Laying the groundwork for good design
how do you design fans and welcome to what I know is going to be a really exciting and valuable course on conversion rate optimization and landing page design clearly and effectively communicated. Landing page design is so important. It makes such a difference. And yet I work with clients on a daily basis clients that are spending millions of dollars a year on acquiring traffic that are leaving money on the table by not focusing enough resources on learning the basic principles of landing page design. They're spending money on PPC campaigns on S. C. O. Campaigns on content creation campaigns on social media marketing campaigns on email marketing campaigns and yet they're losing revenue because they're not doing enough. They don't understand how to more profitably and more effectively convert the traffic that's coming to their site. In fact the report released by Adobe and Emarketer revealed that spending on traffic acquisition. Outpaced Spending on traffic optimization by a factor of 9...
2%. That's huge. 87% of marketers felt that their departments lack the tools and resources to run effective conversion rate optimization campaigns. So that's a huge shame. What I think is especially exciting about this course is that unlike some of the other courses that I've taught like PPC and re marketing that require a lot of technical knowledge. By the end of this course, you will be able to go and do landing page optimization design, effective landing pages, work on commercial optimization. Just as good as I can. Just as good as anybody else in this industry. It's not technical, it's based on universal psychological principles that you already understand. All I'm gonna do is show you how you could apply them to. Landing page design and conversion optimization within your own companies and on your own website. So this type of course, understanding landing, landing page design really represents a unique opportunity to gain a huge competitive advantage over your competitors who are not doing this, who are spending money on acquiring traffic but are not spending money on converting that traffic. So. Long story short, I'm really excited to get started. But first, who am I right? Quick introduction. I'm the founder of Adventure Media Group, Long Island based digital Agency. Very, very fast growing company. We're tripling our office space. We're doubling our team. We worked with over 300 clients around the world on PPC campaigns, on conversion optimization, landing page design and the marketing. You can check us out on the web at www dot adventure PPC dot com. I have a Master's degree in industrial psychology from Hofstra University. There's a lot of overlap between that domain and landing page design. Of course, like I said, we worked with lots of different clients around the world from publicly traded companies to small mom and pop boutiques alike. I personally designed landing pages and websites for company generating over a billion dollars a year in annual revenue and publicly traded companies. And I've also worked on countless landing pages and website redesigns for smaller companies, mom and Pop boutiques on main Street and everywhere between in almost every niche and vertical. I'm also a contributing editor to search engine journal which is one of our industry's most prestigious blogs. So that's really exciting. A few quick things to know. The question and answer forum. Please use it. I'm not expecting you to completely understand every single topic that we cover right away. I am always active in the question and answer forum so I definitely want you to be active there as well. Feel free to skip around right. Some of these lectures might seem overly simplistic to you and while the entire course does have a logical progression, each lecture I designed for it to be kind of like its own mini course. So there's no problem skipping around. If you find something too simplistic feedback, your review and hopefully your positive feedback is the number one most important factor that will help me to continue to create courses and to bring you really, really high quality content as you can tell. A huge amount of work and effort is put into making this as valuable as possible for you. Um, so your feedback is really encouraged and I really appreciate it throughout this course. I'm gonna be showing you a lot of different usability tests, A lot of different percentage increases in conversion rate from different, actual real life case studies. All those test results are real. These are real numbers. Real test results before we go any further. I want to show you what I look like in the morning. It's a quick video and it's quite insightful as we start talking about good design and bad design and how that's applied to landing pages? Mm hmm. Do you know how to turn on this faucet? So as you can see from that video, there's principles of bad design in everyday life and a lot of these principles apply to landing pages, website designs and we're gonna cover that in a lot of great in much greater detail. And as you progress through this course, I think you're gonna start noticing in your own life throughout the day, different bad design elements and a light bulb is gonna take off and say, hey, that could be applied to landing pages. I as well. Am I doing that on my landing pages? Um, what is the landing page? Right. We're gonna talk a lot about landing pages. There's different types of landing pages. There's the dedicated landing pages, there's the micro site, there's the full website homepage product page. We're going to talk about all that stuff in much greater detail. But the basic definition of landing pages, the first page, a visitor lands on toward a conversion goal. A conversion is a meaningful action that has some sort of value to you as the website owner doesn't have to be a sale. It doesn't necessarily have to be a form submission And we're gonna talk about all the different types of conventional conversion actions, all the different types of business models on the web and what type of conversion actions are most common for those different types of business models. And we'll get into that in much greater detail as well. The next thing to quickly touch upon is admitting you have a problem, you built your site, you spent countless hours putting your site together and trust me, I really don't feel that anyone knows this as well as I do, I've spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours designing landing pages. It's, you put your passion into it. It's your aesthetics, it's, it's a part of you but I guarantee you there are significant issues with your landing page, with the usability of your websites, with your conversion paths, with your call to action so on and so forth that are causing users to get frustrated and they're causing you to have a lower than what your potential conversion rate could be. So, coming to the course, coming into the following lectures with a sense of openness, a sense of hey, there could be some major things wrong is going to be hugely valuable and a big core component of what we're doing. We're gonna be getting really deep into clarity and the quest for fewer question marks and we're gonna spend a few hours actually talking about that in, in this section, in the next section in even more detail. But what I want to do here is jumpstart that process to a quick introduction. I'm gonna show you a really cool usability study and then we're gonna end off with an exercise for you to do so without further ado, let's jump into our slides, clarity. The most important element in landing page design, I am going to drill this concept of clarity into your head. I'm going to repeat it so many times, it's going to come up in so many different formats. And clarity is really, really important. A lot of you guys like to have these big background images on your side. We're gonna talk about imagery and graphics and typography, but you know, even something so subtle as this, just a simple background image is starting to make the text more difficult to read. And we're gonna start thinking about these concepts. A lot of you guys like to have these background videos, Right? So, here's me at a Dave Matthews concert is pretty cool background video. It's a pretty cool technique. But look, the words are even getting more difficult to read. And I've seen many cases of this dual background video sort of thing. Right? So it makes it even more difficult to read. So the more creative you get doesn't necessarily mean the more usable or the better experience your website has. We're going to talk about creativity, we're gonna talk about aesthetics, but we're also gonna talk about balancing that line, walking that tightrope where you don't suffer the quality of your message, the readability of your message. Those are really important concept to keep in mind as we progress through the course. Um it's one of the most fundamental concepts in everything we're gonna talk about. It really permeates all the discussions. The five second usability test. Okay. This is one of the most famous usability tests on the web usability tests is some sort of approach where you could find an objective measure of how effective the design and the messaging of your website is. We're going to see a lot more usability tests and we'll talk about them in more detail but just very quickly. It's a quick, easy and cheap test to run. Okay? You get a lot of really good quantitative and qualitative data. When you do a five second test, here's how the five second test works. You simply show an image of your website right? It's typically the home page. Typically that hero section, some key element of a key page on your site. You show an image too, people who are not familiar with your brand who are not familiar with your company and you just show it to them for five seconds and you ask them three questions. You typically ask them these three questions. One, what is the name of your company to what does your company sell? Three. What value does your company offer to its users. What's in it for me? The potential customer. you don't have to ask all three questions, but those are the most typical questions that are asked During a 5 2nd test, here's a real life example. This is a big company, the company's name is called Rick Early. They managed subscriptions for other companies, they have software, they sell software to other companies for other companies to manage their subscription billing. So I took a screenshot of their homepage, I removed the logo in the upper left, upper left hand corner, so there's no brand recognition and let's take a look at the headline powering subscription success. Their sub headline trusted by thousands of companies. Okay. And there's a call to action. Try free or or I could request a demo. Now, I felt that this headline was unclear and we're going to dive into a lot of detail about writing headlines, writing sub headline is gonna show you lots of examples, in fact this this course has over 200 slides that you all have access to. Um, so that's the headline and sub headline. Okay, So I asked 50 strangers a very simple question after showing them this image for five seconds, what service does this company offer? Okay, very straightforward and take a look at the results. 14% of respondents got it right, 14% of the people that I asked understood what this company did. A lot of people just had something to do with subscriptions, but let's face it just saying that they do something with subscriptions is pretty arbitrary, right? Subscriptions could be a whole wide gamut of things. We were looking for managing subscription billing for other customers for their customers offer offering subscription billing software, right? That's really what they do. So I took the liberty to quickly create my own version of their homepage and I spent maybe a minute writing this headline and sub headline, right? I'm not saying it's great, but I think it's an improvement. The headline now reads easily manage your subscription billing, you're talking to the customer, you're giving over some clear messaging, credit card processing for your subscription based services. That's the sub headline, right. If I would have spent more time or collaborated with the people understood their business a little bit better. We probably could come up with a much better headline, right? If we all got together we come up with something even better. The The background image is the same. Everything is the same besides for the headline and sub headline. And I asked 50 new people, Not the same people as before. Of course, the same exact question after showing them this image for just five seconds, what service does this company offer? Right, very straightforward. Now take a look, 48% of respondents got it right, managing subscription billing. Credit card processing for other companies Now. is not great. It's not necessarily incredible. You kind of want more than 48% of people to know what you do, the basic concept of your business within five seconds. But we tripled the recognition, the cognitive simplicity of the messaging by just simply writing a better headline and sub headline. And this is just a preview of what's to come of all the interesting tests you're gonna see of all the incredible psychological techniques. We're gonna learn about reciprocal concessions and cognitive dissonance theory and anchoring. We're gonna learn about how to apply those persuasion frameworks to effective landing page design, right? We're gonna do all this stuff and see a lot more tests like this. Now to end off Lecture one. It's exciting. I'm really pumped for this whole course, your mission. If you choose to accept it, run your own five second test. Very simple. Find 2-5 people who haven't seen your homepage and who don't know what your company does. They don't know what products you sell. Take a screenshot, show them an image of your homepage for just five seconds and remove it. If you have, if your company has a lot of brand recognition, remove the logo wherever that logo is and ask them to. Very simple questions. What do you sell? What products or services do you sell and what is your main value proposition? What's in it for the customer? What are the benefits, the emotional and psychological payoffs of engaging with your services or buying your product. Ask them those two simple questions. I think you'll find some pretty interesting results. Hopefully everyone will get it right, But it's an exercise to get yourself into the testing mindset. It's an exercise to help you step into the shoes of objective people. You're gonna start getting a sense that not everybody sees your landing page. Not everybody understands your message. You're not conveying to everybody what you think, you're conveying to them and people don't use your website the way you think they're gonna use them. We're gonna talk about that as well in the future. Lectures in the future chapters in much greater detail, but I think this is gonna be a very exciting exercise for you to do and please let me know the results that you get because I'm really excited to see how you guys are interpreting this test and the type of results you're getting. So with that we will conclude lecture one again, very, very excited about this course. I am really, really appreciative that you've come with me and you're taking the time and the energy and the effort to learn landing page design with me. I think it's gonna be super valuable. And I am really looking forward to seeing guys in a few seconds in the very next lecture