Tim Ash is a keynote speaker and best-selling author who has worked for top companies around the world. His knowledge of persuasion and online marketing has produced more than $1.2 billion of value for his clients.
He has presented at over 200 events across four continents on stages with more than 12,000 audience members. He was a co-founder and CEO of Site Tuners, a strategic digital optimization agency, and the founding chair of the international Digital Growth Unleashed event. He has helped brands such as Google, Facebook, and Expedia develop successful marketing initiatives and has authored more than 100 published articles. His most recent book, Unleash your Primal Brain, was released last month.
In today’s episode, Tim explains some of his secrets about creating successful landing pages.
The Holy Trinity
In order to create a successful landing page, there are three key questions to ask ourselves. Tim’s “Holy Trinity” of landing page optimization includes the following:
1. What is the page about?
a. The first thing we should know is what the page is about.
b.This should be the headline.
2. What is the form asking me to do?
a. We should know what the benefit of the form is.
b. Often, this is the sub-headline.
3. What happens when I press the button?
a. The CTA should fulfill the visitor’s needs.
Answers to each of these questions are essential in building a great landing page. We need to determine a purpose and provide a distinct Call to Action.
A successful landing page needs to have a purpose.
Tim defines a landing page as “any page that has significant potential to have economic value flow through it” and channels significant traffic. This means a landing page could be a campaign stand-alone page, the homepage of our website, a catalog that’s indexed in shopping search engines, or a product detail page. Whatever the case, each landing page needs to have a specific goal and purpose.
What problem is our landing page going to solve? Or as the number one question in Tim’s Holy Trinity asks, what is the page about? Our landing page needs to focus on one specific goal. This purpose could be to raise awareness about a product or to get our customers to subscribe to our email list. Whatever the case, we have to make our purpose clear to our audience the second they land on our page.
The biggest mistake Tim sees people make is not addressing the needs of their audience. “The biggest mistake that I see marketers continue to make is that we’re talking about stuff that’s in our own self-interest as marketers. You know, ‘We’re great,’ ‘This is the world’s best solution.’” Tim explained. “It’s really [about] having that user-centered focus . . . A well-designed landing page is going to address the needs of the person. And only by doing that, can you make more money as a business.”
Whether we want our consumers to watch a video, send an email, download an eBook, or make an appointment, it needs to be persuasive and focus on the visitor.
We need to understand exactly who we are talking to. Who is my tribe? What are their values? The same story can have two very different meanings depending on the person and their cultural background. In order to make sure we are getting our message across, we must understand who our audience is.
“The question is, does [our landing page] meet the needs of the intended audience, and do a high percentage of visitors act and do the thing that you want them to do?” Tim said. “The point of the landing page is to align with the goals of the visitors and to have them take action.”
Within the marketing funnel, our landing page is an essential element. The marketing funnel is a business process with steps, often starting with customer awareness and leading to purchase.
Call to Action
A successful landing page needs to have a Call to Action (CTA).
A CTA is the part of our landing page that tells our audience what we want them to do. This could be a form they need to fill out to “Subscribe Now” or a link that says “Read More” and directs them to our blog posts.
Here are some examples of a CTA:
- Subscribe here for FREE weekly newsletters
- Read more here
- Sign up now
- Follow our Twitter
- Watch this video
- Book your appointment today for 15% off
- Contact us today for a FREE consultation
- The best CTAs (calls-to-action) often start with an action word, create a sense of urgency, and tell our audience what’s in it for them (Source: SproutSocial).
Questions two and three of Tim’s Holy Trinity are: What is the form asking me to do? What happens when I press the button? We can also ask ourselves, where is the traffic going? Where do we want them to go? The CTA should answer these questions.
A successful landing page needs to avoid visual clutter.
The second biggest mistake Tim sees on landing pages is visual clutter or “visual boogers” as he calls them. “[Visual clutter] is death by a thousand cuts,” Tim said. “We start decorating [our pages] with drop shadow on the button, or just obnoxious extraneous detail and ‘visual boogers,’ I call them, all over your page and not having a sense of priorities. To me, landing pages should have a zen-like stillness, out of which the Call to Action naturally arises.”
To get someone on our website, we often need to interrupt them and fight for their attention. But once a visitor is on our website, it needs to be calm. We no longer need to compete for attention on the page. We need to simplify, simplify, simplify. We need to make our core message clear. For everything, ask, “Why is this on the page?” It should all have a purpose that goes back to our central goal.
“Figure out what’s important, make that more visually prominent, and tone everything else down,” Tim said. “I’d say that taking a machete to all of the clutter on your website is step one.”
One tool we can use is a heat map to help determine what visitors aren’t using, and then go through and remove all the elements people aren’t clicking on. However, even before that, we should have the discipline to strip the access away so everything is visible on just one page (whether that be a laptop screen or phone screen). We shouldn’t have to scroll. If we do, we can cut more stuff. We should only have things on our landing page that answer the three questions in Tim’s Holy Trinity to landing pages.
“The visual priorities are, what’s the page about? That’s the headline. What’s the form asking me to do? That’s the form sub-headline. And what happens when I press the button? And that should be stated in terms of what’s useful to the visitor. What do they get? So, if you have those three things as your top three visually prominent things on the page, you win, and anything else just needs to go,” Tim explained.
A successful landing page needs to establish trust.
Trust has to precede the conversation. “Another thing that marketers can take advantage of is badges that indicate various kinds of trust. Whether it’s a transactional trust or third party credibility or testimonials, awards, that kind of stuff can be really, really powerful. Instead of you saying you’re great, get other people saying you’re great,” Tim said.
One of the most important things is our approach. The biggest mistake we can make is designing our page to focus on our own interests and toot our own horn. We don’t want to make our landing page an ad. We must have an outside-in mentality, meaning we are user-centered. As we do this, we build trust with our visitors and they will be more likely to complete our CTA.
Thank you so much Tim for sharing your stories and knowledge with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. Our landing page needs to have a single, central purpose.
2. Our landing page needs to be focused on solving a problem for our audience.
3. Our landing page needs to have a strong CTA (call to action) with clear benefits for our visitors.
4. Our landing page needs to be simple. We need to cut out the clutter. Everything on our page should align with our central goal.
5. Our landing page needs to establish trust.
Connect with Tim
If you enjoyed this interview and want to learn more about Tim or connect with him, you can visit timash.com, and listen to part two of this episode. For more about his latest book, you can go to primalbrain.com.
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