Your Baby's Ugly - Why You Need Landing Page Optimization Now

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All new parents think their drooling, wailing, wrinkled little midget is beautiful - and that's as it should be. The same seems to be true of landing pages. If an online marketing campaign is making money, it's taken as proof the landing pages are beautiful--and don't need further improvement.

In fact, landing pages typically range from barely acceptable to horrible. They are often at direct cross-purposes with the desired conversion action and stated goals of the business.

In this sorry state of affairs lies a terrific opportunity - fixing your landing pages can often lead to long-lasting double or even triple digit gains in conversion rate. This can change the economics of your business overnight.

Landing page optimization is no longer optional. It's one of the core activities that all online marketers must pay serious attention to. Landing page optimization spans the important topics of usability, copywriting, web design, and information architecture.

But landing page optimization also requires a proper grounding in math and test design. The messy reality of real-time marketing rears its ugly head. Organizational considerations required to build a testing program are key. You may need to change the mindset within your company.

I've covered these topics and more in my recent book Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions (John Wiley Press 2008). The book even got a really nice unsolicited writeup from SES London Chair Mike Grehan in his How To Avoid A Crash Landing column (and I didn't even have to pay a dime from the giant stash of payola money that I have available for such plugs).

I want to start a conversation and a revolution, but first we must break down the walls of denial:

Repeat after me: "My baby is ugly..."

About the author

Tim Ash is CEO of SiteTuners.com, a landing page optimization firm that offers conversion consulting, full-service guaranteed-improvement tests, and software tools to improve conversion rates. SiteTuners' AttentionWizard.com visual attention prediction tool can be used on a landing page screenshot or mock-up to quickly identify major conversion issues. He has worked with Google, Facebook, American Express, CBS, Sony Music, Universal Studios, Verizon Wireless, Texas Instruments, and Coach.

Tim is a highly-regarded presenter at Search Engine Strategies, eMetrics, PPC Summit, Affiliate Summit, PubCon, Affiliate Conference, and LeadsCon. He is the chairperson of ConversionConference.com, the first conference focused on improving online conversions. A columnist for several publications including ClickZ, he's host of the weekly Landing Page Optimization show and podcast on WebmasterRadio.fm. His columns can be found in the Search Engine Watch archive.

He received his B.S. and M.S. during his Ph.D. studies at UC San Diego. Tim is the author of the bestselling book, "Landing Page Optimization."

Read more of Tim Ash's columns at ClickZ.