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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Six ways to boost online conversions with landing page optimisation

SEO helps attract visitors to your website but it's landing page optimisation that turns browsers into buyers. Danielle Haley, Director of Indy Consultancy suggests six steps to improve your conversion rates

A good landing page usually has one simple purpose; it could be to encourage the customer to purchase, sign up to a mailing list or take another step in the buying cycle, such as getting in touch for a quote or a sample.

If you want to generate more conversions from your website, you'll need to make sure that your landing pages appeal to your audience and encourage them to choose your company over your competitors. Follow these six simple steps to create fully optimised landing pages that will breathe new life into your online marketing campaign.

Step 1: Get to know your market

Information is power and the better you know your target audience, the easier your job will be. Don't take wild stabs in the dark – learn what makes your customers tick.

Find out their pain points so you can solve them; find out what they like and want so you can give it to them; and find out what terminology they use so you can communicate with them effectively.

Step 2: Set up analytics

What gets measured gets managed. Set up your analytics tools so you can clearly see what is happening with your traffic levels and subsequent conversions. When you have this information, you can make informed decisions based on what is working for you and what is not.

You need to know where your traffic is coming from, which call to action (CTA) gets the most clicks and which kind of audience converts best.

Analytics tools can even tell you where people typically hover on-screen, helping you evaluate your website's hotspots and improving its overall design and functionality.

Step 3: Build trust with branding

Trust is an enormous factor in online purchasing decisions, so you will want to make sure your landing page is congruent with your overall marketing campaign.

The design of your ads must match the branding of your landing page and that branding must complement the message you're trying to convey. It's also vital that your price expectations are in line with the message, your graphics and the market you are trying to attract.

The bottom line is that people trust congruent webpages, and trust in your brand will lead to better conversions.

Step 4: Have a clear proposition

It's very important that visitors know exactly what you expect of them, and they need to be told why they should take a particular action when they reach your landing page.

Be clear about what you want people to do, display the benefits of taking the action, and make sure everything on the page encourages them to complete that goal.

Step 5: Display social proof and testimonials

Customers don't like to feel isolated when they buy online; they look for other people's opinions and place a lot of trust in testimonials and reviews.

If you have a strong social presence and have worked hard to develop an engaging Twitter account, for example, why not display the number of followers on your landing page?

You could also display testimonials from previous customers to show people that others have bought from you and had a positive experience. This will increase the likelihood of new sign-ups or purchases.

Step 6: Test your results, try new things and repeat

Once you are up and running, you will want to split test the changes you have made. It's best to test one change at a time so you maintain focus and accurately measure the impact your decisions are having on your conversions.

For example, set your two landing pages up to be exactly the same except for one factor - perhaps a different CTA. You can then test the results to see which one converts better. Once you have an idea of what's working for you, you can test other CTAs until you find a winning combination that's proven to work for your business.

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