitors from the website to REI’s retail stores to complete their purchases.
We also learned from Lulu that Japan’s latest all-the-rage fad is The Tragedy of Soft Ice Cream, which appears to be some sort of bizarre Hello Kitty-meets-Mr. Bill. Weird…