An unknown person, let’s call them X, reaches our landing page. We know little about them—how old they are, what they do for living, where they come from, how they feel today.
Person X simply reached the website of the University of Solitude—that’s all we know. They may scroll the page, they may read the excerpt, or they may click the menu. They may do all kind of other things as well.
But eventually, doesn’t matter who they are and what they do, and how much attention they pay to our message, they’ll either leave the website, or click “buy now” button and navigate to purchase the book on Amazon.com.
Most people will always decide for the first option—leaving the website. And it doesn’t matter how good your landing page is. That’s just how things work in the world of internet marketing. Just a fraction of visitors (always less than 5%, doesn’t matter what niche we talk about) will eventually make a purchase.
But a small percentage of people will actually purchase the book, or at least complete some other, desired action (like the website on FaceBook, subscribe to your newsletter).
Now, the question stands: What decides whether they leave the website, or whether they purchase the book?
In my opinion, the answer is connection.
Visitors must somehow connect with the story, with the heroes. They must find the connection with their own life; they must see the reason why they should devote their precious time to reading your words.
Yeah, you read it right – buying the book, they not only pay you money, but they also make a commitment to devote several hours, or even days, of their lives, to reading your words. That’s not a little commitment and sacrifice, considering the fast-paced era we live in, and the fact that most people complain of not having any free time… Think about it for a while.
Of course, you’ll always find avid readers, people who devour one book after another, people who buy books for pleasure. These folks, however, typically go for bestseller list items, or they stay within their niches. Anyway, forgetting this negligible group of people (that will neither make nor break your publishing campaign), we face a task to solve: How to create connection with people who visit our website, and help them to take the right decision?
Talk about them, not only about you
We do not know who our visitors are, and even if we knew that, we could not change the elements on the website for every visitor, so their individual experience corresponded with their individual expectations.
Therefore, we should focus on something that most visitors have in common. Desire for recognition is my answer.
People always like when we talk about them, about how reading can benefit their lives. They won’t buy the book because of the effort you put into writing it. Honestly, they do not care about you…
Either they see how reading the book will benefit them (satisfying any of their needs or desires), or they will leave the website and never come back.
Positive reviews from readers and critics, good book trailer that can touch their hearts and minds, explanation of the benefits readers get from reading your book. All the elements should find their place on every good landing page. Do you have them there?
About the author section—leave it out, or not?
You can see that I deleted “about the author” section from the landing page. I thought about it carefully, and eventually decided to delete it, from a few reasons:
- I do not want to position myself as “the center of a universe”. Surely, the story is about me, and my experiences from Iranian prison, but readers will find there many things which they can apply in their own lives, and that’s after all the reason why I published the book. No need to put emphasis on my personality—it’s important neither for the story, nor for the website visitors.
- I felt that the “about the author” section immediately put some barriers between me and most visitors. For example, the fact that I am vegetarian, or that I don’t have a TV. Vast majority of people support omnivore diet, and nearly everyone watches TV daily. Instead of finding something we have in common, something to connect with, my profile showed them things that separated us … and that’s not what we want to achieve.
Monitor and experiment
I decided to make the latest changes to the landing page, because I didn’t find the conversion rate satisfactory, for the period from July to September. We don’t get many visitors, true, but still I think it realistic to see more books sold, or at least more people navigating to the book page on Amazon.
The changes, I hope, will help us to increase the conversion rate.
My assumptions can be wrong, of course. That’s why it is crucial to monitor the user behavior. I monitor user behavior on the website (with the help of Google Analytcis), I can see how many of them watched the book trailer (with the help of YouTube Analytics), and also how many of them navigated to Amazon.com product page (with the help of a personalized affiliate link and Amazon affiliate reports).
Therefore, let’s say in two months time, I will be able to realistically evaluate whether the new layout improved the conversion rate, or not.
Focus on the traffic
While conversion rate matters, you should not forget to focus primarily on bringing more traffic to your websites. It would be nice to achieve, let’s say, 2% conversion rate (meaning that two people out of every hundred buy the book). According to my internet marketing experiences, 2% conversion rate would be an immense success, something even most popular writers can only dream about.
But still, I’d prefer to have 0.33% conversion rate and 5,000 visitors a month, than having 2% conversion rate and 200 visitors a month.
Optimizing your landing page is important, but traffic matters even more. Work on it, bring more people to your website, and once this toughest task is done, experiment with the layout and texts to improve your conversion rate.
That’s it for today. I hope that the information helped you, and I’ll see you soon with the next post. Now I am back to work on bringing more traffic to the website. :). If you liked the article, you can subscribe to my newsletter to not miss my new posts. Thank you!