Sometimes a Secret Isn’t a Secret

Next Tuesday, August 17, in San Francisco, I will be presenting my 21 Secrets of Top Converting Websites at the Search Engine Strategies conference (part of Connected Marketing Week). Though I won’t share all the secrets in this column in hopes that you’ll catch me at the conference, I do want to share the first one with you.

The first secret of top converting websites is that they communicate a UVP (unique value proposition) or UCP (unique campaign proposition).

Here is a video clip of me presenting the first secret of converting websites.

Now some people may think that everyone knows they should add their value proposition or campaign proposition to each and every landing page and to every Web page on their site. But I promise you that all too often, businesses continue to neglect this simple technique which improves conversion rates time and time again.

Does Everyone Need a Value Proposition?

No brand and virtually no product is universally known or doesn’t have a competitor. It helps your visitors get a better sense in the first few seconds of the attention they’ll give you if you can give them a reason to consider you.

One person who watched the video e-mailed me to ask why Google doesn’t use a value proposition. I assured him that Google does, in fact, and has even tested it. Take a look at this Google presentation (check out slide 25) for Google Website Optimizer and you can see how Google leveraged adding a value proposition for its Picasa landing pages and how that was one of the factors that helped boost sign-up conversions for Picasa by 30 percent.

Why Does Every Page Need a Value Proposition?

People are bombarded with sales messages all the time. If you can’t cut through the clutter immediately to offer them something that has obvious value, they’ll be long gone to someone who can.

Nowadays, a lot of prospective customers have very short attention spans and even shorter memories, and they’re jaded.

You must make your value proposition or campaign proposition strong, simple, quick, and clear immediately, when prospects first hit your site. If you don’t have a strong value or campaign proposition and don’t state it clearly right upfront, you’re sending your traffic elsewhere instead of drawing them deeper into your own sales funnel.

What, You Don’t Have a Value Proposition?

Creating a unique value or campaign proposition isn’t for chumps or poseurs. Your value proposition must be clear, relevant, and easy to understand. Here’s a quick, easy process for writing a powerful unique value proposition:

  • Ask your customers what they value most about your product/service/campaign; make a list. Look for strong benefits – not features.
  • On your list, look for repeating themes and list those separately.
  • Hand the list to a good writer. Ask that person to write five to 10 versions of a potential unique value proposition based on the list.
  • Test three to five of the most promising unique value propositions.
  • Pick the best-performing unique value proposition.

How Strong or Unique is Your Value Proposition?

As the online market continues to become more competitive, more fast-paced, and more challenging, make sure you’re constantly communicating the uniqueness and value of your products and services…or your competitors will.

Adding a value proposition to every page could just be the secret you were looking for to get a better conversion rate.

So there you have it – secret number one. Go back to your sites and start assessing the value you are offering and communicating to your visitors.

If that secret isn’t enough for you, I’d be happy to share the other 20 secrets with you at SES San Fransisco. I hope to see you there!

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