Landing Page Makeover Clinic #20:

Landing Page Makeover Clinic #20:

Reader Comments (41)

  1. Roberta, I’ve always been a fan of what you’re doing with these makeovers. Thanks again.

    And you know… if you had Camtasia Studio and recorded your 10-point explanations on video, that would make quite a product.

  2. Oh, Shane, that’s a really smart idea.

    I’m a giant fan of this series as well. I think they’re really a must for anyone serious about writing persuasive copy online.

  3. I am loving, loving this series. I love how you pay attention to the details. Cranking out copy and throwing up landing pages is one thing. Competently tweaking the details to maximize results is next level stuff. You’re giving away huge value here!

  4. Christian – thank you. It’s easy to slap together copy and stock images. The devil – and the delight – is in the details. For the same amount of time and $$$ invested, why not get the maximum from the effort?

  5. Roberta – amen sister! Yeah but I love that so many don’t take the time and effort…more money for you and me 🙂 Just kidding (kind of) !

  6. Roberta, Check out the video on the linked page below. What are your thoughts as it relates to landing page creation?

    The page leans more toward a “cheesy direct response” style, but still the functionality of this theme looks like it might help.

    (I don’t know anything more about this site other than the fact that I saw the video once and thought it was cool, so I can’t vouch for it.)

  7. Thanks Roberta for the excellent critique. I don’t think my landing page is poop but you might disagree 🙂 I learnt something today about treating the landing page as a stand-alone entity and will try to tweak a little. It’s amazing how much we can do wrong when we think we’re doing the right thing. I’m not a fan of pop-ups; find them irritating, but they do have their uses as I see. Looking forward to the upcoming post. I’m sure it would be interesting. See you in four weeks…

  8. @David, most of the time I agree with you on pop-ups. But my one exception is an exit pop from a sales page, which is what Roberta is pointing to here. Otherwise you’ve lost them anyway, so I personally feel ok about making one last offer.

    It’s tricky–people use pop-ups because they do increase response quite a bit. But you don’t want to sacrifice the relationship either. For myself I try to remember that I’m not supposed to be designing around what bugs me or pleases me, but around what will convey my message to my customer and lead to a sale, either now or down the line. And landing pages are very much about “OK, it’s time to make the sale now.”

  9. I don’t know. The landing page kind of looks like it came from the 1990s. Old fashion looking web sites always turn me off. I feel like I’m buying from a nine-year-old.

  10. @Shane – I’ve seen similar products but this is the first time I’ve seen as part of a WP blog. I think it does a pretty good job at organizing the usual steps to a long-form sales letter. I like the headline kickstarts, too. The ‘each section gets its own post’ thing is a little kludgy so I’d probably write the letter offline and copy and paste segments in. The letter it produces is clean and attractive for the genre. But this letter still needs to be written. The form includes BIG EMPTY BLOCKS that need to be filled.

    If I was in a time-crunch, something like this would be attractive since I wouldn’t have to worry about getting it designed/coded. I could write and it looks good.

    But like all good templates, it’s a helper. Someone still needs to the right kind of writing to generate the lead or close a sale.

    @David, Sonia – The hardest part of my job is keeping my personal aesthetics out of the client’s business and focus on my client’s goals. The ‘too-many-years-to-count’ DM’er in me says you find out what works and do more of it. As Sonia so eloquently stated it, landing pages are all about ‘it’s time to make the sale now.’ An exit pop-up in this case says, “Not ready to buy just yet? No problem, let’s stay in touch and here’s a little something for you before you leave.”

    It’s all about testing, finding out what works, and refining from there. Marketing is always a process-centered activity.

  11. Roberta, I agree. I’ve told students that they can use HTML editors, but they will learn the most if they code manually. Same with landing pages and copy I believe.

  12. Love these reviews. I actually point many clients to these makeover pages to help them understand what is wrong with their sites.

    @Shane/Sonia: I find that the free version of Jing ( ) works almost as well as the $299 camtasia.

  13. Fantastic makeover as always Roberta. It never ceases to amaze me that there is ALWAYS something new to learn from these.

    In many respects a lot of this month’s points are very subtle, such as thinking about what your visitor is actually searching for and possible state of mind. I’m not sure how the different landing pages for gender will work though – unless Google can differentiate?

    I seriously think I need to go back to the drawing board for my landing page copies now… 🙂

  14. @Pat – thanks, as always, for the kind comments. I was thinking gender-specific landing pages as an extension of a PPC campaign which I recommended they explore. So, if someone responds to “How to Get Your Wife All Fired-Up” in a PPC ad, we direct them to page for hubbies, and vice versa. You might be able to get more gender-specific in organic pages, but that would be far more difficult to control.

  15. Dr. Smythe, Jing is neat, but having my files stored on doesn’t appeal to me. It’s like the vs. debate. With Camtasia you have the source files on your own machine to do with what you will, and you can output them to various formats, too. If you plan to get serious about screencasting, Camtasia is worth every penny. If you don’t, Jing will do.

  16. I would also add that this site should have the header image precached (if it remains after the makeover), since it takes a while to load even on a fast connection. It makes the site feel more put together when the header shows first, and the rest takes a second to load, not the other way around. It eliminates the feeling that you are left hanging.

  17. Roberta, I so appreciate the time and energy you put into my makeover. Some day I hope to show you not only a new and improved landing page – based on your suggestions – but a whole new site entirely. Having just entered the 21st century by purchasing my first Blackberry, I’m wondering now if sites should be more specifically designed to be seen on phones. It feels like a whole new world.

  18. @Ryan – thanks for the tech tip. Everything that can help a site load faster can encourage a visitor to stay longer.

    @Diana – you’re welcome. Mobile is definitely something to consider, but first things first. 🙂

  19. Excellent and honest crit. I thought it was brilliant when you said “I’d strongly suggest redesigning your entire site from the ground up. It looks amateurish…”

    I understand that the words are key to conversion but the look of this site is a huge turn off at the moment. There are still a lot of sites like this though. I classify them as ‘hard sell websites’ with 20 screens of text to scroll through and blue text.

    But since there are so many sites like that out there I was beginning to think they must actually sell stuff that way.

    Having read your crit I’m now hoping that they’re set to become a thing of the past, like bowler hats and spats.

    I hope the lovely tantric sex people can find a web design team who will make their site look as professional, knowledgeable and sexy as they are. If they follow all your recommendations there will be a huge upturn in sales of all their products.

  20. Really great advice in an excellent portrayed blog. I think that many people can read this and take what you’ve provided and apply it to there own website.
    It’s wonderful you use this opportunity to inform others of your services as I think so many companies want to know where they can get good advice that really means something.

  21. Great looking feedback! When I worked for an agency about a decade ago, we used to do something similar called a Point of View (POV) report. Although the POVs were free, our clients almost always paid us to implement the recommendations we made.

  22. These are some great tips. They definitely need to have more copy for the product as well as what you said, having it as a standalone page and not all those others on there. It’s just confusing to the person landing on the page.

    I’d also ditch some of the blue copy. My opinion though. With the tips you shared Roberta, I see them generating a killer response now (10% or more with targeted traffic).


  23. @Annabel, Gabe – Every time I do a makeover, I begin to frame it out the steps from recommendation to execution. You should see the sites I build in my head. 🙂

    @Mike – thanks! I agree this could be a killer site with the right look, read and focus. It’s always about the focus.

  24. @Jenny – I can tell people what I do or show them what I can do. There’s a lot of work in the showing but the benefit is huge for readers like yourself. I like helping/teaching. It’s my Virgo ascendant nature. 🙂

  25. Roberta,

    Excellent work once again. These critiques are so helpful for newbies looking to tighten up their copy. I would even make another suggestion that they give away an entire chapter or tantric lesson as a way to grab an email address. Even though they have their own list, it’s good to keep giving on occasion to keep people interested in what you are offering.

  26. @Joshua, excellent suggestion. Same reason Costco is loaded with vendors offering a taste of this and that. “A Taste of Tantra” has a very attractive, sensual vibe, don’t you think?

  27. How do you feel about 2nd chance or last chance offers? I think they are annoying but I have bought based upon the benefit of getting it cheaper when Im about to leave a page and get a deep discount for buying now. And… In #1 you mentioned “testimonials”. Are these testimonials still legal? According to FTC guidelines?

  28. I think last chance offers can be effective depending on what is being sold. I don’t think it’s a good install for this site, however. Legitimate testimonials from genuine customers/clients who do not stand to gain from their testimonial (i.e. an affiliate) are perfectly fine. For all others, transparency of purpose and relationship should always be paramount.

  29. Roberta, you really are brilliant! I had the pleasure of interviewing Diana for my former marriage blog so I know how much good she has to offer the world. How great to see she’ll benefit from your smarts!

    I’m also getting a lot from this crit. Like Diana, I talk about one of those ‘weird topics’- wedding drama so it’s enormously helpful to hear how build trust and acceptance of a new concept. Every bit of good advice is going into my new site! And, I’m hoping to have my own makeover someday soon.

    All the best, Dina

  30. Always grand to hear from you, Dina. We build ultimate trust when we make ultimate sense. That’s the 2-3 second window our visitors afford us. When you’re ready for a site makeover, I promise to make room on the schedule. 🙂

  31. Great suggestions! I don’t see the “after” visual…is this the right link to the makeover article?

    While I understand it’s time-consuming to do a full PSD, the article could have more “oomph” if there was even a SnagIt of what you think it would look like. Otherwise, it seems more like a commentary than a makeover.

  32. Hi Kara, I’m a marketing writer not a designer. I try to be thorough enough in my comments so that the makeover ‘client’ can do the revisions or have someone else do the revisions.

    But you’ve given me an idea. Give me a little time to flesh it out. Thanks!

  33. Wow, that would be so helpful, a sketch showing what it might look like. Yes, I’m the ‘client’ here… and no, I haven’t yet implemented this wonderful advice from Roberta. I appreciate everyone’s comments and look forward to doing more than just the tiny tweak I’ve managed so far!

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