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Q: We’ve been running an online health products store for the last 3 years. It mirrors our traditional catalogue business, and now sells as much. Although this is good, I feel too many people leave the site without buying.

We have customers from all over Europe as well as the UK. Many of our new customers come from searches on Google.

How do I get more people to buy?

Marketing Manager

A: Landing pages are the next step in getting more people to buy at your online store.

In Part One of this Q&A we saw how using web analytics and metrics could identify how and where visitors exit the buying process, and how to develop a strategy to stop this.

Now we need to go back to earlier in the chain of events and look at the pages people first land on when arriving on your site.

We call these Landing Pages.

You need to identify which are your Landing Pages.

Many visitors will first arrive at your home page, so obviously Home is a Landing Page.

But there will be other pages too where she will first arrive, such as from a search engine query, or possibly from an Adword (although I know you don’t advertise very much)

Using your web metrics, run a report to identify which pages she first lands on, and which search terms she uses to arrive at these pages.

This tells you a lot:

> By looking at the search terms you, in effect, know the questions she’s asking.

> By looking at the Landing Pages with the low bounce rates, you know which landing pages are answering her questions and encouraging her to explore further (and maybe buy)

> By contrast, looking the Landing Pages with the high bounce rates tells you which pages don’t provide the answers to the questions she’s asking (and makes her immediately leave)

The solution is to answer the question the visitor is asking by changing the page accordingly.

So for a health products store, if the search term is about Cosmetics and they land on a Food Supplements page, then obviously they’re going to be put off.

It suggests putting something about Cosmetics prominently on that page so she’ll see her question answered and is prepared to explore further.

None of this is rocket science. It’s simply finding out what she expects from each Landing Page, and changing the page so that it answers her question, thus encouraging further exploration.

Here’s how to take your Landing Page development even further.

Look at the page “above the crease”, that is the part of the page that shows in the visible area of the screen. This is usually 1024×768

The “above the crease” area needs to contain your proposition at a glance.

Visibly, the she needs to see her question answered as a persuasive proposition or piece of irresistible information.

This is what will convince her to press on and maybe buy – or at least not bounce out the way she’s been doing previously.

So to recap:

> Identify which Landing Pages have high bounce rates

> Amend the page to answer the search term question that brings her to the page

> Develop your visible area to encompass a persuasive proposition

Last but not least, measure the improvements your changes bring about, as explained in Part 1 of this Q&A.

Google offer a free Landing Page analysis and metrics service so you might look at this too.

© Studio Rossiter 2007

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