The importance of the Landing Page cannot be overstated. Consider the resources that can be expended just to get a visitor to click through to a website and that might spur the realization of the important function this page is being tasked to perform. Once the visitor has made it to this point, this page becomes the sole liaison between a company and a highly targeted prospect. Clearly, it needs to serve many purposes. It should represent the company well, meet the user’s expectations, and provide a specific call to action, among other things. A carefully crafted Landing Page addresses all these concerns, but all too often, if they are used at all, they are thrown together with a lack of clear purpose or proper intention thus dooming them to failure.
1. Put Some Effort Into It
A Landing Page should be considered the storefront, the branding, the culture, the ambience – the everything – as, in many cases, it’s the only thing that a prospect has seen with respect to the brand and identity other than the copy on a search engine results page. It’s got to shine and represent the company in the best light. If it is hastily constructed with a logo, an offer, and a buy now button, this will be evident to the ever-savvier web surfer of today and it will turn the shopper off immediately. What you put into it is what you get out of it in most cases.
2. Meet Expectations
One of the biggest issues a Landing Page must address is meeting a user’s expectation – does the user see what they expect based on how they navigated to the site? Using an ad for 15% off the purchase of a digital camera that takes the prospect to the homepage of a consumer electronics reseller is taking a step backwards. You’ve pulled them to the page with content, ads, keywords, or other links that match their query. The worst thing you can do is send them to a generic page that takes them from the specific back to the general that forces them to then navigate or search the site to try find what they thought they had found already. Most will spend little time on this task while others will just leave. It’s just too easy to hit the back button and click on a competitor’s ad or other search result.
3. Give to Get
So you’ve got the prospect to the site and on the great looking landing page that represents the company well with the product or service they seek. What is the next step? Is there an appropriate call to action? Is there a compelling, hard to resist offer? Is the prospect getting something in exchange for their information you are requesting, if that is the goal? For example, if you are promoting coupons in the ad, are there a couple of leading coupons staring the prospect in the face that are available for immediate download? Presenting them with enticing offers at this point and then asking them for a sign-up or subscription is a lot more likely to convert a prospect than throwing a form in their face to fill out as soon as they get to the page.
4. Optimize It
As an important benefit, a quality Landing Page will almost invariably help in optimizing the site for search engines as it will more than likely provide keyword-rich content that the search engines can gobble up when crawling the page. It’s important to make sure yours meets this criteria. The phrase “content is king” is never truer when it comes to SEO. Content is the natural result of hard work producing copy, video, graphics and the like that all directly relate to the company’s products or services. In a nutshell, that is exactly what search engines want to see – relevant content that relates directly to the products or services being offered on the page which they reside.
If conversions are important to your online ad campaigns, a Landing Page is a very important piece of the puzzle that needs to fit well into its place on the board. Thought, time, and effort should be invested in this critical section of the funnel as it a superior Landing Page will go a long way towards helping increase conversions and findability in both the short and long term.