The view from here

Landing Page Optimization: How Resumes Can Help

By BKV in Media Strategy on September 2nd, 2010

Having just graduated from college, I spent a lot of time over the past year tweaking my resume to get it just right. Add experience here... remove vague information there... change the formatting... change the font... Anything to build it up and give it that professional edge that would make it stand out. You spend your whole senior year of college trying to get noticed and get hired, but after you land the job, those resume building skills don't necessarily go into hibernation until your life changes paths again. I recently sat in on a webinar called "Optimizing Landing Pages - The 4 Key Tactics that drove a 189% Lift." As I'm sitting here at my desk listening and absorbing all of this information, I start to have that "this sounds oddly familiar" sensation. It took me back to my resume. Make it stand out... make it easy to read... make it worth the time and effort... paper pileWhen looking at a resume, a hiring manager should be able to find the information they want without much searching and digging. They don't want to spend 10-20 minutes trying to find information like a name or educational experience. If they can't find what they need right away, they throw it in the "no" pile and move on to one of the other 100 resumes they have to look through. The same is true for landing pages. On landing pages, the key is to create value in the visitors mind. Start a conversation with them. Give them the information they want without creating unnecessary costs. In their minds, perceived cost could be the amount of time or stress they face when trying to find the information on the page. It could also be the amount of personal information they have to give up. The higher the cost of getting the information, the less likely the visitor is to stay on the page and complete the order or transaction. So first, you must reduce cost. In the webinar, they explained that you have 7 seconds and 4 inches to answer 2 crucial questions in your visitors' minds: Where am I? and What can I do here? Where am I? question mark On your resume the first thing a reader sees should be your name. It should be obvious whose resume they are reading. The same thing applies to landing pages. People should be able to know where they are at first glance. The company name or logo should be at the top of the page with nothing to cover it up or distract the visitor's eyes. What can I do here? Readers should be able to tell what information they can pull from your resume right off the bat. There should be headlines of each section labeled Education, Experience, Awards and Affiliations, etc. Without actually looking into each section, they should know what information they can find there. The concept is the same for landing pages. People should know what they can do on the page without having to read into all of the details. They should know if they can order a product or set up a service without actually having to click on anything. They should know what information they can find in a section by looking at the headlines and images. Next, you want to increase perceived value to the reader or visitor. Your resume should highlight the things that make you different from everyone else; the things that make you the one worth hiring over all of the other applicants. At the same time, you don't want to tell your entire life story on your resume. Just highlight the important parts and go into more detail in a cover letter or during the interview. You can apply these ideas to your landing pages too. Highlight what makes your company special. Answer the question "Why purchase from you instead of any of your competitors?" But don't clutter the page with too much information. Highlight the benefits of using your company or product and then provide pop-ups with more information. Another way to increase perceived value is to use specific, quantitative, and credible language when highlighting your strengths and accomplishments. On your resume, you wouldn't put "I did well in school" and leave your education at that. You'd list the schools you went to, the degrees that you earned, your GPA when you graduated, etc. You want to be as specific as possible so that you convince the company to hire you. So, why would you put "we have great customer service" on a landing page? Spice it up a little. Include specifics like "we were voted #1 in customer service by Business Week." Everyone says they are the best at one thing or another. Consumers are jaded. Provide something to back up your claims in order to increase the value in the visitor's mind. The bottom line is, whether you are trying to get the job or get the customer, you have to make it worth their while. Fill your page with valuable information that is easy to read and understand.