You want people’s information.
Your prospects want a result (for now that might be getting more info about your product or service).
You want a page that converts traffic into leads. Strangers into friends.
They want the minimum amount of effort & hassle.
It’s not easy to get people to give away a whole lot of their personal information to you.
Which is why the traditional “squeeze page” is dying.
The downfall of the squeeze page is that you have to opt in first to get all the value being promised. Your prospect (& Google) want that value to be freely available without “opting in” to anything.
Think about how you use the web – you don’t want to give away your email or mobile number to everyone that asks – you don’t want more sales calls & spam!
So you have to provide VALUE to the prospect to convince them to give up that information (what Google calls PII – personally identifiable information).
But does your landing page do enough to appear professional and trustworthy, to build that value, to be rewarded with your prospect’s name and email address?
With more and more squeeze pages looking like spam in Google’s eyes, you may want to consider having a “squeeze site” (rather than a squeeze page).
Just like your main site design, load times and look and feel are really important. And now of course mobile responsiveness.
Here are some essential elements that should keep both Google, and your users, happy.
Let’s take a look in a little more detail…..
Add ‘distraction free’ content
You can generally get away with having a navigation bar it in the footer only. Link to a bunch of articles/blog posts, as well as about us and contact pages and also offer a ‘Home’ option so you’re not relying on a click on the logo to get back to the home page of the main site. Make it as easy as possible to find the real site with all the value.
(Note: If you’re in a really dodgy industry, more likely to attract a Google human reviewer, then put the navigation at the top in the normal place to appear as above board as possible.)
Have a consistent call to action
The benefit of a squeeze site is you’ve got a consistent visible call to action in the same place across all pages. Having your mini-form on the top right corner generally will get the best conversions. Use as few fields as possible unless you are filtering out people on purpose. There is no point in having a really strong call to action on a squeeze page, but then a terrible experience across the rest of the site.
Selling something helps sends the right signals
When reviewing a site Google are not spending a long time thinking about your business model, or following every link. In less than a minute they’re determining: Does this look half decent? Is it a site I’d send my Granny too? How does this business make money? If you’re selling something then you’re less likely to appear like a spammer (ie. not trying to make money by collecting email addresses the flogging that list!)
Be careful…suspension could be just one word away
Compliance is a massive concern. There are certain words you can’t have, not only on a landing page but anywhere on an entire site. Of course, Google don’t publicly release the list and most of the time they can’t tell you what’s specifically wrong so there’s a lot of going around and around. This is particularly an issue in pharma.
Because they can’t volunteer information, from a risk point of view, you need to ask the right question to get a direct answer. So try: “If I use this word would I get suspended?”
“I made 100k in 3 weeks.” Really? We don’t think so!
Try to avoid talking about money wherever possible in your disclaimer and testimonials. Stating something like “results are not typical and may vary” or “only the very best students get these results” is preferred. Add that disclaimer to every page.
Minimise the number of clicks
Have a copy of the call to action on each page, usually a short form/pop up, rather than forcing users to navigate back to main page and forced to click again. The less clicks the better.
One of the biggest improvements that can be made to almost every form, is inline validation. Your users should be notified when moving between each field of your form if something entered isn’t valid, eg an incorrect email address.
This shouldn’t ONLY happen at the end when you hit the big ‘submit’ button. And include a visual reference: green is good and red is bad if they need to fix something in order to move on.
Don’t forget your manners – say Thanks
From a UI point of view always have a static separate thank you page. Your Google Analytics tracking will be a whole lot easier. Plus you’ll leave your user with a positive lasting impression. And you’ll have a much better experience in the next part of your sales process – ie they’ll be ready and waiting for your call if you explain what’s going to happen next and the info they’ll need to provide.
Stay in control with Google Tag Manager
Tired of hassling web devs or IT people for code changes? Google Tag Manager is a piece of code – essentially an empty ‘box’ – that goes on every page (tech term: container). Then through the Tag Manager console you can insert whatever code you want into that box on any particular page. Being in control of the container you’ll know the code will be right … unless the web devs remove the container, but hopefully they would tell you!