When you do online promotion, whether it be through social media, online advertising, newsletter promotion, or a pay-to-play campaign, you want to maximize the results of your effort. You want to take the interested visitors directly to the information they are looking for—not to your home page where they may have to navigate to get to the specific information. When done properly, creating a targeted landing page for an ad can greatly increase conversions, or the number of customers who act on your offer. In this chapter, we cover:
- What is a landing page?
- Considerations for landing page content
- Landing page layout
- Testing your landing page.
What Is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a Web page that is created specifically to respond to a marketing campaign you are running. You can’t provide all the details and the opportunity to make the purchase in an ad, so you develop a landing page to follow through from the ad. When your target market clicks on the ad, they are taken to the landing page that was developed specifically for that ad. The action you want the target market to take might be to make a purchase, join your e-club, follow you on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, view a virtual tour, or use your services. The key is that the landing page is usually geared toward a conversion, or converting the browsers into buyers.
The way your landing page is developed depends entirely on your business objectives, your target market, and your offer itself. The landing page should focus on the one thing you want the visitor to do—keep it focused.
The presentation and the content, or copy, of your landing page have a huge impact on the ability of the landing page to close the offer. We begin with a look at content for your landing page. There are a number of points to make note of when preparing content for a landing page:
- Your landing page should be a continuation of your ad—repeat and expand on the offer presented in your ad. The ad is designed to generate interest and the landing page is designed to close the sale.
- Your landing page should emphasize the benefits of your offer—this is what justifies the purchase.
- Your landing page content should flow from the advertisement. If your ad promotes your virtual tour, then when visitors click through to the landing page, they should be given the opportunity to take that virtual tour. Take your target market where you want them to go. Tell them what you want them to do.
- Your landing page should “speak” to your target market. Use their language and buzz words. Use the appropriate tone for this particular target market.
- Your landing page should have a dynamite headline. Grab their attention!
- Your landing page should be written for scanability. Internet users don’t read; they scan.
- Your landing page should promote the “value-added” portion of the offer that will help with your objectives. Free gift on arrival, a coupon, a discount toward a future purchase, or the number of reward points earned with purchase—all of these add to the value of the offer.
- Your landing page should create a sense of urgency—get your visitors to do what you want them to do NOW! If they leave your site without making the purchase, it is often unlikely you’ll get another opportunity. Using appropriate calls to action like “Call Today!,” telling the target market that “there are limited quantities” or “limited space available,” and techniques like time-stamping the offer with an expiration date create a sense of urgency that encourages the target market to take immediate advantage of the offer.
- Your landing page content should minimize risk. If you have a moneyback guarantee, emphasize it! Anything that helps to close the deal should be prominently displayed.
- Your landing page should ask for the sale—maybe multiple times and in multiple places. You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
- Your landing page should include content that enhances your credibility—things like client testimonials or product or service reviews. Content that helps establish credibility also helps build trust, which is key to doing business online.
- Your landing page should be optimized for the search engines. If you are running a promotion for just a couple of days, then odds are you do not want your landing page indexed by the search engines. In this case you would use your robot’s exclusion protocol in your robots.txt file to tell the search engines not to index the page.
Once you have developed a dynamite landing page, you will want to do some testing to maximize your conversion; very few people get it perfect the first time. You will want to test different page content, format and lengths, different jargon and tones, different layouts, different offers, and a number of other things to find the right balance to best sell your product or service.