What Is A Landing Page
There seems to be a lot of talk these days about landing pages. If you are new to the concept, you are probably wondering what the heck they are, and what makes them different from any other page on your site. So let’s start from the start.
The pure definition of a landing page is just what it sounds like: it’s the page your website visitors arrive at after clicking on a link. It could be your home page, or any other page in your site.
What a Landing Page should be:
The best use of a landing page is not what it is, but what is can do. Your landing pages should provide a customized sales pitch for the visitor. The best way to do this is consider where the person has come from, and who they are. By providing a good match, your chances of engaging the visitor goes up, as should your conversion rate.
Well crafted landing pages almost always sport better conversion rates than simply dumping people into the home page of your site. It makes sense. When you drop people into the homepage of your site, it’s akin to asking them to fend for themselves. They arrive and spend a couple seconds before giving up and hitting their back button to move on to you competitor.
Give the same visitors exactly what they were looking for and you will have a captive audience. Be careful not to provide too many distractions in the form of links, or you are likely to lose them before they read your entire message.
When to use a Landing Page:
You should create targeted landing pages anytime you can control where people will be coming from, and your goal is a specific transaction such as sales, registrations, sign-ups, etc. This is particularly true if you are paying for the traffic, with banner ads, sponsor links, or pay-per-click.
How to Write a Landing Page
Is there a difference between writing a landing page and any other web site page? Yes and no. But mainly, yes.
You still have to work within the fundamentals of good writing and copywriting. And you still have to recognize the differences between writing for paper and writing for a monitor.
However, there are some important differences to consider when it comes to writing a landing page.
You KNOW what you want your visitors to do
On many web pages we are writing text to help people find what THEY want, either on that page or a different one. This may involve writing careful descriptions, using images and providing descriptive links to help our visitor move forward to the right page.
In other words, a lot of the time the pages we are writing are not the final destination pages for many of our visitors. So we deliberately help them leave the page, pointing them in the right direction.
With a landing page, everything changes. With a landing page, you know what you want them to do and you DON'T want them leaving that page until they have decided to make that purchase, sign up, download a white paper - or whatever else it is you want them to do.
Now you're in the realm of direct marketing
A landing page is a direct marketing piece, pure and simple. You have attracted someone there through an ad, a link, a keyword...whatever. And now you have them on the page, you want to convert them.
When direct marketing with a landing page, remember these points.
It's about the copy, the words. It's the text that will bring you success or failure.
Design? The purpose of the design is to support and showcase the text. If you want results, your visitors must read the text. This influences your choices of colors, your use of images, and the layout on the page.
Navigation links? No thank you. On a regular web page, there are plenty of links on a page to make it easy for people to move around and find what they want. On a landing page, there is only ONE link you want people to click on, and that's the one that says YES. You don't WANT them to navigate. You want to give them just the one way forward.
Multiple choices? Not if you can help it. If you have three or four things to sell or promote, create separate campaigns and separate landing pages. Too many choices on a single page dilutes attention and reduces response rates. Keep it focused.
Many large and medium sized companies struggle with creating landing pages that are unashamedly built to maximize conversion rates. Perhaps they don't have the skills in-house to write and design that kind of page. Perhaps they feel uncomfortable about 'direct marketing' through their site pages.
Whatever the reason, it's the companies that have the will and the resources to build high-converting landing pages that will come out the winners.
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