Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Is Your Landing Page Optimized?

The term "landing page" is used to describe the page on your web site that visitors see first. In most cases, this will be your home page. However, if you run a lot of search engine advertising campaigns - your landing page can be any page of your web site that you want.

The idea is to optimize your landing page so that first-time visitors will either buy into what you're selling or at least inquire for more information. The more sales and/or leads that your landing page produces, the better the optimization is.

Many industry experts suggest split testing - which is when you have several different landing pages in order to determine which one is converting best. Obviously, if one is converting at 30% but another is converting at 65% - the latter would be the most desirable landing page.

However, it's very common for a successful landing page to convert well - but to decrease in conversions over time. In that instance, you would develop more landing pages to test to bring the conversions back up.

Regarding the design and look, industry experts highly suggest to keep your landing pages simple and boring. Animated and graphic-intensive landing pages have consistently produced the lowest conversions, opposed to text-based and basic-looking ones.

Having the right landing page can literally increase your conversions by up to 400%. This alone justifies why you should spend a lot of time experimenting with this.

If you're interested in getting help with your landing page optimization, I highly recommend that you use the services at www.sitetuners.com.

If you want to do it yourself, I recommend reading the following books: Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions By Tim Ash; and Landing Page Optimization For Dummies by Martin and Michael Harwood. Both are available at Amazon.com and in bookstores nationwide.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bigger Is Not Always Better

Many believe that a company's level of success is based entirely on it's size. This is not always true. Having more employees and large office space doesn't necessarily give you an advantage.

A small company with just one or two employees and no office space can easily be more profitable and can compete with, and often outmaneuver, a bigger company. Even more, a small company can be more simpler and less stressful to manage.

In the age of the dot com, it is very common for successful businesses to be run by one or two people who work at home. These types of businesses can typically generate anywhere from $30,000 - $1,000,000+ a year.

Very different from 10-20 years ago, you don't have to have a storefront to build a business and you don't necessarily need office space. It can all be done virtually.

I know people (Americans) that live overseas and run their businesses online - with all of their customers being in the United States. Not only do they not have to deal with their customers face-to-face, but they don't even have to be on the same continent.

So as you formulate (or reformulate) your business ideas, think big - but also think small. Keep your overhead low. Being able to afford office space, doesn't mean you have to buy into it. And the same goes for multiple employees.

Be determined to run your business in the most simple cost-effective way possible, and whenever possible - keep the size of your company to a minimum.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Are Your Prices Too High?

I work with a lot of authors, and it always surprises me when first-time authors are selling their books for $25. In my opinion, $25 for a book is very expensive - especially when people have never heard of you. Even $20 is just too much.

I've also seen people selling their independent DVDs, CDs, etc for just way too much money. Sadly, these people lose so much on sales because people just don't feel the item is worth that much.

What about the prices for your services and products? Are they too high? Are you losing customers because they feel you are too expensive?

The best way to price whatever it is that you're selling is to look at your competition, and go lower. If your competition is selling books for $15, sell your book for $12. If your competition is selling DVDs for $20, sell yours for $15.

Don't get so hung up on the idea of only making a tiny profit per sale. Which would you prefer - to make a $1 profit on thousands of individual sales, or to make a $0 profit on no sales?

Go with the Walmart method. Underprice your item, and take the lower profit. You'll make up for it in volume.

Make sure to do this the first time around - before you launch your promotional campaign. If people visit your web site and feel your prices are too high, they won't be coming back after you realize your mistake and decide to lower the price. You have to capitalize on their initial inquiry.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Jack of All Trades - Good or Bad?

Contrary to popular belief, it is perfectly okay to be a Jack of All Trades (or a Jack of Many Trades). These phrases are commonly used to describe an entrepreneur or business owner that possesses many skills and offers many different services to customers.

If this describes you, this is a good thing - not a bad thing. Many well-known entrepreneurs such as Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, Ted Turner, Warren Buffett, etc. have several different companies that offer a variety of services. They understand that it's smart to have multiple streams of income, in case one particular industry begins to take a downturn.

Even rap artists have found great success doing this. They own rap labels, film companies, clothing companies, shoe companies, jewelry companies, and often local restaurants in their hometown.

While it is perfectly okay to be a Jack of All (or many) Trades, don't make the fatal mistake of combining all your services into one company. For instance, it's a terrible idea to indicate on your business card or web site that you're a lawn mower, web developer, photographer, and interior designer.

Instead, create a different company (and web site) for each unique service that you provide. This way, your potential customers won't be inundated with services and products that they really have no interest in. They will only see information pertaining to what they're inquiring about.

Also, they will perceive you as a highly-skilled professional that knows what you're doing. If they see too many different services offered, they may assume that you're not an expert at anything - but just have a lot of casual knowledge. That, of course, is not the impression you want to give.