Would you buy your Web site a drink?

Yield Software · March 12, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/e56

Ten ways to win the “speed dating” test

Cocktail anyone?

Finding a mate can be a laborious process when you think about how many single people exist.  So speed dating was developed to eliminate some of the time out of this process.

If you think about it, every time you search for something you go through a sort of speed dating process.  You know what you want, but then millions of potential matches appear.  So, you speed date the landing pages on the first one-to-two pages of the search results to see if you can quickly find a website you’re are willing to give your personal information to in hopes that there might be a future there that satisfies your needs.

We’ve compiled ten tips to make sure your landing page can pass the speed dating test and get you those digits:

1)     Be Hotter Than Everyone Else.

Before you have a searcher visit your site, survey the room and check out your speed dating competition.  Take snapshots of all the competitive landing pages on the first page of the search results for your top keywords.  View these snapshots in a line along with yours.  If you wouldn’t pick your landing page as the hotty in the group, redesign your page elements until it becomes the clear winner.

2)     Be Visually Engaging.

Searching is even more shallow than dating because we don’t feel bad about not giving a website the time of day if it doesn’t look perfect.  If you want the searcher to even bother reading your spiel you had better look your absolute best.  Use engaging colors, rather than being drab.  Use images and video to immediately visually engage the searcher.  But don’t go overboard here.  If you have too much eye candy on a single page, you’ll just appear like the used car salesman with one too many gold chains.

3)     Be Trendy.

If your dress is out of date you are not desirable.  If you haven’t updated your website style in the last two years or are using design techniques that were popular years ago it’s time for a redesign.  Just do a search for “great websites” and there are plenty examples of very cool sites to re-use concepts from.  If you don’t have time to get with the times, hire a personal shopper – aka, a web designer.  The money you spend will be well worth it to boost your image.  With a trendy site, you may even find yourself getting phone numbers when you aren’t even trying.

4)     Speak Clearly & Memorably.

Once you are the hottest website in the room, you’ll get a chance to explain who you are and why you are awesome.  Clearly articulate what it is you do and why you are the best in large font using plain simple words.  Don’t use words that you would use to think about what your business does, but rather words your searcher would use to describe you.  With speed dating, no one has room to absorb fluff like “long walks on the beach” – so review your page and remove all of your fluff terms such as innovate, synergy, unique, focused on, leverage, leading provider, cost effective, next generation, etc.  Stating who you are in plain terms allows a searcher to “get you” right away and will also give the searcher a much better chance of remembering who you are at the end of their speed dating session.

5)     Exude Confidence.

Insecurity leads to loneliness.  Show the searcher your confidence in what you have to offer.  Do you offer a guarantee?  Do you have testimonials?    Don’t use unsure words such as “could be considered”, “on average”, or “for some.”  Write with strength and confidence that you are simply the best and you stand behind it.

6)     Don’t Ramble.

Who doesn’t love to talk about themselves?  However, a speed dating session is not the time to ramble on about your 100 different great attributes in excruciating detail.  Keep your landing pages short and concise and above the fold if possible.  You can discuss more on your first real date.  Remember your searcher is interviewing many other potential candidates and you don’t want to dilute yourself here – better to get one message across effectively than become the whiny website that just went on and on until the searcher tuned out and their eyes start to wonder the room.

7)     Drop Some Names.

Everyone is intrigued by a popular person or business that has some well-known associations.  Don’t be shy here; you only have a few seconds so feel free to tout names of customers, awards, or “as seen in”.   Dropping a few names is much more effective than paragraphs of text stating how awesome you are.

8)     Show Off Your Best… er… Assets.

It’s cool to give your searcher a little teaser here.  What can they expect if they work with you?  Tell or show them just enough about results to make them want to learn more.

9)     Hone Your Pickup Lines.

As with dating there are two sets of pickup lines you’ll need to master.  The first is your pickup line to get the searcher to stay and read on.  Try out taglines from your PPC ads that seem to get you the most attention.  After you’ve got their attention, you’ll need a second great line to get their contact information.  It’s not only the pickup line you need to think about, but the delivery as well — the font, colors, button presentation etc. will all have an impact.

10)  Get Their Number!

The goal of this speed dating scenario is to get the searcher’s information so you can court them.  Make sure that this is prominent on the page.  If you allow the searcher to wander from your landing page through your site, make sure your form is accessible everywhere so they don’t have to find their way back to the original meeting spot to provide you with their phone number.  Let them know what to expect after they provide you with that information – do they get a free consultation or access to something valuable?   Speed daters are more inclined to fork over that number if they know a five-star meal awaits.

Too often, search marketing ends at the moment someone clicks on a paid or natural search results, without any regard to what happens “post-click”.  It’s a shame when search marketers go to a great deal of trouble to optimize their paid and natural search rankings only to see clicks failing to materialize into real business.  Don’t fall in to this trap!

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Yield Software's complete Yield Web Marketing Suite for Business and for Agencies includes a Paid Search Optimizer for management of PPC campaigns; Natural Search Optimizer for improved SEO and page rank; and Landing Page Optimizer, which includes a multivariate test engine to ensure landing pages are converting as well as possible.  Our system enables businesses of all sizes and growing agencies to fully embrace the potential of search marketing across Google, Bing and Yahoo! All of which leads to increased traffic to websites at a lower overall cost, resulting in greater conversion rates and increasing revenues.  Try a free 15-day trial or learn more at www.yieldsoftware.com.

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