Building a landing page without any guidance can be particularly challenging for small business owners with limited time, ad budgets, and marketing expertise.
MEDIA 7: Could you please take us through your professional journey?
OLI GARDNER: I started out as a developer doing back-end C programming in London’s financial district. Over time I transitioned slowly to more creative roles, from web development to usability and interaction design, then creative director. When we started Unbounce I became a marketer for the first time, and my role included doing all of the website design, writing, development, and creating all of our marketing content (blog, guides, etc.). After spending a few years creating a huge array of content, I started to be asked to speak at conferences based on my thought leadership and writing style.
I turned down these invites for about 5 years then eventually said yes to an event in Austin, Texas. Despite my fear and nerves, I ended up winning an award for best presentation out of 64 speakers, so I knew I’d found my real passion and purpose.Over the past 7 years, I’ve traveled the world as a public speaker, which completely changed my life, in terms of confidence, subject matter expertise, and most wonderfully, it’s how I met my wife.
M7: What was your inspiration behind starting Be the Keynote?
OG: I’d been coaching other speakers (mainly beginners, but some experienced speakers too) and had great success elevating their skills. I wanted to do more of this but it doesn’t scale, so I came up with Be the Keynote as a self-serve platform to teach, coach, and empower thousands of people to become public speakers and share their stories. Be the Keynote is everything you need to become an exceptional public speaker and virtual presenter. Currently, it’s primarily informational, but it will be transforming into a SaaS platform with a product that helps people to create brilliant presentations much more quickly and easily.
Your website is for organic traffic, whereas the primary purpose of a landing page is to create a focused and targeted experience for your marketing campaigns.
M7: What do you focus on when creating landing pages for your clients at Unbounce?
OG: Unbounce is also a self-serve SaaS platform, so we have customers vs. clients. As such, we don’t build landing pages for our customers. But whenever I’m creating a landing page for myself, or Unbounce, or Be the Keynote, I follow a process known as Conversion-Centered Design (CCD). CCD has 7 principles: Attention, Context, Clarity, Congruence, Credibility, Closing, and Continuance. To illustrate briefly, Attention is about removing distractions in the form of links. In our research and experimentation, we’ve found that the more links you have on your landing page the lower the conversion rate.
M7: Can you please tell us more about your new product, Unbounce Smart Builder, which is powered by conversion intelligence?
OG: Smart Builder (currently in open beta), is an AI-powered landing page builder that takes marketers through a guided, personalized journey of creating a landing page, pre-built to convert. Building a landing page without any guidance can be particularly challenging for small business owners with limited time, ad budgets, and marketing expertise. Leveraging Unbounce’s proprietary conversion intelligence technology powered by over 1.5 billion conversions collected over 10 years. Smart Builder gives customers personalized, AI-backed page suggestions based on their industry and conversion goals ranging from tailored templates to copy recommendations. Early adopters of Smart Builder report not only a reduction in the amount of time it takes to research, plan and launch landing pages, but enhanced utility with Smart Builder’s high-converting copy recommendations.
Seeing an audience come alive, laugh, cheer, and be inspired, is a wonderful thing to be able to create.
M7: What role does a landing page play for a company with respect to branding?
OG: First, it’s important to understand a key distinction between your website and a landing page. Your website is for organic traffic, whereas the primary purpose of a landing page is to create a focused and targeted experience for your marketing campaigns. At Unbounce (and through our customers) we’ve shown over and over that having a dedicated landing page for your paid ads creates a far superior experience when compared to the generic experience your website’s homepage provides given that Google has made paid search results so dominant on the front page, it’s become more essential than ever to make sure you are running paid campaigns to maintain your visibility. And it’s essential that you use landing pages for those campaigns to create the best possible experience. This mindset is crucial for maintaining your brand perception, both for Google, and your visitors.
M7: You are a veteran public speaker. How does it feel to be on stage inspiring hundreds of people?
OG: I absolutely love being on stage. There really is no other feeling like it. And I miss it dearly considering that the pandemic completely eradicated the business of speaking in public from the face of the planet. There has, of course, been a big transition to virtual presenting, but it’s not the same, and I can’t wait to get back out there in a post-COVID world. Seeing an audience come alive, laugh, cheer, and be inspired, is a wonderful thing to be able to create. This is also why I built Be the Keynote, to help others find the confidence to step on stage for the first time. The knock-on effect of more speakers sharing their voices is massive, and I can’t wait to inspire more people to do that.